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How to Find Movie Times in Your Area
While streaming services continue to grow and expand, there are some movies you just need to see on the big screen. Cinema attendance in America remains steady, and the average American reports going to the cinema five times every year.
The latest blockbuster is out, everyone is talking about it and you just want to see it. How do you find out where it’s showing and at what times? Below you will find some great ways to find all this information and more.
There are some great resources online where you can get all the information on the latest releases, including screening times and reviews.
IMDb.com is your go-to source for all things movies. The site includes a list of current movies, upcoming releases, statistical information and trends, and it provides a handy search function for your area. Clicking on the link “Movies, TV and Showtimes” takes you to a handy search tool, allowing you to search for cinemas and screen times in your area.
This is another great online resource for finding anything you need to know about movies. The “Movies and DVDs” link shows you the top rated box office movies, movies opening in the upcoming week and coming soon.
Rotten Tomatoes is well known for its reviews. Clicking on any movie will reveal those reviews, both good and bad. You can easily search for screening locations and times within a particular movie, or follow the dedicated “Tickets & Showtime” link for information on all currently available options.
There is a range of mobile apps available for both iOS and Android to help you find the perfect time for your next cinema visit.
With iOS and Android apps available, you can keep all of IMDb’s resources in your pocket. Search IMDb’s extensive database on movie information, times, locations, reviews, watch trailers and, once you’ve decided, you can even buy your ticket.
Please note, IMDb is not a streaming service and full-length movies are not available in the app.
Flixster also offers iOS and Android compatibility and allows you to discover movies in a handy way. Flixster incorporates Rotten Tomatoes reviews. Check movie times at your favorite theater or find a new theater nearby. You can purchase tickets directly through the app, guaranteeing you a seat when you get there.
Fandango lets you quickly search for reviews (from Rotten Tomatoes), screening times, locations and then purchase your ticket straight from the app. If you’re in a new town or haven’t been to the cinema for a while, Fandango will even show you how to get there. With Fandango VIP, you can return or exchange your tickets if plans change.
Have a favorite local theater? Be sure to check out if it has its own app. Many theaters have an app, giving you all the information you need in the palm of your hand.
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How Are Movies and TV Shows Being Made in Pandemic Times?
Several titles got me through 2020’s many challenging months of isolation. Hulu’s limited series Normal People . Chloé Zhao’s film Nomadland . All the outfits in Mrs. America and The Queen’s Gambit also helped. As did the very unexpected twists and turns in Kaley Cuoco’s The Flight Attendant . Plus Dan Levy’s sweaters in Schitt’s Creek , of course.
But what about 2021? Fortunately, it doesn’t look like we’ll run out of new movies and TV releases soon. HBO announced new seasons for its shows Insecure and Succession coming in 2021, as well as the release of the Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon in 2022. Disney Plus has a long list of new programming slated for this year for fans of the Star Wars and Marvel universes. We’ll finally see Keanu Reeves and Carrie-Anne Moss in The Matrix 4 . And Netflix has just promised we’ll be able to watch “ new movies, every week, all year .”
Some of 2021’s new titles will be films that were ready and had their release dates postponed due to the pandemic, like A Quiet Place II , No Time to Die and Black Widow . But a lot of the content we’ll be enjoying is just plain brand new, meaning it’s been produced and shot during pandemic times. Here’s how that’s even been possible.
Back to Work
Back in June of 2020, Hollywood’s big unions released a report titled “ The Safe Way Forward ” that outlined extensive safety guidelines on how cast and crew members could go back to work. It created a “zone system” that mandated everyone working in a production be tested within the last 24 hours before entering the so-called Zone A — the area of a production that includes the performers, who during filming can’t use PPE or follow physical distancing requirements. A production’s Zone A also consists of those who are in direct contact with the actors, like the director, camera operators or makeup and hair artists. They all are tested for COVID-19 at least three times a week.
“Zone B is everywhere the production has a footprint that is not Zone A. Use of PPE and stringent physical distancing practices are observed and enforced within Zone B,” the report adds. Those in Zone B are tested at least once a week.
Both the Directors Guild of America (DGA) and SAG-AFTRA, the actors union, agreed to these safety guidelines for their members. This allowed them to slowly restart production in the United States .
The Writers Guild of America (WGA), in turn, has published best practices for Zoom Writer’s Rooms , meaning the new seasons of most of your favorite TV shows have been written in virtual settings. The WGA guidelines specify studios should reimburse writers for expenses like monitors or ergonomic chairs and advise on scheduling 10-minute breaks during room hours. They also recommend the use of software — like WritersRoom Pro or Miro — that allows screenwriters to mimic the use of a whiteboard, the place where they would normally jot down details about character or plot development before putting them on the page.
Writers haven’t been immune to the pandemic, however, and some TV shows have even incorporated COVID-19 plots into their storylines to reflect the reality we’ve been facing for the last year. Grey’s Anatomy , The Conners , Black-ish and a special episode of Mythic Quest: Raven Banquet have all found ways to reflect the real-life crisis through their characters.
And of course, shooting didn’t only restart in the United States. Netflix announced in June that some of its roster of Spanish TV shows was resuming production, among them the Stephen King favorite Money Heist ( La casa de papel ), which also happens to be Netflix’s most-watched non-English show. One of the show’s directors, Koldo Serra, posted to his Instagram account on August 17, 2020, from the new normality of shooting in times when masks are a necessity.
Jurassic World: Dominion resumed production in July in London after commissioning a private medical facility to manage the production . All crew members were tested before and throughout production. Management also limited the number of people allowed in the different spaces across Pinewood Studios where the film was shot, made sure to install more sinks, distributed hand sanitizer and reminded the crew of the need to respect the “6 feet of separation” rule.
Also during the summer and fall, the Avatar sequels went back to filming in New Zealand and Marvel’s Shang-Chi restarted (and wrapped up) shooting in Australia, where cases have remained lower. “The cool thing about it, I think, also, is that it’s not so much everyone policing each other. It’s a lot of self-policing, which is like, ‘I want to make sure that I’m not doing anything to put my crewmembers, my castmates, in danger,” Shang-Chi actress Awkwafina told The Hollywood Reporter about the experience of shooting in this situation.
