42 Years Later, This 99%-Rated Sci-Fi Masterpiece Still Remains Unmatched

42 Years Later, This 99%-Rated Sci-Fi Masterpiece Still Remains Unmatched
Image credit: Legion-Media

This is the definition of a classic.

Although we're accustomed to thinking of various Disney productions as the highest-grossing movies of all time, if you look back at some of the 20th century's premieres and adjust their box-office results for current inflation, you'll be surprised how far from the truth this statement is.

In fact, one of the most successful sci-fi films of all time, both commercially and critically, is not Marvel's Avengers, but Stiven Spielberg's standalone masterpiece of a film, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Why Did Columbia Pictures Reject E.T.?

It's not often that a movie becomes an undeniable commercial and critical success, especially when it comes to the science fiction genre. People were used to thinking that alien and science fiction stories only appealed to a certain niche of viewers, which is why Steven Spielberg 's E.T. was initially passed over by Columbia Pictures.

This turned out to be a big mistake.

E.T., which has a 99% rating from critics on Rotten Tomatoes, is the story of a young boy named Elliott whose entire life is turned upside down when he manages to befriend the alien named E.T. who was left behind on Earth. Along with his friends and family, Elliott makes it his special mission to bring his friend back home.

There are many points that Columbia somehow missed, even after the personal meeting with the director, which ultimately made the movie very successful.

42 Years Later, This 99%-Rated Sci-Fi Masterpiece Still Remains Unmatched - image 1

First of all, it appealed to more age groups than it was initially expected. Second, the story of a boy from a small town was relatable to many viewers, even if the alien aspect wasn't. And of course, with Spielberg's perfect sense of pacing, the movie was perfectly paced and very easy to watch.

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was eventually produced by Universal Studios and grossed $792 million at the box office on a budget of just over $10 million. If that number sounds impressive to you, the number adjusted for today's inflation is even more insane. The equivalent in 2022 would be $2.8 billion.

Of course, even that high a number doesn't make E.T. the highest-grossing movie of all time. But neither Titanic, Avatar, Avengers or Gone With the Wind, which all top the list, can match the film's overwhelmingly positive critical reception.

Where to Watch Stiven Spielberg’s E.T.?

So if you are looking for a nice space fairy tale to watch in the evening, you can always go back to the classics and rent or buy E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on Vudu, Apple TV or Amazon Prime Video.