Entering the United States market on August 23, 1977, VHS tape was a game changer for Hollywood. It allowed viewers to take the magic of movies home for the first time at a very affordable price. While The sound of the music, pattonand MIX* If the first American movies were released in this format, thousands upon thousands more would follow, creating an entire industry that has had its ups and downs.
With a history of violence Reported to have been the last major Hollywood film to be released on VHS in 2006, the legacy of the formats lives on in collectors’ markets today, with people eager for a bit of nostalgia. So, let’s remember a simpler time, when the world wasn’t distracted by smartphones, recalling the top 10 best-selling VHS tapes of all time.
10 Cinderella (1950) – 17,000,000
Entering the list at number 10 is Disney’s Cinderella. Released in theaters on February 15, 1950, this was the company’s 12th animated feature, and it really helped turn things around at a time when the studio was on the brink of bankruptcy. It was met with critical acclaim, received three Academy Award nominations, and grossed $4.28 million at the box office, which in 1950 was quite a turnaround.
The film, part of the Walt Disney Classics collection, would first be released on VHS on October 4, 1988, offering a free lithographic reproduction for those who pre-ordered the tape. At the time, it was the best-selling VHS of all time before ET the alien ranked first. Since then, several more releases have made it to home video, but the original release went into moratorium in 1989.
9 Pocahontas (1995) – 17,100,000
Coming in at number nine is the 1995 smash hit, Pocahontas. Released in theaters on June 16, 1995, Disney’s 33rd animated film was a huge success, grossing $346.1 million. Although it was criticized for its historical inaccuracies, it won two Academy Awards for Best Musical or Comedy Score and Best Original Song.
When it was released on VHS on February 28, 1996, Pocahontas it was part of the Masterpiece Collection and featured a documentary on the making of the film, as well as the book The Art of Pocahontas and some lithographs. Selling nine million copies in its opening weekend, it was re-released as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection in 2000.
8 Toy Story (1995) – 21,000,000
At number eight, we have the hit movie, toy story, which was the first fully computer-animated feature film. It was also the first feature film produced by Pixar Animation Studios, and would go on to earn $394 million at the box office and take home the Academy Award for Special Achievement.
Released on VHS on October 29, 1996, toy story total rentals and sales would be $5.1 million, enough to knock the top spot off Twister At the time. While it did not include any special features, a 2000 re-release as part of the Walt Disney Gold Classic Collection included the bonus animated short, tin toy.
7 Independence Day (1996) – 22,000,000
Number seven on the list is none other than the sci-fi action classic, Independence Daywhich was released in theaters on July 3, 1996. Grossing a massive $817.4 million at the box office, it was the highest-grossing film of the year, would take home the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, and was considered a inflection point. at the time for what really could be the Hollywood blockbuster.
Upon its VHS home video release on November 22, 1996, Independence Day it would become the best-selling live-action video at the time following a $30 million dollar marketing campaign. While it’s seen several different releases since then on both DVD and Blu-ray, nothing will beat pulling that tape out of the case to watch good American justice dealt to a bunch of aliens. A very inferior sequel, Independence Day: Resurgencewas released in 2016
6 Beauty and the Beast (1991) – 22,000,000
Dancing its way up the list at number six is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, which is the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. It grossed a total of $440.1 million at the box office and would spawn sequels, spin-offs, Broadway musicals, video games, and a live-action remake starring Emma Watson. Needless to say, it was a success.
As for its release on VHS on October 30, 1992, Beauty and the Beast it would prove equally successful on the small screen, released as part of the Walt Disney Classics collection. While the original release would go on moratorium just six months later, it has since seen several more releases on VHS, DVD, and Blu-ray.
5 Jurassic Park (1993) – 24,000,000
Roaring its way to number five is the 1993 blockbuster, Jurassic Park. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, the film quickly became the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing the record for ET the alien. She would hold that place for four years, before being scuttled by Titanic. Winner of three Academy Awards, it has since spawned sequels, comics, video games, and a slew of theme park rides.
First released on VHS on October 4, 1994 in standard format, a re-release three years later would see a THX-certified widescreen version of the film hit stores. Since then, it has been released in various incarnations on DVD and Blu-ray, packaged with its sequels over and over again.
4 Titanic (1997) – 25,000,000
Cruising its way to the number four spot on the list is James Cameron’s smash hit, Titanicwhich was released in theaters on December 19, 1997. It won 11 Academy Awards and grossed $1.84 billion in its initial worldwide release, it was the highest-grossing film of all time until another James Cameron film, Avatarhe took the title in 2010.
After a $50 million dollar marketing campaign, Titanic was released to VHS on September 1, 1998 in widescreen and fullscreen formats. A deluxe box set featuring a mounted filmstrip and six lithographic prints was also released. Running for three and a half hours, the film had to be split across two VHS tapes to preserve image quality. Since then, the critically acclaimed film has been released multiple times in a variety of formats.
3 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1938) – 28,000,000
Theatrically released on February 4, 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves It was Disney’s first animated feature film. In 2008, the American Film Institute named it the greatest American animated film of all time, and it has been preserved in the National Film Registry.
First released on VHS on October 28, 1994, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves it was the first film in the Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection, and with good reason. There’s no denying the film’s cultural significance, resulting in theme park attractions, video games, Broadway shows, and an upcoming live-action release scheduled for 2024, with Rachel Zegler as Snow White and Gal Gadot as the Evil Queen.
2 Aladdin (1992) – 30,000,000
Swooping in at number two on the list is Disney’s 31st animated film, Aladdinwhich hit theaters on November 11, 1992. Winner of two Academy Awards, the film is best remembered these days for the terrific performance of the late Robin Williams, who voiced the Genie.
Released on VHS on September 29, 1993 as part of the Walt Disney Classics collection, Aladdin it sold 10.8 million copies in the first three days. Following the release of the Sega Genesis video game adaptation, the film sold a large number of more copies in 1993, with the original release going into moratorium on April 30, 1994. In 2019, a live-action remake was released, with Will Smith in the role of the genius.
1 The Lion King (1994) – 32,000,000
Taking its rightful place at number one on the list is Disney’s The Lion Kingwhich was released theatrically on June 15, 1994. Featuring the voices of James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Matthew Broderick, The Lion King it remains, to this day, the highest-grossing traditionally animated film with a total box office of $968.5 million. Winner of two Academy Awards, it is widely considered one of the best Disney movies of all time.
Released to VHS home video on March 3, 1995, The Lion King presented a preview of the upcoming film, Pocahontas. A deluxe edition was also released, with lithographs, an epigraph, concept art, a certificate of authenticity, and another tape that had The Creation of the Lion King in it, which was a 30-minute television special. While the original version went into moratorium in 1997, several versions have been released since then. The film spawned an entire franchise, and a CGI remake was released in 2019 featuring the voice acting chops of Donald Glover, Seth Rogan, Beyoncé, John Oliver, and James Earl Jones reprising their role as Mufasa. Since then, it has been reported that a prequel is in the works, set to be released in 2024.