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True Box Office Hits before 1980

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First of all, I hope you will excuse me for my bad English.


First of all, I hope you will excuse me for my bad English. But I think it is time to reach a consensus on the most viewed movies (based on admissions) between 1915 and 1930. I have been researching this topic for many years. Box Office Mojo is very well in data questión from 1980 to the present. But before 1980 it has inflated, erroneous and insuffient data. That's why I'd like you to help me with this topic. I will expose (according to the time that I have) data that I have been found. And I hope you can correct me. Because I'm sure more than one will be wrong.

 

At the moment I will expose the data that I could save from this blog before it was privatized and disappeared a short time later.

 

http://boxofficechampions.wordpress.com

 

To see if with luck and your help we can get to discover what were the movies (in its initial run) that really exceeded 30 million admissions.

 

TOTAL ADMISSION TICKETS OF THE 1910s and of 1920s

Rank

Film – Actors

Year

Tickets

1

THE BIRTH OF A NATION Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh

1915

66.000.000

2

HEARTS OF THE WORLD D.W. Griffith, David Lloyd George

1918

41.052.632

3

THE BIG PARADE John Gilbert, Renée Adorée

1925

37.931.785

4

WAY DOWN EAST Lillian Gish, Richard Barthelmess

1920

37.142.857

5

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS Theodore Roberts, Charles de Rochefort

1923

34.739.917

6

THE FOUR HORSEMEN OF THE APOCALYPSE Rudolph Valentino, Alice Terry

1921

34.545.455

7

BEN-HUR Ramon Novarro, Francis X. Bushman

1925

33.915.807

8

THE COVERED WAGON J. Warren Kerrigan, Lois Wilson

1923

33.300.000

 

TOTAL ADMISSION TICKETS OF THE 1930s

Rank

Film – Actors

Year

Tickets

1

GONE WITH THE WIND Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh 

1939

61.521.739*

2

SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS Animated

1937

36.000.000*

3

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON James Stewart, Jean Arthur

1939

30.434.783

4

SAN FRANCISCO Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald 

1936

30.286.944

 

TOTAL ADMISSION TICKETS OF THE 1940s


 

Rank

Film – Actors

Year

Tickets

1

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES Fredric March, Myrna Loy 

1946

64.570.000

2

DUEL IN THE SUN Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten

1946

64.570.000

3

THIS IS THE ARMY George Murphy, Joan Leslie

1943

57.248.276

4

SAMSON AND DELILAH Hedy Lamarr, Victor Mature

1949

50.000.000

5

SERGEANT YORK Gary Cooper, Walter Brennan 

1941

49.085.680

6

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS Gary Cooper, Ingrid Bergman

1943

48.965.517

7

GONE WITH THE WIND Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh [Re-issue]*

1939

48.709.630*

8

THE BELLS OF ST. MARY’S Bing Crosby, Ingrid Bergman

1945

45.714.286

9

THE JOLSON STORY Larry Parks, Evelyn Keyes 

1946

43.428.571

10

GOING MY WAY Bing Crosby, Barry Fitzgerald

1944

40.625.000

11

MRS. MINIVER Greer Garson, Walter Pidgeon

1942

39.925.993

12

BOOM TOWN Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy

1940

38.220.125

13

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY James Cagney, Joan Leslie

1942

34.960.600

14

WELCOME STRANGER Bing Crosby, Joan Caulfield 

1947

34.857.143

15

RANDOM HARVEST Ronald Colman, Greer Garson 

1942

34.559.267

16

BLUE SKIES Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby

1946

32.571.429

17

THE SONG OF BERNADETTE Jennifer Jones, Charles Bickford 

1943

32.420.690

18

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien

1944

32.076.263

19

THE YEARLING Gregory Peck, Jane Wyman

1946

31.816.114

20

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN Gene Tierney, Cornel Wilde

1945

31.457.143

21

THE EGG AND I Claudette Colbert, Fred MacMurray 

1947

31.428.571

22

SINCE YOU WENT AWAY Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones

1944

30.779.725

23

CASABLANCA Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman

1942

30.705.022

24

UNCONQUERED Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard 

1947

30.000.000

 

And then data that I have been able to discover from filmographies of this blog (based on web archive captures).

