Highest Grossing Film of Each Year of the ’80s, Ranked by IMDb
In the 1980s, movies weren’t making as much money as they do today. In fact, instead of annual billion dollar hits, some of the films up for grabs each year at the box office over the decade wouldn’t even make half that total.
Another difference around this time is that the highest grossing movies weren’t always sequels or part of a franchise, which often happened in the 2010s. Something that has remained the same though is that the films that made the most money weren’t always the ones considered the best, with the annual box office winners of the decade being mixed bags in terms of quality.
ten 1987 – Three men and a baby (6.1)
It’s not often that a comedy, at least not one that isn’t part of a franchise, wins the box office. This was surprisingly the case in 1987, when Three men and a baby managed to raise $ 167.7 million, exceeding the likes of Predator, fatal attraction, and Deadly weapon.
The film was aided by the trio of leading actors Ted Danson, Steve Guttenberg and Tom Selleck, who were all big stars in the 1980s. The principle of three singles getting together to care for a child lent itself. also to many fun and hilarious moments.
9 1986 – Top Gun (6.9)
While it might not have the most impressive rating on IMDb, there aren’t many ’80s movies that are more iconic than the 1986s. Top Gun. It has become so remarkable that a much anticipated sequel has been lit up and is expected to hit theaters later this year.
When Top Gun originally released, it was an instant hit, winning the box office with a worldwide gross of $ 357.2 million. The plot centers around the adventures of the US Navy fighter pilots, leading to huge action scenes. It is one of the films that helped make Tom Cruise a household name.
8 1984 – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (7.5)
Back in the days when the Indiana Jones series was limited to a trilogy, many fans seemed to agree that the second installment was the worst of the bunch. This entry was Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, which was released in 1984 and turned out to be a big box office hit.
Globally, this sequel grossed $ 333.1 million and ensured that a third film would also be made to complete the story. Indy tackled a mystical stone and attempted to save children from slavery in an adventure that was well received, but the film was generally lacking due to disappointing characters.
7 1982 – ET: The extra-terrestrial (7.8)
The decade doesn’t seem to matter much as far as Steven Spielberg is concerned, as his films are usually blockbusters every time they arrive. In 1982 he released a huge success in AND: the alien, which racked up an impressive $ 792.9 million.
The number ranks among the highest in the decade and although the IMDb rating does not exceed 8.0, it remains very good. The story of a troubled child bonding with an alien who lands on Earth and helps him escape is iconic and remains a classic to this day.
6 1988 – The Rain Man (8.0)
Another surprising box office winner arrived in 1988. While almost everyone who has seen Rain man can attest to the quality of the Best Picture winner, it’s not the kind of movie that usually surpasses everything else. In fact, it is the last best film to win the crown at the box office.
Rain man did so by raising $ 354.8 million worldwide. The film deals with the relationship between a car dealership (Tom Cruise) and his learned ex-brother (Dustin Hoffman), who left their father’s estate. The praise for the film is probably what continued to draw audiences.
5 1989 – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (8.2)
If the second installment of the Indiana Jones trilogy paid off a lot, then it’s only fitting that the third entry managed to overtake it. Fans had waited almost a decade by the time 1989 unfolded and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade made its debut in theaters.
This time around, Indy was joined by his father (Sean Connery) as they tried to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis. As it was so anticipated and considered the end of the franchise for the time, it reached $ 474.1 million and was critically acclaimed, arguably the best of the three films.
4 1983 – Return of the Jedi (8.3)
There was almost no way that Return of the Jedi was not going to win the 1983 box office crown. The film was set to be the end of Hollywood’s most infamous trilogy at that time, with the first two installments not only being considered classics, but also like huge blockbusters.
It didn’t do as much as the other entries but Return of the Jedi still managed to withdraw $ 475.1 million. It is often considered the worst of the original trilogy but was always a commercial and critical success, encapsulating the personal story between Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker, while adding to the love affair between Leia Organa and Han Solo, the all in addition to great action and special effects.
3 1981 – Raiders of the Lost Ark (8.4)
It all had to start somewhere for the awesome Indiana Jones trilogy and that was in 1981. The world was introduced to the iconic character of Harrison Ford in The Raiders of the Lost Ark while he was hired by the government to locate the Ark of the Covenant before Adolf Hitler and the Nazis.
Even though this was just the start of the franchise, The Raiders of the Lost Ark started off strong with a gross total of $ 389.9 million. This success was monumental because without him, one of the greatest characters in the history of cinema would not have had another chance to continue his story.
2 1985 – Back to the future (8.5)
In the same sense as The Raiders of the Lost Ark, another great series managed to win the box office in its first year. It happened in 1985 when Back to the future premiered and blew audiences away with its fantastic mix of comedy, action, and sci-fi antics.
Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) became legendary characters almost immediately, with the film grossing $ 381.9 million. Audiences fell in love as the two traveled decades in the past, with almost any action potentially ruining their futures.
1 1980 – The Empire Strikes Back (8.7)
After the incredible revolutionary release of Star wars in 1977, the announcement of a sequel on the horizon made the public salivate. In 1980 they got what they hoped for as The Empire Strikes Back arrived and it was watched by millions on its way to a whopping $ 538.3 million box office.
It took what worked in the first movie and developed it, introducing memorable new characters like Yoda and Lando Calrissian while deepening lore and delivering a jaw-dropping storyline. To date, many Star wars fans still consider this to be the pinnacle of the franchise.
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