Sunday, September 1, 2013

Top Ten Box Office Hits of 1984

The year was 1984.
In World News: Syria freed captured US Navy pilot Lieutenant Robert C. Goodman, Jr., the US and the Vatican exchanged diplomats after a 116-year hiatus, president Reagan ordered US marines withdrawn from the Beirut International Peacekeeping Force, the Soviet Union withdrew from the summer Olympic games in the US, and Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by two Sikh bodyguards.
In US news: Congress rebuked President Reagan on use of federal funds for mining Nicaraguan harbors, the 39th Democratic National Convention nominated Walter F. Mondale and Geraldine Ferraro for the presidential election, the 33rd Republican National Convention re-elected President Reagan and Vice President Bush for President, and people of the US re-elected President Ronald Reagan as their president with a majority vote of 59%
In other news: The L.A. Raiders defeated Washington 38-9 at the Super Bowl, Detroit defeated San Diego 4 games to 1 in the World Series, Boston defeated the L.A. Lakers 4 games to 3 in the NBA Championship, "The Cosby Show" debuted on NBC, the Supreme Court ruled that taping television shows at home on VCRs did not violate the copyright law, and Band Aid released "Do They Know It's Christmas" with the proceeds of the single going to feed the starving in Africa.
In the movie theaters we saw the release of  "1984", "Bolero", "The Wild Life", "Hard to Hold", "Dreamscape", "Ice Pirates", "Night of the Comet", "Children of the Corn", "The Neverending Story", "Top Secret!", "Rhinestone", "Against All Odds", "Sixteen Candles", "A Nightmare on Elm Street", "The Last Starfighter", "Starman", "Dune", "The Terminator", "Bachelor Party", "Revenge of the Nerds", "The Natural", the Academy Award winning film, "Amadeus", and "Purple Rain".
But what was the #1 film of 1984?  Let's do a countdown of the Top Ten Box Office Hits of 1984 and see...
A man is reunited with a mermaid who saves him from drowning as a boy and falls in love not knowing who/what she is.  Directed by Ron Howard, "Splash" was Oscar nominated for Best Original Screenplay and also Golden Globe nominated for Best Picture in the Comedy/Musical category.  The film stars are Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, and John Candy.  At the Box Office, it splashed in over $69.8 million.
Admiral Kirk and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis planet to recover Spock's body.  Directed by Leonard Nimoy himself (Spock), "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" saw the return of William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy (of course), DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, Walter Koenig, George Takei, and Nichelle Nichols.  The film fell slightly behind "Romancing the Stone" at the Box Office with the total of $76,471,046.
Joan Wilder, a mousy romance novelist, receives a treasure map in the mail from her recently murdered brother-in-law. Meanwhile, her sister Elaine is kidnapped in Colombia and the two criminals responsible demand that she travel to Colombia to exchange the map for her sister. There, she meets an irreverent soldier-of-fortune named Jack Colton who agrees to bring her back to civilization.  Directed by Robert Zemeckis, "Romancing the Stone" was Oscar nominated for Best Film Editing and won the Golden Globe for Best Film in the Comedy/Musical category.  The film stars are Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Zack Norman, and Alfonso Arau.  At the Box Office it romanced its way past "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock" and brought in $76,572,238.
A city teenager moves to a small town where rock music and dancing have been banned, and his rebellious spirit shakes up the populace.  Directed by Herbert Ross, "Footloose" was Oscar nominated for two of its songs: The title track "Footloose" sung by Kenny Loggins and "Let's Hear It for the Boy" sung by Denise Williams.  The film stars are Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer (this was her feature film debut), John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Chris Penn, and Sarah Jessica Parker.  With a dynamic soundtrack, people flocked to the Box Office and helped the movie gross over $80 million.