 

1951

QUO VADIS Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr

44.911.932

1952 THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH James Stewart, Charlton Heston 1 6 52.830.189

1955

MISTER ROBERTS Henry Fonda, James Cagney

1

5

37.770.000

1955

GUYS AND DOLLS Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra

1

8

30.554.111

1956

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner

1

14

136.800.0

1956

THE KING AND I Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr

1

4

34.000.000

1957

THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI Alec Guinness, William Holden

1

7

68.780.000

1957

SAYONARA Marlon Brando, Miiko Taka

1

5

42.000.000

1959 BEN-HUR Charlton Heston, Jack Hawkins 1 33 145.067.012 

1959

OPERATION PETTICOAT Cary Grant, Tony Curtis

1

3

36.555.118

1959

SOME LIKE IT HOT Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis

1

7

31.873.863

1959

PILLOW TALK Doris Day, Rock Hudson

1

7

30.078.431

1961

WEST SIDE STORY Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer

1

13

56.943.681

1961 EL CID Charlton Heston, Sophia Loren 3 34.782.609 

1962

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness

1

4

59.788.339

1962

THE LONGEST DAY John Wayne, Robert Mitchum

1

4

50.285.714

1963

HOW THE WEST WAS WON James Stewart, Debbie Reynolds

1

12

49.253.842

1964

GOLDFINGER Sean Connery, Gert Fröbe

1

7

49.457.432

2

1965

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO Omar Sharif, Julie Christie

1

13

120.700.990

1965

THUNDERBALL Sean Connery, Claudine Auger

1

9

56.676.107

3

1967

BONNIE AND CLYDE Warren Beatty, Faye Dunaway

2

 

38.000.000

1967

YOU ONLY LIVE TWICE Sean Connery, Akiko Wakabayashi

1

6

32.314.487

7

1972

THE GODFATHER Marlon Brando, Al Pacino

1

26

101.500.000

1973

AMERICAN GRAFFITI Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard

4

 

62.291.723

1974 EARTHQUAKE Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner 2 38.342.240 

1976

KING KONG Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange

1

5

34.661.972

3

 

 

STAR WARS – Admission Tickets Analysis

     

YEAR

RELEASE

   

TICKETS

1977

First Run

1

20

87.892.377

1978

Re-Issue

1

1

32.799.145

1979

Re-Issue

1

1

9.193.625

 

1978

SUPERMAN Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder

1

11

57.358.127

1978

HEAVEN CAN WAIT Warren Beatty, Julie Christie

2

 

42.222.000

1979

KRAMER VS. KRAMER Dustin Hoffman, Meryl Streep

1

10

47.797.876

1979

STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy

1

 

44.621.514

1979

ALIEN Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt 

1

3

32.441.058

1979

APOCALYPSE NOW Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando

3

 

30.263.078

 

Missing titles will send them out when you can. Based on data from other sources (or mine estimates).

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I offer you new additions. Some based on my estimates. Other blog excerpts: 
https://boxofficemadness.wordpress.com/ (this blog is the closest thing to boxofficechampions that
can be found today, in fact it has very similar and very consistent data). Other by user Walt Disney. 
And the last ones of Box Office Mojo (that sometimes I agree).

 

1953

THE ROBE (1953) 60 m (millions of admissions) *

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953) 47,46 m ***

SHANE (1952) 32,90 m *

 

1954

WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)  58,13 *

THE CAINE MUTINY (1954)  42,13 m *

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA (1954) 35,55 m **

THE GLENN MILLER STORY (1954) 31,11 m **

 

1955

BATTLE CRY 34,80 m *

OKLAHOMA 31,55 m *

LADY AND THE TRAMP 31,48 m *

 

1956

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS 88 m **

GIANT  56 m **

 

1957

PEYTON PLACE  46 m **

 

1958

SOUTH PACIFIC 73,60 m *

AUNTIE MAME  38,89 m *

CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF 35,14 m **

 

1959

THE SHAGGY DOG 30,58 m *

 

1960

SPARTACUS 40,39 m **

PSYCHO 38,47 m *

EXODUS 32,67 m **

THE ALAMO 31,05 m **

 

1961

101 DALMATIANS 39,49 m *

THE GUNS OF NAVARONE 41,07 m *

THE PARENT TRAP 35,70 m *

THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR 32,17 m *

 

1963

CLEOPATRA 61,17 m **

TOM JONES 43,39 m *

IT’S A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD  44,25 m *

 

1964

MARY POPPINS 55,91 m *

THE CARPETBAGGERS 33,33 **

 

1965

THE SOUND OF MUSIC 135,57 m *

 

1966

HAWAII 31,10 m *

 

