List of 200 highest grossing films of all time (adjusted for inflation)

I have always been curious about films and their impact on society. There are many interesting measures and lots of data that one can look up: one above all is the list of highest grossing films of all time. Box Office Mojo offers the official data, but there's a catch. They have a list of all time top grosses worldwide, but it's pretty much useless since it's not adjusted to inflation. The only list that is adjusted to inflation is the all time domestic grosses (domestic meaning USA). So, what if we wanted to compare film grosses at cinemas worldwide, but adjusting the values to take inflation into account? The answer is: you can't. Different countries means different interests rates, different currencies and so on. I googled for a while, but I couldn't find any reliable list that took into account the worldwide gross, adjusted for inflation.

So, I decided to calculate it myself. Precise measurements are almost impossible (for the reasons mentioned above), but we can make an estimate, which is better than nothing.

Methodology

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made $184,925,486 in 1937, but if we adjust for inflation we get a very different number: $867,640,000. Clearly, absolute numbers tell a very partial story. For example, here's a detailed list of average prices over time. We can calculate the average compound interest rate, using this formula:

compound interest formula

Were i = interest rate, FV = Future Value, PV = Present Value, and n = number of years. Plug in the numbers, we get i = 0.02947, or 2.947%. Now let's see how the adjusted list of the top 200 highest grossing films of all time looks like.

Here's how to read the table:

  • OLD: The original position in the global list, not adjusted for inflation
  • NEW: The original position in the global list, adjusted for inflation
  • JUMP: Difference in chart position between the old and the new list
  • YEAR: The year the film was released
  • FILM: Name of the film (original title)
  • GROSS ($): Total Lifetime Grosses in theaters
  • ADJUSTED ($ 2011): Total Lifetime Grosses in theaters adjusted for inflation up to 2011
List of 200 highest grossing films of all time (adjusted for inflation) colour legend

