The Biggest Box Office Hits of the ’90s

Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

The ‘90s were an explosive era for cinema. Big-budget action films dominated the box office, whether they were disaster films like “Armageddon” and “Twister” or sci-fi epics like “Independence Day” and “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” Advancements in computer-generated imagery (CGI) provided many of these movies with the most depictions of imagined events that viewers had ever seen.

The CGI boom also gave us the first completely computer-animated feature film — Pixar’s “Toy Story” — which has spawned three wildly successful sequels to date, and is one of the 76 movies with a perfect score from critics.

To identify the biggest box office hits of the 1990’s, 24/7 Tempo reviewed box office data from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services, as updated in April 2021. Rankings for box office success were out of 4,230 movies for which data was available. The actors and director(s) for each movie come from IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon.

The ‘90s also saw a wave of memorable comedies, including “Home Alone,” “There’s Something About Mary,” and “Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me,” as well as hit romance movies like “Ghost,” “Pretty Woman,” and — romance meets disaster — “Titanic” (which was the highest grossing film of all time until “Avatar” surpassed it in 2009, and one of the 20 films that has earned the most award nominations).

24/7 Tempo has compiled the biggest box office hits of the 1990s, including prime examples of all these genres.