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Gone with the Wind Knocks Titanic Off B.O. Chart, Dark Knight Leads Flickchart Rankings

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood July 7, 2009 at 2:07AM

Inflation is a huge factor in figuring out the best box office performers of all time. Bloomberg's new inflation-adjusted chart places Gone with the Wind at the top of the U.S. top box office list, along with Star Wars, The Sound of Music and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Where's the mighty number one b.o. grosser of all time, Titanic? After The Ten Commandments. Years ago, Variety's late A.D. Murphy told me the same thing: adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind handily beats every challenger.
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Inflation is a huge factor in figuring out the best box office performers of all time. Bloomberg's new inflation-adjusted chart places Gone with the Wind at the top of the U.S. top box office list, along with Star Wars, The Sound of Music and E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial. Where's the mighty number one b.o. grosser of all time, Titanic? After The Ten Commandments. Years ago, Variety's late A.D. Murphy told me the same thing: adjusted for inflation, Gone with the Wind handily beats every challenger.

Full Bloomberg b.o. chart is on the jump.

This reminds me of my current revelations on Flickchart, a new ranking site that doesn't ask you to rate movies with stars. No, it asks you to pick one movie over another. Most of the time it's easy to pick a good movie over a bad one, but as you play, you sometimes have to pick between two bad ones (hence The Da Vinci Code was high on my list at one point) or worse, between two good ones. How do you pick between Citizen Kane and Casablanca? I tend to be obsessive about this sort of thing. What if someone saw my chart with The Goonies or The Illusionist at number one? Toy Story recently beat out Braveheart at number one; it stayed there until Flickchart asked me to choose between Toy Story and something even better--Goodfellas.

I'm struck at how fast the entertaining blockbusters are moving up the chart--Pixar, James Bond, Spielberg, Burton, Zemeckis, Cameron, Hitchcock and The Godfather films. It doesn't surprise me that Lean, Kubrick, Welles, Kurosawa, the Coens, Scorsese and Wilder are strong, but The Exorcist and Zodiac are surprisingly high. Someone tweeted that Flickchart is like crack for movie addicts. Film School Rejects can't get enough. Neither can AICN's Mr. Beeks. Somebody stop me.

Here are Flickchart's top rankings, led by The Dark Knight over second place Star Wars.

Here's the Flickchart trailer:


================================================================================
Gross Gross
Rank Film Studio Adj* Unadj* Year
================================================================================
-------------------Top 25 Adjusted for Ticket Price Inflation-------------------
1 Gone with the Wind MGM $1,450.7 $198.7 1939
2 Star Wars Fox $1,278.9 $461.0 1977
3 The Sound of Music Fox $1,022.5 $158.7 1965
4 E.T. Universal $1,018.5 $435.1 1982
5 The Ten Commandments Paramount $940.6 $65.5 1956
6 Titanic Paramount $921.5 $600.8 1997
7 Jaws Universal $919.6 $260.0 1975
8 Doctor Zhivago MGM $891.3 $111.7 1965
9 The Exorcist Warner Bros. $793.9 $232.7 1973
10 Snow White Disney $782.6 $184.9 1937
11 101 Dalmatians Disney $717.4 $144.9 1961
12 The Empire Strikes Back Fox $704.9 $290.5 1980
13 Ben-Hur MGM $703.6 $74.0 1959
================================================================================
Gross Gross
Rank Film Studio Adj* Unadj* Year
================================================================================
14 Return of the Jedi Fox $675.3 $309.3 1983
15 The Sting Universal $640.0 $156.0 1973
16 Raiders of the Lost Ark Paramount $632.9 $242.4 1981
17 Jurassic Park Universal $619.0 $357.1 1993
18 The Graduate AVCO $614.4 $104.9 1967
19 Star Wars: Episode I - Fox $609.0 $431.1 1999
The Phantom Menace
20 Fantasia Disney $596.3 $76.4 1941
21 The Godfather Paramount $566.7 $135.0 1972
22 Forrest Gump Paramount $564.0 $329.7 1994
23 Mary Poppins Disney $561.3 $102.3 1964
24 The Lion King Buena Vista $554.5 $328.5 1994
25 Grease Paramount $552.3 $188.4 1978

for top grossing films in non-adjusted terms
================================================================================
Lifetime
Rank Film Studio Gross Year
================================================================================
-------------------------Top 25 Domestic Grossing Films-------------------------
1 Titanic Paramount $600.8 1997
2 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. $533.3 2008
3 Star Wars Fox $461.0 1977
4 Shrek 2 Dreamworks $441.2 2004
5 E.T. Universal $435.1 1982
6 Star Wars: Episode I - Fox $431.1 1999
The Phantom Menace
7 Pirates of the Caribbean: Buena Vista $423.3 2006
Dead Man’s Chest
8 Spider-Man Sony $403.7 2002
9 Star Wars: Episode III - Fox $380.3 2005
Revenge of the Sith
10 The Lord of the Rings: New Line $377.0 2003
The Return of the King
11 Spider-Man 2 Sony $373.6 2004
12 The Passion of the Christ Newmarket $370.8 2004
================================================================================
Lifetime
Rank Film Studio Gross Year
================================================================================
13 Jurassic Park Universal $357.1 1993
14 The Lord of the Rings: New Line $341.8 2002
The Two Towers
15 Finding Nemo Buena Vista $339.7 2003
16 Spider-Man 3 Sony $336.5 2007
17 Forrest Gump Paramount $329.7 1994
18 The Lion King Buena Vista $328.5 1994
19 Shrek the Third Pixar/Dreamwork $322.7 2007
20 Transformers Pixar/Dreamwork $319.2 2007
21 Iron Man Paramount $318.4 2008
22 Harry Potter and Warner Bros. $317.6 2001
the Sorcerer’s Stone
23 Indiana Jones and the Paramount $317.1 2008
Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
24 The Lord of the Rings: New Line $314.8 2001
The Fellowship of the Ring
25 Star Wars: Episode II -Fox $310.7 2002
Attack of the Clones
================================================================================

Notes: *Adjusted gross refers to adjustment for ticket price inflation.

Source: Box Office Mojo. Boxofficemojo.com

Originally posted on Variety.com

This article is related to: Hollywood, Web/Tech, Box Office


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.