Movies and music have been a natural combination ever since sound was first added to moving images. Whether a film is a tear-jerking drama, an action-packed thriller or a side-splitting comedy, the right song at the right moment will always elevate the impact of a scene. Not only that, many songs written for films have stood on their own, with the popularity of some eclipsing the movies that inspired them.
The biggest example of this undoubtedly comes from 1992’s The Bodyguard. Though it’s likely not everyone has seen the film, people of all generations can recognize its massive single: Whitney Houston’s smash ballad “I Will Always Love You.” John Travolta’s 1977 cult classic disco film Saturday Night Fever produced several of the Bee Gees’ biggest hits — including “Stayin’ Alive” and “Night Fever.” Even now, the power of the soundtrack continues to shine through on the charts — with Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper’s duet “Shallow” from the 2018 remake of A Star Is Born and “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” from Disney’s 2021 animated film Encanto gaining global momentum.
Here’s a look back at the 65 biggest Hot 100 hits that arose from being featured on the silver screen.
This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Hot 100 chart. Songs are ranked based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 earning the greatest value and weeks at No. 100 earning the least. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from each era, certain time frames were weighted to account for the difference between turnover rates from those years.