Guillermo del Toro’s star-packed Nightmare Alley picked up production in September in Vancouver, after having halted in March of 2020. “It is not easy,” said the Mexican filmmaker during a virtual panel this summer . “Basically you’re operating a large surgical theater. You have to be sterile, have everybody in conditions that are almost clinical. But at the same time, you have to reenact a carnival.”
Del Toro also explained how difficult it was to coordinate and reschedule his cast for the second portion of the shoot. “The blessing of having this cast is amazing, but the difficulties of rescheduling with all this are enormous because everybody is on demand.” Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette and Willem Dafoe are a few of the big names appearing in Nightmare Alley .
The Netflix Factor
Netflix has just announced a slate of 70 movies to be released in 2021 , with Gal Gadot and The Rock’s Red Notice and Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence’s Don’t Look Up , among them. How is the streaming giant churning out all that new content?
Zendaya’s new movie Malcolm & Marie made headlines back in July for being among the first productions in the United States to take place after the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Netflix snagged its worldwide rights in September. The movie, which will be released February 5, 2021, also stars John David Washington ( Tenet ) and was shot during a two-week period in the Caterpillar House in Carmel, California. The cast and crew, which was a very small team, took several tests during production and quarantined for two weeks before filming began, among other safety precautions.
Netflix also seems to have perfected the formula of shooting under these particular circumstances. In a recent interview , the company’s vice president of physical production for original series, Momita Sengupta, shed a bit more light on the system. Netflix being Netflix, the streamer uses a tool called the Barnes Scale, which was developed by one of the company’s data scientists. The scale allows the company to model what the conditions might be on any particular set, taking into account information like community prevalence of the virus. That helps them decide what safety strategies to put in place.
“One of the strategies — and film has used this very successfully — is we go, ‘OK, looking at this model, I think we should bubble the cast and crew.’ And that’s what led to a full bubble on Red Notice in Atlanta, which has its challenges. And then on two other movies, Hustle and Don’t Look Up , there is more of a hybrid bubble, which is just the cast and some key crewmembers. We’re focusing on the cast because they are the ones that don’t wear the masks and are the most vulnerable,” Sengupta said.
The Show Must Go On
The DGA told its members at the beginning of 2021 that COVID-19 protocols had been “largely effective in catching infected individuals before they are contagious, and limiting the potential spread on set.” The good news is the system seems to be working. And it looks like we’ll keep seeing candid pictures, like Chris Evans administering his own COVID-19 test on the Boston set of Don’t Look Up or Hailee Steinfeld and Jeremy Renner surrounded by masked and face-shielded members of the crew on the New York set of Hawkeye .
Plus, the list of new titles being made goes on. The Hollywood Reporter published a report of all the movies being shot by major film studios during the pandemic in 2020. It listed the number of productions at more than 73 — and that number only accounted for movies.
But even if Hollywood has perfected the art of filming under “new normal” circumstances, shooting a show or a movie in times like these still sounds intimidating and incredibly complicated. It’s no wonder Tom Cruise got a bit angry on the set of Mission: Impossible 7 a few weeks ago because a couple of crew members weren’t following the social distancing guidelines.
It’s probably safe to say we’ll all need some new Hollywood escapism to get through 2021. So I’m glad Cruise — and plenty of others in the industry — are making sure the show goes on.
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The Top 25 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time Worldwide
What are the highest grossing movies of all time? It might surprise you that two of the 25 highest-grossing movies of all time came out in 2022, and 2021 added another another. But 2009’s Avatar still holds the top spot. These stats, of course, are skewed by rising ticket prices and increases in population. Adjusted for inflation, no movie can match the $8.2 billion haul that Gone with the Wind ’s $390 million box-office receipts since its 1939 release would be worth in today’s dollars. But here, we’re looking at the highest-grossing movies ever in gross dollar receipts.
With the exception of Titanic , all of the biggest box office movies are part of a franchise, making us believe that there were probably some studio execs at Paramount or 20th Century Fox trying to convince James Cameron that he should do a sequel (“Are we sure that Jack really dies? Can he come back as a ghost?”). Speaking of Cameron, directing three of the top four biggest box-office hits of all time is quite a feat, one we’re sure hasn’t gone to his head. That they includ both a historic romance drama and a pair of sci-fi action/adventures makes it all the more impressive.
The list of the highest grossing films of all time includes some highly enjoyable movies and some that we can only shake our heads at and marvel at the worldwide moviegoer.
