Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Top Ten Box Office Hits of 1988
The year was 1988.
In World News: The US and Canada reached a free trade agreement, Benazir Bhutto became the first female Prime Minister chosen to lead Pakistan, and a Pan-Am 747 exploded from a terrorist bomb, crashing in Lockerbie, Scotland and killing all 259 aboard as well as 11 on the ground.
In US News: Robert C. McFarlane (former National Security Adviser) pled guilty in the Iran-Contra case, a US navy ship shot down an Iranian airliner after accidentally mistaking it for a jet fighter, the Democratic Convention nominated Gov. Michael Dukakis for President of the United States, the Republican Convention nominated George Bush for President of the US, and the Republicans swept up 40 states in the election.
In Sports News: The Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos 42-10 in the Super Bowl, the LA Dodgers defeated the Oakland A's 4 games to 1 in the World Series, and the LA Lakers won 4 games to 3 against the Detroit Pistons to win the NBA Championship (was a good year for LA).
In Other News: 98% of homes across the US had at least one television set, CDs outsold vinyl records for the first time, and Ted Turner started the Ted Turner Network (TNT) and bought MGM's Film Library.
At the theaters, there were the releases of such movie hits as "The Last Temptation of Christ", "U2: Rattle and Hum", "Bloodsport", "Mystic Pizza", "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka", "Stand and Deliver", "Big Top Pee-Wee", "Masquerade", "Bright Lights, Big City", "Johnny Be Good", "The Presidio", "License to Drive", "Gorillas in the Mist", "Alien Nation", "Funny Farm", "The Accused", "Child's Play", "Mississippi Burning", "Red Heat", "The Dead Pool", "Midnight Run", "Big Business", "Colors", "The Land Before Time", "Bull Durham", "Beaches", "Willow", "A Fish Called Wanda", and "Working Girl".
That being said, what do you think the Top Ten Box Office Hits of 1988 were? Think real hard. Okay, that's enough. Simply follow the countdown and see for yourself...
A couple of recently deceased ghosts contract the services of a "bio-exorcist" in order to remove the obnoxious new owners of their house. Directed by Tim Burton (this being his second directorial achievement in the feature film industry, the first was "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure"), "Beetlejuice" won its only Oscar nomination for Best Makeup. It was also nominated for two BAFTAs (yet didn't win -- Best Makeup and Best Special Effects), but was snubbed at the Golden Globes. This film starred Michael Keaton, Geena Davis, Alec Baldwin, Annie McEnroe, Maurice Page, Catherine O'Hara, Jeffrey Jones, and Winona Ryder. A comedy, this film grossed over $73.7 million at the Box Office.
A talented New York bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love. It was probably the name Tom Cruise that drew the crowds in to see this film, but the film itself didn't fair well when it came to awards. It wasn't nominated for any Academy Awards nor any BAFTAs. The song in the film "Kokomo" sung by the Beach Boys was nominated for a Golden Globe, but lost. It was, however, nominated for 4 Razzies (quite the opposite of the Oscars). Tom Cruise got a nomination for Worst Actor and the film's director Roger Donaldson was nominated as well. "Cocktail" did win the Razzie awards for Worst Screenplay and (*gasp!*) Worst Picture of the year. The film starred Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, and Elisabeth Shue. At the Box Office, it took in over $78.2 million.
Incompetent cop Frank Drebin has to foil an attempt to assassinate Queen Elizabeth II. This film didn't gain any award nominations, but at least it wasn't nominated for any Razzies, either. A comedy favorite among many, "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" starred Leslie Nielsen, Priscilla Presley, Ricardo Montalban, George Kennedy, and O. J. Simpson. At the Box Office, it laughed in over $78.7 million.
John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles. Directed by John McTiernan, "Die Hard" was nominated for four Academy Awards for its Sound and Special Effects. The first of its series, the film starred Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Reginald Vel Johnson, and Paul Gleason. It yippee-ki-yay'd its way to over $83 million at the Box Office.
Mick and Sue continue where they left off in "'Crocodile' Dundee". New York drug lords are pursuing Sue for having solid evidence against them for murder. For her safety, Mick takes her back to Australia. When the gangsters follow them, Mick demonstrates his outback skills once more. The sequel to its 1986 blockbuster hit, "Crocodile Dundee II" had Paul Hogan, Linda Kozlowski, and John Meillon reprising their roles. At the Box Office, it shot past its competition, earning over $109.3 million.
