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 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.

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 everones 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.  

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.



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