Box office records: can you guess the 20 most viewed movies in the world?

Are Titanic, Avatar or Jurassic Park among your favourite movies? As well as being family favourites that we never get tired of watching over and over again, these feature films have also gone down in cinema history, breaking box office records. So can you guess which are the most viewed films in the world?

The films with the greatest success are not necessarily the best films. Their rankings on this list reflect the trends within one or more generations, but mainly relate to how much money was made by each film. The list below contains the films that generated box office records in terms of their revenue in dollars (taking into account ticket sales and inflation rates).

1/ Gone with the Wind

Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American film directed by Victor Flemin, and adapted from the book of the same name written by Margaret Mitchell. The film is set during the American Civil War, and tells the story of the liaison between Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh) and Rhett Butler (Clark Gable). The film won 8 Oscars, including Best Film and Best Director awards.

box office records
Credits: Wikimedia Commons

2/ Star Wars, episode IV: A New Hope

This episode is the first of the saga. Written by George Lucas, it was released in 1977. The main idea? An organisation tries to destroy the Death Star, the space station of the Galactic Empire. The young Luke Skywalker joins the rebel forces after his family is massacred, and he uses his recently acquired skills to destroy the enemy.

box office records
Screenshot: Marcelo Zuniga/YouTube

3/ The Sound of Music

The Sound of Music is a musical directed by American Robert Wise, and was released in cinemas in 1965. The film is set in Austria, during the Second World War. The young Maria (Julie Andrews) is training to become a nun, but her convent sends her to work as a governess in a large family. When it was released in cinemas, the musical was a box office hit, with 142,415,400 tickets sold, and ranking number 1 in the global box office for six years.

box office records
Screenshot: The Sound of Music/Robert Wise/YouTube

4/ E.T.

This film couldn’t possibly have gone under your radar, whether you liked it it or not. E.T. is a science fiction movie that was directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1982. It tells the story of a lonely young boy, who befriends an extraterrestrial who has landed on Earth. When it was released, the film was highly acclaimed by both the public and the critics.

box office records
Screenshot: E.T./Steven Spielberg/YouTube

5/ Titanic

The most famous shipwreck in the history of cinema (and in history itself) was brought to the screens by James Cameron and released in 1997. Rose (Kate Winslet) and Jack (Leonardo di Caprio) are passengers on the Titanic, among many others. All the odds are against them, except for their love for one another. Titanic received 11 Oscars in 1998, including Best Film and Best Director awards.

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Screenshot: Titanic/James Cameron/YouTube

6/ The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments is an American film made by Cecil B. De Mille, which was released in 1956. The story takes place in Egypt, on Mount Sinai. It tells the story of the liberation of the Hebrew slaves, and stays true to the Old Testament. At the time, it was the most expensive film ever produced. Despite several other nominations, the film won only one Oscar, for Best Visual Effects.

box office records
Screenshot: The Ten Commandments/Cecil B. DeMille/YouTube

7/ Jaws

Jaws is an action thriller that was directed by a young Steven Spielberg (who was only 28 at the time) and which was released in 1975. Adapted from a novel by Peter Benchley, the film holds one of the most impressive box office records, having made over $470,000,000.