Resources

The final list

JUMP OLD NEW YEAR FILM GROSS ($) ADJUSTED ($ 2011)
142 143 1 1939 Gone with the Wind 400,200,000 3,239,389,304
-1 1 2 2009 Avatar 2,782,300,000 2,948,705,136
-1 2 3 1997 Titanic 1,843,200,000 2,767,987,953
33 37 4 1977 Star Wars 775,400,000 2,081,571,993
29 34 5 1982 E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial 792,900,000 1,840,838,042
8 14 6 1994 The Lion King 945,700,000 1,549,480,834
13 20 7 1993 Jurassic Park 914,700,000 1,542,855,290
-3 5 8 2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King 1,119,900,000 1,412,826,417
97 106 9 1975 Jaws 470,700,000 1,339,174,676
115 125 10 1973 The Exorcist 441,100,000 1,330,017,876
-8 3 11 2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 1,328,100,000 1,328,100,000
68 80 12 1980 The Empire Strikes Back 538,400,000 1,324,736,812
5 18 13 1999 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace 924,300,000 1,309,716,492
-3 11 14 2001 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone 974,800,000 1,303,324,242
16 31 15 1996 Independence Day 817,400,000 1,263,688,585
-10 6 16 2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest 1,066,200,000 1,232,841,243
0 17 17 2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers 926,000,000 1,202,636,122
7 25 18 2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring 871,500,000 1,165,210,378
5 24 19 2002 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets 879,000,000 1,141,595,196
-1 19 20 2004 Shrek 2 919,800,000 1,127,169,613
-17 4 21 2011 Transformers: Dark of the Moon 1,123,700,000 1,123,700,000
25 47 22 1994 Forrest Gump 677,400,000 1,109,885,077
3 26 23 2003 Finding Nemo 867,900,000 1,094,912,088
-17 7 24 2010 Toy Story 3 1,063,200,000 1,094,532,504
-15 10 25 2008 The Dark Knight 1,001,900,000 1,093,114,015
-14 12 26 2007 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End 963,400,000 1,082,085,115
76 103 27 1983 Return of the Jedi 475,100,000 1,071,441,584
-7 21 28 2005 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire 896,900,000 1,067,643,341
1 30 29 2002 Spider-Man 821,700,000 1,067,177,216
-15 15 30 2007 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 939,900,000 1,055,690,056
-22 9 31 2010 Alice in Wonderland (2010) 1,024,300,000 1,054,486,121
-24 8 32 2011 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 1,043,900,000 1,043,900,000
113 146 33 1978 Grease 394,600,000 1,028,984,955
-7 27 34 2005 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith 848,800,000 1,010,386,518
-13 22 35 2007 Spider-Man 3 890,900,000 1,000,653,549
-20 16 36 2009 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince 934,400,000 990,285,045
-24 13 37 2010 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 956,400,000 984,585,108
-5 33 38 2004 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 796,700,000 976,316,624
-3 36 39 2004 Spider-Man 2 783,800,000 960,508,309
8 48 40 1999 The Sixth Sense 672,800,000 953,345,511
-18 23 41 2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs 886,700,000 939,732,180
0 42 42 2003 The Matrix Reloaded 742,100,000 936,207,237
45 88 43 1990 Ghost 505,700,000 930,637,513
42 86 44 1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day 519,800,000 929,202,096
15 60 45 1997 The Lost World: Jurassic Park 618,600,000 928,969,915
106 152 46 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark 384,100,000 918,026,389
58 105 47 1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade 474,200,000 898,385,731
-16 32 48 2007 Shrek the Third 799,000,000 897,432,019
-8 41 49 2005 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe 745,000,000 886,826,055
-22 28 50 2009 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 836,300,000 886,317,833
16 67 51 1997 Men in Black 589,400,000 885,119,411
50 102 52 1990 Home Alone 476,700,000 877,268,939
-14 39 53 2006 The Da Vinci Code 758,200,000 876,702,523
35 89 54 1992 Aladdin 504,100,000 875,340,268
-20 35 55 2008 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull 786,600,000 858,212,880
53 109 56 1990 Pretty Woman 463,400,000 852,793,006
-28 29 57 2010 Inception 825,500,000 849,827,485
-5 53 58 2002 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones 649,400,000 843,403,777
-8 51 59 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl 654,300,000 825,441,847
