History of Movie Firsts

by wunderdunder | created - 23 Jun 2011 | updated - 13 Apr 2012 | Public

All of these were the first to accomplish something in the flim world.

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1. Dante's Inferno (1911)

68 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Loosely adapted from Dante's Divine Comedy and inspired by the illustrations of Gustav Doré the original silent film has been restored and has a new score by Tangerine Dream.

Directors: Francesco Bertolini, Adolfo Padovan, Giuseppe de Liguoro | Stars: Salvatore Papa, Arturo Pirovano, Giuseppe de Liguoro, Pier Delle Vigne

Votes: 1,502

First feautre length film shown in its entirety in the US.

2. The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906)

70 min | Biography, Crime, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

True story of notorious Australian outlaw Ned Kelly (1855-80).

Director: Charles Tait | Stars: Elizabeth Tait, John Tait, Norman Campbell, Bella Cola

Votes: 423

First feature length film ever.

3. Oliver Twist (I) (1912)

Drama

5.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

An orphan in early 19th century England escapes the poorhouse only to fall among a gang of pickpockets in London.

Stars: Nat C. Goodwin, Vinnie Burns, Charley Rogers, Mortimer Martine

Votes: 14

First US produced film shown in its entirety.

4. Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914)

Not Rated | 82 min | Comedy

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A con man from the city dupes a wealthy country girl into marriage.

Directors: Mack Sennett, Charles Bennett | Stars: Charles Chaplin, Marie Dressler, Mabel Normand, Mack Swain

Votes: 2,896

First feature length American Comedy.

5. The Squaw Man (1914)

Not Rated | 74 min | Action, Drama, Romance

6.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A chivalrous British officer takes the blame for his cousin's embezzlement and journeys to the American West to start a new life on a cattle ranch.

Directors: Oscar Apfel, Cecil B. DeMille | Stars: Dustin Farnum, Monroe Salisbury, Winifred Kingston, Mrs. A.W. Filson

Votes: 732 | Gross: $0.53M

First feature length western.

6. The Birth of a Nation (1915)

Not Rated | 195 min | Drama, History, War

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

The Stoneman family finds its friendship with the Camerons affected by the Civil War, both fighting in opposite armies. The development of the war in their lives plays through to Lincoln's assassination and the birth of the Ku Klux Klan.

Director: D.W. Griffith | Stars: Lillian Gish, Mae Marsh, Henry B. Walthall, Miriam Cooper

Votes: 18,713 | Gross: $10.00M

First Controversial Film

7. Robin Hood (1922)

PG | 143 min | Adventure, Family, Romance

7.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A nobleman becomes the vigilante Robin Hood who protects the oppressed English people from the tyrannical Prince John.

Director: Allan Dwan | Stars: Wallace Beery, Sam De Grasse, Enid Bennett, Paul Dickey

Votes: 1,692 | Gross: $2.50M

First movie to have a Hollywood Premiere.

8. The Toll of the Sea (1922)

Unrated | 54 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

6.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

While visiting China, an American man falls in love with a young Chinese woman, but he then has second thoughts about the relationship.

Director: Chester M. Franklin | Stars: Anna May Wong, Kenneth Harlan, Beatrice Bentley, Priscilla Moran

Votes: 542

First feature length film released that used two strip Technicolor

9. The Lost World (1925)

Unrated | 106 min | Adventure, Fantasy, Sci-Fi

7.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The first film adaptation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's classic novel about a land where prehistoric creatures still roam.

Director: Harry O. Hoyt | Stars: Wallace Beery, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes, Lewis Stone

Votes: 3,713 | Gross: $0.55M

First feature length Sci-Fi

Also the first "in flight" movie. Shown by Imperial Airways.

10. Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed (1926)

Not Rated | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Fantasy

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A handsome prince rides a flying horse to far-away lands and embarks on magical adventures, which include befriending a witch, meeting Aladdin, battling demons and falling in love with a princess.

