Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

Chart Flashback: Sept. 5-7, 1986

This weekend 25 years ago, the action blockbuster was being reshaped by James Cameron and Tony Scott, while then-24-year-old Tom Cruise was flying high

Posted on

1. Stand by Me
The astute adaptation of Stephen King’s The Body was director Rob Reiner’s first hit, paving the way for The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally…, and A Few Good Men.
Weekend gross: $3.4M
Final gross: $52.3M

2. Top Gun
Even 17 weeks into its release, this Tony Scott action flick continued to fly near the top of the charts. It would ultimately become the highest-grossing film of 1986 and — when adjusted for inflation — remains the biggest hit of Tom Cruise’s career.
Weekend gross: $3.3M
Final gross: $176.8M

3. The Fly
Weekend gross: $2.5M
Final gross: $40.5M

4. The Karate Kid Part II
Weekend gross: $2.3M
Final gross: $115.1M

5. Aliens
James Cameron’s sci-fi sequel outgrossed the 1979 original ($78.9 million) and earned seven Oscar nominations, including a Best Actress nod for Sigourney Weaver — her first.
Weekend gross: $2.1M
Final gross: $85.2M

6. Nothing in Common
Weekend gross: $2.1M
Final gross: $32.3M

7. Ruthless People
It was a good year to be Bette Midler and Danny DeVito. This black comedy marked Midler’s second smash of 1986 (the other: Down and Out in Beverly Hills), while DeVito proved he could headline a movie after supporting turns in Terms of Endearment and Romancing the Stone.
Weekend gross: $1.8M
Final gross: $71.6M

8. Extremities
Weekend gross: $1.6M
Final gross: $13.4M

9. Back to School
Weekend gross: $1.4M
Final gross: $91.3M

10. About Last Night…
This romance just barely outgrossed the 1985 Brat Pack staple St. Elmo’s Fire ($37.8 million), which also starred Rob Lowe and Demi Moore.
Weekend gross: $1.2M
Final gross: $38.7M