1990s Movies: What Did People Watch?


The 1990s brought us some awe inspiring movies like we’ve never seen before. And people rewarded movie makers with record-breaking sales.


Titanic became the most successful movie ever, with sales well over $300 million. Jurassic Park pulled down similar numbers during its epic run.

Some of my favorite cult classics were from the 1990s. Movies like Pulp Fiction, Se7en, 12 Monkeys, and Natural Born Killers I still watch to this day.

Violence went way over the top. So did special effects. For the first time, computer animation started to look realistic. Movies like Toy Story and A Bug’s Life promised to change the way we watch animated movies forever.

The witnessed the coming of the next Jim Belushi in Chris Farley. His star unfortunately burned out as fast as it rose, with him dying in the middle of filming the next big animated movie: Shrek. Several years later you may have heard Mike Myers later picked up the role.

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Top 10 Movies in 1990

What were the most popular movies in 1990?

  1. Ghost
  2. Home Alone
  3. Pretty Woman
  4. Dances with Wolves
  5. Total Recall
  6. Back to the Future Part III
  7. Die Hard 2
  8. Presumed Innocent
  9. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  10. Kindergarten Cop

Who won the 1990 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Dances with Wolves
Best Director: Kevin Costner – Dances with Wolves
Best Actress: Kathy Bates – Misery
Best Actor: Jeremy Irons – Reversal of Fortune

Top 10 Movies in 1991

What were the most popular movies in 1991?

  1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  2. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  3. Beauty and the Beast
  4. Hook
  5. The Silence of the Lambs
  6. JFK
  7. The Addams Family
  8. Cape Fear
  9. Hot Shots!
  10. City Slickers

Who won the 1991 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The Silence of the Lambs
Best Director: Jonathan Demme – The Silence of the Lambs
Best Actress: Jodie Foster – The Silence of the Lambs
Best Actor: Anthony Hopkins – The Silence of the Lambs

Goodfellas (1991) is one the best mobster movies ever

Goodfellas (1991) is one the best mobster movies ever

1991 was a crazy year for the motion picture industry. Fortunately a late season box office surge saved it from financial strife.

Thelma & Louise was a critics favorite. Oliver Stone’s JFK was an important film. Disney released the instant classic “Beauty & the Beast.”

Dances With Wolves won the Academy Award for Best Picture as Kevin Costner’s huge year continued.

One of my favorite movies of all-time, Goodfellas, was released in 1991. Joe Pesci won a very well-deserved Academy for Best Supporting Actor. Scorsese also directed Cape Fear that same year. Amazing.

The scariest movie in 1991 was, hands down, Silence of the Lambs. And the saddest was probably Boyz N The Hood.

Top 10 Movies in 1992

What were the most popular movies in 1992?

  1. Aladdin
  2. The Bodyguard
  3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York
  4. Basic Instinct
  5. Lethal Weapon 3
  6. Batman Returns
  7. A Few Good Men
  8. Sister Act
  9. Bram Stoker’s Dracula
  10. Wayne’s World

Who won the 1992 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Unforgiven
Best Director: Clint Eastwood – Unforgiven
Best Actress: Emma Thompson – Howards End
Best Actor: Al Pacino – Scent of a Woman

Top 10 Movies in 1993

What were the most popular movies in 1993?

  1. Jurassic Park
  2. Mrs. Doubtfire
  3. The Fugitive
  4. Schindler’s List
  5. The Firm
  6. Indecent Proposal
  7. Cliffhanger
  8. Sleepless in Seattle
  9. Philadelphia
  10. The Pelican Brief

Who won the 1993 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Schindler’s List
Best Director: Steven Spielberg – Schindler’s List
Best Actress: Holly Hunter – The Piano
Best Actor: Tom Hanks – Philadelphia

Jurassic Park broke box office records in 1993.

Jurassic Park broke box office records in 1993.

With director Steven Spielberg’s dinosaur thriller Jurassic Park breaking attendance records, the entire movie industry was also busy breaking its own records.

Jurassic Park, which lifted Spielberg’s critical reputation following the stinkers of Always (1989) and Hook (1991), was w worldwide money making machine. By November it had earned more than $800 million at box offices alone.

Spielberg wasn’t finished with 1993, however. He came back at the end of the year with a three-hour black and white film called Schindler’s List. The movie emerged as one of the most universally acclaimed American film of all time.

These weren’t the only smash hits of the year by any means. The Fugitive was Harrison Ford’s most successful film since the Indiana Jones trilogy.

Novelist John Grisham also had a big year at the box office as well as he had been in bookstores. The Firm, starring Tom Cruise, was a big hit. Another Grisham thriller, The Pelican Brief, featured the return of Julia Roberts after a two year hiatus.

The chick flick of the year was Sleepless in Seattle, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. You know, hot Meg Ryan, pre-plastic.

