Today! Because it’s okay, mom, we’ll check it out –
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Directed by Steven Spielberg (x11)
Starring Henry Thomas (x2), Dee Wallace, Drew Barrymore (x2), Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, C. Thomas Howell, Erika Eleniak (x2), K.C. Martel, Sean Frye
I enjoy box office records, much like some sports purists live and die with baseball statistics. A small group of us have participated in this box office pool for well over a decade, which added a new fun wrinkle to things, but I’ve followed these numbers for a long, long time. The Scranton Times used to run a weekend Top Ten gross section, which was the only way for me to track this until I subscribed to Entertainment Weekly around 1993. And it would be another five or six years until I got full exposure to this data on the internet, in the form of Box Office Mojo, which I would guess is my fourth or fifth most frequently visited website to this day (alongside the Recent Deaths section of Wikipedia, IMDB, Instagram, and maybe Yahoo Sports, in that order). And for all the formative years of my box office interest, E.T. was the top film. From 1983 to 1997, it was the highest grossing movie ever, unadjusted, and is still in the top twenty, as of this writing. Adjusted, it’s the fourth biggest moneymaker ever, only behind Gone With the Wind (a movie so popular it was one of the top five grossing movies of the years 1939, 1940, 1941, 1947, 1954, 1961, 1967, and 1971), Star Wars, and The Sound of Music.