The explosion of streaming services has made it possible for people to peruse all of film history from their couch, whether it’s savoring nostalgic favorites or exploring films they’ve never seen before.
The advent of COVID-19 has fueled our attachments to couch movie nights more than ever, with over 100 years of movie history to choose from. We could go back to the silent era to find big-budget entertainment, in films like Buster Keaton’s “The General” or Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis”. Each decade since has delivered its own version of pure movie magic, creating big productions and big effects with big budgets. Then there are the smaller films that could do it: mid-budget films that captured the zeitgeist and thus reached the top of the box office.
Stacker has compiled a list of the 50 biggest box office winners of all time, using data from box office mojo (last update May 2022). Rankings are based solely on gross domestic box office, with revenue adjusted for ticket price inflation. While the list is predictably packed with musicals, historical epics, comic book adaptations, and franchises, it also occasionally features heartbreaking dramas, classic comedies, or jaw-dropping horrors. Here are the biggest box office winners of all time.
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