Finding Nemo, Lion King, and Star Wars Are The Top Highest Grossing Original Films


The Orlando Sentinel put up a list of the Top 100 Highest Grossing Original Films of All Time. There are a few surprises on the list. Since the 100 are only made up of original films, there are no sequels or remakes. So if it wasn’t the first of the bunch (as far as the release date), then it doesn’t matter.

Let’s see where some Disney-owned properties landed!

Finding Nemo, a true Pixar classic, came in at #7, taking in $1.4 billion. However, remember that the Orlando Sentinel has adjusted these numbers to account for inflation. Released in 2003, Finding Nemo has become a staple in many Disney parks, even managing to revive dated rides such as Submarine Voyage at Disneyland and The Living Seas at Epcot.

Unsurprisingly, Pixar films show up quite a few times in the list, as do other CGI and hand-drawn animated features. Speaking of traditional animation, a legendary Disney film edged out Nemo by close to a billion dollars.

The Lion King, yes, the original, is at the #5 spot. One of the last true gems of the Disney Renaissance, this 1994 animated feature raked in what amounts to today as $2.2 billion at the box office. I was in junior high at its release, and the merchandise was everywhere. In ’95, every teacher would put on the Lion King VHS during a rainy day to keep us quiet.

It worked. Weird considering this was the height of the grunge fad, and Goth kids were starting to appear more frequently. No matter what faux social circle you were pretending to be in, you’d sit yer butt down to watch the Lion King if it was on. I doubt kids today would be as shocked by the CGI remake.

Now, it may not have claimed the coveted #1 spot, but an essential movie in science fiction did take the #3 spot. George Lucas’s Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope took in $3.2 billion in adjusted dollars when it hit cinemas in 1977. Star Wars was a cultural phenomenon. It changed how science fiction was viewed, the special effects industry, and the toy industry.

People from all walks of life (regardless of what Last Jedi fans would have you believe) loved and flocked to Star Wars in the late ’70s. Episode IV so enthralled me as a tiny child that I learned how to operate a bulky RCA VHS player so I could watch the adventures of Luke, Han, Chewie, and Leia over and over. I credit Lucas’s saga as the reason I pursued a job in the entertainment industry.

Watching how he and ILM worked to create these movies made me want to join the magic. And here I am today, having traveled the world to be on the sets of some of the greatest and worst that this industry has to offer.

[Source: Orlando Sentinel]

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