Films generate income from several revenue streams including theatrical exhibition, home video, televisionbroadcast rights and merchandising. However, theatrical box office earnings are the primary metric for trade publications (such as Box Office Mojo and Variety) in assessing the success of a film, mostly due to the availability of the data compared to sales figures for home video and broadcast rights, and also due to historical practice. Included on the list are charts of the top box-office earners (ranked by both the nominal and real value of their revenue), a chart of high-grossing films by calendar year, a timeline showing the transition of the highest-grossing film record, and a chart of the highest-grossing film franchises and series. All charts are ranked by international theatrical box office performance where possible, excluding income derived from home video, broadcasting rights and merchandise.
While inflation has eroded away the achievements of most films from the 1960s and 1970s, there are franchises originating from that period that are still active: James Bond and Star Trek films are still being released periodically, and the Star Wars saga was reprised after a lengthy hiatus; Indiana Jones also saw a successful comeback after lying dormant for nearly twenty years. All four are still among the highest-grossing franchises, despite starting over thirty years ago. Some of the older films that held the record of highest-grossing film still have respectable grosses even by today's standards, but do not really compete against today's top-earners: Gone with the Wind for instance—which was the highest-grossing film for twenty-five years—does not even make the top fifty in the modern market, but, adjusted for inflation, it would still be the highest-grossing film. All grosses on the list are expressed in US dollars at their nominal value, except where stated otherwise.
With a worldwide box-office gross of about $2.8 billion, Avatar is often proclaimed to be the "highest-grossing" film, but such claims usually refer to theatrical revenues only and do not take account of home video and television income, which can form a significant portion of a film's earnings. Once revenue from home entertainment is factored in it is not immediately clear which film is the most successful. In addition to the $1.8 billion Titanic grossed during its original theatrical run, it also earned a further $1.2 billion from video and DVD sales and rentals. While complete sales data is not available for Avatar, it earned $190 million from the sale of ten million DVD and Blu-ray units in North America, and sold a total of thirty million units worldwide. After home video income is accounted for, both films have earned over $3 billion. Television broadcast rights will also substantially add to a film's earnings, with a film often earning as much as 20–25% of its theatrical box-office for a couple of television runs on top of pay-per-view revenues;Titanic earned $55 million from just the US broadcast rights alone for its initial television run (equating to about 9% of its North American gross).
When a film is highly exploitable as a commercial property, its ancillary revenues from merchandising can dwarf its income from direct film sales. Pixar's Cars earned $461 million in theatrical revenues—which was only a modest hit by comparison to other Pixar films—but generated merchandise sales approaching $10 billion in the five years after its 2006 release, the most revenue ever generated by a single film.
Only the revenues from theatrical exhibition at their nominal value are included here, which sees Avatar rank in the top position. Sixteen films in total have grossed in excess of $1 billion worldwide. The films on this chart have all had a theatrical run (including re-releases) since 1996, and films that have not played since then do not appear on the chart due to ticket-price inflation, population size and ticket purchasing trends not being considered. The most represented year is 2012 with seven films.
Highest-grossing films adjusted for inflation Edit
Due to the long-term effects of inflation, notably the significant increase of movie theater ticket prices, the list unadjusted for inflation gives far more weight to later films. The unadjusted list, while commonly found in the press, is therefore largely meaningless for comparing films widely separated in time, as many films from earlier eras will never appear on a modern unadjusted list, despite achieving higher commercial success when adjusted for price increases. To compensate for the devaluation of the currency, some charts make adjustments for inflation, but not even this practise fully addresses the issue since ticket prices and inflation do not necessarily parallel one another. For example, in 1970 tickets cost $1.55 or about $6.68 in inflation-adjusted 2004 dollars; by 1980, prices had risen to about $2.69, a drop to $5.50 in inflation-adjusted 2004 dollars. Ticket prices have also risen at different rates of inflation around the world, further complicating the process of adjusting worldwide grosses.
