When the film, "E.T." came out I was among the first few hundred thousand to see it. I went with my brother and sister-in-law at the Del Oro theatre in Grass Valley, California. After the film and much blubbering, my sister- in-law said, "That was better than 'The Graduate'," and she loved "The Graduate." Maybe it was the special effects (kids flying on bicycles) in E.T. that knocked "The Graduate" off of its throne.
I tried to find an article comparing "E.T." with its predecessor, “The Graduate” but failed.