Here are the 25 highest-grossing movies of all-time:
25. Captain America: Civil War (2016) Box office: $1.16 billion Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
The Russo brothers’ second film in the Captain America trilogy, and their last before tackling the upcoming two-part Avengers: Infinity War films, Civil War maintains the same balance of action and significant (if brief) character development/interaction that made Winter Soldier so enjoyable. The fight and chase scenes are frenetic without being confusing, while the comic relief, mostly supplied by our bug-themed heroes, provides a Whedon-flavored lightening of the otherwise dark proceedings. Even more impressive, the film introduces two additional MCU Phase Three stars—one brand new to filmgoers and the other oh-so familiar—and both generate a real sense of “Man, I can’t wait to see his solo film!” All this is achieved without once veering too far from the core plot of the film. If one thinks of the each MCU film as a juggling act—and each hero’s origin, “flavor” and power set as its own subset of items that must be kept in motion and in proper relation with each other—then as a series both Avengers films and Captain America: Civil War can be seen as an escalation of the routine that’s as impressive as it is necessary. After all, with each additional hero added, with each additional demand placed on the script in both action and dialogue, Kevin Feige and company are building toward Infinity . —Michael Burgin
24. Minions (2015) Box office: $1.16 billion Directors: Kyle Balda, Pierre Coffin
Struggling to come up with a reason for its sidekick characters to have their own adventure, Minions proves far too much of a little thing. After two outings as the henchmen to evil super-villain Gru (Steve Carell) in the Despicable Me franchise, the short, stubby, giant-eyed, yellow-bodied Minions are given a backstory of a distinctly dreary nature in directors Kyle Balda and Pierre Coffin’s rambunctious film. Their origins, as it turns out, are as dull as their escapades are wearisome, in large part because the Minions are, by design, one-joke characters incapable of supporting the thousands of gags, pratfalls, one-liners, and other assorted absurdities that crowd the screen for the proceedings’ 90 minutes. Try as they might, they can’t compensate for the lameness of this prequel’s countless pranks, nor for the almost immediate impression that they’re small fries ill-suited for a stand-alone solo effort. What Minions surely doesn’t lack is energy. Set to the good-natured narration of Geoffrey Rush, Universal’s animated film opens with a credits sequence that explicates how, since the dawn of time, the Minions have functioned as gleeful second bananas, hitching their rides to the fortunes of the fiercest bad guy around. That genetic imperative meant they rode side by side with the T. rex and stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Napoleon (among others), and in each instance, their buffoonery was ultimately the cause of their master’s demise. Despite being a huge box office success, Minions winds up residing in a passable-at-best middle ground that’s already overpopulated by scores of virtually identical diversions. — Nick Schager
23. Iron Man 3 (2013) Box office: $1.21 billion Director: Shane Black
Though its titular hero spends 2/3rds of the film outside his armor, Iron Man 3 works. The film provides just the right mix of action (much of it explosive), chuckles (mostly via banter) and plot (fairly comprehensible). Some of that credit goes to director Shane Black, no stranger to the action genre as a screenwriter ( Lethal Weapon , The Last Action Hero ), nor to Robert Downey Jr. as a director ( Kiss Kiss Bang Bang ). At a time when Whedon’s Avengers still loomed large in the rearview mirror (and provided much of the impetus for Tony Stark’s personal character arc in Iron Man 3 ), Black keeps the plot and pacing under much firmer control than Jon Favreau did in Iron Man 2 . But though Iron Man 3 is a better constructed film than its predecessor, ultimately it succeeds for the same reason the first two films did—Robert Downey Jr. is Tony Stark. Whereas most actors, no matter how adept the performance, play second fiddle to the character they portray, Downey Jr. has pretty much displaced Tony Stark, 50 years of comic book character development notwithstanding. In part, it’s because the character himself has never been as compelling as the armor he wore, but mainly, it’s because Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark is just so damned much more enjoyable to be around than Stark Classic. It doesn’t matter that, in terms of hero profiles, Downey Jr.’s breezy, edgy quipping is pure Spider-Man. In fact, it’s telling that, in a realm pretty much defined by a fandom that will wail and gnash teeth about even the slightest deviation from canon, no one really cared . It’s the primary reason why a superhero film where the protagonist spends most of his time out of his armor rather than in it is not just bearable, but downright fun. It’s why the neutering of an arch-villain—though still a troublesome precedent for the Marvel film universe as a whole—works fine within the framework of the film. It’s why, in the frivolous debates of the future, the question “Who was the best Iron Man?” will really be, “Who has done the best version of Robert Downey Jr.?” —Micheal Burgin
22. The Fate of the Furious (2017) Box office: $1.24 billion Director: F. Gary Gray
The Fate of the Furious is the main reason moving pictures exist: The glory of dynamic motion which involves the pulse and the heart. The Fast franchise is a group of action films centered around a crew of talented outlaws who engage in illegal street racing and, later, heists. Although the lineup has changed over the years, the basic formula has stayed the same: an eccentric crew of colorful characters with various talents, led by Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his co-conspirator/girlfriend/wife Letty Ortiz (Michelle Rodriguez) get involved in ever-increasing stakes. This group refers to themselves as “family,” and their bond is the sinew of the franchise. As the series escalates—escalation is the name of the game here—everybody eventually becomes part of the family, even the antagonists who are sent after them: the first movie saw undercover cop Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) joining the crew; this habit is followed in later movies by Diplomatic Security Service agent Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson). None of this dry summation can give you an accurate idea of franchise or its charm…which is that it is absolutely bazonkers : These are movies where topping the previous installment is itself the art . How much crazier can the stunts get? How strong is the family’s bond? How many incredible moments will these stars have on screen? How intense can the stakes get? How byzantine are the plots? How can they possibly pull it off? Any other movie franchise would have run out of gas—think of Brosnan-era Bond. But Fate of the Furious is so clever, so perfectly executed, emotionally sincere, self-aware and gloriously cinematic that I think it made me happier, and more entertained, than any other movie I saw in 2017. — Jason Rhode
21. Incredibles 2 (2018) Box office: $1.24 billion Director: Brad Bird
