Indiana Jones Franchise

Destination film plot

The Plot

The Indiana Jones franchise is one of those priceless film series that instantly causes its theme tune to play within the minds of anyone who hears its name. Following the adventures of a fictional professor of archaeology, Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones Junior, the Indiana Jones film franchise began in 1981 with Raiders of the Lost Ark, followed by The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade and – after a 19-year hiatus – The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The series is also famous for its many exotic filming scenery locations including deserts, canyons and jungles across the world.

Destination film statistics

Films Released

1981, 1984, 1989, 2008

Gross Box Office

$1.98 billion worldwide

Filming Locations

Multiple locations including Hawaii, Sri Lanka, Jordan, Utah and New Mexico

Destination Landmarks and Locations

Landmarks and Locations

  • Al Khazneh Temple, Petra, Jordan – Exterior shots for the closing scene in The Last Crusade where Indy and his companions gallop into the sunset
  • Iguazu Falls, Argentina/Brazil – Filming location for The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
  • Sidi Bouhlel Canyon, Tunisia – Location of Indy’s fight with the Nazis in Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Hule'ia National Wildlife Refuge, Kauai, Hawaii – Opening “Peru” scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Monsul Beach, Andalucía, Spain – The beach on which Henry Jones Senior uses an umbrella to scare birds into the flight path of an enemy plane in The Last Crusade
Destination why you should visit

Why You Should Visit

Who wouldn’t want to ride off into the desert sunset just like Indiana Jones? The filming of Indiana Jones had a profound effect on the tourism in both Jordan and Hawaii, with the latter’s booming film industry generating over 10,000 jobs in the local economy. In Jordan, you can gaze up at the impressive edifice of the Al Khazneh Temple (don’t worry, there is no snake-infested room within!), and in Hawaii you can wander the incredibly beautiful tropical jungles that stood in for Peru during Indy’s famous boulder escape sequence. There are no booby traps, we promise.

Destination Film Facts
  • Did You Know?

    Raiders of the Lost Ark was originally only intended to be a low-budget venture, but production costs tripled to $22 million. In fact, the film was so small to begin with that the first draft of the script was actually handwritten.

  • Did You Know?

    Indiana Jones’s iconic bull whip was sold at auction in December 1999 for $43,000, while his jacket and hat are on display at the Smithsonian.

  • Did You Know?

    George Lucas originally named the film’s main character “Indiana Smith”. But after Spielberg protested that it was too similar to Nevada Smith, the 1966 Steve McQueen western, the name was changed to “Jones”.

  • Did You Know?

    A fifth instalment in the franchise is set for release in July 2021, also casting Harrison Ford.

  • Did You Know?

    Temple of Doom is generally credited (along with Gremlins) for the introduction of the PG-13 rating, as the scenes of violence were widely considered too graphic for a PG rating, but not quite graphic enough for an R rating.

  • Did You Know?

    Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison, Harrison Ford’s wife, wrote a script during breaks in filming Raiders of the Lost Ark, after Spielberg dictated a story idea to her. That script was eventually called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.