The biggest box-office hit the year you were born


By Tanza Loudenback,Jason Guerrasio


Moviegoing has been one of America’s favorite ways to kill time for about a century now, and box-office earnings have been a reliable predictor of what we love and, sometimes, continue to love.

Using lists of the highest-grossing films by year from IMDb, Box Office Mojo, and The Numbers, Business Insider has compiled a chronology of the biggest box-office hits every year since 1930*.

We adjusted global box-office receipts for inflation through 2017 using the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator. We’ve also included critic ratings from Metacritic (on a scale of 1 to 100) and fan ratings from IMDb (on a scale of 1 to 10) for each film where available.

However, we used 1975 as the cutoff for global box office because worldwide figures before then were spotty and inconsistent. For films prior to 1975, we’ve provided adjusted and unadjusted domestic box office instead.

Several franchises are represented – “Star Wars,” “Terminator,” “Harry Potter” – as are Academy Award winners and classics like “The Sound of Music” and “Rocky.”

Read on to find out the highest-grossing movie released the year you were born:

*Note: A couple years in the 1930s are missing due to lack of information. Movies before 1930 were not included due to unreliable box-office data.

This post has been updated and expanded from its original version.

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