Incredibles 2 starts right where the first film ended, with the costumed Family Parr reacting to the arrival of the Underminer (John Ratzenberger). Their scuffle with the villain gains the attention of Winston Deavor (Bob Odenkirk)—or more precisely, allows Deavor and his sister, Evelyn (Catherine Keener), to gain the attention of the Parrs. The siblings want to bring supers back into the light, using Winston’s salesmanship and Evelyn’s tech to sway public opinion back to the pro-super side. To do so, they want to enlist Elastigirl (Holly Hunter) as the tip of the spear in their charm offensive, leaving Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson) on the sidelines for now. (She tends to fight crime in a manner that results in less property damage than her husband, after all.) This sets up a second act that’s firmly by the numbers in terms of story development—watch the husband try to succeed as a stay-at-home dad!—yet no less enjoyable. Bob’s attempts to handle teen romance, Jack-Jack’s manifestation of powers and, horror of horrors, “new” math will strike a chord with any mom or dad who has ever felt overwhelmed by the simple, devastating challenges of parenthood. (The family interactions, one strength among many with the first film, remain a delight in the sequel.) Meanwhile, we get to watch Elastigirl in action, as she encounters, foils and matches wits with the film’s mysterious villain, Screenslaver. As in the first film, watching Helen Parr do the hero thing is also quite the delight—she’s resourceful, tough and, above all, a professional. Watching Elastigirl operate almost makes one feel sorry for the criminals. Delving more into the plot would do the film a disservice—suffice to say both villainous and family challenges are faced, and it takes a village, Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson) and Edna Mode (Bird) to emerge victorious. Whether you enjoy Incredibles 2 as much as the original will likely depend on your opinion of the latter, but regardless, you’ll be happy both exist. And in today’s sequel-saturated environment, that is practically a superheroic achievement in itself. —Michael Burgin
20. Beauty and the Beast (2017) Box office: $1.27 billion Director: Bill Condon
While a generation of kids gape at overwhelming CGI landscapes and a talking teacup, the generation before them wonder where all the magic went. An ostensibly live-action remake of the 1991 Disney animated classic, Beauty and the Beast hits all the notes of the original film slowly and without distinction. The new components of this version are great, but they’re jammed into an older model, one we’ve seen before, which can’t always use them to the best of their abilities. Introductory number “Belle (Little Town)” perfectly contrasts the sweeping introduction from Disney’s castle by looking and sounding like it came from a well-choreographed TV musical special. And yes, here that’s a plus. Cramming the screen with gesticulating townsfolk vying for their moment in the French sun makes a strong case for the song’s premise of a town both too small and too full. Then the plot picks up: Belle’s father and the town tinkerer, Maurice (Kevin Kline), is going to the market and will be back with a rose. Maurice serves as our protagonist for almost the first half hour of the movie, accidentally wandering into Beast’s castle, discovering its magic and anthropomorphic accoutrements, failing to escape, coping with his daughter’s sacrifice—offering herself as prisoner in place of her dad—and eventually running back to town. He wrings every drop of acting juice from his part, giving us an overprotective, loving, encouraging father whose helplessness against a town that doesn’t believe his story is genuinely moving. As the Beast, Dan Stevens gives an engaging performance, manipulating his elastic face and wild eyes into winks, smirks and terribly cold glowering gazes that, when the Beast is the only character on screen, work as well as some of the best CGI creature animation we’ve enjoyed on screen lately. Likewise, Emma Watson nails the role of Belle: Smirking at times, lovelorn at others. She’s the kind of adorably naïve, romantic dreamer that can still sell a little uppityness (“Little town filled with little people”? Belle, this is why the townsfolk dislike you) that makes for a good coming-of-age heroine. Despite some convoluted final action (not Twilight helmer Bill Condon’s directorial strong suit) and unbalanced music, Beauty and the Beast ’s teary fairy tale ending survives it all thanks to the brief but colorful relationships we develop with the side characters. Even if they’re not the best they’ve ever been, the story’s quirks and core remain effective. There’s still beauty here to be found. — Jacob Oller
19. Frozen (2013) Box office: $1.28 billion Directors: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
Everything old is new again in Hollywood these days, so it only made sense for Disney to revive the animated musical brand that dominated the early ’90s. The canny nostalgia play of Frozen catered not just to kids but also the parents who grew up quoting dialogue and humming tunes from Beauty and the Beast , The Little Mermaid , The Lion King and Aladdin . Very loosely based on Hans Christian Andersen’s classic story The Snow Queen , Frozen stacks the deck with big bold songs, scheming villains, wacky sidekicks, cuddly characters (ready made to become holiday merchandise) and not just one but two (!) new Disney princesses. Elsa, the elder of the two, was born with the ability to conjure snow and ice with her bare hands. That means the sisters can skate, sled or build a snowman whenever they please, much to young Anna’s delight. Unfortunately, Elsa’s incredible gift soon feels more like a curse when an ice-related accident leaves Anna injured and their parents forbid Elsa from using her magic. A terrified Elsa locks herself away in her bedroom, essentially abandoning Anna whose memory of the event has been erased by a kindly troll king (Ciaran Hinds). Not that Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) is willing to give up on her sister so easily. She’s delighted when Elsa (Idina Menzel) comes of age and ascends to the throne, but trouble arises again when Elsa’s powers go public during an argument over Anna’s love-at-first-sight infatuation with charming visiting prince Hans (Santino Fontana). Elsa stuns her assembled subjects with angry bursts of ice and snow, fleeing to the mountains and literally freezing over her entire seaside Scandinavian village in the middle of summer. Local dignitary the Duke of Weselton (Alan Tudyk) proclaims Elsa a monster, but Anna knows better and resolves to track down her sister and bring her back to the kingdom. — Geoff Berkshire
18. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) Box office: $1.31 billion Director: J.A. Bayona
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom isn’t the best or worst film in the franchise, but it’s certainly the most dully competent. Twenty-five years after Steven Spielberg ruled the summer with his vision of an island overrun by the most magnificent, terrifying dinosaurs you’ve ever seen, director J.A. Bayona provides us with just one more perfectly below-average blockbuster that occasionally grasps what’s so primal and wondrous about the subject matter. The film deals with the fallout from 2015’s Jurassic World , which ended with the dino-centric amusement park imploding and most of the mighty creatures being killed. But three years later, scientists discover that an active volcano on the island is going to kill off the last of the dinosaurs, a fact that troubles Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who has become a fierce advocate for preserving their various species. Now regretting her role in running a park that profited off these mammoth reptiles, she enlists former love Owen (Chris Pratt) to help rescue the beasts. Jeff Goldblum makes a cameo as the offbeat scientist Ian Malcolm—his job is to give congressional testimony that, very handily, highlights the trilogy’s underlying themes in ominous tones. There’s meant to be some dark moral complexity in these films’ depiction of humanity’s desire to create its own dinosaurs—we’re playing God!—but like so much of this silly, by-the-numbers tentpole, the intellectual handwringing is really an excuse for self-perpetuation. The evil masterminds behind the creatures’ abduction just want to make a buck, and so does everybody responsible for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom . Such financial expediency isn’t going to go extinct anytime soon. — Tim Grierson
17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) Box office: $1.33 billion Director: Rian Johnson
The Last Jedi , unlike its predecessor, has the freedom to be daring, and perhaps the most thrilling thing about it—and there are many, many thrilling things—is how abundantly it takes advantage of that freedom. If The Force Awakens was basically just Star Wars told again in a new, but familiar way, The Last Jedi challenges the audience, challenges the Star Wars mythos, even challenges the whole damned series itself. It blows the universe up to rebuild it; it is a continuation and a new beginning. And more than anything else, it goes places no Star Wars film has ever dreamed of going. In a way, the success J.J. Abrams had with The Force Awakens , particularly how decidedly fan-servicey it was, laid the groundwork for what The Last Jedi is able to pull off. That movie reminded you how much power and primal force this series still had. This movie is an even more impressive magic trick: It uses that power and force to connect you to something larger. Not everything in The Last Jedi works perfectly, but even its few missteps are all founded in the desire for something new, to take risks, to push an American myth into uncomfortable new directions. —Will Leitch
