Movies are not only one of the most beloved forms of entertainment, but have also become a major cultural reference point for people around the world. Birthdays are personal reference points, of course – occasions when we reflect on what is going on in our lives and perhaps the world at large as well.
24/7 Tempo combined these two elements to create a list of the most popular films each year between 1915 and 2021, based on reviews and reviews from audiences. Unsurprisingly, the list contains films that are widely considered to be some of the greatest ever made.
The entry for 1941, for example, is “Citizen Kane,” in which director Orson Welles (who also starred in the title role) used innovative storytelling techniques such as flashbacks, multiple narrators, and in-depth cinematography. who have influenced generations of filmmakers. .
From 1942, the most popular film was “Casablanca”, a story of romance and war starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman which is beloved by audiences and critics and has become a cultural touchstone through the generations. . (The most popular movies don’t always get the top prizes. Compare this list with the Best Picture Oscar winners in the year you were born.)
The 1970s ushered in the era of summer blockbusters and they are well represented, including “Jaws” (1975) and the original “Star Wars” (1977). The great films of the 1980s range from adventure stories (“Raiders of the Lost Ark”) to romantic comedies (“Pretty Woman”). Over the past two decades, franchises have become extremely popular, including many offshoots of “Star Wars” as well as episodes of “The Avengers”, “Batman”, “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean”. (These are among Favorite American Movies of All Time.)
Click here to watch the most popular movie in America every year since 1915
To determine the most popular movies each year over the past century, 24/7 Tempo compiled the total number of reviews appearing on Rotten tomatoes, an aggregator of online film and television reviews, and IMDb, an Amazon-owned online movie database, for films released between 1915 and 2021. Data was current as of June 2021. Raw inflation-adjusted box office figures are from Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services. Figures are for world gross, except in a few cases for early films which had negligible international release. We indexed both the number of reviews and the raw numbers, equally weighted, to identify the most popular movie each year.