Indiana Jones franchise
Released: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984); Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989); Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
U.S. box office gross (cumulative): $936.5 million
What began as a fairly simple idea drawn up by George Lucas and Steven Spielberg — to reinvent the adventure serials of their youth for a modern audience — blossomed into one of Hollywood’s most lucrative and beloved franchises of all time The first three films were huge hits in the 1980s. Then, after a nearly 20 year hiatus, the series roared back to life three years ago with Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Though some hardcore fans weren’t happy with the movie, it became the most financially successful film in the series. A fifth movie is reportedly now in the works.
It’s hard to imagine the movies being as popular without Ford, but the actor’s iconic characterization of the daring archaeologist almost didn’t happen: Originally, director Spielberg offered the Indy role to Tom Selleck, who had to demur because of his TV commitments to “Magnum, P.I.” What did Selleck miss out on? “Fortune and glory, kid,” as Indy says in Temple of Doom. “Fortune and glory.”
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