Do you know what movie holds the record for most tickets sold? A lot of you might have guessed the most recent Avengers movie, because of the publicity around its huge revenues.
However, I read an interesting online article recently which disputed this. The article included a list of the top selling movies based on the estimated number of tickets sold for each movie.
Their list of the top ten movies was a surprise, though a pleasant one. The list is below:
10. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Estimated ticket sales: 109 million tickets
9. The Exorcist (1973)
Estimated ticket sales: 116.5 million tickets
8. Doctor Zhivago (1965)
Estimated ticket sales: 124.6 million tickets
7. Jaws (1975)
Estimated ticket sales: 128 million tickets
6. The Ten Commandments (1956)
Estimated ticket sales: 131 million tickets
5. Titanic (1997)
Estimated ticket sales: 143.5 million tickets
4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
Estimated ticket sales: 147.9 million tickets
3. The Sound of Music (1965)
Estimated ticket sales: 157.2 million tickets
2. Star Wars (1977)
Estimated ticket sales: 178.1 million tickets
1. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Estimated ticket sales: 201 million tickets
A few things struck me about this list. First of all, Titanic (released in 1997) is the most recent movie on this list. The top ten movies based on ticket sales are all over 20 years old.
Secondly, unlike the blockbusters of today, these movies were made at a time when there was very little movie revenue from other countries. These movies made the list based almost entirely on ticket sales in the US. Today, US ticket sales are only about half of the total revenues.
Two of the movies, including the number one movie, Gone With the Wind, came out during the Great Depression, which makes this feat even more astounding. Even though the average price of a movie in the 1930s was only about 25 cents, that was still a significant amount of money – more than one hour’s pay for the average worker.
But I think what really caught my eye was that, most of these are family movies. With one or two exceptions, I think older children could watch nearly all of these movies. Some of them are also appropriate for younger children. Snow White is one of my granddaughters’ favorite movies.
That was what made this list such a pleasant surprise. It is somehow reassuring to know that, in spite of the hype and hoopla around some movies put out today, the classics still reign supreme.
Which raises the question. Which movies are you surprised are not on this list? If you made a list of your top ten favorite movies, which ones would make the list?
I write historical fiction, and I invite you to share the journey to published author with me.