Highest Grossing 1970s Movies

Here is a list of the top 20 box office hits of the 1970s. How many can you name?
U.S. gross - not adjusted for inflation
Quiz by Quizmaster
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Last updated: July 29, 2017
First submittedDecember 23, 2012
Times taken17,807
Rating4.16
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Gross
Summary
Answer
$307 m
Galactic rebels must blow up a gigantic space station
Star Wars
$260 m
Giant shark eats skinny dippers and people in small boats
Jaws
$193 m
Priest must rid a girl of a demonic spirit
The Exorcist
$160 m
Musical kids of the 1950s enjoy dancing and drag racing
Grease
$156 m
Chicago grifters of the 1930s stage an elaborate con
The Sting
$134 m
College boy becomes head of a Mafia crime family
The Godfather
$134 m
Hero must prevent villain from sinking California into the ocean
Superman
$127 m
Trucker must evade cops to deliver Coors beer
Smokey and the Bandit
$120 m
Evil dean wants to disband a rowdy fraternity
Animal House
$117 m
Everyday thug gets a chance to fight the heavyweight champ
Rocky
$116 m
UFOs are abducting people. If only there were some way
to communicate with them ...
Close Encounters of the
Third Kind
$106 m
Couple go through an acrimonious divorce and custody battle
Kramer vs. Kramer
$108 m
Psych ward inmates are tormented by an evil nurse
One Flew Over the
Cuckoo's Nest
$120 m
Old west gunslinger must battle criminals, Klansmen, and Nazis
Blazing Saddles
$116 m
Oh no - the world's tallest building is on fire!
The Towering Inferno
$115 m
Teens cruise the strip in Modesto, California in the early 1960s
American Graffiti
$106 m
For a couple from different class backgrounds, "Love means never
having to say you're sorry"
Love Story
$100 m
Chicago airport deals with a snowstorm and a bomber
Airport
$86 m
Family moves into a house built on an Indian burial ground
The Amityville Horror
$85 m
Boxer gets a rematch against the champ
Rocky II
+1
Level 50
Dec 27, 2012
Good quiz. More please.
+3
Level 40
Dec 28, 2012
Gee that Amity was a dangerous place in the 70s, huh? :) Nice quiz!
+1
Level 81
Apr 20, 2019
More like Enmityville.
+1
Level 32
Aug 14, 2013
I only got 5... But then again, I was born in 1997.

+2
Level 73
Sep 1, 2017
I was born nearly 50 years earlier and I didn't do much better.
+2
Level 86
Nov 28, 2013
Blazing Saddles is my favorite comedy ever... and I missed it.
+1
Level 60
Mar 7, 2017
I don't remember Klansmen and Nazis in Blazing Saddles. Sure, there were racists galore and people who displayed those tendencies, but no actual Klansmen and Nazis. Or has it been too long since I've seen the movie?
+1
Level 60
Mar 7, 2017
Obviously, that's the only one I missed. P.S. No Klansmen or Nazis.
+4
Level 83
Mar 27, 2017
Oh, come on. A plot point was the heroes disguised under Klan sheets. And Nazis were part of the giant posse called up to defeat them.
+1
Level 79
Jul 29, 2017
One of two I missed - personally thought there could have been a much better clue, this clue missed the whole point of the film. Perhaps something like "Extremely racially-prejudiced town unknowingly hires African-American sheriff" or even simply describe the classic scene, "Large oaf punches out his horse for parking in a red zone."
+3
Level 76
Jul 29, 2017
There is no Mel Brooks film ever which doesn't contain Nazis
+1
Level 68
Jul 29, 2017
Until my answer turned out to be correct, I was "primed" to enter comment that the clue "also" fit "blazing Saddles"!
+2
Level 53
Jul 31, 2017
Yeah, remember when the sheriff had to draw the Klansmen's attention by leaning out and shouting, "Hey, where the white women at?"
+1
Level 45
Oct 25, 2017
they were part of Lamars mob near the end there were klansmen and Nazis queuing up to join
+1
Level 78
Nov 21, 2017
I was thinking the exact same thing as ander217, though given how blatantly (and quite deliberately) politically incorrect the movie was, I wouldn't be quite so delicate with the clue. Referring to Cleavon Little's character as "African-American" seems utterly ridiculous. Anyone who would take offense at him being referred to as "black" is just looking for an excuse to take offense.

I personally think we should just start referring to each other as beige and brown. Then again, "Beige Supremacy" and "Brown Power" just sound kind of silly. Which might actually be the whole point.