New rules enforced by the Lady Mayoress mean that sex, weight, height and intelligence need no longer be a factor for joining the Police Force. This opens the floodgates for anyone to enter the Police Academy, much to the chagrin of the instructors. Not everyone is there through choice, though. Social misfit Mahoney has been forced to sign up as the only alternative to a jail sentence and it doesn't take long before he falls foul of the boorish Lieutenant Harris.  Directed by Hugh Wilson, "Police Academy" stars were Steve Guttenberg, Kim Cattrall, G.W. Bailey, Bubba Smith, Donovan Scott, and George Gaynes.  At the Box Office, the film grossed over $81.1 million.
A handyman/martial arts master agrees to teach a bullied boy karate and shows him that there is more to the martial art than fighting.  Directed by John G. Avildsen, "The Karate Kid" received a Best Actor Oscar nomination as well as a Golden Globe nomination for Pat Morita.  The film also starred Ralph Macchio, Elisabeth Shue, and William Zabka (though he had an uncredited part in the 1983 film "Valley Girl", this film is considered his film debut).  At the Box Office, the film kicked up more than $90.8 million.
A boy inadvertantly breaks 3 important rules concerning his new pet and unleashes a horde of malevolently mischievous monsters on a small town.  Directed by Joe Dante who had previously directed "Piranha" (1978) and "The Howling" (1981), "Gremlins" starred Zach Galligan (this was his feature film debut), Phoebe Cates, and Hoyt Axton.  With humor and a few "Awwww" moments from audiences around the world, this film did incredibly better than its competition as it grossed over $148.1 million.
After arriving in India, Indiana Jones is asked by a desperate village to find a mystical stone. He agrees, and stumbles upon a secret cult plotting a terrible plan in the catacombs of an ancient palace.  Directed by Steven Spielberg, "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" won an Academy Award as well as a BAFTA for its Visual Effects.  Harrison Ford reprised his role as Indiana Jones and also starred Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan (his film debut), Amrish Puri, and co-starred Roshan Seth.  At the Box Office, it grossed over $179.8 million.
Three odd-ball scientists get kicked out of their cushy positions at a university in New York City where they studied the occult. They decide to set up shop in an old firehouse and become Ghostbusters, trapping pesky ghosts, spirits, haunts, and poltergeists for money. They wise-crack their way through the city, and stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, one which will release untold evil upon the city.  Directed by Ivan Reitman, "Ghostbusters" was nominated for two Academy Awards for Best Effects and Best Original Song (theme song sung by Ray Parker, Jr. for which he won a a BAFTA).  The film starred Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, and Harold Ramis and co-starred Rick Moranis, Annie Potts, William Atherton, and Ernie Hudson.  At the Box Office it zapped up an astonishing $229.2 million.
A freewheeling Detroit cop pursuing a murder investigation finds himself dealing with the very different culture of Beverly Hills.  Directed by Martin Brest, "Beverly Hills Cop" was nominated an Academy Award for its Original Screenplay.  It was also nominated a BAFTA for its musical score by Harold Faltermeyer, and two more Golden Globe nominations for Best Performance from an Actor by Eddie Murphy and Best Motion Picture in the comedy/musical category.  A thrill ride full of humor and action, it starred Eddie Murphy, Judge Reinhold, John Ashton, Lisa Eilbacher, Ronny Cox, and Steven Berkoff.  At the Box Office, it shot in over $234.7 million.
And now you know.
1984 was a good year for Paramount as four of the Top Ten Box Office Hits were theirs: "Star Trek III: The Search for Spock", "Footloose", "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom", and "Beverly Hills Cop".  Speaking of Indiana Jones, here's a bit of news for you fans out there that you might be interested in: It looks like Harrison Ford will be reprising his role as Indiana Jones as a fifth film has been announced (no release date is known at this time).
I've already blogged behind-the-scenes information on the top three films of 1984 as well as the 1984 release of "Sixteen Candles".  You can find them on the column to the right of this page.  Other big hits of 1984 will follow eventually.  Of that you can be assured.
Until next time... Cheers!

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