Most popular movies based on ticket sales…

Most popular movies based on ticket sales... | DaveTavres.comFor years, I’ve been bugged the the claim of a movie being the “top grossing film of all time”. The problem is – ticket prices have changed through time, so it’s not really about how much money was made, but more about how many tickets were sold. So, I built this spreadsheet using the “All-Time USA Box office” grosses from IMDB, and the average ticket prices (ATP) from the National Association of Theatre Owners website. Then, dividing the Gross by the ATP gives the number of tickets sold for that movie. Now, assuming that IMDB and NATO’s numbers are correct, below is the list of the top 50 movies in order of tickets sold.

What I find most interesting, is that the only SIX of the top 20 movies are from the 1980s newer… Does that mean that the movies aren’t as good, or that people just have more entertainment options? Hmmm….





Tix sold

1Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)$184,925,485$0.26711,251,865
2Gone with the Wind (1939)$198,655,278$0.28709,483,136
3Bambi (1942)$102,797,150$0.31331,603,710
4One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961)$153,000,000$0.68225,000,000
5Star Wars (1977)$460,935,665$2.23206,697,608
6The Sound of Music (1965)$163,214,286$0.86189,784,053
7E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)$434,949,459$2.94147,941,993
8Titanic (1997)$600,779,824$4.59130,888,851
9Doctor Zhivago (1965)$111,722,000$0.86129,909,302
10Jaws (1975)$260,000,000$2.03128,078,818
11The Exorcist (1973)$204,565,000$1.65123,978,788
12Mary Poppins (1964)$102,300,000$0.86118,953,488
13The Jungle Book (1967)$141,843,612$1.22116,265,256
14Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980)$290,158,751$2.69107,865,707
15Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)$309,125,409$3.1598,135,050
16The Sting (1973)$159,600,000$1.6596,727,273
17Love Story (1970)$106,400,000$1.2287,213,115
18Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)$242,374,454$2.7887,185,055
19Jurassic Park (1993)$356,784,000$4.1486,179,710
20The Graduate (1967)$104,397,102$1.2285,571,395
21Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)$431,065,444$5.0685,190,799
22Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)$102,308,900$1.2283,859,754
23Airport (1970)$100,489,150$1.2282,368,156
24The Godfather (1972)$134,821,952$1.6581,710,274
25Forrest Gump (1994)$329,691,196$4.0880,806,666
26The Lion King (1994)$328,423,001$4.0880,495,834
27Grease (1978)$181,360,000$2.3477,504,274
28The Dark Knight (2008)$533,316,061$7.1874,278,003
29Ghost Busters (1984)$238,600,000$3.3671,011,905
30Shrek 2 (2004)$436,471,036$6.2170,285,191
31Beverly Hills Cop (1984)$234,760,500$3.3669,869,196
32American Graffiti (1973)$115,000,000$1.6569,696,970
33Spider-Man (2002)$403,706,375$5.8069,604,547
34Independence Day (1996)$306,124,059$4.4269,258,837
35The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)$139,876,417$2.0368,904,639
36Home Alone (1990)$285,761,243$4.2267,715,934
37Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)$423,032,628$6.5564,585,134
38Blazing Saddles (1974)$119,500,000$1.8963,227,513
39Batman (1989)$251,188,924$3.9962,954,618
40The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)$377,019,252$6.0362,523,922
41The Towering Inferno (1974)$116,000,000$1.8961,375,661
42Animal House (1978)$141,600,000$2.3460,512,821
43Tootsie (1982)$177,200,000$2.9460,272,109
44Spider-Man 2 (2004)$373,377,893$6.2160,125,265
45The Passion of the Christ (2004)$370,270,943$6.2159,624,951
46Back to the Future (1985)$210,609,762$3.5559,326,694
47Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005)$380,262,555$6.4159,323,332
48The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)$340,478,898$5.8058,703,258
49The Sixth Sense (1999)$293,501,675$5.0658,004,284
50Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)$128,300,000$2.2357,533,632
51Superman (1978)$134,218,018$2.3457,358,127
52Smokey and the Bandit (1977)$126,737,428$2.2356,832,927
53Finding Nemo (2003)$339,714,367$6.0356,337,374
54Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)$317,557,891$5.6556,204,936
55The Lord of thee Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)$313,837,577$5.6555,546,474
56One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)$112,000,000$2.0355,172,414
57Rocky (1976)$117,235,247$2.1355,040,022
58Twister (1996)$241,688,385$4.4254,680,630
59Men in Black (1997)$250,147,615$4.5954,498,391
60Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002)$310,675,583$5.8053,564,756
61Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)$179,870,271$3.3653,532,819
62Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)$219,200,000$4.1452,946,860
63Aladdin (1992)$217,350,219$4.1552,373,547
64Ghost (1990)$217,631,306$4.2251,571,400
65Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)$305,388,685$6.0350,644,890
66The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)$229,074,524$4.5949,907,304
67Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)$197,171,806$3.9949,416,493
68Spider-Man 3 (2007)$336,530,303$6.8848,914,288
69Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)$204,843,350$4.2148,656,378
70Toy Story 2 (1999)$245,823,397$5.0648,581,699
71How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)$260,031,035$5.3948,243,235
72Top Gun (1986)$176,781,728$3.7147,650,061
73Shrek (2001)$267,652,016$5.6547,372,038
74Crocodile Dundee (1986)$174,635,000$3.7147,071,429
75The Matrix Reloaded (2003)$281,492,479$6.0346,682,003
76Shrek the Third (2007)$320,706,665$6.8846,614,341
77Transformers (2007)$318,759,914$6.8846,331,383
78Saving Private Ryan (1998)$216,119,491$4.6946,080,915
79The Chronicles of Narnia (2005)$291,709,845$6.4145,508,556
80Monsters, Inc. (2001)$255,870,172$5.6545,286,756
81Every Which Way But Loose (1978)$105,918,400$2.3445,264,274
82Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)$289,994,397$6.4145,240,936
83Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)$261,970,615$5.8045,167,347
84Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007)$309,404,152$6.8844,971,534
85Meet the Fockers (2004)$279,167,575$6.2144,954,521
86The Fugitive (1993)$183,875,760$4.1444,414,435
87Iron Man (2008)$318,298,180$7.1844,331,223
88Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)$317,011,114$7.1844,151,966
89An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)$129,795,554$2.9444,148,148
90Gremlins (1984)$148,170,000$3.3644,098,214
91Toy Story (1995)$191,773,049$4.3544,085,758
92Jaws 2 (1978)$102,922,376$2.3443,983,921
93Dances with Wolves (1990)$184,208,848$4.2243,651,386
94Cast Away (2000)$233,630,478$5.3943,345,172
95Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)$106,300,000$2.4743,036,437
96Armageddon (1998/I)$201,573,391$4.6942,979,401
973 Men and a Baby (1987)$167,780,960$3.9142,910,731
98On Golden Pond (1981)$119,285,432$2.7842,908,429
99Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)$292,000,866$6.8842,441,986
Back to Top