Directors: Lotte Reiniger, Carl Koch

Votes: 4,123

First feature length (surviving) animated film.

11. The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical

6.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Votes: 7,542 | Gross: $7.63M

First feature length "talkie" film.

12. Steamboat Willie (1928)

8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.7
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Mickey Mouse, piloting a steamboat, delights his passenger, Minnie, by making musical instruments out of the menagerie on deck.

Directors: Ub Iwerks, Walt Disney | Star: Walt Disney

Votes: 5,406

First sound animated flim.

First Mickey Mouse cartoon released.

13. On with the Show! (1929)

Passed | 104 min | Musical, Romance

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A musical advertised as the first 100% natural color, all-singing production. The plot concerns a wide-eyed former hatcheck girl who takes the place of a rebellious star.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Arthur Lake, Betty Compson, Joe E. Brown, Sally O'Neil

Votes: 174

The first all talkie all color film released.

14. The Big Trail (1930)

Passed | 125 min | Adventure, Western, Romance

7.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Breck Coleman leads hundreds of settlers in covered wagons from the Mississippi River to their destiny out West.

Directors: Raoul Walsh, Louis R. Loeffler | Stars: John Wayne, Marguerite Churchill, El Brendel, Tully Marshall

Votes: 2,720

First movie to use a swear word.

15. Flowers and Trees (1932)

Approved | 8 min | Animation, Short, Comedy

7.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An evil tree stump, jealous of two trees in love, starts a forest fire.

Director: Burt Gillett | Stars: Esther Campbell, Marion Darlington

Votes: 1,562

First generally released 3 Strip Technicolor film.

16. It Happened One Night (1934)

Not Rated | 105 min | Comedy, Romance

8.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A spoiled heiress running away from her family is helped by a man who is actually a reporter in need of a story.

Director: Frank Capra | Stars: Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert, Walter Connolly, Roscoe Karns

Votes: 73,438

First film to win all major Oscars. (Best picture, director, actor, and actress.)

17. Becky Sharp (1935)

Unrated | 84 min | Drama, Romance, War

6.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Set against the background of the Battle of Waterloo, Becky Sharp is the story of Vanity Fair by Thackeray. Becky and Amelia are girls at school together, but Becky is from a "show biz" ... See full summary »

Directors: Rouben Mamoulian, Lowell Sherman | Stars: Miriam Hopkins, Frances Dee, Cedric Hardwicke, Billie Burke

Votes: 674

First feature length 3 strip Technicolor film released.

18. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

G | 83 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.6
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Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.

Directors: William Cottrell, David Hand, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Adriana Caselotti, Harry Stockwell, Lucille La Verne, Roy Atwell

Votes: 149,111 | Gross: $184.93M

First cel-animated feature length film along with the first movie released that grossed over $100,000,000 in the box office. (multiple rleases)

19. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home in Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 320,908 | Gross: $22.20M

First feature length film broadcast on TV. (1956)

20. Fantasia (1940)

G | 125 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

7.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A collection of animated interpretations of great works of Western classical music.

Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, Ford Beebe Jr., Norman Ferguson, David Hand, Jim Handley, T. Hee, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Ben Sharpsteen | Stars: Leopold Stokowski, Deems Taylor, Corey Burton, Walt Disney

Votes: 77,017 | Gross: $76.41M

First film with stereo sound.

21. Bwana Devil (1952)

Not Rated | 79 min | Adventure

4.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

British railway workers in Kenya are becoming the favorite snack of two man-eating lions. Head engineer Bob Hayward becomes obsessed with trying to kill the beasts before they maul everyone on his crew.

Director: Arch Oboler | Stars: Robert Stack, Barbara Britton, Nigel Bruce, Ramsay Hill

Votes: 281

First 3-D feature length film.

22. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966)

Not Rated | 131 min | Drama

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A bitter, aging couple, with the help of alcohol, use a young couple to fuel anguish and emotional pain towards each other.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal, Sandy Dennis

Votes: 60,305

First PG-rated film.

