Top Grossing Movies 1989 – Blockbusters from 1989

Wednesday, July 14, 2010 at 5:09 pm

The top grossing movies 1989 contain dark comedies, Vietnam War tales, and Mel Gibson back before he was absolutely out of control. I’ve listed these 1989 blockbusters from #10 to #1, providing a few opinions and some background information along the way. If you’re unfamiliar with the films of 1989, this list is the place to start.

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The War of the Roses ($161,000,000) – Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner demonstrate the chemistry they exhibited in Romancing the Stone, but this time with a much darker side. Playing a married couple whose relationship has soured over the years, the two resort to increasingly outlandish behavior to get one over on the other. This culminates in an all-out battle for supremacy, while their lawyer (played by Danny DeVito) watches helplessly from outside their barricaded mansion. A delightfully dark comedy for adults.

The Little Mermaid ($184,200,000) – Based on the charming fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen, The Little Mermaid tells the story of Ariel, a 16-year-old mermaid princess who falls for a handsome prince from the surface world. Can true love conquer all, or will the schemes of Ursula the sea witch prove victorious? Filled with wonderful tunes and spot-on voice acting, the movie is generally credited with beginning what’s known as the Disney Renaissance.

Ghostbusters II ($215,400,000) – Bill Murray and the rest of the ghostbusting gang are back in this 1989 hit. Sigourney Weaver also returns as Dana Barrett, although she and Peter Venkman (Murray) have split up since the end of the previous film. When her young son becomes the center of a plot by a spirit from the 17th century, she must once again turn to the Ghostbusters–and Peter–for assistance. Ivan Reitman helms the film, and, while it’s not as good as the first, it still manages to deliver plenty of laughs and (for the time) impressive special effects.

Born on the Fourth of July ($222,700,000) – Oliver Stone once again looks at the Vietnam War, this time through the eyes of Ron Kovic (Tom Cruise), a real-life veteran who came back home in a wheelchair and later wrote the book that gave the film its title. Cruise gets to show off previously unknown acting skills, and the film would be nominated for a total of eight Academy Awards. Willem Dafoe and Kyra Sedgwick co-star.

Lethal Weapon 2 ($227,900,000) – Riggs (Mel Gibson) and Murtaugh (Danny Glover) are back, and this time they’re taking on a racist South African ambassador (Joss Ackland) and his gang of drug-dealing henchmen. Joe Pesci makes his debut as the motormouthed Leo Getz, Patsy Kensit is the doomed love interest, and Derrick O’Connor is an enforcer who obviously uses Hitler’s barber. The original script by Shane Black had Riggs dying at the end, but this was changed so the franchise could continue (which it did for two more films).

Dead Poets Society ($235,900,000) – Taking place at a boys prep school in 1959, Dead Poets Society follows unorthodox English professor John Keating (Robin Williams) and his students (including Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, and Josh Charles). Directed by Peter Weir (Gallipoli, Master and Commander), the film won an Academy Award for Best Writing and received nominations for Best Directing, Best Actor, and Best Picture.

Look Who’s Talking ($297,000,000) – What would 1989 blockbusters be without a film about a talking baby (voice by Bruce Willis, no less)? Little Mikey is the infant son of Mollie Jensen (Kirstie Alley), an accountant who’s seduced and impregnated by womanizer Albert (George Segal). While Mikey comes to terms with the big world around him, his mother slowly begins to fall for a good-hearted cabbie played by John Travolta. Two sequels would follow, as well as a TV series.

Back to the Future Part II ($332,000,000) – The second film of the trilogy finds Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) and Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) once again popping through time in their DeLorean. Destinations include a high-tech 2015, a much darker 1985 where Biff Tannen (Thomas F. Wilson) controls the town, and back to the school dance in 1955. Co-starring Lea Thompson, Elisabeth Shue, Billy Zane, and Elijah Wood (in his film debut).

Batman ($411,300,000) – Michael Keaton became the first man to slip on the Batman costume for the Warner Bros. superhero franchise. Prince provided the soundtrack, Tim Burton directed, Jack Nicholson co-starred as The Joker, and Kim Basinger upped the sex appeal as Vicki Vale. The resulting film was one of the top grossing movies 1989, and it radically changed how people viewed the superhero genre, paving the way for more intense films like The Dark Knight and Blade.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade ($474,200,000) – Sean Connery made his mark on the franchise as Henry Jones, Sr., the strict schoolmaster father of Indiana (Harrison Ford). As the two generations of Joneses team up, they must race against the Third Reich to locate the Holy Grail, a legendary cup said to hold the key to immortality. Director Steven Spielberg made up for The Temple of Doom by adopting a lighter tone and throwing in bigger and better action sequences. Familiar faces include Dr. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) and Sallah (John Rhys-Davies), both absent from the previous film. The top-grossing film of 1989, it seems like Citizen Kane when compared with The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

I hope this list of 1989 blockbusters has proven helpful, and don’t forget that Netflix carries all the titles mentioned. We do get a commission if you become a subscriber, but any money we make goes right back into the site (and it doesn’t cost you a penny). For more top grossing movies from various years, check out the following:

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 14th, 2010 at 5:09 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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