Top Ten Highest-Grossing Films of the 80s

  1. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)  $705m
  2. Return Of The Jedi (1983)  $573m
  3. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)  $513m
  4. Indian Jones And The Last Crusade (1989)  $495m
  5. Batman (1989)  $413m
  6. Rain Man (1988)  $413m
  7. Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)  $384m
  8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)  $349m
  9. Back To The Future (1985)  $348m
  10. Top Gun (1986)  $345m

The E.T. movie tops the list and beats Return Of The Jedi by $132 million, and deservingly so. I have fond memories of the E.T. film which was another Spielberg classic, and critically acclaimed. It's certainly a story than wins hearts, and even though I was a little older than much of the audience watching at the cinema, the whole movie was a thoroughly enjoyable experience.

It's a great shame that Superman II and The Terminator aren't in the top ten, as they are two of my favourite eighties films, but I'm very pleased to see Back To The Future in there. Starring the late Michael J. Fox, this was a story that contained the perfect blend of comedy and action, but was also serious at the just right moments.

Harrison Ford appears in four movies in the list which is some achievement, and he looks set to return as Han Solo in the latest Star Wars movie.

Even though The Empire Strikes Back didn't take quite as much as Return Of The Jedi at the box office, critically, it was seen as the better of the two movies. In fact, even A New Hope and Revenge Of The Sith are seen as slightly better films. I found the movie less stimulating than the original 70s Star Wars movie, but, nonetheless, it was still a very satisfying experience.

Rain Man was a decent enough movie with a well thought-out plot, although it had a mixed reception by the critics and the storyline about a self-centered yuppie and his autistic brother certainly isn't going to float everone's boat. It's one of two films in the list to feature Tom Cruise. The other, of course, is Top Gun which was a bit of a phenomenon in 1986. As much money was probably made from sales of Bomber Jackets and aviator shades, as from the movie. When the video was released, it became the best-selling videocassette in the industry's history on pre-order sales alone!

I'm really not sure how Batman did so well, though. I went to see the film in 1989 and, quite simply, I left the cinema feeling depressed! Released in June 1989, this very dark movie was directed by Tim Burton and Jack Nicholson's brilliantly-acted Joker featured strongly in the storyline. So much so that Michael Keaton's role as Batman was pushed into second place. For me, the whole movie is style over substance (The Prince songs suck, too) and the sequel, Batman Returns, is a whole lot better.  

Tom Cruise at the 61st Academy Awards - 29th March 1989
As well as starring in two of the films in the top ten list, Tom Cruise also appeared in numerous 80s movies including The Color Of Money, Cocktail and Born On The 4th Of July.

This photo shows Cruise on 19th March 1989 at the 61st Academy Awards where Born On The Fourth Of July won two awards for Best Film Editing and Best Director. The film also won four Golden Globe awards.

Born On The Fourth Of July (1989) film poster ft. Tom Cruise
Batman - 80s Movie Poster from 1989
Star Wars Return Of The Jedi movie poster (1983)
Who Framed Roger Rabbit Soundtrack - album cover

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was extremely well-received by the critics. Featuring a blend of live action and animation, this top notch fantasy film starred Bob Hoskins as a private detective who was out to solve the murder of the cartoon character, Roger Rabbit.

The Empire Strikes Back picture
The Empire Strikes Back
Mark Hamill who played Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies
Mark Hamill not only played Luke Skywalker in the original Star Wars movies, but also provided the voice of the Joker in Batman: The Animated Series. Hamill has also voiced a number of villains in other cartoons.

The actor is set to return as Luke Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode VII.