It’s time once again for the Anniversary Edition. This is a series where we highlight the 25th anniversary of some of our favorite things. These include movies, TV shows, video games, comics and music that came out during the year of 1989, the last year of the decade of the 80s. A lot of big things debuted or made a huge impact that year and so we will highlight some of those in this series.
We have previously looked at the year in music and video games in 1989. We now turn to the movies of 1989. This was a huge year at the box office. Lots of blockbuster films came out in 1989. They range from popular sequels to original films that burst onto the scene. When people talk about the era of blockbuster films, this is one of those years that stand out. It is also the first year that all of the top ten films domestically grossed more than $100 million dollars. (Just think about how many films today gross that much in a weekend!)
Speaking of top 10 movies of 1989, what was the highest grossing film that year? It depends on where you’re talking about in the world. If you’re talking domestically, it is Batman. Yes, the Tim Burton directed film is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. It released on June 23rd with a budget of $48 million and would go on to gross over $251 in the U.S. & over $411 million worldwide. This was the first film to gross $100 million in the first ten days. Now, if you’re talking internationally? That would be Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The third film in the Indiana Jones saga was released on May 24th, 1989. Featuring Harrison Ford back as Indiana Jones and also starring Sean Connery as Dr. Jones’ dad, the film would go on to gross over $197 million in the U.S. & over $474 million worldwide.
What are some other popular sequels that were released in 1989? These would include Ghostbusters II (June 16th), Lethal Weapon II (July 7th), License to Kill (16th James Bond film) (July 14th), Back to the Future Part II (November 22nd), and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (December 1st). Aside from License to Kill, the rest of the sequels listed here were in the top 15th grossing films of that year in the U.S. (though License to Kill was 12th internationally).
There were lots of popular original films that released in 1989. Besides Batman, what other popular films celebrate their 25th anniversary? One huge film was Disney’s The Little Mermaid. Released in theaters on November 14th, The Little Mermaid was a huge success and was the catalyst for the Disney Animation Renaissance that boomed in the early to mid 1990s. Other family friendly films that released in 1989 include Honey, I Shrunk The Kids (June 23rd), Turner and Hooch (July 28th), and Look Who’s Talking (October 13th).
Big dramas that made their debut in 1989 included Field of Dreams (April 21st), Dead Poets Society (June 2nd), Steel Magnolias (November 15th), Driving Miss Daisy (December 15th), and Born on the Fourth of July (December 20th). Comedies that opened in 1989 included Major League (April 7th), When Harry Met Sally (July 14th), and Uncle Buck (August 16th). There were also several cult classics that came out in 1989. They include the Keanu Reeves’ “excellent” film Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (February 17th),the Weird Al’s film UHF (July 21st), and the Fred Savage video game inspired film The Wizard (December 15th).
Which of the films listed was your favorite? Obviously there were so many more films that came out in 1989. Is there a film not listed that came from 1989 that you enjoy? Leave a comment and share them here. Next time, we will look at the year in TV shows in 1989. Until then, crank up the old VCR and enjoy some classic movies.