Another complication is release in multiple formats for which different ticket prices are charged. One notable example of this phenomenon is Avatar, which was also released in 3D and IMAX: almost two-thirds of tickets for that film were for 3D showings with an average price of $10, and about one-sixth were for IMAX showings with an average price over $14.50, compared to a 2010 average price of $7.61 for 2D films. Social and economic factors such as population change and the growth of international markets also impact on the number of people purchasing theater tickets, along with audience demographics where some films sell a much higher proportion of discounted children's tickets, or perform better in big cities where tickets cost more.
The measuring system for gauging a film's success is based on unadjusted grosses, mainly because historically this is the way it has always been done due to the practices of the film industry: the box office receipts are compiled by theaters and relayed to the distributor, which in turn releases them to the media. Converting to a more representative system that counts ticket sales rather than gross is also fraught with problems due to the fact that the only data available for older films are the sale totals. As the motion picture industry is highly oriented towards marketing currently released films, unadjusted figures are always used in marketing campaigns so that new blockbuster films can much more easily achieve a high sales ranking, and thus be promoted as a "top film of all time", so there is little incentive to switch to a more economically robust system from a marketing or even newsworthy point of view.
Despite the inherent difficulties in accounting for inflation, several attempts have been made. Estimates depend on the price index used to adjust the grosses, and the exchange rates used to convert between currencies can also impact upon the calculations, both of which can have an effect on the ultimate rankings of an inflation adjusted list. Gone with the Wind—first released in 1939—is generally considered to be the most successful film, with Guinness World Records estimating its adjusted global gross at $3.3 billion. Estimates for Gone with the Wind's adjusted gross have varied substantially: its owner, Turner Entertainment, also estimated its adjusted earnings at $3.3 billion in 2007, a few years earlier than the Guinness estimate; other estimates fall either side of this amount, with one putting its gross just under $3 billion in 2010, while another provided an alternative figure of about $3.8 billion in 2006. Which film is Gone with the Wind's nearest rival depends on the set of figures used: Guinness have Avatar in second place with nearly $2.8 billion, while other estimates see Titanic in the runner-up spot with first-run worldwide earnings of almost $2.9 billion at 2010 prices. Including the Guinness figures, estimates for Star Wars (1977) range from $2.2–2.7 billion at 2010/11 price levels, while E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has earned approximately $1.9–2.2 billion, and the $1.9–2.0 billion figure for Jaws is corroborated by The Economist.
Box-office figures are reported in the form of gross or distributor rentals, the latter being especially true of older films. Commonly mistaken for home video revenue, the rentals are the distributor's share of the film's theatrical revenue i.e. the box office gross less the exhibitor's cut. Historically, the rental price averaged at 35–40% when the distributors owned the theater chains, equating to just over a third of the gross being paid to the distributor of the film. In the modern marketplace, rental fees can vary greatly—depending on a number of factors—although the films from the major studios average out at 43%.
Audience tastes were fairly eclectic during the 20th century, but several trends did emerge. During the silent era, films with war themes were popular with audiences, with The Birth of a Nation (American Civil War), The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, The Big Parade and Wings (all World War I) becoming the most successful films in their respective years of release, with the trend coming to an end with All Quiet on the Western Front in 1930. With the advent of sound in 1927, the musical—the genre best placed to showcase the new technology—took over as the most popular type of film with audiences, with 1928 and 1929 both being topped by musical films. The genre continued to perform strongly in the 1930s, but the outbreak of World War II saw war themed films dominate again during this period, starting with Gone with the Wind (American Civil War) in 1939, and finishing with The Best Years of Our Lives (World War II) in 1946. Samson and Delilah (1949) saw the beginning of a trend of increasingly expensive historical dramas set during Ancient Rome/biblical times throughout the 1950s as cinema competed with television for audiences, with Quo Vadis, The Robe, The Ten Commandments, Ben-Hur and Spartacus all becoming the highest-grossing film of the year during initial release, before the genre started to wane after the financially catastrophic Cleopatra in 1963. The success of White Christmas and South Pacific in the 1950s foreshadowed the comeback of the musical in the 1960s with West Side Story, Mary Poppins, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music and Funny Girl all among the top films of the decade. The 1970s saw a shift in audience tastes to high concept films, with six such films made by either George Lucas or Steven Spielberg topping the chart during the 1980s. The 21st century has seen an increasing dependence on franchises and adaptations, with Avatar in 2009 being the only chart-topper forming an original work.
