Login
Password

Forgot your password?

Best 1980's Films:The Highest Grossing Films of the 1980's

By Edited May 6, 2016 0 3

Before Harry Potter was everyone's favourite wizarding geek and 'Hogwarts' was something you got from messing around with pigs. Before the Internet bubble and crash, and before we had a saxophone playing president with a wandering eye: we had the eighties.

In the summer of June 1981 I was propelled from the safe serenity of my mother's womb into the harsh reality of the real world.

The Cold War was still biting hard, women insisted on wearing neon outfits with shoulder pads, and Bill Cosby was dominating the airwaves.

Thank goodness for movies. It may be nostalgia, it may be romanticism, it may be me blatantly lying to myself, but I believe the 1980's produced the best movies ever.

Here's a run down of the top 10 grossing films of the 1980's.

 

 

Be sure to check out my other infobarrel top ten countdowns from previous decades:

The Highest Grossing Films of the 1960's

The Highest Grossing Films of the 1990's

10. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) $179 million

Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan

From the opening restaurant exchanges, to the royal banquet including 'chilled monkey brains', to the epic final rope bridge screen: this film is a true action packed adventure.

After Indie jumps from a cargo plan about to crash he finds himself in India and comes across a village with all the children missing. The locals believe they are cursed because they have lost a precious stone that has mythical powers that protect them.

It is not long before Indiana,Willie and Short Round are on the quest of retrieving the stone.

The second in the original trilogy this sequel did not disappoint loyal fans of the original film and undoubtably gained some new ones.

My Favourite Line

It has to be on the rope bridge when Indie tells Short Round that he is cutting the rope bridge and to hold on so they don't plummet to their deaths.

 Willie: Oh my God. Oh my God, is he nuts? 
Short Round: He no nuts, he's crazy! 

Indian Jones and the Temple of Doom Trailer

9. Indian Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) $197 million

Harrison Ford, Sean Connery

As if two great films weren't enough Spielberg and Lucas got together and completed the Indiana Jones trilogy with the "Last Crusade."

Unfortunately for all cinema goers everywhere this was a complete misnomer as Indie returned disastrously in 2008, but we won't talk about that here.

Indie is this time after the biggest find of the all: the elusive Holy Grail. Accompanied by his father he is in a race against time to find it before the Nazi's  Goose step all over  it.

My Favourite Line

Indie and his father are back to back tied to chairs, Elsa, a Nazi who has slept with both Indiana Jones and Dr Henry Jones is saying goodbye by whispering in Indie's ear.

Elsa: [to Indie] I'll never forget how vonderful it vas. 
Dr Henry Jones: (thinking she's whispering to him) Why thank you. It was rather wonderful. 
Elsa: [kisses Indie] Zat's how Austrians say goodbye. 
Colonel Vogel: Und zis is how ve zay goodbye in Germany, Dr. Jones. 
[punches Indie in the face and Indie's  head hits into Dr Jones's behind
Indie: I liked the Austrian way better. 
Dr Henry Jones: So did I. 

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Trailer

8.Back to the Future (1985) $210 million

Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd

This is perhaps my all time favourite movie. If I'm being honest I have probably watched this about 100 times with no exageration.Yes, I know that's a bit sad but I still wait in hope that Mattel get round to producing that Hoverboard.

Back to the Future is about your typical American teenager who happens to have a crazy wild eye scientist friend who builds a time machine.

Brilliant. Just brilliant.

My Favourite Line

So many to choose from but I've gone for:

George McFly: Last night, Darth Vader came down from planet Vulcan and told me that if I didn't take Lorraine out that he'd melt my brain. 

Back to the Future Trailer

7. Beverly Hills Cop (1984) $234 million

Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton

What's happens when a wise ass Detroit cop, while investigating his friends homicide ends up in the glitz and glamour of Beverly Hills?

This was the film that launched Eddie Murphy into movies and is an absolute classic. Murphy's stand up humour is brought into the character of Axel Foley and was such a money spinner that it produced two sequels. 

For those of a younger generation that know Murphy through films like 'The Klumps" and "Holy Man" and wonder how this guy could have made it as an actor....watch this film.

My Favourite Line

When Axel is being arrested in Beverly Hills he utters this immortal line:


Axel Foley: Disturbing the peace? I got thrown out of a window! What's the fuckin' charge for getting pushed out of a moving car, huh? Jaywalking? 

Beverly Hills Cop Trailer

6. Ghostbusters (1984) $238 million

Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson.

You know that you are a child of the eighties when someone asks,

"Who ya gonna call?"

and your answer is  "Ghostbusters"

When paranormal activity starts to grow in New York four men form a ploltergeist extermination group that can handle anyones problems: this even includes a 300ft stay puft marshmallow man.

My Favourite Line

Before they use their equipment for the first call out:

Dr Ray Stantz: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment. 
Dr Egon Spengler: I blame myself. 
Dr Peter Venkman: So do I. 
Dr Ray Stantz: Well, no sense in worrying about it now. 
Dr Peter Venkman: Why worry? Each one of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back. 


