At the Amazing 1984 Box Office, Movies Like ‘Ghostbusters’ and ‘Gremlins’ Grew into Blockbusters

Not considered a seminal year in Hollywood history, 1984 delivered an amazing number of iconic American films.

Here’s a sampling of movies that still resonate today: “Beverly Hills Cop,” “The Karate Kid,” “Footloose,” “Purple Rain,” “The Terminator,” “Scarface,” “Romancing the Stone,” “Police Academy,” “This Is Spinal Tap,” “Stop Making Sense,” “Stranger Than Paradise,” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street.”Four 1984 releases ended up with domestic grosses above $400 million (adjusted to 2020 values).

Three led the weekend that year.

The top two, “Ghostbusters” and “Gremlins,” in an unusual event, opened in wide release on the same day.The third-ranked film, in its third week and after two weeks in the top spot, was “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.” Fourth in its second week was “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.” “The Karate Kid” opened two weeks later.

Five of 1984’s eight biggest hits opened within less than a month.

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