Due to release schedules—especially in the case of films released towards the end of the year—and different release patterns across the world, many films can do business in two or more calendar years; therefore the grosses documented here are not confined to just the year of release. Grosses are not limited to original theatrical runs either, with many older films often being re-released periodically so the figures represent all the business a film has done since its original release; a film's first-run gross is included in brackets after the total if known. In the cases where estimates conflict both films are recorded, and in cases where a film has moved into first place due to being re-released the previous record-holder is also retained. Due to incomplete data it cannot be known for sure how much money some films have made and when they made it, but generally the chart chronicles the films from each year that went on to earn the most. At least one film every year has generated $100 million in gross revenue at the box office since 1967, and from 2008 each year has succeeded in producing a billion dollar grossing film.
At least ten films have held the record of 'highest-grossing film' since The Birth of a Nation assumed the top spot in 1915. Both The Birth of a Nation and Gone with the Wind spent twenty-five consecutive years apiece as the highest-grosser, with films directed by Steven Spielberg holding the record on three occasions and James Cameron—the current holder—twice. Spielberg became the first director to break his own record when Jurassic Park overtook E.T., and Cameron emulated the feat when Avatar broke the record set by Titanic.
Some sources claim that The Big Parade superseded The Birth of a Nation as highest-grossing film, eventually being replaced by Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which in turn was quickly usurped by Gone with the Wind. Exact figures are not known for The Birth of a Nation, but contemporary records put its worldwide earnings at $5.2 million as of 1919. Its international release was delayed by World War I, and it was not released in many foreign territories until the 1920s; coupled with further re-releases in the United States, its $10 million earnings as reported by Variety in 1932 are consistent with the earlier figure. At this time, Variety still had The Birth of a Nation ahead of The Big Parade ($6,400,000) on distributor rentals, and if its estimate is correct, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs ($8,500,000) would not have earned enough on its first theatrical run to take the record, although it would have been the highest-grossing 'talkie', displacing The Singing Fool ($5,900,000). Although received wisdom holds that it is unlikely The Birth of a Nation was ever overtaken by a silent-era film, the record would fall to Ben-Hur (1925) ($9,386,000) if The Birth of a Nation earned significantly less than its estimated gross. In addition to its gross rental earnings through public exhibition, The Birth of a Nation played at a large number of private, club and organizational engagements which figures are unavailable for. It was hugely popular with the Ku Klux Klan who used it to drive recruitment, and at one point Variety estimated its total earnings to stand at around $50 million. Despite later retracting the claim, the sum has been widely reported even though it has never been substantiated. While it is generally accepted that Gone with the Wind took over the record of highest-grossing film on its initial release—which is true in terms of public exhibition—it is likely it did not overtake The Birth of a Nation in total revenue until a much later date, with it still being reported as the highest earner up until the 1960s.Gone with the Wind itself may have been briefly overtaken by The Ten Commandments (1956), which closed at the end of 1960 with worldwide rentals of $58–60 million compared to Gone with the Wind's $59 million; if it did claim the top spot its tenure there was short-lived, since Gone with the Wind was re-released the following year and increased its earnings to $67 million. Depending on how accurate the estimates are, the 1959 remake of Ben-Hur may also have captured the record from Gone with the Wind: as of the end of 1961 it had earned $47 million worldwide, and by 1963 it was trailing Gone with the Wind by just $2 million with international takings of $65 million, ultimately earning $66 million from its initial release.
