The Most Watched Movies in History

Box-office watching is now a national sport. If a film doesn’t make at least a million dollars or more, it’s doomed to end up on video and late night TV. The top winners are the ones that rake in at least a billion.

With this in mind, here are

The Top Ten all-time box office winners:

  1. “Avatar” 2009 $2.8 billion
  2. “Titanic” 1997 $2.2 billion
  3. “Marvel’s The Avengers” 2012 $1.5 billion
  4. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Pt 2” 2011 $1.3 billion
  5. “Iron Man 3” 2013 $1.2 billion
  6. “Frozen” 2013 $1.2 billion
  7. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” 2011 $1.1 billion
  8. “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” 2003 $1.1 billion
  9. “Skyfall” 2012 $1.1 billion
  10. “The Dark Knight Rises” 2012 $1 billion

But that list is deceptive. The film industry uses what is called “Hollywood Accounting”, meaning only credits box office receipts are counted, ignoring economic variables like expenses and inflation. That means a dollar’s worth in 2014 has the same value as a dollar in 1939. But if the economic variables were added,

The Top Ten all-time box office winners would be:

  1. “Gone with the Wind” 1939 $3.3 billion
  2. “Avatar” 2009 $2.7 billion
  3. “Star Wars” 1977 $2.7 billion
  4. “Titanic” 1997 $2.4 billion
  5. “The Sound of Music” 1965 $2.3 billion
  6. “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” 1982 $2.2 billion
  7. “The Ten Commandments” 1956 $2.1 billion
  8. “Doctor Zhivago” 1965 $2 billion
  9. “Jaws” 1975 $1.9 billion
  10. “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” 1937 $1.7 billion.

Meaning that “Gone Win the Wind”, released in Hollywood’s “Dark Ages”, is still the most profitable and most watched movie in Hollywood history. Proving once again that the “oldies” are still the “goodies”.

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