When looking at a list of the highest-grossing films of all time, you might notice that there’s a disproportional amount of films that come from the past two decades. In fact, when it comes to the ten top grossing films of all time worldwide, only one of those films — 1997′s Titanic – has a release date before 2000.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that all the biggest blockbusters have come from recent years. Financially speaking, it just means that a film’s box office gross in actuals, whether domestic or worldwide, cannot be accurately compared to past films because of inflation. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways to get a ballpark estimate of how films of the past would compare to modern films, and box office aggregate website Box Office Mojo is just one of many sources to find adjusted box office estimates.
“Adjusting for ticket price inflation is not an exact science and should be used to give you a general idea of what a movie might have made if released in a different year, assuming it sold the same number of tickets,” Box Office Mojo explains. “Still, this method best compares ‘apples to apples’ when examining the history of box office earnings.” With that in mind, here is a list of the eight top grossing films of all time at the domestic box office when adjusted for inflation — all of which come before the year 2000.