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Classic Science Fiction Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money

Image: Classic Science Fiction Box Office Hits: 10 Films That Made the Most Money
Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, 1977. (imdb.com)

By    |   Friday, 24 Apr 2015 11:57 AM

Whether it’s monsters, aliens, or armageddon, science fiction movies have always had strong presence in Hollywood cinema. Here are the top 10 classic science fiction box office hits, based on ticket sales:

1. "Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope" (1977)

Once called “George Lucas’ peculiar little science fiction project,” “Star Wars” proved the naysayers wrong. At the box office, the film brought in $461 million, which equates to $1.8 billion in 2015, according to Fortune. “Star Wars” went on to become a trilogy, with the next film slated for December 2015.

2. “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial” (1982)

A movie about a friendly alien being stranded on earth, "E.T." made $435 million at the box office, now worth $1 billion today. The Steven Spielberg film is one of the most-loved sci-fi films in history.

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3. “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

The second part of the first “Star Wars” trilogy, "The Empire Strikes Back" is best known for the phrase spoken by Darth Vader, “I am your father.” "The Empire Strikes Back" originally grossed $290 million, the equivalent of $823 million today.

4. “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi” (1983)

Another part of the “Star Wars” trilogy, "Return of the Jedi" brought in $309 million at the box office, the equivalent of $725 million today. Depending on whom you ask, the movie is either the best or the worst film in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

5. “Superman” (1978)

The movie starring Christopher Reeve as the Man of Steel is worth $476 million today. The film, directed by Richard Donner, was adapted from a D.C. comic book about an alien making his home on Earth and becoming a superhero.

6. “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” (1977)

Directed by Steven Spielberg, "Close Encounters" yielded $132 million in revenue, worth $461 million today. The film starred Richard Dreyfuss as a man who has contact with aliens and their mothership. The film opened the same week as “Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope,” and actually overtook “Jaws” to become one of the biggest blockbusters of all time.

7. “Back to the Future” (1985)

The film, which starred Michael J. Fox as a time-traveler, brought in $211 million at the box office – the equivalent of $458 million today, according to Fortune. The movie was the highest grossing film of 1985.

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8. “Gremlins” (1984)

Directed by Joe Dante, the film featured little creatures that couldn’t be fed after dark, and netted the equivalent of $377 million today at the box office. The Warner Bros. film is a combination of horror, sci-fi and comedy.

9. “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968)

The sci-fi film is a story of evolution, directed by Stanley Kubrick. The classic film had box office revenues of more than $359 million, according to Box Office Mojo.

10. “Superman II” (1981)

The first sequel to the 1978 blockbuster ranks No. 176 movie on the all time list of all genres, according to Box Office Mojo. Christopher Reeve starred once again as Clark Kent in the in the Warner Bros. film, which brought in today’s equivalent of $323 million at the box office.

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Whether it's monsters, aliens, or armageddon, science fiction movies have always had strong presence in Hollywood cinema. Here are the top 10 classic science fiction box office hits, based on ticket sales.
classic, science fiction, box office, movies, films, hollywood
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