What makes a movie hang around for an extended period at the box office? What makes a movie consistently irresistible to the American film-going masses?

Stacker looked at domestic box office data from The Numbers on the 50 movies with the most impressive box office runs since 1981, meaning the movies whose successful box office performances were spread out the longest, movies that kept drawing crowds, and eventually stacked up impressive box office runs. Films are ranked by the ratio between their total domestic box office and their largest weekend gross.

Sometimes it’s a movie about an adorable alien trying to return home; other times it’s a movie about an awkward teen from a small town in Idaho; or a movie about an Italian American woman who falls in love with a guy with a wooden hand. It’s hard to say which movies will stick around in theaters longer than others, but some movies simply come out at the perfect time and capture the hearts and minds of Americans. These movies that accumulate impressive box office runs are referred to as “leggy.”

Check out this list of the 50 leggiest movies at the domestic box office throughout the past four decades.

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Joan Chen and Tao Wu in a scene from "The Last Emperor"
TAO Film

#50. The Last Emperor (1987)

– Legginess ratio: 12.94
– Total domestic gross: $44 million
– Best weekend: $3.4 million
– Best distribution: 877 theaters

In this historical bio-drama from Bernardo Bertolucci, the reign of China’s last emperor, Pu Yi (John Lone), is detailed in flashbacks as he recounts his life after the Red Army captures him in 1950 as a war criminal. The film had an unusual run at the box office, not slipping into the top 10 until its 12th week in theaters. After the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, it reached the #4 spot in its 22nd week and spent another six weeks in the top 10.

Jennifer Grey and Patrick Swayze in "Dirty Dancing"
Great American Films Limited Partnership

#49. Dirty Dancing (1987)

– Legginess ratio: 13.07
– Total domestic gross: $63.9 million
– Best weekend: $4.9 million
– Best distribution: 1,012 theaters

While on an expectedly boring summer vacation in the Catskills with her family, Baby (Jennifer Grey), meets the resort’s hunky dance instructor, Johnny (Patrick Swayze), and the two begin to fall for one another as Johnny teaches Baby how to move. Against a mere $4.5 million budget, the film was a smash hit and grossed an impressive $214.6 million at the worldwide box office, spending 21 weeks in theaters.

Bette Midler in a scene from "Ruthless People"
Touchstone Films

#48. Ruthless People (1986)

– Legginess ratio: 13.18
– Total domestic gross: $71.6 million
– Best weekend: $5.4 million
– Best distribution: 1,114 theaters

When the wife of the husband who loathes her is kidnapped, the husband is overjoyed at the opportunity to get rid of her. But the kidnappers realize the woman might be more trouble than the unanswered $500,000 ransom. Compared to the film’s scant $13 million budget, its earnings of more than $71 million made the film a success. It ended up lasting 15 weeks at the box office, consistently staying within the top 10.

Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman in "The Favourite"
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#47. The Favourite (2018)

– Legginess ratio: 13.19
– Total domestic gross: $34.4 million
– Best weekend: $2.6 million
– Best distribution: 1,554 theaters

In this period black comedy, two close associates of the frail Queen Anne (Olivia Colman) begin vying for the top spot beside the queen, resulting in hilarious plays of power as the women battle to be the queen’s favorite. From only four theaters in its opening weekend, the film’s per-venue average was $105,603, and it spent a total of 21 weeks at the box office bolstered by its 10 Oscar nominations.

Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner in "Romancing the Stone"
Twentieth Century Fox

#46. Romancing the Stone (1984)

– Legginess ratio: 13.2
– Total domestic gross: $75.1 million
– Best weekend: $5.7 million
– Best distribution: 1,101 theaters

An adventure novelist finds her boring life thrown into a real-life adventure when her sister is kidnapped in the Colombian jungle. Accompanied by a bold mercenary, the two must acquire the ransom needed to retrieve her sister. Directed by Robert Zemeckis, it was expected to be a box office bomb, but ended up as the eighth highest-grossing film of 1984.

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Adrien Brody in a scene from "The Pianist"
R.P. Productions

#45. The Pianist (2002)

– Legginess ratio: 13.24
– Total domestic gross: $32.5 million
– Best weekend: $2.5 million
– Best distribution: 842 theaters

Based on a true story, the harrowing, Oscar-winning tale of Polish Jewish pianist Władysław Szpilman (Adrien Brody) depicts his struggle to survive in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation. The film made more than $120 million worldwide against a $35 million budget and stayed in theaters for 24 weeks, despite never quite cracking the top 10 at the box office.