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (2011) Box office: $1.34 billion Director: David Yates
It all ends. And to be sure, it was a fitting end for the storied franchise. Perhaps no other series of children’s films (and few series of films period) has delivered as consistently good visuals and narrative as Harry Potter . The event that was Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II can be called nothing less than epic. Picking up right where Part 1 left off, Harry grieves by the seaside grave of the fallen Dobby. His gravestone reads “A Free Elf.” The death of Dobby left moviegoers, even those schooled on and prepared by the source material, gutted. It’s one thing to absorb the pathos from the words on the written page, but the movie medium can pack a harder punch. Of course, without a reverent retelling of the story crafted by the novel’s author, the words become hollow on the screen. And over the course of eight films, the Potter franchise has tried on four directors and two writers, finding success and failure through numerous evolutions. All the while, the three central actors—Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint—grew up along with hordes of avid fans. The story depends so much on caring for Harry. Played with timidity by the ever-boyish Radcliffe, we first met Harry as he made his bed under the stairs in the unwelcoming home of a relative. Cast out because he was different, the bespectacled Harry won us over with each installment in the series, managing, often awkwardly, to combat the forces of Voldemort with pure goodness. But as students of the books know, Harry’s innocence is but part of his defense. And the grand plan, politics and treachery, play out in Part II in a clever and challenging manner. What started out in 2001 as a kid’s fantasy matured into something of surprising import and lasting impact. — Jonathan Hickman
15. Black Panther (2018) Box office: $1.35 billion Director: Ryan Coogler
Black Panther might be the first MCU film that could claim to most clearly be an expression of a particular director’s voice. We shouldn’t go so far as to call it auteurist, because it’s still a Disney movie and (perhaps ironically) a part of that monopolizing Empire—i.e., eat the rich—but Black Panther ’s action scenes, especially, feel one with Coogler’s oeuvre. Look only to an early scene in a South Korean casino, in which T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), Okoye (Danai Gurire) and Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o) plan to intercept a deal between Klaue and everyone’s favorite CIA milquetoast, Everett Ross (Martin Freeman, lovable) for a vibranium-filled artifact which Klaue stole from some colonizer-run museum with Killmonger’s help. We’re introduced to Klaue through the surprising spryness of his violence—Andy Serkis, too, freed from mocap, is still an amazing presence, even as a gangster shitbag—and Coogler gets on his wavelength, carving out the geography of the casino in long tracking shots, much like he convinced us to love stained, shitty-seeming Philadelphia gyms in Creed by helping us to comprehend the many crevices and corners of each hole in the wall. When the casino brawl breaks out into the streets, morphing into a death-defying car chase (slow motion thankfully kept to a minimum), we feel as if we know exactly what these characters—and this wonderful director—are capable of. Cue magnificent Vince Staples track. —Dom Sinacola
14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) Box office: $1.41 billion Director: Joss Whedon
The second Avengers film was warmly received when it initially arrived, but then suffered a bit of immediate blowback, with many superhero genre geeks asserting themselves that although it was undeniably an entertaining film, it represented something of a step back from Joss Whedon’s record-smashing original. Even if it can’t quite match it, and occasionally feels like a bridge toward the next Avengers story, there’s still a whole lot to enjoy in this action-packed yarn. James Spader excels as the voice of the godlike Ultron—a wonderfully arrogant, immature AI character who is only undermined by plot, rather than performance. Ultimately, though, we may remember Age of Ultron more for the storyline fallout it helped generate in the MCU, as Tony Stark’s guilt at creating Ultron is instrumental in driving his position in the fabulous Civil War . Looking back on it in the wake of several other MCU films, its stature has somewhat grown as a result of what it has helped build. — Jim Vorel
13. Frozen II (2019) Box office: $1.45 billion Director: Jennifer Lee, Chris Buck
There’s a bit of diminishing returns with the sequel to Frozen , the aching feeling that this exists not for any compelling narrative or artistic reasons but because Disney didn’t feel like leaving an easy billion dollars on the table. To the studio’s credit, though, it didn’t have to be this good; almost anything with the name “Frozen II” and Anna and Elsa on the poster would’ve been an instant smash hit. Frozen II expands on the original in a way that makes sense, and doubles down on what made it work: Extravagant showtunes and dazzling computer animation.— Garrett Martin
12. Top Gun: Maverick (2022) Box office: $1.49 billion Director: Joseph Kosinski
Not quite four years since Mission: Impossible—Fallout and much of Tom Cruise’s purpose remains the same—if it hasn’t exactly grown in religious fervor. In Top Gun: Maverick , the sequel to Tony Scott’s 1986 original, Cruise is Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, a man trapped in the past, refusing to advance his career as resolutely as he refuses to do much of anything besides continue to prove he’s the greatest pilot in the world—a title the film never forgets to remind the audience that Maverick earned long ago—and mourn his best friend, Goose (Anthony Edwards), who died 35 years ago in an accident for which Maverick still feels responsible. Tom Cruise is also, simply, “Tom Cruise,” the only notable show business scion left to throw his body into mind-numbing danger to prove that it can be done, to show a younger generation that this is what movies can be, what superstars can do. Must do. The more modern action films teem with synthetic bodies bursting apart at the synthetic seams, the more Tom Cruise builds his films as alters upon which to splay his beautiful sacrificed flesh. To that end, Joseph Kosinski is the precisely correct director to steer Cruise’s legacy sequel. As was the case with Kosinski’s Tron: Legacy , Maverick seems to exist to justify its existence, to update an IP that seems to only work in the past. For Top Gun this means translating Scott’s vision of sweat-drenched beach volleyball and unmitigated military spectacle into a soberer IMAX adventure, moving from the halcyon days of Reagan’s America to a world with no more need of a man like Maverick. “The future’s coming, and you’re not in it,” he’s told; every one of his superior officers appears to have no patience for him left. One can’t help but imagine that every new Tom Cruise vehicle is a way for him to reckon with that. Kosinski’s dogfights are pristine, incredible feats of filmmaking, economical and orbiting around recognizable space, but given to occasional, inexplicable shocks of pure chaos. Then quickly cohering again. If Scott’s action was a melange of motion never meant to fully cohere, keeping the American dream just that, then Kosinski is dedicated to allowing the audience a way into the experience. With his regular cinematographer Claudio Miranda, he revels in symmetry to keep the audience tethered. A wide glimpse of a dogfight in total, resembling a beach scene earlier, so suddenly appeared silently in the vast theater and unlike anything I’d ever really seen before, I gasped.— Dom Sinacola
11. Furious 7 (2015) Box office: $1.52 billion Director: James Wan
