Top Guns At The Box Office

Some box office history was made today as Tom Cruise’s Top Gun: Maverick passed The Avengers to become the ninth-highest grossing movie in domestic box office history. According to Variety, movie business experts believe before this film finally lands it can fly by a couple more movies on the list, Jurassic World and Titanic.

It has been a long time since I took a look at the top domestic gross box office list, as well as any list which attempts to take inflation into account to better represent how many folks actually came out and supported movies over all the years which we’ve been blessed with cinema entertainment options.

Below are two current domestic gross box office lists which I think are fun to take a glance at…

Courtesy Of Filmsite

All-Time Domestic Gross Box Office (Unadjusted for Inflation)

  1. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  2. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  3. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
  4. Avatar (2009)
  5. Black Panther (2018)
  6. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
  7. Titanic (1997)
  8. Jurassic World (2015)
  9. Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
  10. The Avengers (2012)
  11. Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)
  12. Incredibles 2 (2018)
  13. The Lion King (2019)
  14. The Dark Knight (2008)
  15. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
  16. Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
  17. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  18. Finding Dory (2016)
  19. Frozen II (2019)
  20. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)

All-Time Domestic Gross Box Office (Adjusted for Inflation)

  1. Gone With the Wind (1939)
  2. Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977)
  3. The Sound of Music (1965)
  4. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
  5. Titanic (1997)
  6. The Ten Commandments (1956)
  7. Jaws (1975)
  8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
  9. The Exorcist (1973)
  10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  11. Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
  12. 101 Dalmatians (1961)
  13. Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  14. Ben-Hur (1959)
  15. Avatar (2009)
  16. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
  17. Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
  18. Jurassic Park (1993)
  19. Star Wars I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
  20. The Lion King (1994)

I am not an analytics guy but I’m smart enough to know trying to accurately compare and compile all-time box office gets a bit tricky. Nonetheless, here’s my takeaways on both of these lists:

Avatar – Look, I’m ashamed to admit somehow I missed seeing this on the big screen, but after watching it a couple of times on the small screen…I just don’t get how this movie was this beloved. Please educate me if you feel differently. That being said, I will go see the sequel at the theatre when it opens up in mid-December.

Incredibles 2 – I was incredulous this film did that much business. Like Avatar, I didn’t get the appeal. The first Incredibles was just ok for me.

Jaws – I remember sitting in the theatre watching it on its first weekend and saying to myself…I think a few more people are going to see this. I remain impressed with where it resides all-time. When I went back to see it again a few weeks later…I remember being in an awfully long line. People love sharks…at a distance, of course.

The Star Wars Franchise – What can you say? These films have resonated with moviegoers throughout the decades. I am curious to see how future films do considering the additional Star Wars streaming content that has come out recently covering different eras. I have enjoyed the recent theatrical releases, but I don’t know if we really need any more movies. However, these lists mean they’re going to keep on making them.

Top Gun: Maverick – In addition to raking in even more money before it’s done, I don’t see any way the movie doesn’t get nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. I’m betting other folks share my view, judging by its box office success.


Picture Courtesy iStock

27 thoughts on “Top Guns At The Box Office”

  1. Okay, not being a Tom Cruise fan, there is no way you’re going to get me to see any Top Gun movie, no matter how loudly the reviews proclaim its glory. But it is interesting to see how different movies have fared over the years.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Belinda, have always enjoyed your reviews and hope to see more in the future. I know you have a passion for film as I do. As for Maverick, if someone had told me before it opened I’d be typing a sentence with the movie and Oscar in it I’d have thought them quite mad. I’m as surprised as anyone…and I am a Cruise fan.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. The first thing that struck me about the lists is the targeted audiences. The recent one is superhero heavy for todays younger movie goers.
    Avatar? Never saw the spiral, won’t see the sequel.
    Star Wars? I’m still mad at George Lucas for selling out to the mouse. It cheapened the allure, at least for me.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. I did see Avatar and while it was ok, like you, I don’t see how it did so well! Happy to see E.T. on the 2nd list. I love that movie most likely because I was a kid when I saw it, and I related to Henry Thomas’s character. I remember seeing it the first time at a drive-in! So fun. Thanks for the lists!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Belle, E.T. is one of my all time favorite films as well. My wife and I were dating at the time, and we saw it three times within the first couple of weeks. Pretty hard to believe it was 40 years ago when it first came out. You saw it at a drive-in – that’s so cool. I have great memories of drive-in movies growing up. Seemed like there were as many drive-ins as theatres back then.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s cool! I think we saw it a few times afterwards as well. We all loved it so much! Drive-ins were fun! We used to go when I was a kid up north. It was cheap and we could sit outside if we wanted. There was one open near where we live now for a few years, but I don’t think it’s around anymore 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Back when I was the online movie critic/blogger for the now-gone local alternative weekly, Bruce, I used to write about the revenues of favorites and flops, surprises and the usual do-gooders. Really, though, the most fun then and still now discovering which film manages to hold you in your mind, soul and gut, when you’re in the theater or watching on the home big screen. And Top Gun Maverick got me this year. So did the Downtown Abbey sequel. Both in the theater, only two we’ve ventured out for in 2022. There you have it.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Everyone is tippy toeing around what is really wrong with movies today, but hot damn, I am not afraid to hurt people’s feelings: Many (and I mean MANY) movie goers today are judging movies by there “woke” status. Being inclusive does not mean turning Luke Skywalker into an Asian Transgender Vegan, or rewriting Jaws so that the Shark is viewed as the victim because PETA picketed the studio, Or that T-Rex and the Velociraptors end the movie by sitting around singing kumbaya and discussing how their farts are creating global warming.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. CGI and other technology breakthroughs make a big impact when movies like Star Wars and Avatar hit the big screen. Sometimes the effects are not as impressive when we look back because we are used to the technology. I favor inflation adjusted lists, otherwise you only get recent movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s a book called Amazonia by James Rollins that predates the Avatar movie. I always wonder if whoever wrote Avatar read that book and got inspired from it. It’s not the exact same story, but the basic idea is there.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Some folks think James Cameron may have gotten at least some ideas or inspiration from that book. Cameron apparently started working on Avatar almost a decade before the book, but there certainly is the possibility he might have been inspired by it since Avatar wasn’t released until seven years after the book was released.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Real-time example in the case of Jordan Peele’s “Nope.” I see reviews full of praise, treating him as a genius. I don’t know if I was in the wrong theatre or not, but for me that movie is a mess. There may have been a film in there somewhere another writer might have extracted. To me, Peele is headed into Shyamalan territory. Bottom line…each person is their own best (and only) critic to listen to.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. As far as “reviews” are concerned, the days of Siskel and Ebert are long gone.. Most “reviews” now are generated by the same entities producing the content, which makes more advertising/marketing that objective opinion.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m SO happy I’m not the only one who doesn’t bow at the altar of Avator, lol. Visuals were fun (at first) but the cliched story line of “the great white savior” helping out the “natives” made my stomach boil. Come on! lol.
    We also disliked Incredibles II immensely. I had its charms, we thought. II was flat and predictable.
    I used to not be impressed by Tom Cruise in the past, but he’s grown on me in leaps and bounds and now I’m quite fond of him and think he’s become a fine actor. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stacey, Avatar definitely LOOKED good, but we so agree about the story line. I saw the trailer for the sequel to come later this year and again…it LOOKS good, but it doesn’t look good. Glad you are on Team Cruise. We share that concept of developing fondness for him over time. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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