Highest-grossing films by yearby mone0303 | created - 16 Jan 2011 | updated - 30 Jan 2019 | Public
This is a list of the highest-grossing films by year of initial release.
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1. The Birth of a Nation (1915)
TV-PG | 195 min | Drama, History, War
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.
Votes: 24,714 | Gross: $10.00M
2. Joan the Woman (1916)
Passed | 138 min | Adventure, Drama, History
A WWI English officer is inspired the night before a dangerous mission by a vision of Joan of Arc, whose story he relives.
Votes: 589 | Gross: $1.32M
3. A Romance of the Redwoods (1917)
Not Rated | 70 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
A young girl travels west to live with her uncle during the California Gold Rush only to find that he has been killed by Indians and his identity assumed by an outlaw.
Votes: 825 | Gross: $0.42M
5. The Miracle Man (1919)
Not Rated | 80 min | Drama
A gang consisting of the Frog, who can dislocate his limbs, the Dope, a drug addict, Rose, who poses as the Dope's brutalized mistress, and Burke, the leader, prey on the sympathies and ... See full summary »
Votes: 247 | Gross: $3.00M
6. Way Down East (1920)
Passed | 145 min | Drama, Romance
A naive country girl is tricked into a sham marriage by a wealthy womanizer, then must rebuild her life despite the taint of having borne a child out of wedlock.
Votes: 5,520 | Gross: $4.50M
7. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)
Passed | 150 min | Drama, Romance, War
An extended family split up in France and Germany find themselves on opposing sides of the battlefield during World War I.
Votes: 3,363 | Gross: $9.20M
8. Robin Hood (1922)
Not Rated | 143 min | Adventure, Family, Romance
A nobleman becomes the vigilante Robin Hood who protects the oppressed English people from the tyrannical Prince John.
Votes: 2,247 | Gross: $5.45M
9. The Covered Wagon (1923)
98 min | Adventure, Romance, Western
Two wagon caravans converge at what is now Kansas City, and combine for the westward push to Oregon. On their quest the pilgrims will experience desert heat, mountain snow, hunger, and ... See full summary »
Votes: 648 | Gross: $7.63M
11. Aloma of the South Seas (1926)
90 min | Comedy, Drama
Young South Seas native boy is sent to the U.S. for his education, returns to his island after his father dies to try to stop a revolution.
Votes: 24 | Gross: $6.54M
12. The Jazz Singer (1927)
Passed | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical
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.
Votes: 10,060 | Gross: $7.63M
13. The Road to Ruin (1928)
Passed | 60 min | Drama
A controversial, low-budget drama about the life of a young teenage girl who goes down the "road to ruin." Sally is a 16-year-old New York City teen who, neglected by her parents, takes up ... See full summary »
Votes: 59 | Gross: $2.50M
14. The Broadway Melody (1929)
Passed | 100 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
A pair of sisters from the vaudeville circuit try to make it big time on Broadway, but matters of the heart complicate the attempt.
Votes: 7,285 | Gross: $6.12M
15. Tom Sawyer (1930)
Passed | 86 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
The classic Mark Twain tale of a young boy and his friends on the Mississippi River. Tom and his pals Huckleberry Finn and Joe Harper have numerous adventures, including running away to be ... See full summary »
Votes: 208 | Gross: $11.00M
18. I'm No Angel (1933)
Passed | 87 min | Comedy, Music, Romance
Circus performer Tira seeks a better life pursuing the company of wealthy New York men with improbable comic complications along the way.
Votes: 3,563 | Gross: $6.21M
19. Viva Villa! (1934)
Passed | 115 min | Western
After enacting revenge on the overseer who murdered his father, Pancho Villa becomes a bandit, earning the respect of the poor by brutally attacking the wealthy.
Votes: 1,390 | Gross: $1.11M
20. Top Hat (1935)
Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance
An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.
Votes: 19,215 | Gross: $3.88M
21. One in a Million (1936)
Passed | 95 min | Comedy, Family, Music
American theatrical manager (Menjou) discovers Henie preparing for the Olympics in Switzerland and brings her to Madison Square Garden.
Votes: 312 | Gross: $2.00M
22. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)
Approved | 83 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
Exiled into the dangerous forest by her wicked stepmother, a princess is rescued by seven dwarf miners who make her part of their household.
Votes: 197,708 | Gross: $184.93M
23. Gone with the Wind (1939)
Passed | 238 min | Drama, Romance, War
The manipulative daughter of a Georgia plantation owner conducts a turbulent romance with a roguish profiteer during the American Civil War and Reconstruction periods.
Votes: 313,228 | Gross: $198.68M
24. Pinocchio (1940)
G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
A living puppet, with the help of a cricket as his conscience, must prove himself worthy to become a real boy.
