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….

Rank

Movie

Gross

ATP

Tix sold

1 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) $184,925,485 $0.26 711,251,865
2 Gone with the Wind (1939) $198,655,278 $0.28 709,483,136
3 Bambi (1942) $102,797,150 $0.31 331,603,710
4 One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) $153,000,000 $0.68 225,000,000
5 Star Wars (1977) $460,935,665 $2.23 206,697,608
6 The Sound of Music (1965) $163,214,286 $0.86 189,784,053
7 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $434,949,459 $2.94 147,941,993
8 Titanic (1997) $600,779,824 $4.59 130,888,851
9 Doctor Zhivago (1965) $111,722,000 $0.86 129,909,302
10 Jaws (1975) $260,000,000 $2.03 128,078,818
11 The Exorcist (1973) $204,565,000 $1.65 123,978,788
12 Mary Poppins (1964) $102,300,000 $0.86 118,953,488
13 The Jungle Book (1967) $141,843,612 $1.22 116,265,256
14 Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $290,158,751 $2.69 107,865,707
15 Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) $309,125,409 $3.15 98,135,050
16 The Sting (1973) $159,600,000 $1.65 96,727,273
17 Love Story (1970) $106,400,000 $1.22 87,213,115
18 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $242,374,454 $2.78 87,185,055
19 Jurassic Park (1993) $356,784,000 $4.14 86,179,710
20 The Graduate (1967) $104,397,102 $1.22 85,571,395
21 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) $431,065,444 $5.06 85,190,799
22 Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) $102,308,900 $1.22 83,859,754
23 Airport (1970) $100,489,150 $1.22 82,368,156
24 The Godfather (1972) $134,821,952 $1.65 81,710,274
25 Forrest Gump (1994) $329,691,196 $4.08 80,806,666
26 The Lion King (1994) $328,423,001 $4.08 80,495,834
27 Grease (1978) $181,360,000 $2.34 77,504,274
28 The Dark Knight (2008) $533,316,061 $7.18 74,278,003
29 Ghost Busters (1984) $238,600,000 $3.36 71,011,905
30 Shrek 2 (2004) $436,471,036 $6.21 70,285,191
31 Beverly Hills Cop (1984) $234,760,500 $3.36 69,869,196
32 American Graffiti (1973) $115,000,000 $1.65 69,696,970
33 Spider-Man (2002) $403,706,375 $5.80 69,604,547
34 Independence Day (1996) $306,124,059 $4.42 69,258,837
35 The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) $139,876,417 $2.03 68,904,639
36 Home Alone (1990) $285,761,243 $4.22 67,715,934
37 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) $423,032,628 $6.55 64,585,134
38 Blazing Saddles (1974) $119,500,000 $1.89 63,227,513
39 Batman (1989) $251,188,924 $3.99 62,954,618
40 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) $377,019,252 $6.03 62,523,922
41 The Towering Inferno (1974) $116,000,000 $1.89 61,375,661
42 Animal House (1978) $141,600,000 $2.34 60,512,821
43 Tootsie (1982) $177,200,000 $2.94 60,272,109
44 Spider-Man 2 (2004) $373,377,893 $6.21 60,125,265
45 The Passion of the Christ (2004) $370,270,943 $6.21 59,624,951
46 Back to the Future (1985) $210,609,762 $3.55 59,326,694
47 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) $380,262,555 $6.41 59,323,332
48 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002) $340,478,898 $5.80 58,703,258
49 The Sixth Sense (1999) $293,501,675 $5.06 58,004,284
50 Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) $128,300,000 $2.23 57,533,632
51 Superman (1978) $134,218,018 $2.34 57,358,127
52 Smokey and the Bandit (1977) $126,737,428 $2.23 56,832,927
53 Finding Nemo (2003) $339,714,367 $6.03 56,337,374
54 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) $317,557,891 $5.65 56,204,936
55 The Lord of thee Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) $313,837,577 $5.65 55,546,474
56 One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) $112,000,000 $2.03 55,172,414
57 Rocky (1976) $117,235,247 $2.13 55,040,022
58 Twister (1996) $241,688,385 $4.42 54,680,630
59 Men in Black (1997) $250,147,615 $4.59 54,498,391
60 Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones (2002) $310,675,583 $5.80 53,564,756
61 Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) $179,870,271 $3.36 53,532,819
62 Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) $219,200,000 $4.14 52,946,860
63 Aladdin (1992) $217,350,219 $4.15 52,373,547
64 Ghost (1990) $217,631,306 $4.22 51,571,400
65 Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003) $305,388,685 $6.03 50,644,890
66 The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) $229,074,524 $4.59 49,907,304
67 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $197,171,806 $3.99 49,416,493
68 Spider-Man 3 (2007) $336,530,303 $6.88 48,914,288
69 Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) $204,843,350 $4.21 48,656,378
70 Toy Story 2 (1999) $245,823,397 $5.06 48,581,699
71 How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) $260,031,035 $5.39 48,243,235
72 Top Gun (1986) $176,781,728 $3.71 47,650,061
73 Shrek (2001) $267,652,016 $5.65 47,372,038
74 Crocodile Dundee (1986) $174,635,000 $3.71 47,071,429
75 The Matrix Reloaded (2003) $281,492,479 $6.03 46,682,003
76 Shrek the Third (2007) $320,706,665 $6.88 46,614,341
77 Transformers (2007) $318,759,914 $6.88 46,331,383
78 Saving Private Ryan (1998) $216,119,491 $4.69 46,080,915
79 The Chronicles of Narnia (2005) $291,709,845 $6.41 45,508,556
80 Monsters, Inc. (2001) $255,870,172 $5.65 45,286,756
81 Every Which Way But Loose (1978) $105,918,400 $2.34 45,264,274
82 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005) $289,994,397 $6.41 45,240,936
83 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002) $261,970,615 $5.80 45,167,347
84 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) $309,404,152 $6.88 44,971,534
85 Meet the Fockers (2004) $279,167,575 $6.21 44,954,521
86 The Fugitive (1993) $183,875,760 $4.14 44,414,435
87 Iron Man (2008) $318,298,180 $7.18 44,331,223
88 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) $317,011,114 $7.18 44,151,966
89 An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) $129,795,554 $2.94 44,148,148
90 Gremlins (1984) $148,170,000 $3.36 44,098,214
91 Toy Story (1995) $191,773,049 $4.35 44,085,758
92 Jaws 2 (1978) $102,922,376 $2.34 43,983,921
93 Dances with Wolves (1990) $184,208,848 $4.22 43,651,386
94 Cast Away (2000) $233,630,478 $5.39 43,345,172
95 Kramer vs. Kramer (1979) $106,300,000 $2.47 43,036,437
96 Armageddon (1998/I) $201,573,391 $4.69 42,979,401
97 3 Men and a Baby (1987) $167,780,960 $3.91 42,910,731
98 On Golden Pond (1981) $119,285,432 $2.78 42,908,429
99 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007) $292,000,866 $6.88 42,441,986