Watching the seventh installment of the adrenaline-fueled Fast & Furious franchise, one gets the distinct impression that, when faced with a creative choice, the filmmakers asked themselves, “What’s the most insane, over-the-top thing we can do here?” Then they did just that. For a series of films that has been a continual escalation in physics-defying stunts, Furious 7 takes it to an entirely new level. The result is a damn lot of fun. Furious 7 is part revenge thriller, part daring heist, and more than a little of a loving goodbye to a dear friend. Franchise star Paul Walker died in a car crash before filming was complete, and both his life and death loom large over the movie. As his character, Brian O’Conner, experiences one harrowing escapade after another, you wait for the moment where he meets his end. It feels inevitable, and waiting around every corner. There are more than a few instances where Walker’s face is digitally pasted on another body—his brothers stood in for him to help finish the production. The movie is also a celebration of his life. There’s much talk about family in the Furious films; the gang’s been picking up strays and bringing them into the fold since day one. The chemistry between the cast is undeniable, and it’s easy to see how much everyone involved enjoys themselves. Furious 7 traffics so heavily in history that it will carry the most weight with already extant fans, especially in an emotional sense. That said, there are enough WTF action moments and eye candy to sell the movie to more than just diehards. — Brent McKnight
10. The Avengers (2012) Box office: $1.52 billion Director: Joss Whedon
Nestled amongst the gaudy box office numbers of Joss Whedon’s blockbuster is a much simpler achievement. Yes, The Avengers should evoke a deserved appreciation of Whedon’s directorial skills. And yes, the film’s release and reception make for a natural “And that’s when it was official” moment that the MCU took over Hollywood. But for comic book fans especially, The Avengers represents the first instance of the superhero team dynamic truly captured and sustained on film. Even though the X-Men and the Fantastic Four had received big screen treatment, those films were all still pretty static. The interaction between both heroes and villains were slow, separate vignettes rather than two-way, three-way or more-way battles. If Raimi’s Spider-Man showed why comic book superheroes are fun, The Avengers showed why superhero teams are. — Michael Burgin
9. The Lion King (2019) Box Office: $1.66 billion Director: Jon Favreau
The Lion King feels less like a more “realistic” version of the classic animated original than a bloodless X-ray of it. The new Disney trend of making “live-action” versions of their animated catalog—“live-action,” of course, being the exact wrong term for what this is—can have a purpose besides the obvious profitability of reviving an existing brand name if its goal is to conjure the spirit of the original rather than artificially reinflate its corpse; David Lowery’s Pete’s Dragon wasn’t perfect, but it felt like a fond cover rather than, well, taxidermy. That’s what the new Lion King feels like: It feels like taxidermy. It feels like computers attempting to impersonate real life and doing so with such rigid, determined accuracy that the result feels both emotionless and even a little ghoulish. What exactly are these creatures? The movie is dutifully mounted, and Favreau brings the same dogged professionalism he brought to The Jungle Book , a film with many of the same problems as this film. It does its job all too well. The problem is that The Lion King is The Lion King , you know? This is a universally powerful story, with terrific songs and countless funny and fascinating supporting characters. It’s a classic of performance and sensation. This version, seemingly by design—like that was the damned plan all along—drains every bit of life from it … in order to make it more “realistic.” I would love to watch a documentary about these beautiful animals in the flesh. I would love to watch the original film with its joy and grandeur and scope and sense of fun. This? This bizarre, literal-minded thing? I don’t know what this is. — Will Leitch
8. Jurassic World (2015) Box office: $1.67 billion Director: Colin Trevorrow
Jurassic World marks the fourth entry in its paleontological franchise, but it’s probably more important as the second chapter in the story of Chris Pratt’s unexpected ascent to movie stardom. Pratt, seemingly born to make a career out of playing lovable doofuses, made his goofy tenor work for him in Guardians of the Galaxy . With Jurassic World , he’s shed that skin almost entirely in favor of aping the hard-jawed macho men of the 1950s B-movie canon. That transformation lends the film inevitability: As if brand recognition didn’t give Jurassic World enough of a box-office edge, the image of Pratt riding a motorcycle side by side a quartet of raptors should sold Colin Trevorrow’s picture to the crowds. That scene, and others like it, let Jurassic World function as a suitably thrilling roller-coaster ride. Unsurprisingly, they don’t add up to a particularly good movie, but Trevorrow has enough diversions stored up his sleeve that the film’s inconsistencies and overarching sloppiness almost don’t matter. Here, we finally get to see John Hammond’s loopy vision of a dino theme park brought to fruition. — Andy Crump
7. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) Box office: $1.92 billion Director: Jon Watts
Spider-Man: No Way Home holds no surprises. It’s an intriguing case study of corporate collaboration, a self-aware meme machine, and a lackluster movie that understands its hero so well that the disservice stings all the greater. What director Jon Watts’ trilogy has done better than its Raimi and Webb counterparts is convince us that Peter Parker is a kid . A nervous, charming goodie-goodie with a headful of knowledge and not a lick of sense. So it fits that when he, his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and BFF Ned (Jacob Batalon) face problems—blown out of proportion by crippling cases of teen-brain—he’d run off to Dr. Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and plead for a magical worldwide memory wipe without really considering consequences or alternatives. What follows, with characters from past Spidey films getting interdimensionally sucked to this NYC, only really makes sense if you’ve been keeping a keen eye on casting rumors. If so, congratulations: They’re here and shenanigans ensue. After so long playing with the legacy and impact of Spider-Man, No Way Home finds its way back. All the spectacle, all the stunt performers and stunt casting—it all evaporates like so many Snapped extras when confronted with small, connected scenes of human-level dramatic filmmaking that remind you why broke loser Peter Parker resonates with us so deeply in the first place. It’s valuable, this recollection, but getting back to Spider-Man basics is a shallow victory with diminished returns. Perhaps the fact that Spider-Man: No Way Home finds any success in this familiar territory, after devoting itself so wholly to unwieldly examinations of its own IP, is itself its biggest surprise. — Jacob Oller
6. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) Box office: $2.05 billion Directors: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo
Avengers: Infinity War is epic in a way that has been often aspired to but never fully grasped when it comes to the translation from comic book panel to the Big Screen. It’s what happens when moviemakers take their source material seriously, eschewing unnecessary melodrama even as they fully embrace the grandeur, the sheer spectacle, of it all. (And if there’s one lesson Disney has learned, it’s that if you focus on the viewer experience, the product lines will take care of themselves.) For every frenetic fight scene in Avengers: Infinity War —and there are plenty of them—there are myriad character interactions and emotional beats the audience has been prepped for by the previous films (okay, maybe not 2008’s The Incredible Hulk ). As a result, writers Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely have ample room to riff and play as characters meet for the first time or see each other again. Some of the interactions are easy to anticipate (if no less enjoyable)—the immediate ego clash between Cumberbatch’s Dr. Strange and Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, for example—but our familiarity with these characters adds resonance to nearly every scene and every line, as the vestiges and ripples of emotional arcs laid down in the last decade’s worth of movies bolster even the smallest moment. —Michael Burgin
