Jurassic Park (1993)
Written by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park -- the book and subsequent movie -- generated so much interest in dinosaurs that the study of paleontology increased dramatically and has been at an all-time high ever since. The setting is a remote island where a wealthy businessman has secretly created a theme park featuring live dinosaurs cloned from prehistoric DNA found encased in amber. As preposterous as this may sound, it works, and there is genuine suspense, especially when the prehistoric creatures break free. The special effects are dazzling and eye-popping, earning the film three Oscars -- Best Effects (Sound Effects), Best Effects (Visual), and Best Sound. Jurassic Park held the box office record gross of $357,067,947 before it was beaten by Titanic in 1997.