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The Top Grossing Films of All Time -- Adjusted for Inflation

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 8, 2009 |

By Dustin Rowles | Industry | July 8, 2009 |

Bloomberg, a financial magazine of some sort, has gone and played with all time box-office rankings, using some sort of formula algorithm doohickey thingamabob, and in doing so, they’ve come up with the 25 top grossing films of all time, adjusted for inflation. In other words, the movies with the most ticket sales.

If you’re interested in these sort of things, as I am, it might be fascinating to know that, Titanic, the largest grosser in terms of pure dollars, is actually only sixth in inflation adjusted dollars, behind The Ten Commandments. What’s more interesting to me, however, is that the second biggest grosser of all time, The Dark Knight, doesn’t even make the top 25. That means, of course, that more people actually saw The Exorcist and Forrest Gump in movie theaters than The Dark Knight. In inflation adjusted dollars, Star Wars also moves from number three to number two all time, behind Gone with the Wind, the biggest ticket seller of all time. They sure did like their 4-hour racist movies back in the day.

The good news, psychologically speaking, is that films like Shrek 2, all of the Lord of the Rings movies, and Passion of the Christ also fall out of the top 25 when adjusted for inflation.

Anyway, take a gander: Here are the top 25 movies adjusted for inflation:


And here are the top 25 movies in terms of dollars:


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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.