Top Grossing Movies Over the Decades: Part One

By Brianna Baldwin and Katie Keith

Movies are iconic pieces of entertainment that has been enjoyed for decades. The first movie was created in 1888 by Louis Le Prince. Now the film - is very progressive in technology and makes from 35.9 to 70.4 billion dollars. Decades of hard work have left us with incredible movies and quality entertainment.

1960’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (102.3 million dollars)

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid was made in 1969, written by William Goldman and directed by George Hill. This movie is about a man named Butch Cassidy and his deadshot sidekick Sundance Kid leading a gang called Hole in the Wall. They plan to rob a series of banks. The first robbery was successful. The second robbery, Butch used too much dynamite to blow up the safe, blowing a baggage car. Their quest with the gang leads to many issues and fights between them, the cops, and other gangs. This movie made 102.3 million dollar, leaving them with 96.3 million dollar profit after having a 6 million budget.

Number 2: The Graduate (104.9 million dollars)

The Graduate was made in 1967, written by Buck Henry and Calder Willingham and directed by Mike Nichols. This movie is about a man named Benjamin Braddock, a 21 year old newly graduate. He gets seduced by his father’s law partner and starts having feelings for her. Mrs. Robinson is married with a daughter his age. Ben feels awkward as his parents and Mr. Robinson sets him up with their daughter, Elaine. He tries to set up the dates where he ignores her and takes her to a strip club. Ben and Elaine start getting closer when both families start to fall apart leading to crazy adventures and problems. The budget for The Graduate was 3 million, and the movie earned 85 million dollars, making a 82 million dollar profit.

Number 1: The Sound of Music (286.2 million dollars)

The Sound of Music directed by Robert Wise is the highest grossing movie of the 1960s. This movie is about a woman named Maria who is studying to become a nun. Her love of music, the outdoors, and boastful personality raises flags to the other nuns. She teaches the local children music and how to sing. This creates good and negatives within the film’s plot. The characters go through many struggles, but always advance. This movie had a 8.2 million dollar budget and made 286.2 million dollars in the box office. This is a 278 million dollar profit.

1970’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Grease (395 million dollars)

Grease was written by Bronte Woodard. This movie is about a man and a woman named Danny Zuko and Sandy Olsson who met at a beach and fall in love. They had to part ways and Danny went from being a lover to being a greaser with his gang.  Things take a twist when Sandy arrives at the same school, seeing that Danny is a completely different person. Things spiral out of control leading to many issues and musical numbers. Grease had a budget of 6 million. The movie made 395 million in the box office, leaving a 389 million dollar profit.

Number 2: Jaws (470.7 million dollars)

Jaws is a classic American thriller based on the novel written by Peter Benchley and directed by Steven Spielberg. At a beach party, a young woman named Chrissie Watkins goes skinny dipping and she gets violently pulled under. The town spirals into panic about the shark, and the cops cover up the shark attacks. People discover the truth about the beast lurking below. This movie had a 9 million dollar budget, but made 470.7 million in box office. This left them with a 461.7 million dollar profit.

Number 1: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (775.4 million dollars)

This Star Wars movie is about a galaxy in a civil war. Rebel spies stole plans to the Death Star, a large emperatic space station. The droids capture Jawa traders, including Luke Skywalker. This team of underdogs go on an adventure through space and war. The budget of this movie in the Star Wars saga was 11 million, and they made 775.4 million dollars. That leaves them with a 764.4 million dollar profit.

1980’s Top Grossing Movies

Number 3: Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (538.4 million dollars)

This Star Wars movie is three years after the Death Star was destroyed. The Rebel alliance led by Princess Leia were currently staying on Planet Hoth, while Darth Vader hunts them down with an Imperial fleet. There is many battles and unprompted shanagines that the Rebels go through to escape and defeat Darth Vader. This movie in the Star Wars saga was 18 million dollars, and in box office, they made 538.4 million dollars. This left a profit of 520.4 million dollars.

Number 2: Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (572.7 million dollars)

Another movie in the Star Wars saga that reached the top three top grossing movies in the 1980’s. Han Solo was captured by Jabba the Hutt, and C-3PO and R2-D2 was sent there in a trade by Luke Skywalker. Princess Leia was impersonating a bounty hunter to collect him when she was captured. This lead to escaping and battles and many ups and downs. This movie had a 42.7 million dollar budget and made 572.7 million in the box office. This left a 530 million dollar profit.

Number 1: E.T. (619 million dollars)

The Movie E.T. - The Extra Terrestrial was written by Melissa Mathison and produced as well as directed by Steven Spielberg. When aliens come to earth in order take samples for scientific examination, they have to hastily leave and end up leaving one of their own behind. This alien was found by a young boy named Elliot, who forms a connection with the alien and goes on to protect him until he is able to go home. The alien begins learning English and calls himself E.T. After a successful call by E.T. to his home, the government learns of E.T.’s existence on Earth and begin chasing him and Elliot as they try to find a way for E.T. to go home. The budget for E.T. was 10.5 million dollars and with 619 million dollars made worldwide, the movie had an overall profit of 609 million dollars.

Stay tuned for the next article: 1990s to 2018!