Ghostbusters Trailer

5. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $245 million

Harrison Ford, Karen Allen

We first meet the adventurer,Indiana Jones ,  in the  Peruvian jungle where he manages to avoid poison tipped darts, a rolling boulder and the spear wielding natives in his pursuit of hidden, archeological treasure.

It isn't long before he is persuaded by an old friend  Marcus Brody  to find the long-lost Ark of the Covenant. Hitler and the Nazis are already searching for it in a quest to make the Nazi stormtroopers invincible and claim, presumably the world, in the name of the third Reich.

Does Indie succeed? Well of course he does.

My Favourite Line

Indie is in a pit and Belloq is about to seal him in.

Belloq: What a fitting end to your life's pursuits. You're about to become a permanent addition to this archaeological find. Who knows? In a thousand years, even you may be worth something. 
Indie: Ha ha ha ha. 
Indie:(turns and says under his breath) Son of a bitch. 

Raiders of the Lost Ark Trailer

4. Batman (1989) $251 million

Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

Before every superhero that ever made it into a comic book had his own film: there was the eighties. An enlightened time some may say, especially if you've seen Halle Berry's "Catwoman".

There is always mixed review about this film but remember film evolution takes place is stages and the last time Batman was on the screen, big or small  prior to this, was those super camp 1960's T.V. shows. Kerpow.

Yes,before Heath Ledger's wonderful portrayal of the insane meglomaniac 'The Joker' we had Jack Nicholson. Now let's not pretend that Jack's portrayal is not up to scratch. Yes I'll admit that Heath steals the show for me in the battle of these evil crime lords but they were both very different films. 

The latest franchise is  much darker than the original films because frankly it was a simpler time.  If the modern films were released in the 80's then I'm sure there would have been a backlash from parents of "terrified" children.

My Favourite Line 

Joker: Tell me something, my friend. You ever dance with the devil in the pale moonlight? 
Bruce Wayne: What? 
Joker: I always ask that of all my prey. I just.... like the sound of it. 

Batman Trailer

3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) $290 million

Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher.

The second release in the original trilogy and in my opinion the best.

'Empire Strikes Back' takes us from the Rebel base hidden on the ice world of Hoth, introduces a very wise creature called Yoda (who sounds suspiciously like Grover from 'Sesame Street') to the perils of being frozen in carbonite.  

Not to mention that Darth Vader is in face Luke's father. Wow. Never saw that coming. There's no family resemblance there at all.


My Favourite Line

Luke: I can't. It's too big. 
Yoda: Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship. 

Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Trailer

2.Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983) $309 million

Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher.

The last of the original trilogy and more succesful than it's predecessor 'Empire Strikes Back'.

Although financially more successful critics and die-hard fans panned this movie with the introduction of the Ewoks. They felt that George Lucas had played to children too much and the cuteness of those little furry bears not appeasing true Sci-Fi fans.

However, if true fans were disappointed with this it was nothing compared to Jarjar Binks when "The Phantom Menace" was released in 1999. This was simply because Jarjar was a terrible character.Terrible.


My Favourite Line

In the DeathStar when Luke is trying to escape with Darth Vader:

Luke: I'll not leave you here. I've got to save you. 
Anakin: You already have, Luke.You already have.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi Trailer

1. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) $435 million

Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore.

If you haven't  cried when E.T. and Elliott have to say goodbye at the spaceship then you've either never seen the film or you're a complete heartless monster!

Taking the number one spot has to be,with good reason, the classic 1980's movie.

Steven Spielberg directing with John Williams composing. Need I say anymore?

When an alien creature gets stranded on earth it's up to our hero Elliott to overcome his own shyness, and help E.T. get home.

My Favourite Line

Elliott: He's a man from outer space and we're taking him to his spaceship. 
Greg: Well, can't he just beam up? 
Elliott: This is reality, Greg. 

E.T. Trailer

Advertisement

Comments

Apr 12, 2012 3:10am
askformore
Those are great films. My favorites are the Indiana Jones
May 28, 2012 11:56am
Marlando
Hi--Love your article, however, while I liked Beverly Hills cop the best with my second choices being the Indiana Jones series, your list, for me, is a rude awakening that great humanistic stories, with great characterizations have been left by the side of Hollywood's freeway. How you doing an article on movies with average grosses but truly great sotries such as Working Girl and Tombstone?
May 30, 2012 12:58am
toebunkers
Thanks for the comment Marlando. I could have done my favourite films of the 80's but writing about the highest grossing films is like taking everybodies favourite films, because it's based on ticket sales. I also think it's quite interesting just to see how much money these films took at the box office. Thanks again for the comment;-)
Add a new comment - No HTML
You must be logged in and verified to post a comment. Please log in or sign up to comment.

Explore InfoBarrel

Auto Business & Money Entertainment Environment Health History Home & Garden InfoBarrel University Lifestyle Sports Technology Travel & Places
© Copyright 2008 - 2016 by Hinzie Media Inc. Terms of Service Privacy Policy XML Sitemap

Follow IB History