-22 38 60 2009 2012 769,700,000 815,734,588
95 156 61 1985 Back to the Future 381,100,000 810,951,770
12 74 62 1998 Armageddon 553,700,000 807,704,611
-18 45 63 2007 Transformers 709,700,000 797,130,793
67 131 64 1990 Dances with Wolves 424,200,000 780,653,417
73 138 65 1989 Batman 411,300,000 779,219,847
-23 43 66 2009 Up 731,300,000 775,037,942
-27 40 67 2010 Shrek Forever After 752,600,000 774,779,122
-13 55 68 2004 The Incredibles 631,400,000 773,749,612
23 92 69 1996 Twister 494,500,000 764,489,852
-20 50 70 2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown 655,400,000 757,835,444
-27 44 71 2009 The Twilight Saga: New Moon 709,800,000 752,252,060
5 77 72 2000 Mission: Impossible II 546,400,000 752,075,323
-12 61 73 2004 The Passion of the Christ 611,900,000 749,853,322
50 124 74 1993 Mrs. Doubtfire 441,300,000 744,355,570
113 188 75 1986 Top Gun 353,800,000 731,307,808
-30 46 76 2010 The Twilight Saga: Eclipse 698,500,000 719,084,795
62 139 77 1992 The Bodyguard 410,900,000 713,503,900
34 112 78 1996 Mission: Impossible 457,700,000 707,597,584
-14 65 79 2005 War of the Worlds 591,700,000 704,342,251
19 99 80 1998 Saving Private Ryan 481,800,000 702,821,169
2 83 81 2001 Monsters, Inc. 525,400,000 702,468,770
-23 59 82 2007 Ratatouille 623,700,000 700,536,108
66 149 83 1991 Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves 390,500,000 698,063,521
103 187 84 1988 Rain Man 354,800,000 691,988,062
-31 54 85 2008 Kung Fu Panda 631,700,000 689,210,623
9 95 86 1999 Toy Story 2 485,000,000 687,236,286
-23 64 87 2006 Casino Royale 594,200,000 687,070,218
-31 57 88 2008 Hancock 624,400,000 681,246,023
71 160 89 1991 Beauty and the Beast 377,400,000 674,645,769
-12 78 90 2004 The Day After Tomorrow 544,300,000 667,012,851
-42 49 91 2011 Kung Fu Panda 2 665,700,000 665,700,000
-30 62 92 2008 Mamma Mia! 609,800,000 665,316,824
-21 72 93 2006 Night at the Museum 574,500,000 664,291,215
-31 63 94 2008 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 603,900,000 658,879,682
-26 69 95 2007 I Am Legend 585,300,000 657,405,458
12 108 96 1999 The Matrix 463,500,000 656,771,172
-21 76 97 2005 King Kong 550,500,000 655,298,985
-46 52 98 2011 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 650,500,000 650,500,000
-1 98 99 2001 Shrek 484,400,000 647,651,070
-42 58 100 2010 Iron Man 2 623,900,000 642,286,333
-33 68 101 2008 Quantum of Solace 586,100,000 639,459,152
-32 70 102 2008 Iron Man 585,200,000 638,477,215
17 120 103 1999 Tarzan 448,200,000 635,091,347
-23 81 104 2005 Madagascar 532,700,000 634,110,389
-18 87 105 2004 Meet the Fockers 516,600,000 633,067,865
7 113 106 2000 Gladiator 457,600,000 629,849,318
-51 56 107 2011 Fast Five 626,100,000 626,100,000
75 183 108 1992 Home Alone 2: Lost in New York 359,000,000 623,382,575
58 167 109 1993 The Fugitive 368,900,000 622,236,052
48 158 110 1994 True Lies 378,900,000 620,808,172
79 190 111 1992 Basic Instinct 352,900,000 612,790,281
-15 97 112 2003 Bruce Almighty 484,600,000 611,354,301
-23 90 113 2004 Troy 497,400,000 609,539,210
-48 66 114 2010 Tangled 590,700,000 608,107,929
2 117 115 2001 Ocean's Eleven 450,700,000 602,593,594
3 119 116 2001 Pearl Harbor 449,200,000 600,588,069
-35 82 117 2007 The Simpsons Movie 527,100,000 592,035,566
11 129 118 2000 Cast Away 429,600,000 591,309,587
14 133 119 1999 The Mummy 415,900,000 589,322,827
53 173 120 1995 Die Hard: With A Vengeance 366,100,000 582,664,895
-50 71 121 2011 The Hangover Part II 581,500,000 581,500,000
5 127 122 2001 The Mummy Returns 433,000,000 578,928,392
-8 115 123 2003 The Last Samurai 456,800,000 576,282,800
55 179 124 1995 Toy Story 362,000,000 576,139,558
69 194 125 1994 The Mask 351,600,000 576,078,525
69 195 126 1994 Speed 350,400,000 574,112,387
-4 123 127 2002 Men in Black II 441,800,000 573,784,707
-27 101 128 2005 Mr. & Mrs. Smith 478,200,000 569,235,194
-44 85 129 2008 WALL-E 521,300,000 568,759,693
-26 104 130 2005 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 475,000,000 565,426,008
55 186 131 1995 Apollo 13 355,200,000 565,317,047
-59 73 132 2011 The Smurfs 562,500,000 562,500,000
-5 128 133 2002 Die Another Day 432,000,000 561,057,025
57 191 134 1995 GoldenEye 352,200,000 560,542,409
-56 79 135 2010 Despicable Me 543,100,000 559,105,157
