Highest Grossing Movies of All Time (With Inflation)
After surpassing the $2.790 billion in the franchise, ‘Avengers: Endgame’ has become the highest-grossing film in history, surpassing Avatar, which occupied the first place for years. However, adjusting the box office figures to inflation, the result is quite different.
Given that the price of tickets, like all products or services with demands, skyrocket with time, Avengers: Endgame, is the highest-grossing in history, although, not only due to its indisputable success in theaters but, also, to the rise in the price of movie tickets.
Therefore, by adjusting the collection of the highest-grossing films worldwide, the list changes considerably, leaving the Marvel Studios movie in fifth place.
Below are the 10 highest-grossing films in history adjusted to inflation:
1. GONE WITH THE WIND VICTOR FLEMING (1939)
First place is for the legendary film directed by Victor Fleming based on the homonymous novel by Margaret Mitchell. The story of Scarlet O’Hara, played by Vivien Leigh, and her affair with Rhett Butler, played by Clark Gable, raised just over $400 million at the time, multiplying the benefits of her original budget by just four million. This figure, adjusted for inflation, would be between $3.4 and $3.8 billion.
2. TITANIC, JAMES CAMERON (1997)
Before Avatar, James Cameron already took first place in fundraising with Titanic. The film, of course, would never gross close to what ‘Gone with the wind’ made adjusting inflation, although it stayed quite close. From the original budget of $200 million, the movie grossed $2.180 billion, which would be between $3.2 and $3.4 billion in inflation.
3. AVATAR, JAMES CAMERON (2009)
The podium is completed by the newly dethroned Avatar so that two of the first three films on this list are by James Cameron. The director had a budget of $237 million, far exceeded at the box office, where Avatar got $2.788 billion. Putting inflation into consideration, it would be around the current prices of $3.2 billion.
4. STAR WARS IV (A NEW HOPE) GEORGE LUCAS (1977)
Another significant case is that of Star Wars: A New Hope, the fourth episode in the chronology of the successful saga of George Lucas. The first Star Wars movie, Star Wars, had a budget of eleven million dollars, which resulted in a collection of $775 million. The meteoric figure of the film released in 1977, adjusted for inflation, would touch the $3 billion.
5. AVENGERS: ENDGAME, ANTHONY AND JOE RUSSO (2019)
The film by the Russo brothers, which has grossed a staggering amount of $2.790 billion, started from a budget of $356 million. The film that culminated the Saga of Infinity Wars, grossed more than other movies within the franchise, not taking into account the increase in ticket prices. Without inflation, Avengers: Endgame is the highest-grossing movie in the world.
6. THE SOUND OF MUSIC ROBERT WISE (1965)
The Robert Wise musical, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer grossed $286 million at the box office based on a budget of just over eight million. This figure, considering inflation, would be between $2.4 and $2.5 billion.
7. ET: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL STEVEN SPIELBERG (1982)
Steven Spielberg ‘King Midas of Hollywood’s movie can’t definitely miss out on this list. ET: The extraterrestrial grossed more than $790 million from a budget of ten and a half million. Adjusting inflation, the mythical Spielberg blockbuster would have raised between $2.3 billion and $2.4 billion.
8. THE TEN COMMANDMENTS, CECIL B. DEMILLE (1956)
The monumental film by Cecil B. DeMille, centered on the Biblical story of Moses told in the Old Testament, had an exorbitant budget at the time – thirteen million dollars. The movie almost multiplied its profits by ten, obtaining almost $123 million at the box office, a figure that would be around $2.3 billion, adjusting to inflation.
9. DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, DAVID LEAN (1965)
David Lean adapted the homonymous novel by Boris Pasternak that won him the Nobel Prize with an initial budget of $11 million. The film grossed $245 million in theaters, which translate to about $2.2 billion by adjusting prices.
10. STAR WARS: THE AWAKENING OF THE FORCE, J.J. ABRAMS (2015)
The list is closed by J.J. Abrams with the start of the last Star Wars trilogy, The Force Awakens. The second film of the franchise that appears on this top got $2.082 billion at the box office on a budget of 245 million. The adjustment to inflation here varies the figure rather little: the film would have obtained about $2.150 billion.