Here we are, the final day of 80s Movie Month! I hope you’ve had as much fun as I have revisiting some of the best, worst and weirdest the decade had to offer. To finish our look at 80s movies, today’s Top 5 will be counting down the biggest earning films of the decade. With some serious blockbusters released in the 80s, can you guess what made the Top 5? Read on to find out!
5. Raiders of the Lost Ark ($242.4 million)
I’m so happy this is here, because I so wanted to write about Indiana Jones again! As I’ve mentioned before, these films had a big effect on me as a child. I still hold out hope that I’ll get to work as a treasure hunter and uncover something amazing! This is the first Indy film, the one that started it all. Harrison Ford races around the world trying to stop the Nazis from getting the Ark of the Covenant which may (or may not) make their army invincible. I have to say my favorite Indy movie is probably the Last Crusade, but this is always going to be a firm favorite.
4. Batman ($251.2 million)
I don’t even know how we’d go about counting all of the incarnations of Batman through the decades. But regardless of how many there’s been, this 1989 films remains one of the best and most successful. Michael Keaton is arguably the best film-version Batman there has ever been (or does Christian Bale beat him? Discuss below!), and Kim Basinger is excellent as Vicki Vale. But, of course, the most memorable role was Jack Nicholson as the Joker. Nicholson created such a creepy character, and was reportedly incredibly well paid for his work (some say upwards of $50 million, when his cut of the box office was taken into account.)
3. The Empire Strikes Back ($290.2 million)
Star Wars. Of course. The most famous sci-fi films of all time, and probably the most beloved. The first movie had been such a monumental success, it is not surprising that this, the second in the trilogy, had a lot of hype, which it lived up to. All our fave characters were back and the story was just as epic as the first time around.
2. Return of the Jedi ($309.1 million)
What? Another Star Wars film? See above!!
1. ET ($399.8 million)
Did you pick this one for the top spot? The story of a lonely boy who befriends a stranded alien and helps him to get home could not have been more popular after its release. It’s hard to say exactly why it struck such a nerve – was it the cast? The story? The emotional impact of its focus on true friendship? The ugly-but-lovable little alien? Surely the fact that it was family-friendly helped it to gain a large audience, but its runaway success was quite unprecedented. E.T. was made on a relatively small budget of $10.5 million, which makes the fact that it became, at the time, the highest-grossing movie of all time even bigger. It managed to hold onto this spot for 11 years before losing out to Jurassic Park. I love that the movie was based on producer Steven Spielberg’s imaginary friend, who he created after his parents divorce. It’s just the touching sentiment that made E.T. the biggest film of the 80s.