Another film purported to have been the highest-grosser is the 1972 pornographic film, Deep Throat. In 1984, Linda Lovelace testified to a United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on juvenile justice that the film had earned $600 million; this figure has been the subject of much speculation, since if it is accurate then the film would have made more money than Star Wars, and finished the 1970s as the highest-grossing film. The main argument against this figure is that it simply did not have a wide enough release to sustain the sort of sums that would be required for it to ultimately gross this amount. Exact figures are not known, but testimony in a federal trial in 1976—about four years into the film's release—showed the film had grossed over $25 million.Roger Ebert has reasoned it possibly did earn as much as $600 million on paper, since mobsters owned most of the adult movie theaters during this period and would launder income from drugs and prostitution through them, so probably inflated the box office receipts for the film.
The Birth of a Nation, Gone with the Wind, The Godfather, Jaws, Star Wars, E.T. and Avatar all increased their record grosses with re-releases. The grosses from their original theatrical runs are included here along with totals from re-releases up to the point that they lost the record; therefore the total for The Birth of a Nation includes income from its reissues up to 1940; the total for Star Wars includes revenue from the late 1970s and early 1980s reissues but not from the 1997 Special Edition; the total for E.T. incorporates its gross from the 1985 reissue but not from 2002; the total for Avatar—as the current record-holder—includes all its earnings at the present time. Gone with the Wind is represented twice on the chart: the 1940 entry includes earnings from its staggered 1939–1942 release (roadshows/first-run engagements/general release) along with all of its revenue up to the 1961 reissue prior to losing the record to The Sound of Music in 1966; its 1971 entry—after it took back the record—includes income from the 1967 and 1971 reissues but omitting later releases. The Godfather was re-released in 1973 after its success at the 45th Academy Awards, and Jaws was released again in 1976, and their grosses here most likely include earnings from those releases. The Sound of Music, The Godfather, Jaws, Jurassic Park and Titanic increased their earnings with further releases in 1973, 1997, 1979, 2013 and 2012 respectively, but they are not included in the totals here since they had already conceded the record prior to being re-released.
Prior to 2000, only seven series had grossed over $1 billion at the box office: James Bond,Star Wars,Indiana Jones,Rocky,Batman,Jurassic Park and Star Trek. Since the turn of the century that number has increased to over thirty; this is partly due to inflation and market growth, but also to Hollywood's adoption of the franchise model: films that have built-in brand recognition, such as being based on a well known literary source (The Lord of the Rings) or an established character (Indiana Jones). The methodology is based on the concept that films associated with things audiences are already familiar with can be more effectively marketed to them, and as such are known as "pre-sold" films within the industry. The Harry Potter series has grossed the most, amassing nearly $8 billion over eight films at the box office, although the EONJames Bond series is the highest grossing when adjusted for inflation, with a total of over $13 billion at 2011/12 prices.Template:Refn If ancillary income from merchandising is included, then Star Wars is the most lucrative franchise, earning more than $22 billion in total, with direct income from the films themselves accounting for just one third of overall revenues. At constant prices the live-action Star Wars films are also the most consistent performers, earning on average more per film than any other series, while Peter Jackson'sMiddle-Earth series is the nominal record-holder, averaging at about $980 million with each film earning in excess of $870 million.
↑Template:Harvnb. "By the end of 1938, it had grossed more than $8 million in worldwide rentals and was ranked at the time as the second-highest-grossing film after the 1925 epic Ben-Hur".
↑Template:Harvnb. "Walt Disney took a big risk when he decided to invest $1.5 million in his first feature-length animated film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. It became the biggest hit of the sound era and the largest-grossing movie since The Birth of a Nation – until the release of independent producer David O. Selznick's Gone with the Wind just two years later."
↑Template:Harvnb. "MGM's silent Ben-Hur, which opened at the end of 1925, had out-grossed all the other pictures released by the company in 1926 combined. With worldwide rentals of $9,386,000 on first release it was, with the sole possible exception of The Birth of a Nation, the highest-earning film of the entire silent era."
↑Template:Harvnb. "General release began at normal prices in 1959 and continued until the end of the following year, when the film was temporarily withdrawn (the first of several reissues came in 1966). The worldwide rental by this time was around $60 million. In the domestic market it dislodged Gone with the Wind from the number one position on Variety's list of All-Time Rentals Champs. GWTW had hitherto maintained its lead through several reissues (and was soon to regain it through another in 1961)."