Unforgiven won all the awards in 1993

Unforgiven won all the awards in 1993

Clint Eastwood continued his success with In the Line of Fire. Eastwood also directed and starred in A Perfect World with Kevin Costner. But his greatest success in 1993 belonged to a movie he made in 1992, Unforgiven, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture and it also won him the Best Director award.

Other notable films from 1993 include Dave, Fearless, Philadelphia and Menace II Society.

The end of year finished strong at the box office with Robin Williams starring as an old woman nanny in Mrs. Doubtfire.

Indecent Proposal was slammed by critics, but the film was a magnet for moviegoers around the world.

The Piano, starring Holly Hunter as a mute woman, was the co-winner of the 1993 Cannes Film Festival. Tim Burton advanced the art of animation with The Nightmare Before Christmas.

The biggest movie flop of 1993? By far that title belongs Last Action Hero, which cost more than $100 million to make and barely earned half that.

1993 also marked the death of one of my favorite actresses of all time, Audrey Hepburn. Vincent Price’s death signaled the end of an era — in this case of elegant horror films based in part on the works of Edgar Allen Poe.

The drug overdose and death of 23-year-old River Phoenix was a very well-publicized affair, with much media discussion concerning young actors’ lifestyles.

Top 10 Movies in 1994

What were the most popular movies in 1994?

  1. The Lion King
  2. Forrest Gump
  3. True Lies
  4. The Mask
  5. Speed
  6. The Flintstones
  7. Dumb and Dumber
  8. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  9. Interview with the Vampire
  10. Clear and Present Danger

Who won the 1994 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Forrest Gump
Best Director: Robert Zemeckis – Forrest Gump
Best Actress: Jessica Lange – Blue Sky
Best Actor: Tom Hanks – Forrest Gump

Top 10 Movies in 1995

What were the most popular movies in 1995?

  1. Toy Story
  2. Die Hard with a Vengeance
  3. Apollo 13
  4. GoldenEye
  5. Pocahontas
  6. Batman Forever
  7. Seven
  8. Casper
  9. Waterworld
  10. Jumanji

Who won the 1995 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Braveheart
Best Director: Mel Gibson – Braveheart
Best Actress: Susan Sarandon – Dead Man Walking
Best Actor: Nicolas Cage – Leaving Las Vegas

Top 10 Movies in 1996

What were the most popular movies in 1996?

  1. Independence Day
  2. Twister
  3. Mission: Impossible
  4. The Rock
  5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  6. 101 Dalmatians
  7. Ransom
  8. The Nutty Professor
  9. Jerry Maguire
  10. Eraser

Who won the 1996 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: The English Patient
Best Director: Anthony Minghella – The English Patient
Best Actress: Frances McDormand – Fargo
Best Actor: Geoffrey Rush – Shine

Top 10 Movies in 1997

What were the most popular movies in 1997?

  1. Titanic
  2. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  3. Men in Black
  4. Tomorrow Never Dies
  5. Air Force One
  6. As Good as It Gets
  7. Liar Liar
  8. My Best Friend’s Wedding
  9. The Fifth Element
  10. The Full Monty

Who won the 1997 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Titanic
Best Director: James Cameron – Titanic
Best Actress: Helen Hunt – As Good as It Gets
Best Actor: Jack Nicholson – As Good as It Gets

Top 10 Movies in 1998

What were the most popular movies in 1998?

  1. Armageddon
  2. Saving Private Ryan
  3. Godzilla
  4. There’s Something About Mary
  5. A Bug’s Life
  6. Deep Impact
  7. Mulan
  8. Dr. Dolittle
  9. Shakespeare in Love
  10. Lethal Weapon 4

Who won the 1998 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: Shakespeare in Love
Best Director: Steven Spielberg – Saving Private Ryan
Best Actress: Gwyneth Paltrow – Shakespeare in Love
Best Actor: Roberto Benigni – Life Is Beautiful

Top 10 Movies in 1999

What were the most popular movies in 1999?

  1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  2. The Sixth Sense
  3. Toy Story 2
  4. The Matrix
  5. Tarzan
  6. The Mummy
  7. Notting Hill
  8. The World Is Not Enough
  9. American Beauty
  10. Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me

Who won the 1999 Academy Awards?

Best Picture: American Beauty
Best Director: Sam Mendes – American Beauty
Best Actress: Annette Bening – American Beauty
Best Actor: Kevin Spacey – American Beauty

More 1990s Movies

Sophia Loren accepting her honorary award at the 1990 Academy Awards

List of 1990 Academy Award Winners & Nominees »

The list of 1990 Academy Award winners includes Dances With Wolves with Kevin Costner, Kathy Bates in Misery, Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, & Whoopi in Ghost.
Anthony Hopkins had the Academy Awards judges' attention

List of 1991 Academy Award Winners & Nominees »

The Silence of the Lambs was a huge hit at the 1991 Academy Awards, completing a clean sweep of all four major categories.

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