Ed Harris, Lance Henriksen, Dennis Quaid, Scott Glenn, Charles Frank, Scott Paulin, and Fred Ward in "The Right Stuff"
The Ladd Company

#44. The Right Stuff (1983)

– Legginess ratio: 13.37
– Total domestic gross: $21.5 million
– Best weekend: $1.6 million
– Best distribution: 627 theaters

Adapted from Tom Wolfe’s 1979 nonfiction novel of the same name, the film details the first 15 years of the NASA space program and the highs and lows experienced by the original Project Mercury astronauts. “The Right Stuff” actually bombed at the box office, unable to match its estimated $27 million budget with only earning $21.5 million. However, people did keep coming, as the film remained in theaters for a run of 21 weeks.

Warren Beatty in a scene from "Reds"
Barclays Mercantile Industrial Finance

#43. Reds (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 13.41
– Total domestic gross: $50 million
– Best weekend: $3.7 million
– Best distribution: 665 theaters

This epic historical drama chronicles the life of iconic, real-life American journalist John Reed (Warren Beatty), who traveled to Russia and documented the country’s October Revolution in his book “Ten Days That Shook the World,” released in 1919. During its box office run, Beatty screened the film for then-president Ronald Reagan.

Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger in "Chicago"
Miramax

#42. Chicago (2002)

– Legginess ratio: 13.43
– Total domestic gross: $170.7 million
– Best weekend: $12.7 million
– Best distribution: 2,701 theaters

Based on the stage musical of the same name, the story follows two women in 1920s Chicago who are in jail together awaiting trials for two separate murders. When the same lawyer takes on both of their cases, the women begin to fight for their place in the media spotlight and avoid a death sentence. Though the film never reached the first or second spot at the box office, the film made a combined $306,776,732. At the time, this was the biggest gross any film that never reached the top two box office spots had ever made in North America.

Anthony Daniels, Carrie Fisher, David Alan Barclay, Michael Carter, and Toby Philpott in "Star Wars: Episode VI"
Lucasfilm

#41. Star Wars Ep. VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)

– Legginess ratio: 13.43
– Total domestic gross: $309.2 million
– Best weekend: $23 million
– Best distribution: 2,111 theaters

The classic conclusion to the original trilogy sees Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia battle against Darth Vader and his evil Galactic Empire in order to save the galaxy. Against a budget of only $32.5 million, the film ended up garnering a massive $475.3 million worldwide. In its opening week, it grossed a record $45.3 million at the time and came in first at the box office for six out of seven of its first weeks of theatrical release.

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Tom Hanks in a scene from "Forrest Gump"
Paramount Pictures

#40. Forrest Gump (1994)

– Legginess ratio: 13.5
– Total domestic gross: $330.2 million
– Best weekend: $24.5 million
– Best distribution: 2,365 theaters

The classic saga of one unlikely man’s incredible life and the woman he loves is chronicled from his childhood through to adulthood, where he ends up witnessing and unintentionally influencing several major historical events. “Forrest Gump” spent its first 12 weeks in theaters remaining in the top 10 at the box office, hitting the top spot five times. The film was Paramount’s highest grossing until “Titanic” beat the record in 1997.

Jeff Goldblum, Meg Tilly and Kevin Klein in "The Big Chill"
Columbia Pictures

#39. The Big Chill (1983)

– Legginess ratio: 13.52
– Total domestic gross: $56.1 million
– Best weekend: $4.1 million
– Best distribution: 832 theaters

After the death of their friend, a formerly close group of friends gets together for the funeral, and over the weekend ends up confronting the unresolved issues still simmering among them. Against a budget of only $8 million, “The Big Chill” took in a worldwide gross of $56 million. It remained in the top five at the domestic box office for the first 10 weeks of its theatrical release.

Bill Murray and Antone Pagán in "Stripes"
Columbia Pictures

#38. Stripes (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 13.66
– Total domestic gross: $85.3 million
– Best weekend: $6.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,117 theaters

Listless cabbie John Winger (Bill Murray) enlists in the U.S. Army alongside his friend after being fired and getting dumped, but his hijinks get him in trouble when they threaten to catalyze an international scandal. The fourth most popular film of 1981, “Stripes” took in more than $85 million domestically against a budget of only $10 million.