↑Oviatt, Ray (April 16, 1961). "The Memory Isn't Gone With The Wind". Toledo Blade: p. 67–68.
2009 IMAX re-release: "The Dark Knight Re-Release IMAX Locations". ComingSoon.net. CraveOnline. January 22, 2009. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=52148. Retrieved October 28, 2012. "IMAX Corporation and Warner Bros. Pictures today announced that the box office smash hit The Dark Knight, which has grossed more than $997 million at the worldwide box office since its release on July 18th, 2008, will return to IMAX® theatres for an encore presentation. Starting January 23rd, the film will open in 143 IMAX screens domestically, and 29 screens internationally."
↑Template:Harvnb. "These films were all long and expensive. A Daughter of the Gods was ten reels long and was advertised as costing a million dollars. Variety estimated its true cost at $850,000, still well in excess of the average feature and more than the cost of The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance combined. Neptune's Daughter (at seven reels), 20,000 Leagues under the Sea (at eight reels), and Civilization (at ten reels) have been costed at $35,000, $500,000, and $100,000 respectively."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Domestic Box Office Revenues: $2.0; Production Cost: $0.3 (Unadjusted $s in Millions of $s)."
Way Down East: p. 52. "D.W. Griffith's Way Down East (1920) was projected to return rentals of $4,000,000 on an $800,000 negative. This figure was based on the amounts earned from its roadshow run, coupled with its playoff in the rest of the country's theaters. Griffith had originally placed the potential film rental at $3,000,000 but, because of the success of the various roadshows that were running the $4,000,000 total was expected. The film showed a profit of $615,736 after just 23 weeks of release on a gross of $2,179,613."
What Price Glory?: p. 112. "What Price Glory hit the jackpot with massive world rentals of $2,429,000, the highest figure in the history of the company. Since it was also the most expensive production of the year at $817,000 the profit was still a healthy $796,000..."
Cavalcade: p. 170. "The actual cost of Cavalcade was $1,116,000 and it was most definitely not guaranteed a success. In fact, if its foreign grosses followed the usual 40 percent of domestic returns, the film would have lost money. In a turnaround, the foreign gross was almost double the $1,000,000 domestic take to reach total world rentals of $3,000,000 and Fox's largest profit of the year at $664,000."
State Fair: p. 170. "State Fair did turn out to be a substantial hit with the help of Janet Gaynor boosting Will Rogers back to the level of money-making star. Its prestige engagements helped raked in a total $1,208,000 in domestic rentals. Surprisingly, in foreign countries unfamiliar with state fairs, it still earned a respectable $429,000. With its total rentals, the film ended up showing a $398,000 profit."
↑Template:Harvnb. "The Four Forsemen of the Apocalypse was to become Metro's most expensive production and one of the decade's biggest box-office hits. Its production costs have been estimated at "something between $600,000 and $800,000." Variety estimated its worldwide gross at $4 million in 1925 and at $5 million in 1944; in 1991, it estimated its cumulative domestic rentals at $3,800,000."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Even then, at a time when the budget for a feature averaged at around $300,000, no more than $382,000 was spent on production...According to the Eddie Mannix Ledger at MGM, it grossed $4,990,000 domestically and $1,141,000 abroad."
The Singing Fool: p. 12. "Ego aside, Jolson was at the top of his powers in The Singing Fool. The $150,000 Warner Bros. paid him to make it, and the $388,000 it took to produce the film, were drops in the hat next to the film's world gross of $5.9 million. Its $3.8-million gross in this country set a box-office record that would not be surpassed until Walt Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)."
The Broadway Melody: p. 24. "The Broadway Melody with a negative cost of $379,000, grossed $2.8 million in the United States, $4.8 million worldwide, and made a recorded profit of $1.6 million for MGM."
Gold Diggers of Broadway: p. 58. "It grossed an impressive $2.5 million domestically and nearly $4 million worldwide."
