Top Highest Grossing Movies Adjusted for Inflation

1 Beauty-and-the-Beast-2017
75. Beauty and the Beast (2017). Original gross: $504,014,165. Inflated gross: $520,271,600. Buena Vista

It's 1937 and RKO Radio Pictures is promoting its new movie. There's a real buzz. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is set to be a sensation: It's the first full-length animated feature from Walt Disney's company, best known for its short films starring Mickey Mouse.

Snow White makes its debut in New York just before Christmas at a lavish screening, attended by Judy Garland and Marlene Dietrichs. When it hits theaters across the U.S. the following February, millions of Americans line up to watch the movie. It pulls in $3.5 million during its original run.

Though $3.5 million may not sound like much by today's standards—161 movies made more than that in 2017—here's what made those box office figures most amazing. In 1938, the average movie ticket cost 25 cents.

For comparison, in 2018, the average American pays $9.18 to go to the flicks.

Inflation in ticket pricing makes assessing the highest-grossing movies of all time as much an exercise in math as in statistical collation. Star Wars: The Last Jedi may have grossed more than $620,000 in 2017, but that's nothing even close to what Snow White has made down the years, if you scale up the ticket prices from the 1930s and 40s in line with inflation.

This gallery of highest-grossing movies uses calculations from film website Box Office Mojo, which keeps track of U.S. box office sales and adjusts them alongside ticket prices in the year of a movie's release. By today's standards, Snow White grossed more than $1 billion. Hi ho, indeed.

Yet even Snow White does not top the all-time highest grossing movie money list, which features 10 billion-dollar-plus grossing movies, and on which recent smashes Black Panther and The Last Jedi are gradually ascending.

Click through the gallery to find out what comes out on top. Frankly, my dear, I don't have a clue...

2 burt-reynolds-and-sally-field-in-smokey-and-the-bandit-1363973185
74. Smokey and the Bandit (1977). Original gross: $126,737,428. Inflated gross: $520,589,600. Universal
3 t46464-tootsie-40995817-2048-1386
73. Tootsie (1982). Original gross: $177,200,000. Inflated gross: $521,240,100. Columbia
4 superman-1978-lois-lane-and-superman-2
72. Superman (1978). Original gross: $134,218,018. Inflated gross: $525,400,400. Warner Bros
5 6TH-cover
71. The Sixth Sense (1999). Original gross: $293,506,292. Inflated gross: $527,424,800. Buena Vista
6 thedarkknightrises
70. The Dark Knight Rises (2012). Original gross: $448,139,099. Inflated gross: $527,449,300. Warner Bros
7 towers
69. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002). Original gross: $342,551,365. Inflated gross: $528,763,600. New Line
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68. Back to the Future (1985). Original gross: $210,609,762. Inflated gross: $540,904,000. Universal
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67. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005). Original gross: $380,270,577. Inflated gross: $543,413,200. Fox
10 The-Passion-of-the-Christ-still
66. The Passion of the Christ (2004). Original gross: $370,782,930. Inflated gross: $546,896,400. Newmarket
11 animal-house
65. National Lampoon's Animal House (1978). Original gross: $141,600,000. Inflated gross: $548,594,800. Universal
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64. The Greatest Show on Earth (1952). Original gross: $36,000,000. Inflated gross: $549,600,000. Paramount