1967

THE GRADUATE 79,68 m *

GUESS WHO’S COMING TO DINNER  43,25 m ****

THE DIRTY DOZEN 36,51 m *

TO SIR WITH LOVE 34,69 *

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS 33,33 m **

 

1968

FUNNY GIRL 40 m ****

2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY 35,77 m *

THE ODD COUPLE 33,28 m *

THE LOVE BUG 32,23 *

BULLITT 31,61 m *

 

1969

BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID 44,82 m *

MIDNIGHT COWBOY 31,53 m ****

 

* My estimations

** From boxofficemadness

*** From user Walt Disney

**** From Box Office Mojo

 

 

As I said before, I only consider initial releases. (With exceptions such as "Gone wtith the wind" or
"Star Wars" that had initial re-releases so close (that sometimes there are only months or even
days of distance) of their initial run that many consider it as one.
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TOTAL BOX OFFICE GROSS: $5,737,846,000 (Adjusted in 2016 USD)

Damn okay Olivia de Havilland...

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1970

LOVE STORY 66,49 m *

AIRPORT 64,82 m ****

M*A*S*H 42,19 m *

PATTON 39,83 ****

 

1971

BILLY JACK 56,09 m *

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF 41,85 m *

THE FRENCH CONNECTION 31,33 m ****

 

1972

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE 48,73 m *

WHAT’S UP, DOC? 38,82 m ****

 

1973

THE STING 81,65 m *

THE EXORCIST 81,17 m *

 

1974

THE TOWERING INFERNO 56,58 m *

THE TRIAL OF BILLY JACK 46,88 m *

BLAZING SADDLES 45,63 m *

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN 42,08 m *

 

1975

JAWS 100,50 m *

ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW 55,06 m ****

ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST 53,68 m ****

 

1976

ROCKY 55,04 m ****

A STAR IS BORN 35,87 m *

ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN 33,14 m ****

 

1977

CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND 65,92 m *

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER 57,48 m *

SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT 56,83 m ****

THE GOODBYE GIRL 37,53 m *

 

1978

GREASE 70,86 m ****

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S ANIMAL 51,32 m ****

JAWS 2 43,98 m *

EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE 38,32 m *

HOOPER 30 m *

 

1979

THE AMITYVILLE HORROR 34,43 m ****

ROCKY II 33,93 m ****

 

 

When I have time I will look to correct some data that could be wrong maybe.
Maybe surprise the data from movies like "The exorcist" or "Jaws". But it is for
the reason that they had re-releases that have been ignored by many. And in
fact it is difficult to find information. For example "Jaws" was re-released in

(when it had been months out of theaters) 1976 and 1979.

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I think The Exorcist was re-released in 1979 - snuck in to see it with my friends - scarred me for life!!😱😱

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Films that maybe not surpassed 30 millions in his initial release

1936

SAN FRANCISCO (was re-issued in 1948)

 

1942

CASABLANCA (was re-issued in 1949)

 

1961

THE ABSENT-MINDED PROFESSOR (was re-issued in 1967 and 1975)

 

Corrections

1939

GONE WITH THE WIND 59,50 m (from user Arlo)

 

1940

BOOM TOWN 33,28 m (was re-issued in 1947)

 

1943

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS 46,34 m (was re-issued in 1945)

 

1946

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES 59,42 m (was re-issued in 1954)

DUEL IN THE SUN 57,14 m (was re-issued in 1954)

 

1949

SAMSON AND DELILAH 42,65 m (was re-issued in 1959)

 

1951

QUO VADIS 40,56 m (was re-issued in 1964)

 

1954

20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA 40 m

 

1956

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS 131 m

AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS 80 m

 

1959

BEN-HUR 132,94 m (was re-issued in 1969)

 

1961

WEST SIDE STORY 47,10 m (was re-issued in 1968 and 1971)

THE PARENT TRAP 30,32 (was re-issued in 1968)

 

1962

LAWRENCE OF ARABIA 42,82 m (was re-issued in 1971 and 1989)

 

1973

AMERICAN GRAFFITI 56,13 m (was re-issued in 1978)

 

1974

THE TOWERING INFERNO 59,18 m

EARTHQUAKE 42,62 m

 

1977

STAR WARS 120,68 m

 

Here you have the corrections. 

You can all participate or correct. I'm sure I was wrong in some film.

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3 hours ago, Catty said:

I think The Exorcist was re-released in 1979 - snuck in to see it with my friends - scarred me for life!!😱😱

Exactly. In 1979 was re-issued.

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