Sunny Side Up: p. 10. "Sunny Side Up, a musical starring Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell, showed domestic rentals of $3.5 million, a record for the company."
Forever Amber: p. 66. "On the surface, with world rentals of $8 million, Forever Amber was considered a hit at distribution level."
The French Connection
p. 167. "The Planet of the Apes motion pictures were all moneymakers and Zanuck's record would have immediately improved had he stayed through the release of The French Connection, which took in rentals of approximately $75 million worldwide."
Cavalcade: p. 182. "Produced by Winfield Sheehan at a cost of $1.25 million, Cavalcade won Academy Awards for best picture, director, art direction and grossed close to $4 million during its first release, much of which came from Great Britain and the Empire."
Whoopee: p. 212. "Produced by Sam Goldwyn at a cost of $1 million, the picture was an adaptation of a smash musical comedy built around Eddie Cantor...A personality-centered musical, Whoopee! made little attempt to integrate the comedy routines, songs, and story. Nonetheless, Cantor's feature-film debut grossed over $2.6 million worldwide and started a popular series that included Palmy Days (1931), The Kid from Spain (1932), and Roman Scandals (1933)."
↑Template:Harvnb. "The studio released its most profitable pictures of the decade in 1933, She Done Him Wrong and I'm No Angel, written by and starring Mae West. Produced at a rock-bottom cost of $200,000 each, they undoubtedly helped Paramount through the worst patch in its history..."
The Merry Widow: p. 361 Cost: $1,605,000. Earnings: domestic $861,000; foreign $1,747,000; total $2,608,000. Loss: $113,000.
San Francisco: p. 364 Cost: $1,300,000. Earnings: domestic $2,868,000; foreign $2,405,000; total $5,273,000. Profit: $2,237,000. [Reissues in 1938–39 and 1948–49 brought profits of $124,000 and $647,000 respectively.]
p. 207. "When the budget rose from $250,000 to $1,488,423 he even mortgaged his own home and automobile. Disney had bet more than his company on the success of Snow White."
p. 237. "By the end of 1938, it had grossed more than $8 million in worldwide rentals and was ranked at the time as the second-highest-grossing film after the 1925 epic Ben-Hur".
p. 255. "On its initial release Pinocchio brought in only $1.6 million in domestic rentals (compared with Snow White's $4.2 million) and $1.9 million in foreign rentals (compared with Snow White's $4.3 million)."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Production Cost: $2.1 (Unadjusted $s in Millions of $s) ... Boom Town was the biggest moneymaker of 1940 and one of the top films of the decade."
↑Template:Harvnb. "With worldwide rentals of $7.8 million in its initial release, the movie made a net profit of over $3 million."
↑Template:Harvnb. "The studio did particularly well with its war-related pictures, such as Sergeant York (1941), which cost $1.6 million but was the studio's biggest hit of the decade aside from This is the Army (1943), the Irving Berlin musical for which the profits were donated to the Army Emergency Relief fund."
Yankee Doodle Dandy: p. 275. "It became the second biggest box-office hit of 1942 (after Mrs. Miniver) and was praised by critics, making a profit of $3.4 million on worldwide rentals of $6.5 million."
Template:Harvnb. "The public had eagerly awaited the debut of Meet Me in St. Louis, which had been highly publicized with the tagline “The Trolley Song' Picture.” not only was the film a resounding success at the box office, but industry praise was overwhelming, with Variety and The Hollywood Reporter going so far as to say it was the role that gave Garland “true stature” as an actress. It made a profit of $2.4 million on worldwide rentals of $6.6 million, making it one of the top films of 1944 and one of the all-time biggest-grossing musical films through 2005."
↑ 126.0126.1Template:Harvnb. "The cost of Duel in the Sun has been reported as both $5,255,000 (Haver, David O'Selznick's Hollywood, 361) and $6,480,000 (Thomson, Showman: The Life of David O'Selznick, 472); the latter figure may include distribution expenses. Forever Amber cost $6,375,000 (Solomon, Twentieth Century-Fox: A Corporate and Financial History, 243)."
