- MR. MOM
- RISKY BUSINESS
- EASY MONEY
- NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION
- RETURN OF THE JEDI
- TRADING PLACES
- STAYING ALIVE
- STRANGE BREW
- SMOKEY AND THE BANDIT III
- METALSTORM: THE DESTRUCTION OF JARED-SYN
I have seen 12 of the top 15, although I only saw MR. MOM, RETURN OF THE JEDI, WARGAMES, STRANGE BREW and METALSTORM at the theater (I have yet to see ZELIG, CUJO and STAYING ALIVE). I had just received my driver's license the previous April and went to a lot of movies in Champaign-Urbana, but it was not so easy to get into R-rated movies in those days, or at least it wasn't for me. The others I caught on cable or on home video.
What's interesting about the chart that would never happen today is how long some of these films played. I saw WARGAMES in June right after it came out, and here it is, back in the Top 10 in September. It had been out 14 weeks by that time. RETURN OF THE JEDI had been out 15 weeks and FLASHDANCE a whopping 21.
You'll also notice, particularly when you move farther down the list below the top 15, how much more varied the selection was in those days. The five new films debuting that week were MORTUARY, NIGHTMARES, DEATHSTALKER, STRYKER and TURKEY SHOOT. All were low-budget exploitation movies that would never see the inside of a theater today. In fact, there is no such thing as a theatrically released low-budget exploitation movie anymore, and I really believe we're worse off for it. Believe it or not, even though it never rose higher than 12th, DEATHSTALKER (a hilarious sword-and-sorcery flick I oughta review here) stayed in regular release for at least 14 weeks!
Oh, and METALSTORM? It was in 3D. I saw it at the historic Virginia Theater in Champaign, which, sadly, rarely shows movies anymore, save for Roger Ebert's annual film festival and occasional other special events.