Hollywood has long produced movies with record-breaking earnings. Owing to globalisation, the popularity of the English language, and the aggressive marketing of movies on various platforms makes them money-making machines. In 2019, Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing Hollywood movie of all time (inflation unadjusted), thanks to the ginormous global fan-following of the MCU and the availability of various dubbed versions. However, it still does not come close to the insane success of the 1939 movie Gone With The Wind, which, with adjusted inflation, outdoes every Hollywood movie in the history of cinema when it comes to numbers. Read on to find out the highest grossing Hollywood movies of all time and their unprecedented box-office collections.
Note: Revenue for all movie mentioned is as of 2019 after adjusting Inflation
1. Gone with the Wind (1939): $3,713,000,000
The 1939 epic romance is best known for the grandeur of its production, and an unforgettable love story at heart. Upon its release, the film received acclaim from critics and audiences alike, even though its depiction of slavery was criticized. The movie registered record numbers of attendance in theatres. In total, Gone With The Wind has earned almost $400 million, which is estimated to be over $3.7 billion after adjusting inflation, making it the most successful movie in the history of cinema.
2. Avatar (2009): $3,263,000,000
A Sci-fi movie set in the future, Avatar was highly praised for its ambitious vision and revolutionary visual effects. Avatar received a grand opening, with more than 14,000 international screenings, which helped it to earn a whopping $2.9 billion, making it the first movie to cross the $2 billion mark. It became the highest grossing movie in history, and remained so for a decade until the release of Avengers: Endgame.
3. Titanic(1997): $3,087,000,000
One of the most loved movies overseas, Titanic followed the story of RMS Titanic, a ship that tragically sank during its maiden voyage in 1912. At the time of its production, Titanic was the most expensive movie ever made with a budget of 200 million dollars. Upon its release, the film became the first movie to earn more than $1 Billion worldwide, and remained the highest grossing Hollywood movie of all time until it was dethroned by Avatar. Notably, both Titanic and Avatar are directed by James Cameron, who seems to have a knack for making the highest grossing Hollywood movies.
4. Star Wars (1977): $3,049,000,000
One of the most prominent pop-cultural phenomena, Star Wars received a limited release at first. However, it became an instant blockbuster, encouraging the makers to give it a wider release. The film was critically well-received, and was especially praised for its visual effects. Star Wars went on to earn over $770 million, making it the highest-grossing movie up until that time.
5. Avengers Endgame (2019): $2,798,000,000
Marvel spent over a decade building up to the climax of the Infinity Saga, and Avengers Endgame was a worthy finale by all means. The movie was well-received by fans and critics, and went on to become the highest grossing movie of all time. It received the biggest worldwide opening of $1.2 billion, and was the fastest movie to reach the $1 billion and $1.5 billion mark.
6. The Sound of Music (1965): $2,554,000,000
One of the most beloved American musicals, The Sound of Music opened to mixed reviews from critics. However, after a month-long run, was declared the number one box office movie, and later ended up being the most successful movie of that year.
7. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982): $2,493,000,000
Upon its release, Steven Spielberg’s epic science fiction movie, ET, was liked by both critics and fans, and is now considered to be one of the best movies of all time. The movie set a record for being number one in the box office for 16 weeks straight, eventually surpassing Star Wars as the highest-grossing film of all time.
8. The Ten Commandments (1956): $2,361,000,000
The 1956 movie is a dramatization of the biblical character Moses, and was the highest-grossing movie of 1956, and at one point even surpassed the earnings of Gone With The Wind. It is said to have sold 262 million tickets worldwide.
9. Doctor Zhivago (1965): $2,238,000,000
Set in Russia during the time before the first world war, Doctor Zhivago is based on a novel of the same name. Upon its release, it was the second highest-grossing movie of 1965, earning over $110 million in the US.
10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015): $2,206,000,000
The first instalment in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy, Star Wars: The Force Awakens received worldwide acclaim by fans and critics, and went on to become the highest-grossing Star Wars movie, with inflation unadjusted. It became the third movie to surpass $2 billion worldwide.
From this list of highest grossing Hollywood movies, how many have you watched? Comment below!