Annette Bening in a scene from "American Beauty"
Dreamworks Pictures

#37. American Beauty (1999)

– Legginess ratio: 13.68
– Total domestic gross: $130.1 million
– Best weekend: $9.5 million
– Best distribution: 1,990 theaters

Disillusioned suburban father Lester Burnham finds renewed joie de vivre when he takes a special interest in his teenage daughter’s attractive friend, while both his daughter and wife simultaneously embark on journeys of self-discovery that all begin to unravel the fabric of their seemingly perfect family. The film had a 38-week domestic theatrical run and had seven weeks spent among the top five at the box office, though it never surpassed third place.

Carey Mulligan in a scene from "An Education"
BBC Films

#36. An Education (2009)

– Legginess ratio: 13.8
– Total domestic gross: $12.6 million
– Best weekend: $911,000
– Best distribution: 761 theaters

Sheltered, smart teen Jenny (Carey Mulligan) aspires to attend Oxford University, but when a much older romantic interest enters her life, Jenny suddenly finds herself in the throes of adulthood in this coming-of-age film. The Academy Award-nominated “An Education” spent 30 weeks in theaters, though it never even cracked the top 10 at the box office.

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Tom Hanks and Robert Loggia in a scene from "Big"
Twentieth Century Fox

#35. Big (1988)

– Legginess ratio: 13.99
– Total domestic gross: $115 million
– Best weekend: $8.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,419 theaters

When a wish turns 12-year-old Josh Baskin into a 30-year-old man (Tom Hanks), he must navigate the highs and lows of adulthood in New York City. “Big” opened at #2 in its first weekend. Directed by Penny Marshall, it became the first female-directed feature film to take in more than $100 million at the box office.

James Cromwell and Helen Mirren in "The Queen"
Pathé Pictures International

#34. The Queen (2006)

– Legginess ratio: 14.06
– Total domestic gross: $56.4 million
– Best weekend: $4 million
– Best distribution: 1,850 theaters

This biographical drama film chronicles the tense relations between Queen Elizabeth II and the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Tony Blair following the tragic death of Princess Diana in 1997. The film earned a worldwide total of more than $123 million by the end of its run, breaching the top 10 at the domestic box office four times in its 33-week run.

Charlize Theron and Tobey Maguire in "The Cider House Rules"
Miramax

#33. The Cider House Rules (1999)

– Legginess ratio: 14.15
– Total domestic gross: $57.5 million
– Best weekend: $4.1 million
– Best distribution: 1,738 theaters

Based on the novel of the same name by John Irving, “The Cider House Rules” follows an orphan named Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire) and his life after he leaves the World War II-era orphanage where he was trained in medicine by the doctor who runs it. Due to the thematic material of the film, including incest, drugs, and abortion, the film was given the strictest possible rating in Ireland during its box office run.

Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas in "The English Patient"
Miramax

#32. The English Patient (1996)

– Legginess ratio: 14.18
– Total domestic gross: $78.7 million
– Best weekend: $5.6 million
– Best distribution: 1,409 theaters

Near the end of World War I, a badly injured man tended to by a nurse in an Italian monastery recalls his life and the passionate love affair he was wrapped up in before the war. “The English Patient” remained in the top 10 at the domestic box office for nearly half of its 21-week run in theaters.

Richard Gere and Julia Roberts in "Pretty Woman"
Touchstone Pictures

#31. Pretty Woman (1990)

– Legginess ratio: 14.3
– Total domestic gross: $178.4 million
– Best weekend: $12.5 million
– Best distribution: 1,811 theaters

While on a business trip, Edward Lewis (Richard Gere) picks up sex worker Vivian (Julia Roberts), and the two form an unlikely bond that slowly evolves into much more than that. This classic American rom-com was a hit at the box office, becoming the 1990’s third highest-grossing film and seeing the most tickets sold ever for a rom-com in the United States.