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) Box office: $2.07 billion Director: J.J. Abrams
The Force Awakens was the remedy to the near-terminal Prequel-itis of fans. J.J. Abrams and company accomplished this act of restorative cinema primarily through a return to the “dirty future” aesthetic that made the Original Trilogy feel so real (no matter how absurd the dialogue being delivered by the characters). That’s not to say CGI is lacking, but whereas budget and technology constraints helped the first three films and an overabundance hurt the next three, the balance between practical and special effects in The Force Awakens feels near perfect. I say “primarily” not to take away from other factors, such as casting. Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver are all solid, and Oscar Isaac brings a palpable vigor to his role. Ultimately, The Force Awakens just feels right in ways the Prequels never did. — Michael Burgin
4. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) Box office: $2.21 billion Director: James Cameron
Avatar: The Way of Water is a promise—like the titular Way as described by a beatific, finned Na’vi fish-people princess, the film connects all things: the past and the future; cinema as a generational ideal and one film’s world-uniting box office reality; James Cameron’s megalomania and his justification for Being Like That; one audience member and another audience member on the other side of the world; one archetypal cliché and another archetypal cliché; dreams and waking life. Avatar ’s sequel can be nothing less than a delivery on everything Cameron has said, hyperbolic or not, he would deliver. What’s less clear is exactly what Cameron’s intending to deliver. The Way of Water ’s story is a bare bones lesson in appealing to as many worldwide markets as possible, the continuation of the adventures of Bostonian Jake Sully (Sam Worthington, who’s spent the past decade trying not to sound like an outback chimney sweep) as he raises a Na’vi family with like-warrior-minded Neytiri (Zoe Saldaña, screaming from inside her golden prison) and realizes that Earthlings aren’t going to stop colonizing Pandora just because they had their shit kicked in a lifetime ago. The Way of Water ’s true achievement is that it looks like nothing else but the first Avatar , unparalleled in detail and scale, a devouring enterprise all to itself. Watching The Way of Water can at times feel astonishing, as if the brain gapes at the sheer amount of physical data present in every frame, incapable of consuming it, but longing to keep up. No film will ever be this beautiful in my lifetime, at least until the next Avatar .— Dom Sinacola
3. Titanic (1997) Box office: $2.22 billion Director: James Cameron
Decades after its theatrical debut, James Cameron’s blockbuster epic is still so ubiquitous in the pop culture zeitgeist, its filmmaking marvels are drowned out by young Kate-and-Leo nostalgia and that damned Celine Dion caterwaul (not to mention the now late James Horner’s iconic score). Cameron’s ear for dialogue may be woefully leaden, but he’s a shrewd storyteller, plunking a Romeo-and-Juliet redux aboard the doomed ocean liner and flanking the fictional romance with historical details, groundbreaking special effects and jaw-dropping visuals. The narrative lapses are at times dumbfounding—let’s face it, old Rose, who tosses a priceless artifact into the abyss after waxing ad nauseam about herself, is a thoughtless jerk—and the aforementioned dialogue is awful (to say nothing of Billy Zane doing his best mustache-twirling silent movie villain) but Titanic remains a painstaking testament to the all-in Hollywood spectacle.— Amanda Schurr
2. Avengers: Endgame (2019) Box office: $2.80 billion Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Where does one begin? When it comes to Avengers: Endgame , that question is not so much an expression of wanton enthusiasm as a practical challenge in evaluating the destination toward which Kevin Feige and company have been steering story and viewer alike for the previous 11 years and 21 films. Though there have been plenty of three-hour-plus movies and even a few 20+ entry movie franchises, there’s really nothing to compare with what Disney and Marvel Studios have pulled off, either in terms of size, quality and consistency of cast (a moment of silence for Edward Norton and Terrence Howard), or in how narrow the chronological window, all things considered, those movies were produced. Though we’ve praised it often, casting remains the cornerstone of the MCU. Whether by pitch-perfect distillations of decades-old comic book characters (Captain American, Thor, Spider-Man) or charisma-fueled reinventions of same (Iron Man, Ant-Man, Star-Lord), the MCU’s batting average in terms of casting is not only practically obscene, it’s a crucial ingredient in ensuring the thematic and emotional payoff (and box office payday) of Endgame . Moviegoers have been living with these actors, as these characters, for over a decade. For many, this version of these characters is the only one they know. This is why the sudden ashification of so many heroes at the end of Infinity War hit even the most cynical comic book veterans right in the feels and left less hardened viewers confused and distraught. It’s also why, as Avengers: Endgame opens (after another swift kick to the stomach just in case we’ve forgotten the toll of that snap), the audience cares about not just what the surviving heroes are going to do, but how they are doing in general. It gives the film an emotional resonance that’s unusual not only in pulpier genre offerings but in films in general. This connection makes the quiet moments as valuable to the viewer as the spectacle, and for all the fireworks in the third act, Avengers: Endgame is very much a film of quiet moments and small yet potent emotional payoffs. Comic book fans know the thrill of following all your favorite characters through a multi-issue storyline that culminates in a “universe at stake” ending. Now, thanks to 21 movies in 11 years and one massive, satisfying three-hour finale, moviegoers do, too. —Michael Burgin
1. Avatar (2009) Box office: $2.92 billion Director: James Cameron
It makes sense that Avatar is the highest grossing movie ever made: Irony and insincerity have no place in its extended universe. Whether or not James Cameron intended to crib the world of Pandora and its futuristic inhabitants from practically every fantastical ur-text ever conceived, it hardly matters, because Avatar is modern mythmaking at its most foundational. Cameron still seems to believe that “the movies” can give audiences a transformative experience, so every sinew of his film bears the Herculean effort of truly genius worldbuilding, telling the simple story of Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and his Dances with Wolves -like saving of the Na’vi, natives to the planet of Pandora, from the destructive forces of colonialism. Cameron wants us to care about this world as much as Jake Sully, and by extension James Cameron, does, crafting flora and fauna with borderline sociopathic obsessiveness, at the time pushing 3-D technology to its brink to bring his inhuman imagination alive. It worked; “unobtanium” is actually a real thing. Four sequels feels like a disgusting gambit for a man whose ambition may have long ago outpaced his sense of storytelling, or sense of reason, or sense of what our oversaturated, over-franchised culture can even stomach anymore. But Cameron’s proven us wrong countless times before. —Dom Sinacola
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Top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time
Top Gun: Maverick and Minions, Titanic and the MCU, Avatar and… Avatar 2: these are the top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time
On March 1, 1998, Titanic became the first movie to break through the billion-dollar barrier. It was a historic feat, especially given the murmurings that preceded its release; many thought it would be a disaster, and yet, it’s forever enshrined in cinema history.
