What is the highest grossing movie adjusted for inflation?

The biggest film in American history isn’t Avatar or Avengers: Endgame.

Instead, the domestic box office champ for over eighty years running is the 1939 Civil War saga Gone with the Wind.

Starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Gone with the Wind was released when the Civil War was still within living memory.

Helped a by a series of theatrical re-releases when television sets were uncommon in American households, the historical epic raked in over $1.85 billion in modern-day numbers. By comparison, Avatar’s inflation-adjusted total tops out around $890 million, landing James Cameron’s space opera at number 15 on the all-time North American list. Trailing right behind at number 16 is Avengers: Endgame with over $871 million.

Titanic, another James Cameron blockbuster, is the most recent movie to crack the top ten, but even the ’90s juggernaut couldn’t reach the podium, placing fifth overall with $1.24 billion in ticket sales.

1Gone with the Wind (1939)$1.85 billion
2Star Wars (1977)$1.62 billion
3The Sound of Music (1965)$1.30 billion
4E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)$1.29 billion
5Titanic (1997)$1.24 billion
6The Ten Commandments (1956)$1.19 billion
7Jaws (1975)$1.17 billion
8Doctor Zhivago (1965)$1.13 billion
9The Exorcist (1973) $1.01 billion
10Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)$997 million


“Top Lifetime Adjusted Grosses.” Box Office Mojo. Accessed March 15, 2022. https://www.boxofficemojo.com/chart/top_lifetime_gross_adjusted/?adjust_gross_to=2019.