The highest-grossing movies of the 1990s still live loudly today. The decade kicked off the “Star Wars” prequels, produced beloved kids movies like “Lion King” and “Home Alone,” and featured a little-known movie called “Titanic” that held onto the top box office record of all time for a spell.
You don’t have to be a '90s kid to feel a pang of nostalgia and adoration for the films of that era (but it does help). According to Screen Rant, using data from Box Office Mojo on original domestic gross (without counting releases or global sales), here are the biggest box office winners of the 1990s.
10 Toy Story 2: $245 million
The original “Toy Story” became an instant classic when it hit theaters in 1995, and it did pretty well for itself with a domestic gross of $191 million. That wasn’t enough to crack the top 10 of the decade, but the sequel in 1999 did gross enough to push it onto the list.
9 Men in Black: $250 million
We’ll resist the urge to make a “here come the men in black” joke, and instead say that if you don’t remember MIB being a huge hit then someone must have flashy-thinged you. Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones killed it, and some big alien bugs, in their first outing, netting a quarter of a billion.
8 Home Alone: $285 million
With blowtorches and swinging paint cans to the face, Macaulay Culkin did a number on Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern (probably more than the villains could have survived). But the film did even bigger damage to the movie market, smashing into eighth place with $285 million in gross.
7 The Sixth Sense: $293 million
If you’ve somehow made it 21 years since the 1999 premiere of “The Sixth Sense” without having the twist ruined for you, please go watch it and lift the burden of keeping the secret off the rest of society. It’s M. Night Shyamalan at his peak, for which audiences paid nearly $300 million.
6 Independence Day: $306 million
“Independence Day” hits TVs every July, but in its original run in theaters it netted over $300 million. Will Smith (in his second appearance on this list), along with a who’s who of ‘90s celebrities, lights up the screen in an intergalactic action flick.
5 The Lion King: $312 million
Long before Disney was rebooting their classic cartoons in live action, “The Lion King” became the studio’s biggest film of the 1990s, beating other classics like “Aladdin” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
4 Forrest Gump: $329 million
It won Best Picture at the 67th Academy Awards, so it’s no surprise “Forrest Gump” snatched up lots of ticket sales as well. The film covers decades of American history, but it’s a quintessential ‘90s movie.
3 Jurassic Park: $357 million
Dinosaurs were already cool, but they became even more popular with the release of “Jurassic Park” in 1993. The Steven Spielberg classic brought the extinct giants to life for film audiences, inspiring wonder, and terror, for a generation.
2 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace: $431 million
Say what you will about the “Star Wars” prequels, but “Episode I” put butts in the seats of theaters across America when it was released in 1999. Despite Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd’s child acting, and Natalie Portman’s unfortunate makeup, the movie still took viewers to a galaxy far, far away -- and made bank along the way.
1 Titanic: $600 million
The whale in the room, “Titanic” grossed an absurd $600 million on its release in 1997. Everyone saw it. Everyone saw it twice. Everyone parodied the iconic scene on the prow of the ship. The movie set the record for global gross the following year, and held onto it until James Cameron beat his own record with “Avatar” in 2009.