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1989 in film: Map


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  • "Batman" is released on June 23, and went on to become the biggest blockbuster of the year; Grossing over $250 million at the box office.
  • Actress Kim Basinger and her brother Mick purchase Braselton, Georgiamarker, for $20 million. (Basinger would lose the town to her partner in the deal, the pension fund of Chicagomarker-based Ameritech Corp., in 1993 after being forced to file for bankruptcy when a California judge ordered her to pay $7.4 million for refusing to honor a verbal contract to star in the movie Boxing Helena.)
  • September - Columbia Pictures and Tri-Star Pictures are sold to Sony
  • The James Bond film Licence to Kill is released. Unknown to anyone at the time, its release would be followed by years of legal wrangling over the future of the popular film series. The next Bond film, GoldenEye, is not released until 1995.
  • Screen and stage legend Laurence Olivier appeared in his last filmed role before his death in 1989 as an old soldier in War Requiem
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade is released on May 24, it is the 3rd installment of the Indiana Jones series.
  • this is the first year where all ten top grossing films worldwide made more than $100,000,000.

Top grossing films (Worldwide)

Rank Title Studio Gross
1. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Paramount $474,200,000
2. Batman Warner Bros. $411,300,000
3. Back to the Future Part II Universal $332,000,000
4. Look Who's Talking TriStar $297,000,000
5. Dead Poets Society Touchstone $235,900,000
6. Lethal Weapon 2 Warner Bros. $227,900,000
7. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Disney $222,700,000
8. Ghostbusters II Columbia $215,400,000
9. The Little Mermaid Disney $184,200,000
10. Born on the Fourth of July Universal $161,000,000


Academy Awards:

Best Picture: Driving Miss Daisy - Majestic Films International, Zanuck Company., Warner Bros.
Best Director: Oliver Stone - Born on the Fourth of July
Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis - My Left Foot
Best Actress: Jessica Tandy - Driving Miss Daisy
Best Supporting Actor: Denzel Washington - Glory
Best Supporting Actress: Brenda Fricker - My Left Foot
Best Foreign Language Film: Nuovo cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso), directed by Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy
Best Art Direction/Set Decoration: Anton Furst and Peter Young - Batman

Golden Globe Awards:

Best Picture: Born on the Fourth of July
Best Actor: Tom Cruise - Born on the Fourth of July
Best Actress: Michelle Pfeiffer - The Fabulous Baker Boys

Musical or comedy:
Best Picture: Driving Miss Daisy
Best Actor: Morgan Freeman - Driving Miss Daisy
Best Actress: Jessica Tandy - Driving Miss Daisy

Best Director: Oliver Stone, Born on the Fourth of July
Best Foreign Language Film: Nuovo Cinema Paradiso (Cinema Paradiso), Italy

Palme d'Or (Cannes Film Festival):
Sex, lies, and videotape, directed by Steven Soderbergh, United States

Golden Lion (Venice Film Festival):
A City of Sadness (Beiqing chengshi), directed by Hou Hsiao-Hsien, China

Golden Bear (Berlin Film Festival):
Rain Man, directed by Barry Levinson, United States

Films released in 1989

Wide-release movies







Film debuts

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