23. Ulysses (1967)

Not Rated | 123 min | Drama

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Dublin; June 16, 1904. Stephen Dedalus, who fancies himself as a poet, embarks on a day of wandering about the city during which he finds friendship and a father figure in Leopold Bloom, a ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Strick | Stars: Milo O'Shea, Barbara Jefford, Maurice Roëves, T.P. McKenna

Votes: 685

First major movie to use the F-word.

24. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

R | 113 min | Drama

7.9
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
79 Metascore

A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend.

Director: John Schlesinger | Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Jon Voight, Sylvia Miles, John McGiver

Votes: 83,200 | Gross: $44.79M

First X-rated movie to win a Best Picture Oscar.

25. Tiger Child (1970)

17 min | Short

5.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  

Through the use of multi-image compositions and giant IMAX format full-frame shots, Tiger Child expresses a poetic vision of civilization at the dawn of the 1970s, filmed on locations around the world as a travelogue of the human spirit.

Director: Donald Brittain

Votes: 11

First IMAX format flim.

26. Carnal Knowledge (1971)

R | 98 min | Drama

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Chronicling the lifelong sexual development of two men who meet and befriend one another in college.

Director: Mike Nichols | Stars: Jack Nicholson, Candice Bergen, Ann-Margret, Art Garfunkel

Votes: 9,293 | Gross: $28.62M

First movie to show a condom.

27. Fritz the Cat (1972)

Unrated | 78 min | Animation, Comedy, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A hypocritical swinging college student cat raises hell in a satiric vision of various elements on the 1960s.

Director: Ralph Bakshi | Stars: Skip Hinnant, Rosetta LeNoire, John McCurry, Judy Engles

Votes: 9,122 | Gross: $25.00M

First X-Rated cartoon.

28. Cheongchun gyosa (1972)

90 min | Drama, Family

7.2
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A new teacher organizes a volleyball game to boost school spirit and self confidence while fighting with the conservative school board and chauvanistic principal. Two of her students run ... See full summary »

Director: Ki-duk Kim | Stars: Se-hie Yun, Sung-il Shin, Am Park

Votes: 8

First movie released on VHS.

The last was: A History of Violence

29. Jaws (1975)

PG | 124 min | Adventure, Drama, Thriller

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
87 Metascore

A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Votes: 461,259 | Gross: $260.00M

First movie to break $100,000,000 box office in a single release.

Also first to collect over $100,000,000 in rentals.

30. Looker (1981)

PG | 93 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Plastic surgeon Larry Roberts performs a series of minor alterations on a group of models who are seeking perfection. The operations are a resounding success. But when someone starts ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Crichton | Stars: Albert Finney, James Coburn, Susan Dey, Leigh Taylor-Young

Votes: 3,653 | Gross: $3.28M

First movie to have a CGI character.

31. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983)

PG | 131 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

8.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  
53 Metascore

After a daring mission to rescue Han Solo from Jabba the Hutt, the rebels dispatch to Endor to destroy a more powerful Death Star. Meanwhile, Luke struggles to help Vader back from the dark side without falling into the Emperor's trap.

Director: Richard Marquand | Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Billy Dee Williams

Votes: 773,832 | Gross: $309.13M

First film shown in THX certified auditorium.

32. Red Dawn (1984)

PG-13 | 114 min | Action, Drama

6.4
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
55 Metascore

It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers band together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

Director: John Milius | Stars: Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen

Votes: 44,543 | Gross: $38.38M

First PG-13 rated film.

33. Terminator 2 (1991)

R | 137 min | Action, Sci-Fi, Thriller

8.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  
75 Metascore

A cyborg, identical to the one who failed to kill Sarah Connor, must now protect her ten year old son, John Connor, from a more advanced cyborg.

Director: James Cameron | Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, Edward Furlong, Robert Patrick

Votes: 823,808 | Gross: $204.84M

First film with a $100,000,000 dollar budget.

