If you adjust for inflation, “Gone With the Wind” is the highest-grossing movie of all time, earning approximately $1.8 billion. The movie was released in 1939 and earned $390 million worldwide in its initial release. It was an unprecedented success at the time.
The highest-grossing movie of all time
In 2009, Avatar became the highest-grossing film in history in nominal terms. But even today, when adjusting for inflation, “Gone With the Wind” still wins.
The film, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh, tells the story of a young woman named Scarlett O’Hara, who lives on a plantation in Georgia during the American Civil War and Reconstruction Era.
When the film was released, it received critical acclaim. It won 10 Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actress, and Best Supporting Actress. The movie is based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name by Margaret Mitchell, which was published in 1936.
Despite its enduring popularity, the film has also been criticized for its depiction of slavery and its portrayal of African Americans. In recent years, there have been discussions about removing the film from circulation or adding disclaimers about its controversial themes.
In any case, the adjusted gross earnings of “Gone With the Wind” demonstrate its enduring popularity and cultural significance. Even after 80 years, the film remains a classic example of Hollywood’s Golden Age and continues to captivate audiences with its sweeping story and memorable characters.
Other high-grossing movies
In terms of box office revenue and NOT adjusted for inflation, the highest-grossing movies of all time are:
- Avatar (2009) – $2.8 billion
- Avengers: Endgame (2019) – $2.79 billion
- Titanic (1997) – $2.19 billion
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – $2.07 billion
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – $2.04 billion
These figures only take into account box office revenue and do not factor in inflation or other revenue streams such as home video sales or merchandise.
Other movies that have high box office grosses when adjusted for inflation include:
- “Star Wars” (1977) – $1.6 billion
- “The Sound of Music” (1965) – $1.3 billion
- “The Ten Commandments” (1956)
- “Doctor Zhivago” (1965)
- “Jaws” (1975)
- “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982)
- “Titanic” (1997)
- “Avatar” (2009)