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Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn in "On Golden Pond"
IPC Films

#30. On Golden Pond (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 14.59
– Total domestic gross: $119.3 million
– Best weekend: $8.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,015 theaters

Chelsea (Jane Fonda) visits her parents at their New England vacation home: her curmudgeonly father Norman (Henry Fonda) and her mother Ethel (Katharine Hepburn). Accompanied by her new boyfriend and his teenage son, Chelsea’s visit begins to repair the family’s strained relationship. The film remained in the top 10 at the box office for 23 out of its 26 weeks in domestic theaters, seven of those weeks saw it take the top spot and six were consecutive.

Michael Douglas and Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction"
Paramount Pictures

#29. Fatal Attraction (1987)

– Legginess ratio: 14.84
– Total domestic gross: $156.6 million
– Best weekend: $10.6 million
– Best distribution: 1,401 theaters

After a one-night stand with a seductive book editor (Glenn Close), married family man Dan Gallagher (Michael Douglas) finds himself the object of the woman’s unsavory affections as her behavior escalates into those of a full-blown stalker. The popular erotic thriller generated controversy at the time of release, and was #1 at the domestic box office for the first eight consecutive weeks in theaters.

Robert Carlyle in a scene from "The Full Monty"
Redwave Films

#28. The Full Monty (1997)

– Legginess ratio: 15.2
– Total domestic gross: $46 million
– Best weekend: $3 million
– Best distribution: 783 theaters

Recently fired steelworker Gaz (Robert Carlyle) discovers his ex-wife is trying to sue him for missed child support payments and he needs to come up with cash fast. So, Gaz and his pal Dave (Mark Addy) come up with the idea to put on a male strip show for one night only. The film became critically acclaimed and was a major international success, grossing an overall $258 million against a budget of only $3.5 million.

Whoopi Goldberg, Rae Dawn Chong, and Margaret Avery in "The Color Purple"
Warner Bros.

#27. The Color Purple (1985)

– Legginess ratio: 15.25
– Total domestic gross: $94 million
– Best weekend: $6.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,109 theaters

Based on Alice Walker’s award-winning novel of the same name, the film tells the incredible life story of Celie Harris (Whoopi Goldberg), a Black woman who grew up in America during the early 20th century and overcame immense hardship. “The Color Purple” stayed in theaters in the United States for 21 weeks and ranked #1 in box office earnings for a PG-13 film in 1985.

Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali in "Green Book"
Dreamworks Pictures

#26. Green Book (2018)

– Legginess ratio: 15.46
– Total domestic gross: $85.1 million
– Best weekend: $5.5 million
– Best distribution: 2,648 theaters

Based on a true story, the Academy award-winning film follows world-class Black pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) who, in need of a driver to undertake a concert tour in 1962, hires an Italian American named Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen), and their time together begins to bridge the cultural gap between the two men. Despite a rocky start at the box office, the film remained in theaters for 24 weeks, gaining steam once it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture and especially when it won.

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Kevin Costner and Graham Greene in "Dances with Wolves"
Tig Productions

#25. Dances With Wolves (1990)

– Legginess ratio: 15.48
– Total domestic gross: $184.2 million
– Best weekend: $11.9 million
– Best distribution: 1,636 theaters

Civil War soldier John Dunbar (Kevin Costner) travels to the American frontier in order to find a military post, but he ends up leaving his former life behind to live with the Lakota Native Americans with whom he forms a strong bond. The film remained in the top 10 at the box office for 26 out of 29 weeks in its domestic theatrical run.

Ben Kingsley in a scene from "Gandhi"
International Film Investors

#24. Gandhi (1982)

– Legginess ratio: 15.48
– Total domestic gross: $52.8 million
– Best weekend: $3.4 million
– Best distribution: 825 theaters

This biographical drama chronicles the life of Mahatma Gandhi, the British-trained Indian lawyer who ends up forsaking all his worldly possessions to become the face of opposition against British rule over his country, leading up to his assassination in 1948. “Gandhi” became the 12th highest-grossing film in 1982.

Eddie Murphy and Nick Nolte in "48 Hrs."
Paramount Pictures

#23. 48 Hrs. (1982)

– Legginess ratio: 15.57
– Total domestic gross: $75.9 million
– Best weekend: $4.9 million
– Best distribution: 1,050 theaters

On the hunt for a killer on the loose, cop Jack Cates (Nick Nolte) pulls the killer’s former partner, Reggie Hammond (Eddie Murphy), out of prison on a 48-hour leave in an attempt to help track him down. The seventh highest-grossing film in 1982, “48 Hrs.” only dropped below the top 10 at the box office during the last three weeks of its 20-week domestic run.