-52 84 136 2009 Sherlock Holmes 524,000,000 555,339,644
20 157 137 1998 Godzilla 379,000,000 552,862,647
-63 75 138 2011 Cars 2 551,900,000 551,900,000
-13 126 139 2003 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines 433,400,000 546,762,183
26 166 140 1998 There's Something About Mary 369,900,000 539,588,108
-11 130 141 2003 The Matrix Revolutions 427,300,000 539,066,638
-32 110 142 2006 Cars 462,000,000 534,208,079
-32 111 143 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand 459,400,000 531,201,713
-4 140 144 2002 Signs 408,200,000 530,146,939
30 175 145 1998 A Bug's Life 363,400,000 530,106,295
28 174 146 1999 Notting Hill 363,900,000 515,639,761
-53 94 147 2009 Angels & Demons 485,900,000 514,960,941
13 161 148 2000 What Women Want 374,100,000 514,918,335
-8 141 149 2003 X2: X-Men United 407,700,000 514,339,968
-36 114 150 2007 National Treasure: Book of Secrets 457,400,000 513,748,943
29 180 151 1999 The World Is Not Enough 361,800,000 512,664,099
-36 116 152 2007 300 456,100,000 512,288,791
44 197 153 1998 Deep Impact 349,500,000 509,829,802
-63 91 154 2010 How to Train Your Dragon 494,900,000 509,484,703
-62 93 155 2010 Clash of the Titans (2010) 493,200,000 507,734,604
29 185 156 1999 American Beauty 356,300,000 504,870,698
-3 154 157 2002 Ice Age 383,300,000 497,808,235
-36 122 158 2007 The Bourne Ultimatum 442,800,000 497,350,310
-52 107 159 2009 The Hangover 467,500,000 495,460,465
8 168 160 2001 Jurassic Park III 368,800,000 493,091,896
-65 96 161 2011 Rio 484,600,000 484,600,000
16 178 162 2001 Planet of the Apes (2001) 362,200,000 484,267,584
33 196 163 2000 Dinosaur 349,800,000 481,471,354
-64 100 164 2011 Rise of the Planet of the Apes 481,200,000 481,200,000
4 169 165 2002 My Big Fat Greek Wedding 368,700,000 478,846,586
27 193 166 2001 Hannibal 351,700,000 470,228,904
-46 121 167 2009 Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel 443,100,000 469,601,138
16 184 168 2002 Minority Report 358,400,000 465,469,532
30 199 169 2001 Rush Hour 2 347,300,000 464,346,029
-25 145 170 2006 Mission: Impossible III 397,900,000 460,089,599
-39 132 171 2008 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian 419,700,000 457,909,923
20 192 172 2002 Catch Me If You Can 352,100,000 457,287,450
-38 135 173 2008 Sex and the City 415,300,000 453,109,343
-26 148 174 2006 Superman Returns 391,100,000 452,226,796
-3 172 175 2004 Shark Tale 367,300,000 450,108,066
-58 118 176 2011 Thor 449,300,000 449,300,000
0 177 177 2004 Ocean's Twelve 362,700,000 444,470,992
-27 151 178 2006 Happy Feet 384,300,000 444,363,993
-16 163 179 2005 Batman Begins 372,700,000 443,651,102
-9 171 180 2005 Hitch 368,100,000 438,175,397
-44 137 181 2009 Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian 413,100,000 437,806,883
-40 142 182 2008 The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor 401,100,000 437,616,560
-30 153 183 2007 Live Free or Die Hard 383,500,000 430,744,905
-37 147 184 2008 Twilight 392,600,000 428,342,711
-51 134 185 2010 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 415,700,000 427,950,679
-50 136 186 2010 The King's Speech 414,200,000 426,406,474
11 198 187 2004 National Treasure 347,500,000 425,844,140
12 200 188 2004 I, Robot 347,200,000 425,476,505
-25 164 189 2007 The Golden Compass 372,200,000 418,052,813
-31 159 190 2008 Slumdog Millionaire 377,900,000 412,304,408
-47 144 191 2010 Tron Legacy 400,100,000 411,890,947
-42 150 192 2009 Star Trek 385,700,000 408,768,131
-12 181 193 2007 Alvin and the Chipmunks 361,300,000 405,809,998
-39 155 194 2009 Monsters Vs. Aliens 381,500,000 404,316,935
-33 162 195 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine 373,100,000 395,414,544
-31 165 196 2009 Terminator Salvation 371,400,000 393,612,870
-21 176 197 2009 Fast and Furious 363,200,000 384,922,440
-16 182 198 2010 The Karate Kid 359,100,000 369,682,677
-29 170 199 2011 Captain America: The First Avenger 368,600,000 368,600,000
-11 189 200 2011 X-Men: First Class 353,600,000 353,600,000

Interactive chart

Here's an interactive chart that shows the distribution of films based on gross revenue, displaying the difference between the old and the new value. Mouse over each dot to get the details. If you can't see the graph, or if you'd like to display it fullscreen, click here.