34. Beauty and the Beast (1991)

G | 84 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy

8.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  
95 Metascore

A young woman whose father has been imprisoned by a terrifying beast offers herself in his place, unaware that her captor is actually a prince, physically altered by a magic spell.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise | Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Jesse Corti, Rex Everhart

Votes: 350,542 | Gross: $218.97M

First animated film to be nominated for best picture.

35. Batman Returns (1992)

PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure, Crime

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
68 Metascore

When a corrupt businessman and the grotesque Penguin plot to take control of Gotham City, only Batman can stop them, while the Catwoman has her own agenda.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Michael Keaton, Danny DeVito, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken

Votes: 234,699 | Gross: $162.83M

First film using Dolby Digital Sound.

36. Death Becomes Her (1992)

PG-13 | 104 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Horror

6.5
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a woman learns of an immortality treatment, she sees it as a way to outdo her long-time rival.

Director: Robert Zemeckis | Stars: Meryl Streep, Bruce Willis, Goldie Hawn, Isabella Rossellini

Votes: 86,629 | Gross: $58.42M

First human skin CGI software.

37. Jurassic Park (1993)

PG-13 | 127 min | Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

8.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
68 Metascore

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 695,450 | Gross: $402.45M

First movie using DTS digital sound.

38. The Flintstones (1994)

PG | 91 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

4.8
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  
38 Metascore

In this live-action feature of the cartoon show, Fred Flintstone finally gets the job he's always wanted, but it may just come at a price.

Director: Brian Levant | Stars: John Goodman, Rick Moranis, Rosie O'Donnell, Halle Berry

Votes: 65,006 | Gross: $130.51M

First CGI-rendered fur.

39. Casper (1995)

PG | 100 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

6.1
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
49 Metascore

A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by three mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.

Director: Brad Silberling | Stars: Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle

Votes: 96,372 | Gross: $100.33M

First CGI lead character.

40. Toy Story (1995)

G | 81 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy

8.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  
95 Metascore

A cowboy doll is profoundly threatened and jealous when a new spaceman figure supplants him as top toy in a boy's room.

Director: John Lasseter | Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Jim Varney

Votes: 704,280 | Gross: $191.80M

First fully CGI animated movie.

41. Twister (1996)

PG-13 | 113 min | Action, Adventure, Drama

6.3
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
68 Metascore

Bill and Jo Harding, advanced storm chasers on the brink of divorce, must join together to create an advanced weather alert system by putting themselves in the cross-hairs of extremely violent tornadoes.

Director: Jan de Bont | Stars: Helen Hunt, Bill Paxton, Cary Elwes, Jami Gertz

Votes: 153,559 | Gross: $241.72M

First movie released on DVD.

42. Independence Day (1996)

PG-13 | 145 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi

7.0
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
59 Metascore

The aliens are coming and their goal is to invade and destroy Earth. Fighting superior technology, mankind's best weapon is the will to survive.

Director: Roland Emmerich | Stars: Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Mary McDonnell

Votes: 465,118 | Gross: $306.17M

First movie to make $100,000,000 in it's first week.

43. The Cable Guy (1996)

PG-13 | 96 min | Comedy, Drama, Thriller

6.1
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A lonely and disturbed cable guy raised on television just wants a new friend, but his target, a designer, rejects him, with bad consequences.

Director: Ben Stiller | Stars: Jim Carrey, Matthew Broderick, Leslie Mann, Jack Black

Votes: 131,972 | Gross: $60.24M

First time an actor recieves a $20,000,000 salary for a role.

44. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)

PG | 142 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy

6.6
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    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
54 Metascore

Ten years after initially meeting, Anakin Skywalker shares a forbidden romance with Padmé, while Obi-Wan investigates an assassination attempt on the Senator and discovers a secret clone army crafted for the Jedi.

Director: George Lucas | Stars: Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee

Votes: 519,094 | Gross: $310.68M

First major movie shot entirely on digital film.