What Are Some Popular Movies From the 1980s?


Quick Answer

"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial," "Ghostbusters," "Back to the Future" and "Batman" are popular movies from the 1980s. The "Star Wars" sequels "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi" are some other popular 1980s titles. "Tootsie," "Beverly Hills Cop" and "Die Hard" are others.

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Full Answer

"E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" was the highest-grossing movie of the 1980s with a total domestic gross of $359 million. Adjusted for ticket-price inflation, it is the fourth highest-grossing film of all time. The second and third highest-grossing movies of the decade were the "Star Wars" sequels. "Return of the Jedi" made $252 million in 1983 and "The Empire Strikes Back" made $209 million in 1980. The three "Indiana Jones" movies were also among the most popular films of the decade, with all of them among its ten highest-grossing films.

Some of the most popular movies of the 1980s were not necessarily among the highest grossing. John Hughes' teen films such as "Pretty in Pink," "Sixteen Candles," "The Breakfast Club" and "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" didn't make as much money as others, but gained popularity throughout the following decades. Although "The Breakfast Club" was only the 16th highest-grossing film of 1985, readers voted it the greatest film of the 1980s on a Rolling Stone poll.

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