No. 1 films from 10, 20 and 30 years ago

Back to the Future

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in the 1985 movie “Back to the Future.”


Welcome to the Movies Now box office time machine. With “The Perfect Guy” edging out M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Visit”  to top this weekend’s box office, we look at the No. 1 films from 10, 20 and 30 years ago. Click a film’s title to read The Times’ review:

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2005 – Despite a mediocre critical reception (56% at Rotten Tomatoes), the romantic comedy “Just Like Heaven” and its Cure-inspired title ascended to No. 1, unseating reigning champion “The Exorcism of Emily Rose” with $16.3 million ($21.5 million in 2015 dollars). “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride” opened on five screens and registered the weekend’s highest per-screen average.

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1995 – To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything, Julie Newmar,” with Patrick Swayze, Wesley Snipes and John Leguizamo, dressed for success for a second straight week with $6.5 million ($12.6 million in 2015 dollars), finishing ahead of the debut of Spike Lee’s “Clockers.” “To Wong Foo” was not a hit with critics (41% at Rotten Tomatoes), and its depiction of drag queens stirred up some controversy. “Unstrung Heroes,” a nostalgic comedy of eccentrics, directed by Diane Keaton, had the highest per-screen average.

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1985 – “Back to the Future,” with $4.1 million ($9.8 million in 2015 dollars), raced to No. 1 for the 10th time in 11 weeks, the lone exception being a third week detour behind “European Vacation.” The Robert Zemeckis-directed “Back to the Future” was by far the top grosser of the year and a critical favorite (96% at Rotten Tomatoes). For the fourth straight week, star Michael J. Fox also had the second-biggest film with “Teen Wolf.” No new movies cracked the top 10, but Martin Scorsese’s “After Hours,” with Griffin Dunne, topped the per-screen average.

All figures from


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