Samson and Delilah: "...the film became the highest grosser in the studio's history to date, with domestic rentals of $7,976,730 by 1955 and a further $6,232,520 overseas...For all their spectacle, Samson and David were quite economically produced, costing $3,097,563 and $2,170,000 respectively."
Quo Vadis: "Production costs totaled a record $7,623,000...Worldwide rentals totaled $21,037,000, almost half of which came from the foreign market."
Quo Vadis: p. 15. "MGM's most expensive film of the period, Quo Vadis (1951) also did extremely well. The cost was $7,623,000, earnings were an estimated $21.2 million (with foreign earnings almost 50 percent of this total), and profit was estimated at $5,562,000."
Rear Window: pp. 203–204. "Rear Window (1954) was an excellent commercial success, with a cost of $1 million and North American rentals of $5.3 million."
↑Template:Harvnb. "To take full advantage of CinemaScope's panoramic possibilities, shooting was delayed for the sets to be redesigned and rebuilt, adding $500,000 to the eventual $4.1 million budget...It ultimately returned domestic rentals of $17.5 million and $25 million worldwide, placing it second only to Gone with the Wind in Variety's annually updated chart."
↑Template:Harvnb. "It brought in $16.7 million in domestic rentals, $9.4 million in foreign rentals, and made a net profit of $8.1 million."
The Ten Commandments: "No film did more to entrench roadshow policy than The Ten Commandments. While the success of This Is Cinerama, The Robe, and even Eighty Days could be attributed, at least in part, to their respective photographic and projection formats, that of DeMille's film (which cost a record $13,266,491) could not...General release began at normal prices in 1959 and continued until the end of the following year, when the film was temporarily withdrawn (the first of several reissues came in 1966). The worldwide rental by this time was around $60 million. In the domestic market it dislodged Gone with the Wind from the number one position on Variety's list of All-Time Rentals Champs. GWTW had hitherto maintained its lead through several reissues (and was soon to regain it through another in 1961)."
The Bridge on the River Kwai: Columbia's Anglo-American war film The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) opened on a roadshow basis in selected U.S. cities (including New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles) and in London. Costing only $2,840,000 to produce, it grossed $30.6 million worldwide on first release."
↑Template:Harvnb. "South Pacific also became for a time the most successful film ever released in the United Kingdom, where it earned a box-office gross three times its negative cost of $5,610,000. Anticipated global rentals after three years were $30 million."
Spartacus: "In the case of Spartacus, overseas earnings to 1969 amounted to $12,462,044, while U.S. and Canadian rentals (even including a million-dollar TV sale) were only $10,643,181. But the film failed to show a profit on production costs of $10,284,014 because of the distribution charges and expenses amounting to an additional $15,308,083."
The Bible: "The Bible—In the Beginning... (1966) was financed by the Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis from private investors and Swiss banks. He then sold distribution rights outside Italy jointly to Fox and Seven Arts for $15 million (70 percent of which came from Fox), thereby recouping the bulk of his $18 million investment. Although The Bible returned a respectable world rental of $25.3 million, Fox was still left with a net loss of just over $1.5 million. It was the last biblical epic to be released by any major Hollywood studio for nearly twenty years."
Lawrence of Arabia: Columbia released the $13.8 million Lawrence of Arabia (1962), filmed in Super Panavision 70, exclusively on a hard-ticket basis, but opened Barabbas (1962), The Cardinal (1963), and the $12 million Joseph Conrad adaptation Lord Jim (1965) as 70mm roadshows in selected territories only."
The Longest Day: "Darryl's most ambitious independent production was The Longest Day (1962), a three-hour reconstruction of D-Day filmed in black-and-white CinemaScope at a cost of $8 million. It grossed over $30 million worldwide as a roadshow followed by general release, thereby helping the studio regain stability during its period of reorganization."
