The Most Successful Movies of the ‘90s

Source: Courtesy of TriStar Pictures

Cinema in the the 1990s was notable for the expansion of the home video market; the emergence of new independent production companies; advancements in CGI technology and the birth of virtual cinematography; the resurgence of Disney; the rebirth of disaster films; and the rise and continued success of franchises.

To identify the most successful movies of the 1990s, 24/7 Tempo reviewed the domestic inflation-adjusted box office gross for the 3,332 movies with available data released during the 1990s according to The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services.

Our list includes films that made impressive use of CGI technology, among them “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Toy Story” – the last of which was the first feature film to be entirely computer animated. (These are the greatest animated movies of all time.)

Disney’s resurgence was reflected in the success of “Aladdin,” “The Lion King” (the original, animated, version), and “Beauty and the Beast.” Disaster films bounced back at the box office with hits such as “Twister,” “Titanic,” and “Armageddon.” Franchises – new and ongoing – found great success, among them “Home Alone,” “Men in Black,” and “Star Wars,” along with “Jurassic Park” and “Toy Story,” which placed two movies each on the list. (On the other hand, see the worst movie from every major franchise.)

Directors Chris Columbus and Steven Spielberg show up here three times apiece. The 1990s were very good for Tommy Lee Jones and Tom Hanks, each of whom is featured in four of the decade’s most successful films.

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