Votes: 144,177 | Gross: $84.25M
25. Sergeant York (1941)
Passed | 134 min | Biography, Drama, History
A Tennessee farmer and marksman is drafted in World War I, and struggles with his pacifist inclinations before becoming one of the most celebrated war heroes.
Votes: 18,405 | Gross: $16.40M
26. Bambi (1942)
G | 69 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
The story of a young deer growing up in the forest.
Directors: James Algar, Samuel Armstrong, David Hand, Graham Heid, Bill Roberts, Paul Satterfield, Norman Wright, Arthur Davis, Clyde Geronimi | Stars: Hardie Albright, Stan Alexander, Bobette Audrey, Peter Behn
Votes: 142,142 | Gross: $102.80M
27. A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Passed | 120 min | Drama, Romance, War
A dead World War II bomber pilot, Pete Sandidge becomes the guardian angel of another pilot, Ted Randall. He guides Ted through battle and helping him to romance his old girlfriend, despite her excessive devotion to Sandidge's memory.
29. The Bells of St. Mary's (1945)
Unrated | 126 min | Drama
At a big city Catholic school, Father O'Malley and Sister Benedict indulge in friendly rivalry, and succeed in extending the school through the gift of a building.
Votes: 8,276 | Gross: $21.30M
30. Song of the South (1946)
G | 94 min | Animation, Comedy, Family
The kindly story-teller Uncle Remus tells a young boy stories about trickster Br'er Rabbit, who outwits Br'er Fox and slow-witted Br'er Bear.
Votes: 13,940 | Gross: $63.72M
31. Golden Earrings (1947)
Approved | 95 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
On the eve of WW2, a British spy goes to Germany to obtain a secret poison-gas formula from a scientist but things go awry and he is saved by a beautiful nomadic gypsy woman.
Votes: 1,178 | Gross: $7.00M
32. Easter Parade (1948)
G | 103 min | Musical, Romance
A nightclub performer hires a naive chorus girl to become his new dance partner to make his former partner jealous and to prove he can make any partner a star.
Votes: 10,081 | Gross: $9.03M
33. Samson and Delilah (1949)
Approved | 134 min | Drama, Family, History
When strongman Samson rejects the love of the beautiful Philistine woman Delilah, she seeks vengeance that brings horrible consequences they both regret.
Votes: 8,039 | Gross: $28.80M
34. Cinderella (1950)
G | 74 min | Animation, Family, Fantasy
When Cinderella's cruel stepmother prevents her from attending the Royal Ball, she gets some unexpected help from the lovable mice Gus and Jaq and from her Fairy Godmother.
Votes: 159,227 | Gross: $85.00M
35. Quo Vadis (1951)
Not Rated | 171 min | Biography, Drama, History
After fierce Roman commander Marcus Vinicius becomes infatuated with beautiful Christian hostage Lygia, he begins to question the tyrannical leadership of the despotic emperor Nero.
Votes: 15,203 | Gross: $24.29M
36. This Is Cinerama (1952)
G | 115 min | Documentary
On the evening of September 30, 1952, the shape and sound of movies changed forever with the introduction of Cinerama.
Votes: 510 | Gross: $41.60M
37. Peter Pan (1953)
G | 77 min | Animation, Adventure, Family
Wendy and her brothers are whisked away to the magical world of Neverland with the hero of their stories, Peter Pan.
Votes: 139,010 | Gross: $87.40M
38. Rear Window (1954)
PG | 112 min | Mystery, Thriller
A wheelchair-bound photographer spies on his neighbors from his Greenwich Village courtyard apartment window, and becomes convinced one of them has committed murder, despite the skepticism of his fashion-model girlfriend.
Votes: 485,948 | Gross: $36.76M
39. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
G | 76 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog and a streetwise downtown Mutt.
Votes: 134,849 | Gross: $93.60M
40. The Ten Commandments (1956)
G | 220 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
Moses, raised as a prince of Egypt in the Pharaoh's household, learns of his true heritage as a Hebrew and his divine mission as the deliverer of his people from slavery.
Votes: 70,898 | Gross: $93.74M
41. The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
PG | 161 min | Adventure, Drama, War
British POWs are forced to build a railway bridge across the river Kwai for their Japanese captors in occupied Burma, not knowing that the allied forces are planning a daring commando raid through the jungle to destroy it.
Votes: 219,365 | Gross: $44.91M
42. South Pacific (1958)
Approved | 157 min | Musical, Romance, War
On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.
43. Ben-Hur (1959)
G | 212 min | Adventure, Drama
After a Jewish prince is betrayed and sent into slavery by a Roman friend in 1st-century Jerusalem, he regains his freedom and comes back for revenge.
Votes: 237,943 | Gross: $74.70M
44. Let's Make Love (1960)
Not Rated | 119 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance