Highest Grossing Films of Their Time

  1. Follow the money trail: when each of these films were released, they were the highest-grossing films up to that point in history (inflation not considered).
  2. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
  3. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
  4. The Big Parade (1925)
  5. Frankenstein (1931)
  6. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
  7. Gone With The Wind (1939)
  8. The Sound of Music (1965)
  9. Jaws (1975)
  10. Star Wars (1977)
  11. Titanic (1997)
Author Comments: 

The pre-1960s movies are often estimates, so the list might not be totally accurate, but it probably is. For example, sources conflict as to whether 101 Dalmations (1961) outgrossed The Sound of Music (1965).

Gone With the Wind held the title for the longest time (and, with adjusted numbers, is still the highest-grossing film of all time by a large margin).

How long will Titanic last? Inflation will inevitably bring us a blockbuster to pass it with unadjusted numbers within the next 15 years. My guess? It will either be a CGI kids film (just as the highest grossing movies for the 40s, 50s, and 60s were almost all Disney cartoons) or an epic romance & war/disaster/adventure movie (such as Gone with the Wind and Titanic).