The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Matador Marquee: Top films of 1994

The top films of 1994 went on to become staples people have enjoyed in the theater and in the comfort of their homes. The following films were ranked by their year-end worldwide gross, according to Box Office Mojo by IMBDb Pro. Looking at the films that shaped the year sets the scene for pop culture at the time. Among the five titles are household names whose stardom skyrocketed after the success of their performances.

 

“The Lion King” is an animated Disney musical set in Africa. The epic was the highest worldwide grossing film of 1994, with staple performances by James Earl Jones, Nathan Lane, Whoopi Goldberg, and more stars. The narrative was accompanied by music from Elton John, Tim Rice and Hans Zimmer. The film follows a Shakespeare-inspired story of Simba finding his way back to his place in the circle of life.

 

 

“Forrest Gump” is a comedy-drama that follows Tom Hanks as the titular character. The film was named Best Picture, among other Academy Awards, and ranked second in worldwide gross. With five other Oscars, the multi-award winning movie about a man’s complex life from All-American football to the Watergate scandal is a staple in pop culture and is in the National Film Registry for its significance.

 

 


“True Lies” is a comedy-action film that follows Harry Tasker, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, and his struggle to balance being a spy, husband and father. The James Cameron-written and directed project was the third-highest worldwide grossing film of 1994, and the first to cost $100 million, a record Cameron doubled with “Titanic” in 1997. Jamie Lee Curtis won a Golden Globe Award for her performance as Helen, Harry’s wife, who is seeking adventure amidst a midlife crisis.

 


“The Mask” is a comedy film starring Jim Carrey, based on the comic book series of the same name. When Carrey’s character puts on a green wooden mask, the shy bank clerk becomes a cartoonish version of his inner self. The film had the fourth-highest worldwide gross of the year, with a $32 million budget and an over $351 million worldwide gross, which made it the most profitable comic book adaptation until it was surpassed in 2019 by “Joker.”

 

All screengrabs taken from Rotten Tomatoes.


“Speed” is an action film that follows public transportation passengers as they operate a bus that will explode if it goes under 50 mph. The film won the Academy Awards for best sound effects editing and best sound, while ranking fifth in worldwide gross of 1994. Keanu Reeves is Jack Traven, a bomb disposal officer trying to diffuse the situation, alongside Sandra Bullock in her breakthrough role as Annie Porter, an everyday person who took control of the bus as it barreled through Los Angeles.

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