What it was like Growing Up in the Eighties (1980s)
  • Tue. May 21st, 2024

Top Grossing Films from the 1980’s

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Highest grossing movies of the 80s broken out by calendar year. The 1980s was the heyday of fantasy, comedy, science fiction, adventure, horror and teen romance movies. These movies are still extremely popular today. Long before streaming or internet videos, moviegoing was an experience, one fans would pay top dollar for, filling cinemas and grossing hundreds of millions of dollars for filmmakers. The characters, plots and music from these movies epidemies the golden era of movies during the eighties.


  • 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!”