Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Top 10 Box Office Hits of 1980

In 1980, huge hits at the movie theaters consisted of comedies, music, sequels, and action.  Some were nominated for Oscars and other awards, and some won the prize.  Universal Studios claimed three major smashes, Columbia Pictures claimed two, and Warner Brothers claimed two as well.  In the end, however, it was 20th Century Fox that took the top two spots.

The following list is a countdown of the Top 10 Box Office Hits of 1980 including a bit of synopsis of each as well as their grosses...


"The Blues Brothers" is fun film about Jake Blues, just out from prison, who puts together his old band to save the Catholic home where he and brother Elwood were raised.  This hip flick eventually became a cult classic starring John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd and also featured iconic singing sensations James Brown, Cab Calloway, Ray Charles and Aretha Franklin.  The film grossed over $57.2 million.


In "The Blue Lagoon", two children are shipwrecked on a tropical island in the South Pacific. With no adults to guide them, the two make a simple life together, unaware that sexual maturity will eventually intervene.  This Oscar-nominated film for its spectacular cinematography stars handsome Christopher Atkins and model-turned actress Brooke Shields.  The film grossed over $58.8 million.


In this sequel to the 1977 hit, "Smokey and the Bandit", The Bandit goes on another cross-country run, transporting an elephant from Florida to Texas. And, once again, Sheriff Buford T. Justice is on his tail.  Burt Reynolds, Sally Field, Jackie Gleason, and Jerry Reed reprise their roles.  The film grossed over $66.1 million.

"Coal Miner's Daughter" is based on Loretta Lynn's autobiography.  She was married at 13. She had four kids by the time she was 20. She's been hungry and poor. She's been loved and cheated on. She became a singer because it was the only thing she could do. She became a star because it was the only way she could do it.  This multi-Oscar nominated film including a nod for Best Picture stars Sissy Spacek as Loretta Lynn (she won an Oscar for her performance) and Tommy Lee Jones.  The film grossed over $67.1 million.
Goldie Hawn was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance as "Private Benjamin".  She's a sheltered young high society woman who joins the army on a whim and finds herself in a more difficult situation than she ever expected.  The comedy stars Goldie Hawn, Eileen Brennan (also Oscar-nominated), and co-stars Armand Assante and Robert Webber.  The film grossed over $69.8 million.

Philo takes part in a bare knuckle fight - as he does - to make some more money than he can earn from his car repair business. He decides to retire from fighting, but when the Mafia come along and arrange another fight, he is pushed into it. A motorcycle gang and an orangutan called Clyde all add to the 'fun'.  This sequel to 1978's "Every Which Way But Loose" has Clint Eastwood, Sondra Locke, Geoffrey Lewis, and Ruth Gordon reprising their roles.  The film grossed over $70.6 million.
Still craving for the love of his life, Ted Striker follows Elaine onto the flight that she is working on as a member of the cabin crew. Elaine doesn't want to be with Ted anymore, but when the crew and passengers fall ill from food poisoning, all eyes are on Ted.  "Airplane!" was a huge comedic hit filled with laughs galore, starring Robert Hays, Julie Hagerty (her film debut), Leslie Nielsen, Peter Graves, Lloyd Bridges, and Robert Stack.  The film grossed over $83.4 million.
Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor dress up as woodpeckers and get framed for robbing a bank... and when they discover that prison life is for the birds they go... "Stir Crazy".  This comedy co-stars Georg Stanford-Brown, JoBeth Williams, Barry Corbin, Craig T. Nelson, and Migueal Angel Suarez.  The film grossed $101.3 million.
In "9 to 5", three female employees of a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot find a way to turn the tables on him.  This hilarious female-lead film stars Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, Dolly Parton (in her film debut who also sang and was Oscar-nominated for the theme song), and co-stars Dabney Coleman.  The film grossed over $103.2 million.
After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke.  The "Star Wars" saga continues with Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels, David Prowse, Peter Mayhew, and Kenny Baker reprising their roles.  "The Empire Strikes Back" grossed over $209.3 million.
And now you know.
Interestingly enough, the Oscar winner for Best Film, "Ordinary People" starring Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch, and Timothy Hutton in an Oscar-winning role, just missed the Top 10 list as it came in at #11.
I'll add that I've already blogged about the top four films.  If you haven't already, feel free to check out the blogs... you'll find them listed somewhere on the right of this page.  As for the others, trust me.  I'll blog about them in due time.
If you haven't seen some or all of these fantastic Box Office hits, I highly recommend them.  Maybe even re-visit them in the comfort of your own home, whether alone or with family or friends.  If you have children, perhaps introduce these winners to them as well.


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