+2
Level 55
Jul 29, 2017
It's "say you're sorry", not "say your sorry".
+1
Level 65
Jul 29, 2017
Thank you.
+1
Level ∞
Jul 29, 2017
Fixed
+1
Level 79
Jul 29, 2017
Can't believe I missed Superman. I was thinking it must have been one of the Bond films I hadn't seen and was typing every one I could think of.
+1
Level 62
Sep 25, 2019
Bond and Grace Jones was what immediately sprung to mind
+1
Level 71
Jul 20, 2020
That one was from 1985 though.
+1
Level 73
Jul 19, 2020
Bond never did much for the US...
+6
Level 66
Jul 29, 2017
I kept thinking Poltergeist instead of Amityville.
+1
Level 80
Jul 29, 2017
Same story, different decade.
+2
Level 83
Jul 29, 2017
Funny how that's also the first thing that popped into my head.
+1
Level 45
Oct 25, 2017
me too even though I knew that was an 80s movie
+1
Level 69
Jul 29, 2017
Only missed Blazing Saddles. The clue does not make one think comedy.
+3
Level 68
Nov 9, 2018
I don't know, an old west gunslinger fighting Nazis probably means something funny's going on.
+1
Level 59
Aug 8, 2017
Cant remember there being an indian burial ground in Amityville Horror (some demon in the basement whispering to do things)
+1
Level 45
Oct 25, 2017
itsits a shinnycock (native american tribe)burial ground also where a satan worshipper had lived
+1
Level 37
Apr 9, 2018
I remember seeing Burt Reynolds in a souped-up car in "Smokey and the Bandit", not a truck.
+1
Level 71
Nov 25, 2018
That's because Reynolds was in the souped-up car, but Reed was in the semi.
+1
Level 79
Jul 20, 2020
Yep, it was Jerry who was "east bound and down, loaded up and truckin'."
+1
Level 50
Apr 10, 2018
Love it!
+1
Level 81
Oct 28, 2018
Lotta great movies on this list. If I had to pick a favorite, probably Animal House.
+1
Level 67
May 3, 2019
I wish I had lived through the decade in which Animal House and Blazing Saddles could be the 9th and 14th highest grossing movies.
+1
Level 65
Jun 15, 2019
Missed one, and would have gotten that one too had the hint been something like "woman exclaims that it is twoo, it is really twoo." Or something about sitting around eating backed beans.
+1
Level 82
Sep 1, 2019
I just put inferno, d'oh
+1
Level 62
Sep 25, 2019
You were not alone.
+1
Level 73
Jul 19, 2020
I put Tower Inferno. Double d'oh.
+1
Level 62
Sep 25, 2019
Footloose had car racing too.I couldn't remember what era it was argh. I'd forgotten the car race in Grease; how, I have no idea.
+1
Level 45
May 22, 2020
How did I miss Grease and Sting, I mean I guess I've never seen most of these only heard of them
+1
Level 45
May 22, 2020
I literally just guessed "airport"
+1
Level 36
Jun 17, 2020
The Amityville Horror is not about the family in the indian burial ground house, that's Poltergeist.
+1
Level 83
Jul 19, 2020
They both have the same premise, but they take different approaches.
+1
Level 65
Jul 19, 2020
The 70s and 90s were the last really great decades for movies. It's incredible that domestic dramas like Love Story and Kramer vs. Kramer made the list. Movies like that would be lucky to make it to #1 for a weekend in this age. It's also weird to consider that box office gross probably doesn't mean much anymore, when it's becoming more common for major movies to go right to streaming. The Irishman, Scorsese's most hyped movie in decades, brought in $8 million at the box office. Indie movies make more than that. I revived my Netflix subscription just to watch it, of course, but there's no way to measure that.
+1
Level 45
Jul 19, 2020
The Irishman had a limited release in a few theaters, which is why it grossed a very low amount.
+1
Level 73
Jul 19, 2020
Seems a bit pointless to keep Rocky II on the list. It's impossible no to get if you get the first one. And since it's last on the list, it could be removed without messing the "Highest grossing" order.
+1
Level 68
Jul 19, 2020
But 20 is such a nice, round number.
+2
Level 79
Jul 20, 2020
Although I loved the book and movie, Love Story, I remember seeing and hearing Ryan O'Neal's line, "Love means never having to say you're sorry," everywhere until I wanted to scream. So I laughed out loud while watching What's Up Doc when Streisand said it and O'Neal gave her a long look and then said, "That's the dumbest thing I ever heard." I think everyone in the theater cheered.
+1
Level 79
Jul 20, 2020
When American Graffiti came out, we were living in a large college town and it played in the theater there for months. Every time friends came to visit us, they would always want to go see it. My husband and I loved the movie, but we saw it so many times we would sit in the theater and silently mouth the dialogue to each other. We had the entire film memorized. I think I could still recite most of the dialogue.
+1
Level 55
Jul 21, 2020
Blazing Saddles is my favorite movie from my favorite comedic genius.
+1
Level 57
Jul 21, 2020
How is Saturday Night Fever not in the top 20? Wow. Surprised by that. I guess only the soundtrack hit it big??
+1
Level 23
Aug 14, 2020
Lol. Calling the death Star a space station. Well it is a space station but it can blow up a planet.