Worldwide icon-chevron-right Europe icon-chevron-right United Kingdom icon-chevron-right England icon-chevron-right London icon-chevron-right The ten biggest sci-fi movies of all time

The ten biggest sci-fi movies of all time

Which sci-fi films drew the biggest cinema audiences? Here’s our rundown of the biggest, most blockbusting sci-fi extravaganzas – and what else you could have bought for their budget

Ghostbusters (1984)
1/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$238,632,124 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$563,015,700 How much did it cost to make?$30,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?12 million cinema tickets (they cost $2.50). Read more
The Dark Knight (2008)
2/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$534,858,444 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$592,664,700 How much did it cost to make?$185,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?Almost four brand-new private jets. Read more
The Avengers (2012)
3/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$623,357,910 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$611,075,000 How much did it cost to make?$220,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?You could have bankrolled 15% of the cost of the 2012 Olympics. Read more
The Phantom Menace (1999)
4/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$474,544,677 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$718,884,100 How much did it cost to make?$115,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?76,666 new Apple iMac computers at $1,500 each. Read more
Jurassic Park (1993)
5/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$402,453,882 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$731,698,800 How much did it cost to make?$63,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?2,284 movies on the scale of US indie ‘Clerks’, made the same year for $27,575. Read more
Return of the Jedi (1983)
6/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$309,306,177 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$748,712,900 How much did it cost to make?$32,500,000 What else could you have bought for that?54,621 Commodore 64 computers at $595 each. Read more
Avatar (2009)
7/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$760,507,625 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$774,151,900 How much did it cost to make?$237,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?286 average homes in Manhattan. Read more
The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
8/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$290,475,067 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$781,517,900 How much did it cost to make?$18,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?326 average homes in London. Read more
ET (1982)
9/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$435,110,554 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$1,129,160,500 How much did it cost to make?$10,500,000 What else could you have bought for that?420 brand new DeLoreans (the car from ‘Back to the Future’). Read more
Star Wars (1977)
10/10
How much did it take in US cinemas at the time?$460,998,007 How much is that at 2014’s ticket prices?$1,417,832,000 How much did it cost to make?$11,000,000 What else could you have bought for that?733,333 $15 tickets to one of Elvis’s final gigs (he died in August 1977). Read more
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