Top Grossing Films from the 1980’s

Highest grossing movies of the 80s broken out by calendar year


  • Airplane!” — Robert Hayes tries to land a distaster stricken jet in this Zucker Brothers screwball classic.
  • Any Which Way You Can” — Clint Eastwood takes on the Black Widows. “Right turn, Clyde!”
  • The Empire Strikes Back” — Luke finds out that Darth Vader is his father!
  • 9 to 5” — Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda stick it to boss Dabney Coleman.
  • Stir Crazy” — Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder find themselves in prison. “We bad!”


  • Arthur” — Dudley Moore boozes and loses and ends up with Liza Minelli.
  • Cannonball Run” — Burt Reynolds, Dom DeLuise and a super-star cast race from NY to LA.
  • On Golden Pond” — Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn “suck face.”
  • Stripes” — Bill Murray takes on military life. “That’s the fact, Jack!”
  • Superman II” — Christopher Reeve (we love ya, Superman!) battles General Zod, Ursa, and Non.


  • E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” — Elliot befriends an adorable alien that wishes to phone home.
  • An Officer and a Gentleman” — Richard Gere sweeps Debra Winger off her feet.
  • Porky’s” — A soft-core teen movie raking in millions? Who would have thought?!?
  • Rocky 3” — Stallone takes on the king of attitude, Mr. T!


  • Return of the Jedi” — Luke, a full-fledged Jedi, comes to complete his destiny.
  • Superman 3” — Reeve is back, this time with computer genius Richard Pryor (?!?).
  • Terms of Endearment” — Shirley MacLaine and Debra Winger live life to its fullest.
  • WarGames” — Young Matthew Broderick hacks NORAD’s computers! World War III?


  • Beverly Hills Cop” — Street-smart cop Eddie Murphy unleashes his “talents” on California.
  • Ghostbusters“– Who ya gonna call? The gang battles ghosts, goblins, and Gozar the Gozarian.
  • Gremlins” — Adorable plush-toys become malevolent destructors… don’t get ’em wet!
  • Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” — Indy seeks the Ankara Stone!
  • The Karate Kid” — Ralph “Daniel-son” Macchio learns from Pat “Mr. Miyagi” Morita.


  • Back to the Future” — An ’80s Michael J. Fox meets his ’50s parents on their turf!
  • The Color Purple” — Whoopi Goldberg discovers who she is in the 1920s.
  • Out of Africa” — Meryl Streep falls in love with Robert Redford.
  • Rambo: First Blood, Part 2” — Stallone single-handedly saves a dozen POWs! “YO!”
  • Rocky 4” — Rocky takes on the Russians… and wins!


  • ‘Crocodile’ Dundee” — Paul Hogan introduces us to the land down under.
  • The Karate Kid: Part 2” — Daniel and Miyagi travel to Okinawa for a tournament.
  • Platoon” — Oliver Stone shows us what Vietnam was all about.
  • Star Trek 4: The Voyage Home” — Kirk and Spock travel back to Earth circa 1986.
  • Top Gun” — Tom Cruise takes Kelly McGillis’ breath away while flying into the danger zone.


  • Beverly Hills Cop 2” — Murphy is back in Beverly Hills for another shot at getting the bad guys.
  • Fatal Attraction” — Michael Douglas learns to keep his pants zipped when dealing with Glenn Close.
  • Good Morning, Vietnam” — Robin Williams as a Vietnam disc jockey! Groucho Marx reincarnate.
  • Lethal Weapon” — Danny Glover and Mel Gibson team up to get bad boy Gary Busey.
  • Three Men and a Baby” — Selleck, Guttenberg, and Danson get a crash course in fatherhood.
  • The Untouchables” — Sean Connery and Kevin Costner hunt down Capone and his gang.


  • Coming to America” — Prince Eddie Murphy comes to Queens, New York to find his queen.
  • ‘Crocodile’ Dundee 2” — Mick Dundee is back, this time taking on some poaching bad guys.
  • Die Hard” — Funny man Bruce Willis packing heat? “Yipee-ki-yay, *&^#@ %^*&!”
  • Rain Man” — Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman determine that K-Mart sucks.
  • Twins” — Arnold Schwarznegger and Danny Devito are twins?!? Yeah, right.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” — Bob Hoskins meets cartoon characters in this zany classic.


  • Batman” — Michael Keaton’s Dark Crusader takes on Jack Nicholson’s Joker.
  • Driving Miss Daisy” — Morgan Freeman carts around Jessica Tandy.
  • Ghostbusters 2” –The gang is back to deal with a powerful god wreaking havoc.
  • Honey, I Shrunk The Kids” — Rick Moranis accidentally makes his children microscopic!
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade” — Harrison Ford and Sean Connery seek the Holy Grail.
  • Lethal Weapon 2” — Glover and Gibson get even with a corrupt official with “diplomatic immunity!”