Dustin Hoffman in a scene from "Tootsie"
Columbia Pictures

#22. Tootsie (1982)

– Legginess ratio: 15.79
– Total domestic gross: $177.2 million
– Best weekend: $11.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,222 theaters

Down-on-his-luck, difficult actor Michael Dorsey (Dustin Hoffman) decides to reinvent himself as a female actor named Dorothy Michaels in order to win a soap opera part. He nabs the part, but inadvertently becomes a feminist icon while falling for his castmate. The film made $5.5 million during its first weekend in 943 theaters, and was the second highest-grossing film in 1982 behind “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.”

Efren Ramirez and Jon Heder in "Napoleon Dynamite"
Fox Searchlight Pictures

#21. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

– Legginess ratio: 15.84
– Total domestic gross: $44.5 million
– Best weekend: $2.8 million
– Best distribution: 1,236 theaters

After the grandmother of awkward, Midwestern teenager Napoleon Dynamite (Jon Heder) is injured, his strange uncle comes to look after him. Finding little solace in his home life, Napoleon tries to help a new friend win the high school class presidency. Now considered a cult classic, the film was actually a success upon release. With a meager budget of only $400,000 and a very limited initial release, the film went on to earn more than $46 million worldwide.

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Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Ernie Hudson in "Ghostbusters"
Columbia Pictures

#20. Ghostbusters (1984)

– Legginess ratio: 15.87
– Total domestic gross: $242.6 million
– Best weekend: $15.3 million
– Best distribution: 1,506 theaters

After a group of scientists all lose their university jobs, they decide to team up to create a service that rids buildings of ghosts for money. But when they stumble upon a gateway to another dimension, they have to save all of New York City from the forces of evil. This classic comedy held the top spot at the box office for seven consecutive weeks.

Nicolas Cage and Cher in a scene from "Moonstruck"
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)

#19. Moonstruck (1987)

– Legginess ratio: 15.91
– Total domestic gross: $80.6 million
– Best weekend: $5.1 million
– Best distribution: 1,178 theaters

Unlucky in love, Loretta Castorini (Cher) accepts a marriage proposal from her less-than-satisfactory boyfriend Johnny (Danny Aiello), but when she’s tasked with reaching out to his hot-tempered, estranged brother, Ronny (Nicolas Cage), she finds herself falling for him while Johnny is out of the country. Upon wide release, “Moonstruck” debuted at #3 at the box office and spent 20 weeks out of its 25-week run in the top 10.

Dudley Moore in a scene from "Arthur"
Orion Pictures

#18. Arthur (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 16.29
– Total domestic gross: $81.5 million
– Best weekend: $5 million
– Best distribution: 949 theaters

To secure his fortune, New York City playboy Arthur (Dudley Moore) enters an arranged marriage agreement with an heiress, but when he falls for a waitress from Queens, he puts his cushy life in jeopardy. Though it experienced a shaky start at the box office, the film finished that summer as the seventh highest-grossing movie and by the end of the year was the fourth highest.

Paul Hogan and Linda Kozlowski in "Crocodile Dundee"
Rimfire Films

#17. Crocodile Dundee (1986)

– Legginess ratio: 16.55
– Total domestic gross: $174.8 million
– Best weekend: $10.6 million
– Best distribution: 1,495 theaters

After a New York reporter visits Australia to interview famous bushman Michael J. “Crocodile” Dundee (Paul Hogan), she becomes so charmed by him that she brings him back to the Big Apple, where hijinks ensue due to the clash of cultures. The film debuted at #1 in the United States and held that spot for nine consecutive weeks. It was the second highest-grossing film of 1986 behind “Top Gun.”

Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Keira Knightley, and Parminder Nagra in "Bend It Like Beckham"
Kintop Pictures

#16. Bend it Like Beckham (2003)

– Legginess ratio: 16.66
– Total domestic gross: $32.5 million
– Best weekend: $2 million
– Best distribution: 1,002 theaters

Aspiring soccer player Jess Bhamra (Parminder Nagra) has strict Indian parents who don’t support her love of the sport. But when her skills catch the attention of a semi-pro player by chance, she must come up with elaborate lies so she can participate in the game she loves. “Bend It Like Beckham” was the highest-grossing soccer film ever in the United States upon release, and is still #3 behind “She’s the Man” and “Kicking & Screaming.”

