Movies That Found Early Success

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In the past, we've talked about history's best-selling books, top rated TV shows, most popular video games, best-selling albums, and the albums that topped the charts the longest.

After reading that The Simpsons notched the seventeenth-best opening day of all time, I was curious about the top sixteen (and subsequent three). Here's the list, courtesy of Box Office Mojo:

1 Spider-Man 3, $59,841,919
2 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, $55,830,600
3 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith, $50,013,859
4 X-Men: The Last Stand, $45,102,265
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, $44,232,338
6 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, $42,910,392
7 Spider-Man 2, $40,442,604
8 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, $40,118,363
9 Spider-Man, $39,406,872
10 Shrek the Third, $38,426,991

11 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, $38,268,295
12 The Matrix Reloaded, $37,508,303
13 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, $34,450,834
14 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, $32,333,203
15 X2: X-Men United, $31,247,979
16 Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, $30,141,471
17 The Simpsons Movie, $30,000,000
18 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, $29,631,453
19 The Da Vinci Code, $28,630,324
20 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, $28,542,349

I took a long lunch on Friday to contribute to that seventeenth-place finish, my second Simpsons-related field trip this month (see Kwik-E-Mart pics here). Actually, I didn't technically contribute, since I cashed in a Fandango gift card from my good friend "“and new father "“ Matt Hall, the pride of Wantage, NJ. For the record, I thoroughly enjoyed the film.

And for all of you asking about inflation-adjusted figures, here's the list of the top twenty highest-grossing movies since 1977, adjusted for inflation, courtesy of The-Numbers.com (total, not just on day one):

1 1977 Star Wars $1,066,519,005
2 1982 ET: The Extra-Terrestrial $880,433,132
3 1997 Titanic $843,845,107
4 1980 Empire Strikes Back, The $632,610,253
5 1983 Return of the Jedi $609,111,073
6 1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark $566,548,217
7 1993 Jurassic Park $565,397,493
8 1999 Star Wars: Phantom Menace $557,978,204
9 1994 Forrest Gump $526,184,163
10 1994 Lion King, The $524,626,088
11 1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind $487,578,476
12 1978 Grease $468,220,626
13 1984 Ghost Busters $465,190,596
14 2004 Shrek 2 $459,891,823
15 2002 Spider-Man $455,909,783
16 1996 Independence Day $453,712,356
17 1990 Home Alone $444,032,137
18 1984 Beverly Hills Cop $441,926,070
19 2006 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest $423,315,810
20 1989 Batman $412,352,748
July 30, 2007 - 3:00am
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