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Looks like you picked the right week: 'Airplane!' celebrates 35 years
Thirty-five years ago Thursday, "Airplane!" premiered in theaters. It wasn't the first manic, boisterous comedy, nor was it the first film to parody disaster movies. (Remember "The Big Bus"? Of course you don't, even though the bowling alley was a nice touch.)
But "Airplane!" caught the zeitgeist in that long-ago "Empire Strikes Back" summer of 1980, grossing $83 million (that's about $240 million in today's money) and ranking as the No. 4 film of the year, behind only "Empire," "9 to 5" and "Stir Crazy."