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Debra Winger and Richard Gere in "An Officer and a Gentleman"
Lorimar Film Entertainment

#15. An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

– Legginess ratio: 16.83
– Total domestic gross: $129.8 million
– Best weekend: $7.7 million
– Best distribution: 1,050 theaters

An antisocial, self-involved U.S. Navy recruit named Zack Mayo (Richard Gere) clashes with his drill sergeant shortly after he arrives. But through tough love and new love with a new woman, Zack learns how to open himself up to others. “An Officer and a Gentleman” was the third highest-grossing film of 1982 and earned almost $130 million worldwide.

Liam Neeson in a scene from "Schindler's List"
Universal Pictures

#14. Schindler’s List (1993)

– Legginess ratio: 17.01
– Total domestic gross: $96.9 million
– Best weekend: $5.7 million
– Best distribution: 1,389 theaters

The harrowing true story of businessman Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), who staffed his factory with Polish Jewish refugees from the Holocaust and saved more than a thousand lives in the process. During its 33-week run at the domestic box office, it stayed in the top 10 for 19 weeks and made it to second place once.

Michael Keaton in "Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)"
New Regency Productions

#13. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014)

– Legginess ratio: 17.13
– Total domestic gross: $42.3 million
– Best weekend: $2.5 million
– Best distribution: 1,213 theaters

Washed-up superhero actor Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton) attempts to make a comeback by staging and starring in a Broadway play, but between tense interpersonal relationships and unpredictable actors, Thomson has more than a few hurdles to overcome as opening night fast approaches. The film brought in more than $100 million worldwide against only a $17 million budget.

Ralph Macchio in a scene from "The Karate Kid"
Columbia Pictures

#12. The Karate Kid (1984)

– Legginess ratio: 17.15
– Total domestic gross: $90.8 million
– Best weekend: $5.3 million
– Best distribution: 1,111 theaters

New kid in town Daniel (Ralph Macchio) finds himself targeted by bullies who train at a nearby karate dojo. With the help of a repairman who also secretly happens to be a karate master, Daniel learns to master the art in order to defend himself. “The Karate Kid” was 1984’s biggest sleeper hit, a term used to describe films that are initially unsuccessful, but gain more success in time.

Patrick Swayze in "Ghost"
Paramount Pictures

#11. Ghost (1990)

– Legginess ratio: 17.38
– Total domestic gross: $217.6 million
– Best weekend: $12.5 million
– Best distribution: 1,766 theaters

When banker Sam Wheat (Patrick Swayze) is murdered by his corrupt business partner after a deal gone wrong, he must transcend realms in order to contact his still-alive lover Molly (Demi Moore) and protect her. “Ghost” was the highest-grossing film of 1990 and remained in the top three at the box office for the first 12 consecutive weeks, coming in at #1 for four of them.

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Roberto Benigni in "Life Is Beautiful"
Melampo Cinematografica

#10. Life Is Beautiful (1998)

– Legginess ratio: 17.75
– Total domestic gross: $57.6 million
– Best weekend: $3.2 million
– Best distribution: 1,136 theaters

During the Nazi occupation, a charming Jewish Italian bookseller is sent away to a concentration camp with his son and separated from his wife. While trapped in the camp, the bookseller attempts to use his imagination in order to protect his son from understanding the real horror. Until 2011, “Life is Beautiful” remained the highest-grossing Italian film in Italy, at which time it was surpassed by “What a Beautiful Day.”

Ben Cross and Nigel Havers in "Chariots of Fire"
Enigma Productions

#9. Chariots of Fire (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 17.92
– Total domestic gross: $61.6 million
– Best weekend: $3.4 million
– Best distribution: 810 theaters

This historical sports drama follows two determined, but very different, runners training for the 1924 Olympics in Paris—devout Scottish Christian Eric Liddell (Ian Charleson) and British Jew Harold Abrahams (Ben Cross). The film remained in theaters for 38 weeks and opened at #1 at the domestic box office, remaining in the top 10 for 18 weeks.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in "Titanic"
Twentieth Century Fox

#8. Titanic (1997)

