The Biggest Books-to-Movies

Harry Potter is back, as a J.K. Rowling bestseller again hits the big screen. From Jaws to The Sound of Music, The Daily Beast ranks the books that became the biggest blockbusters.

AP Photo; Everett Collection (3)

On Friday, audiences around the globe will be swept up in a world full of spells, hormonal wizards, and Quidditch, as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1, the first half of the Harry Potter film series’ two-part finale, directed by David Yates. The films are, of course, adapted from the bestselling series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J.K. Rowling which have sold more than 400 million copies worldwide, and it’s also the highest-grossing film series of all time.

Although everything from children’s toys ( Transformers) to amusement park rides ( The Pirates of the Caribbean) are being fashioned into popular film franchises these days, as any Potter fan or Twi-hard will tell you, the book-to-film adaptation still reigns supreme, which inevitably begs the question: What are the highest-grossing films of all-time based on books?

To rank the highest-grossing films based on books, we used data compiled by Box Office Mojo. Inflation-adjustment was done by multiplying estimated admissions by the latest average ticket price—which in 2010 is $7.95—and where admissions were unavailable, adjustment was based on the average ticket price for when each movie was released, taking into account theatrical re-releases, which were very common for pre-1980 films (especially Disney animated features). So, without further ado, let’s raise the curtain.

1, Gone With the Wind Based on: Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell Director: Victor Fleming Released: 1939 Original box office gross: $198,676,459 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $1,606,254,800

2, The Sound of Music Based on: The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta von Trapp Director: Robert Wise Released: 1965 Original box office gross: $158,671,368 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $1,132,202,200

3, The Ten Commandments Based on: The Hebrew Bible Director: Cecil B. DeMille Released: 1956 Original box office gross: $65,500,000 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $1,041,450,000

4, Jaws Based on: Jaws by Peter Benchley Director: Steven Spielberg Released: 1975 Original box office gross: $260,000,000 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $1,018,226,600

5, Doctor Zhivago Based on: Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak Director: David Lean Released: 1965 Original box office gross: $111,721,910 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $986,876,900

6, The Exorcist Based on: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty Director: William Friedkin Released: 1973 Original box office gross: $232,671,011 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $879,020,900

7, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Based on: Snow White by the Brothers Grimm Director: David Hand, William Cottrell, Wilfred Jackson, Larry Morey, Perce Pearce, Ben Sharpsteen Released: 1937 Original box office gross: $184,925,486 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $866,550,000

8, The 101 Dalmatians Based on: The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith Director: Clyde Geronimi, Hamilton Luske, Wolfgang Reitherman Released: 1961 Original box office gross: $144,880,014 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $794,342,100

9, Ben-Hur Based on: Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace Director: William Wyler Released: 1959 Original box office gross: $74,000,000 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $779,100,000

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10, Jurassic Park Based on: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton Director: Steven Spielberg Released: 1993 Original box office gross: $357,067,947 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $685,336,400

11, The Graduate Based on: The Graduate by Charles Webb Director: Mike Nichols Released: 1967 Original box office gross: $104,901,839 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $680,292,600

12, The Godfather Based on: The Godfather by Mario Puzo Director: Francis Ford Coppola Released: 1972 Original box office gross: $134,966,411 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $627,434,400

13, Forrest Gump Based on: Forrest Gump by Winston Groom Director: Robert Zemeckis Released: 1994 Original box office gross: $329,694,499 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $624,437,600

14, Mary Poppins Based on: Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers with illustrations by Mary Shepard Director: Robert Stevenson Released: 1964 Original box office gross: $102,272,727 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $621,545,500

15, Thunderball Based on: Thunderball by Ian Fleming Director: Terence Young Released: 1965 Original box office gross: $63,595,658 Box office gross adjusted for inflation: $594,660,000

What other books became a box-office hit? Visit The Daily Beast to find out.