These Movies Had the Most Weekends at Number One at the Box Office

Since the creation of film and cinema, movies have had a hold over humankind unlike any other art form. The film industry became a mass hub of entertainment and revenue by the late 1930s, and it was around this same time that a film’s earnings were taken into consideration as a marker of success. Over the span of time, a blockbuster film’s success would be determined on how it did at the box office. The term “box office” has roots in the Elizabethan era of theater where the wealthy would rent out private boxes for a play, and the office is where the physical tickets were sold. Now, the box office can be referred to as loosely as one would refer to the “cloud” and exists as an entity all on its own.


Statistically, a trip to the theater was at its peak in the late 1930s and has been on a steady decline ever since until eventually reaching a steady plateau from the late 60s to now. In recent years, theaters have seen a huge change in the number of viewers coming out for weekend releases. Now, with direct-to-stream releases, people gain the convenience of not having to leave their home to watch a movie. Yet, true fans of theater popcorn and the warm glow of the big screen stay tried and true to their local movie spots. It would be fair to assume that direct-to-stream has had an effect on today’s box office numbers, but movies like Scream 2022 and Spider-Man: No Way Home – the latter of which surpassed $ 1 billion in box office sales – have pushed to prove that movie goers still exist and will come out for their favorite franchises. Here’s a look at movies that have had the most weekends at number one at the box office.

Related: Here’s Why ET is Still One of Steven Spielberg’s Best Movies Of All Time

ET and Gerdy saying goodbye
Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 classic ET is a story about an alien who gets left behind on Earth and befriends a young boy desperate to help him get back to his family in space. According to Spielberg, via Screen Rantthe idea for ET came to him after watching a sci-fi movie called Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and the extra-terrestrial’s love for candy was all thanks to an M & M’s advertisement during a commercial break.

The film was released in June 1982, and grossed a total of approximately $ 792.9 million dollars at the box office. In the first weekend alone, ET made back its production budget and held the number one spot for 16 consecutive weekends. To this day, Spielberg’s child-friendly sci-fi holds the number one ranking for most weekends at number one nearly 40 years after the initial release date. However, ET‘s financial success is not the reason that Spielberg holds the film so close to his heart. The director claims that the film is his love letter to childhood, and what it is like to be a kid.


Jack and Rose on the Titanic
Paramount Pictures

James Cameron’s drama, Titanic ranks number three on the list of top-grossing movies of all time. The film is based on the real-life disaster that occurred in 1912, when the RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic Ocean after striking an iceberg. At the time, the film was considered the most expensive movie ever made. Most of the underwater footage used in the film is completely real, and was actual footage captured of the Titanic underwater. Cameron had a reconstructed replica of the Titanic made to make the film as authentic as possible, and with the help of computer enhanced imagery, he was able to pull it off. Even over 20 years later, Titanic remains a visual masterpiece.

The film grossed a total of $ 2.202 billion at the box office and ranks number two for most consecutive weekends at number one. Titanic held the number one spot for a total of 15 weekends, just one shy of ET Despite Titanic’s three-hour and 15-minute run time, and Rose’s infamous door betrayal, it remains to be a timeless classic.

Beverly Hills Cop

Paramount Pictures

Released in 1984, Beverly Hills Cop is a buddy-cop action comedy starring Eddie Murphy as Axel Foley, a Detroit cop who travels to Beverly Hills in order to solve the murder of his best friend. Beverly Hills Cop shot Murphy to super-stardom. At the time, the actor had already proven his comedic capabilities in his relatively short career on Saturday Night Live. With an Oscar nomination for Best Original Screenplay and $ 234 million at the North American domestic box office, Beverly Hills Cop was a success, spending 14 consecutive weekends at number one. The film went on to spawn an entire franchise that included two sequels: Beverly Hills Cop II in 1987 and Beverly Hills Cop III in 1994, with a fourth movie reportedly in the workd.

Related: Everything We Know About Beverly Hills Cop 4

Home Alone

Kevin in the grocery store
20th Century Studios

If you’ve ever seen a John Hughes movie, you’d be surprised to find that 1990’s Home Alone was created by Hughes himself. On the surface level, the annual Christmas must-watch is a story about a boy named Kevin who is so sick of his family that he wishes they would disappear, but when they accidentally leave him behind on their Christmas trip to Paris, he wishes differently . At its very heart, Home Alone is a core representation of a classic Hughes comedy. It encompasses slapstick humor, witty dialogue, and a young protagonist attempting to overcome the trails and tribulations of being a kid, with the added element of defending his home.

Home Alone was released in November 1990, making it one of the early Christmas releases for that year. In its opening weekend it grossed approximately $ 17 million dollars at the box office, and remained number one for 12 consecutive weekends, which carried on through the Christmas season. The film received the green light for a sequel that was released in 1992 which grossed double its predecessor in its opening weekend release.

Back to the Future

Marty after traveling back in time
Universal Pictures

Back to the Future follows the story of Marty McFly, a young slacker who finds himself transported back in time when he meets the teenage version of his parents. After interfering with his mother and father’s first encounter, Marty must work to get his parents to fall in love before risking the very future in which he exists. Back to the Future is a classic tale of messing with the space-time continuum and is packed with fun 80s quirks.

You can find Back to the Future on almost every movie lover’s must watch list. It is fun, filled with adventure, and has the heart of Spielberg sprinkled throughout. The time travel classic sits at number five in the top-five ranking of films with the most weekends at number one. In 1985, Back to the Future held number one at the box office for 11 consecutive weekends. It is no doubt that the quirky, adventure-comedy will hold a spot as a timeless classic and will stand the tests of time.


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