– Legginess ratio: 18.6
– Total domestic gross: $659.4 million
– Best weekend: $35.5 million
– Best distribution: 3,265 theaters

Rose DeWitt Bukater (Kate Winslet) tells the story 84 years later of how she met her star-crossed lover Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) aboard the doomed RMS Titanic luxury liner. This iconic romance epic broke a number of box office records at the time, including becoming the highest-grossing film worldwide until “Avatar,” another film by “Titanic” director James Cameron, overtook it 12 years later.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in "Back to the Future"
Universal Pictures

#7. Back to the Future (1985)

– Legginess ratio: 18.73
– Total domestic gross: $212.3 million
– Best weekend: $11.3 million
– Best distribution: 1,815 theaters

California teen Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox) meets up with his mad scientist friend Doc Brown (Christopher Lloyd) and gets accidentally sent back to the 1950s. There, Marty ends up unknowingly meddling with the past and must save his future self by making sure his teen parents fall in love. The sci-fi comedy classic earned the top spot at the box office for its first three weeks of release, and though it was knocked briefly to #2 in its fourth weekend, it regained #1 in week five and held that position for another eight consecutive weeks.

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun"
Paramount Pictures

#6. Top Gun (1986)

– Legginess ratio: 19.1
– Total domestic gross: $180.5 million
– Best weekend: $9.4 million
– Best distribution: 1,531 theaters

Bold and brash fighter pilot Lt. Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is sent to the U.S. Navy’s Fighter Weapons School to refine his skills, where he finds that his cocksure attitude puts him at odds with the other students. “Top Gun” became the highest-grossing film of 1986 and did not drop in initial theater count until six months after release.

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Jennifer Beals and Michael Nouri in "Flashdance"
Paramount Pictures

#5. Flashdance (1983)

– Legginess ratio: 19.39
– Total domestic gross: $90.5 million
– Best weekend: $4.7 million
– Best distribution: 1,140 theaters

Alex Owens (Jennifer Beals) struggles to balance her two jobs—as a welder and an exotic dancer—but when her boss and lover expresses support for her passion for classical dance, she becomes determined to get accepted into a prestigious dance conservatory. Against a budget of only $7 million, the film made more than $200 million worldwide. It never dipped below the #12 spot at the domestic box office.

Gia Carides, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Martin, and Nia Vardalos in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"
Alliance Cinema

#4. My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002)

– Legginess ratio: 21.75
– Total domestic gross: $241.4 million
– Best weekend: $11.1 million
– Best distribution: 2,016 theaters

It should be a joyous occasion when a Greek woman who has struggled to find a husband—to the chagrin of her big family—finally meets the man of her dreams. But she fears the disapproval she’ll receive due to the fact that he isn’t Greek. Growing steadily from a limited release, “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” became a sleeper hit in 2002, ultimately grossing more than $360 million worldwide.

Henry Thomas and Pat Welsh in "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial"
Universal Pictures

#3. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

– Legginess ratio: 25.22
– Total domestic gross: $435.1 million
– Best weekend: $17.3 million
– Best distribution: 3,010 theaters

Steven Spielberg’s family classic follows the gentle little E.T., an alien who becomes stranded on Earth and befriends a young boy and his family. When E.T. falls ill, government intervention compels the boy to save his new friend. An immediate blockbuster at the time of release, it held the top spot at the domestic box office for the first 12 consecutive weeks of its run.

Tom Hulce in a scene from "Amadeus"
AMLF

#2. Amadeus (1984)

– Legginess ratio: 25.82
– Total domestic gross: $52 million
– Best weekend: $2 million
– Best distribution: 802 theaters

As told by his rival Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham), the fictionalized life of classical music prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) is chronicled through the eyes of the peer who both resented and envied him—to dire consequence. The period bio-drama stayed within the top 10 at the box office for 14 weeks out of its 36-week run at the domestic box office.

Harrison Ford in "Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark"
Paramount Pictures

#1. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

– Legginess ratio: 27.17
– Total domestic gross: $225.7 million
– Best weekend: $8.3 million
– Best distribution: 1,400 theaters

The iconic capers of Indiana Jones kick off with “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” where intrepid archaeologist Jones (Harrison Ford) is recruited by the government in order to locate a legendary artifact being sought after by Nazis. The action-adventure film spent 40 consecutive weeks as one of the top 10 highest-grossing films in 1981.

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