A physically perfect but innocent man goes in search of his long-lost twin brother, who is a short small-time crook. Ivan Reitman directed Arnold Swarzenegger and Danny DeVito in this comedy hit. If you're a fan of this film, you'll be glad to know Ivan has recently announced that he is in production mode for a sequel to this film called "Triplets" which will most likely co-star Eddie Murphy as the third sibling. "Twins" laughed in over $111.9 million at the Box Office.
4.When a boy wishes to be big at a magic wish machine, he wakes up the next morning and finds himself in an adult body literally overnight. Directed by Penny Marshall (this was the second film she directed; her first was "Jumpin' Jack Flash" in 1986 starring Whoopi Goldberg), "Big" was nominated for two Academy Awards including Best Original Screenplay and Best Actor (Tom Hanks). At the Golden Globes, it was nominated for Best Picture (yet lost), but then Tom Hanks won the award for his achievement in this film. The film starred Tom Hanks, Elizabeth Perkins, Robert Loggia, and John Heard. At the Box Office, it grew over $114.9 million.
It is the 21st birthday of Prince Akeem of Zamunda and, as per custom,... he is to marry a woman he never saw before? No. The prince breaks with tradition and travels to America to look for the love of his life. Where does one go to find a future queen? Why... Queens, New York, of course! Directed by John Landis, "Coming to America" was twice nominated for an Oscar for it Costume Design and Makeup. The film starred Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall (both playing multiple roles) and co-starred James Earl Jones, John Amos, Madge Sinclair, Shari Headley, and Eriq La Salle. It found its way past the #4 spot to #3, having grossed over $128.1 million at the Box Office.
A toon hating detective is a cartoon rabbit's only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" earned seven Academy Award Nominations, wining four of them for Best Sound Effects, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing, and it also won a Special Achievement Award for its Animation Direction and Creation of the Cartoon Characters (thanks to Richard Williams). At the BAFTAs it was nominated for five awards (winning for Best Special Effects) and it was nominated for two Golden Globes: Best Picture in the Comedy/Musical category and Best Actor (Bob Hoskins). The film starred Bob Hoskins, Chrisopher Lloyd, and Joanna Cassidy, and gave us the talented voices of Charles Fleischer and Kathleen Turner (though she was uncredited in the film). At the Box Office, it took in over $156.4 million.
Charles Sanford "Charlie" Babbit is a self-centered Los Angeles-based automobile dealer/hustler/bookie who is at war with his own life. On a particular day, Charlie learns that his estranged father died and left him from his last will and testament a huge bed of roses and a car while the remainder will of $3 Million went into a trust fund to be distributed to someone. That "someone" is Raymond, Charlie's unknown brother, an autistic savant who lives in a world of his own. Angry, Charlie then kidnaps Raymond and decides to take him on a lust for life trip to the west coast as a threat to get the $3 Million inheritance. Directed by Barry Levinson, "Rain Man" was nominated for an outstanding eight Oscars and won four: Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor (Dustin Hoffman), Best Director, and Best Picture. The film was nominated for three BAFTAs and four Golden Globes of which it won two: Best Actor (again, Dustin Hoffman) and Best Picture. The film starred Dustin Hoffman, Tom Cruise (who, thankfully, was not nominated for a Razzie in this picture), and Valeria Golino. A charming, touching, and often humorous film, it earned over $172.8 million at the Box Office.
And now you know.
1988 was a good year for Paramount Pictures as it had three films in the Top Ten: "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!", "Crocodile Dundee II", and "Coming to America". Buena Vista also had two in the Top Ten: "Cocktail" and "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?". But it was MGM who would top them all with "Rain Man". MGM needed this, too, as it hadn't had a #1 hit at the Box Office since "Rocky" in 1976 (which also won an Oscar for Best Picture). One thing about MGM and "Rain Man", however, is that "Rain Man" was MGM's second highest grossing picture in its studio's history. Their number one highest grossing hit was "Gone with the Wind" in 1939.
Many more blogs on 80s movies will come eventually. You might find blogs on some of your favorites located in the column to the right of this page.
Until next time... Cheers!