Box office time machine: No. 1 films from 10, 20 and 30 years ago


Morgan Freeman, left, and Brad Pitt star in David Fincher’s “Seven.”

(Robert Isenberg / Handout)

Welcome to the Movies Now box office time machine. With “Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials” overtaking “Black Mass” and Johnny Depp’s Whitey Bulger-turn for control of the 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 — The Jodie Foster vehicle “Flightplan,” with $24.6 million ($32.2 million in 2015 dollars), topped the second-week expansion of “Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride.” Despite the presence of Foster, the Robert Schwentke-directed “Flightplan” hit the skids with critics (38% at Rotten Tomatoes). Hot off screenings in the director’s hometown at the Toronto Film Festival, David Cronenberg’s “A History of Violence,” starring Viggo Mortensen, registered the weekend’s highest per-screen average. “Violence” rode rave reviews (87% at RT) to Academy Award nominations for Josh Olson’s adaptation of the graphic novel by John Wagner and Vince Locke, and supporting actor William Hurt.

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1995 — David Fincher’s serial-killer thriller, “Seven,” scored $13.9 million ($26.9 million in 2015 dollars) to outleg the soon-to-be-a-cult-classic “Showgirls,” directed by Paul Verhoeven. Critics’ perceptions of the two films differed greatly, with “Seven" scoring 80% and “Showgirls" shaking it to a well-deserved 19% at Rotten Tomatoes. The long-forgotten “A Month by the Lake,” with Vanessa Redgrave, Edward Fox and Uma Thurman, notched the highest per-screen average. It sank quickly thereafter despite a 71% RT score

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1985 — “Back to the Future” topped the charts for the 11th time in 12 weeks with $3.9 million ($9.3 million in 2015 dollars), fending off the top debut, “Creator,” starring Peter O’Toole and Mariel Hemingway. Directed by Ivan Passer, the sci-fi comedy was not one of O’Toole’s better-reviewed efforts (36% at RT). “BTTF” star Michael J. Fox’s other hit, “Teen Wolf,” slipped to third in its fifth week of release. “Plenty,” starring Meryl Streep and an eclectic band of Brits — John Gielgud, Ian McKellen, Tracey Ullman and Sting — topped the per-screen average. Directed by Fred Schepisi from David Hare’s stage adaptation, the film had an awards pedigree upon release, but mediocre reviews (57% at RT) left it empy-handed at Oscar time.

All figures are from


Twitter: @storyspheare


‘Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials’ is a wicked good game

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