March Madness movie tourney and 40 years of box office champs: the final 4

The March Madness movie tournament has been whittled down, now only a few days away from selecting a favorite film from the box office champions of the past 40 years.

And then there were four.

We started with 64 films, taking the top-16 domestic box office earners from each decade (starting in 1980) and pitting them against one another.

There will be no "One Shining Moment" played at the end of this tournament -- there is no video footage of me typing at the computer or users clicking a button on Twitter -- and yet here we are.

Four films. A representative from each decade spanning the 1980's, 1990's, 2000's and 2010's. There were surprises, upsets, and a couple of close calls. And yet the four films in the final four are all worthy of inclusion.

One half of the match-ups has the 1980's region taking on the 1990's region. The other: the 2000's vs the 2010's.

Take a glance below at the skinny for the final four films (box office totals taken from Box Office Mojo). 

1980-1989 winner

Film: Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

Seed: #3

Domestic box office: $290,271,960

Films defeated: Rain Man, Ghostbusters, Return of the Jedi, Raiders of the Lost Ark

1990-1999 winner

Film: The Lion King (animated)

Seed: #3

Domestic Box Office: $422,783,777

Films defeated: Mrs. Doubtfire, Independence Day, Beauty and the Beast (animated), Forrest Gump

2000-2009 winner

Film: The Dark Knight

Seed: #2

Domestic Box Office: $535,234,033

Films defeated: Transformers, Finding Nemo, Shrek 2, Iron Man

2010-2019 winner

Film: Avengers: Endgame

Seed: #2

Domestic Box Office: $858,373,000

Films defeated: Dark Knight Rises, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, The Black Panther, Infinity War

Pick your favorites! Voting for the semifinals will take place on Twitter (@jasonrh_78) starting at 7 pm (MT) on March 23. The final match will take place beginning roughly 24 hours later, on March 24. *Facebook doesn't have the "polls" option anymore so feel free to leave comments regarding your favorite(s) if you don't have a Twitter account. Your comments will be counted as votes.

Thanks for indulging and playing along over the last couple of weeks. Happy voting and happy film watching!

photo credit:

Part 1: March Madness movie tourney full bracket
Part 2: Box office dominance of Star Wars universe
Part 3: Marvel mania
Part 4: The Lion King and other animated films