Cleopatra: "With top tickets set at an all-time high of $5.50,Cleopatra had amassed as much as $20 million in such guarantees from exhibitors even before its premiere. Fox claimed the film had cost in total $44 million, of which $31,115,000 represented the direct negative cost and the rest distribution, print and advertising expenses. (These figures excluded the more than $5 million spent on the production's abortive British shoot in 1960–61, prior to its relocation to Italy.) By 1966 worldwide rentals had reached $38,042,000 including $23.5 million from the United States."
↑Template:Harvnb. "West cost $14,483,000; although it earned $35 million worldwide in just under three years, with ultimate domestic rentals totaling $20,932,883, high distribution costs severely limited its profitability."
↑Template:Harvnb. "The film opened to strong trade reviews and took in $33.2 million in worldwide rentals, resulting in a net profit of $4.2 million during its initial release."
From Russia With Love: "The American release of From Russia With Love again followed on some six months after it had been shown in Britain. North American rentals of $9.9 million were an improvement on its predecessor, helped by a slightly wider release, though they were still only half the $19.5 million of foreign rentals... (Online copy at Google Books)"
Diamonds Are Forever: "Diamonds Are Forever marked a return to the box-office heights of the Bond films of the mid-1960s. Its worldwide rentals were $45.7 million... (Online copy at Google Books)"
Moonraker: "These figures were surpassed by Moonraker, which earned total worldwide rentals of $87.7 million, of which $33 million came from North America. (Online copy at Google Books)"
My Fair Lady: "My Fair Lady (1964) cost Warners $17 million to make, including a record $5.5 million just for the film rights to the Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe stage show and a million-dollar fee for star Audrey Hepburn. By 1967 it was reported to have grossed $55 million from roadshowing worldwide."
Mary Poppins: "Mary Poppins (1964), which cost $5.2 million, was neither a stage adaptation nor a roadshow. But by the end of its first release, it had grossed nearly $50 million worldwide."
↑Template:Harvnb. "The negative cost of Warners' adaptation of Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virgina Woolf? (1966)—filmed in widescreen and black-and-white, largely set in domestic interiors and with a cast of only four principal actors—amounted to $7,613,000, in part because stars Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton received up-front fees of $1 million and $750,000 respectively, against 10 percent of the gross apiece. (Their participation was presumably added to the budget)."
The Graduate: "The Graduate eventually earned U.S. rentals of $44,090,729 on a production cost of $3.1 million to become the most lucrative non-roadshow picture (and independent release) to date."
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid: "None of these films was roadshown in the United States; most were set in contemporary America or had a contemporary "take" on the past (the casting of genuine teenagers to play Romeo and Juliet, the urbane sophistication of the dialogue in Butch Cassidy, the antiauthoritarianism of Bonnie and Clyde and MASH); most were produced on modest or medium-sized budgets (as low as $450,000 for Easy Rider and no higher than $6,825,000 for Butch Cassidy); and all grossed upward of $10 million domestically."
↑Welles, Chris (September 7, 1970). "Behind the Silence at Columbia Pictures—No Moguls, No Minions, Just Profits". New York (New York Media) 3 (36): pp. 42–47. "While Columbia, battling Ray Stark over every dollar, did Funny Girl for around $8.8 million, a million or so over budget, Fox spent nearly $24 million on Hello, Dolly!, more than twice the initial budget, and the film will thus have to gross three times as much to break even."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Screenwriter and director George Seaton was given a then-whopping production budget of $10 million to make what would be his last big movie after a long career as an actor in radio, a screenwriter, and a director."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Fiddler had the highest domestic box office of 1971 (it was second in worldwide box office after Diamonds Are Forever), with more than $100 million in unadjusted worldwide box office on its initial release."
↑Template:Harvnb. "Rocky was the "sleeper of the decade". Produced by UA and costing just under $1 million, it went on to earn a box-office gross of $117,235,247 in the United States and $225 million worldwide."
Scott, Vernon (June 15, 1990). "'Three Men and Baby' Sequel Adds Cazenove to Original Cast". The Daily Gazette. Hollywood (UPI) (New York): p. 9 (TV Plus – The Daily Gazette Supplement). "That legacy is the $167,780,960 domestic box-office and $75 million foreign gross achieved by the original..."