The tectonic plates of the box office landscape have drastically shifted since then. Look at Top Gun: Maverick , a legacy sequel with a supersized budget of $170 million that proved all the naysayers wrong and became one of the highest-grossing movies ever made.
This December, James Cameron returned with Avatar 2 , a sequel that’s become the sixth-fastest movie in history to cross $1 billion at the box office – but will it be the king of the world?
- Highest-grossing movies of all time: 50-41
- Highest-grossing movies of all time: 40-31
- Highest-grossing movies of all time: 30-21
- Highest-grossing movies of all time: 20-11
- Highest-grossing movies of all time: 10-1
The top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time
A total of 52 movies have made more than $1 billion at the global box office, with Jurassic World Dominion being the most recent addition, and The Dark Knight just missing the cut on the list with a worldwide gross of $1.005 billion.
Avatar: The Way of Water recently sprinted past $1 billion, earning an impressive spot on the list – and it’s still climbing, poised to reach the top 10, so we’ll keep this article updated with its progress.
Starting from the lowest all the way to the box office king of the world, these are the top 50 highest-grossing movies ever.
Please note: this isn’t taking inflation into account, so there’s no Gone With The Wind pedantry at the bottom of this article.
50. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey – $1.017 billion
It had been nearly 10 years since Peter Jackson concluded his Lord of the Rings trilogy. With the first Hobbit movie, fans heralded the Return of the King to cinemas, not to mention the casting of Martin Freeman as Bilbo and Ian McKellen reprising his role of Gandalf.
While not a critical smash-hit (The Desolation of Smaug is far better), it broke into the billion-dollar club – however, it was the last Middle-earth adventure to do so.
49. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – $1.018 billion
First of all: yes, it’s called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, and I don’t care if it was changed to “Sorcerer’s Stone” in the US. Secondly, Harry Potter has always been a hit at the box office, but the first entry ranks among the franchise’s most prominent performers.
With a haul of more than $900 million in its initial run, Harry Potter’s first chapter has seen its box office figure steadily rise over the past 20 years thanks to regular re-releases, still ranking as one of the highest-grossing movies in the series.
48. Zootopia – $1.024 billion
Zootopia, also known as Zootropolis, is a bit of a box office anomaly. Let’s be honest with ourselves, when’s the last time you spoke about it at any length, other than saying something like, “Aw yeah, that was a good movie” or “I loved the sloth bit”?
There are a few reasons behind its success: firstly, it is actually a great film; secondly, it received amazing reviews, with a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; and thirdly, it was the first Disney animated film to be screened in domestic IMAX theatres since Treasure Planet back in 2002.
47. Alice in Wonderland – $1.026 billion
We’re well and truly into “How in god’s name did this gross more than a billion dollars?” territory. Alice in Wonderland isn’t just naff: it’s outright bad, with the sole strength of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter and the excitement of his reunion with Tim Burton hooking people in.
Somehow, it not only crossed over the billion-dollar mark, but Disney greenlit a sequel: Alice Through the Looking Glass, which landed at 28% on Rotten Tomatoes and didn’t even crack $300 million worldwide. Delayed justice.
46. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace – $1.027 billion
Star Wars may not be the biggest pop culture property on the planet anymore, but in the lead-up to the release of The Phantom Menace, there was no doubt about its success. All it took was an ingeniously simple poster: a young Anakin, with his shadow resembling the cowl of his later Sith Lord.
It’s not a bad movie – it has pod-racing and Duel of the Fates, so it gets a pass on all of its flaws – and it caught fire at the box office, grossing $1.027 billion. The franchise wouldn’t see this level of financial success until more than 10 years later.
45. Finding Dory – $1.029 billion
Not dissimilar to Zootropolis, this is a case of: “Really, that made more than $1 billion?” Finding Dory comfortably swam past the billion-dollar threshold, becoming one of Pixar’s biggest hits in its decorated history.
Lest we forget the popularity of Finding Nemo – on any given day, it could be argued as the studio’s best work – and more importantly, Ellen DeGeneres’ Dory. Ah, how times have changed.
44. Despicable Me 3 – $1.035 billion
Viva la Minions. Even as a steadfast hater of Illumination’s yellow mischief-makers, their mass-market appeal cannot be denied: clearly people cannot get enough of Steve Carell’s Gru-some supervillain and his unintelligible helpers.
The third entry in the franchise finished its box office run with $1.035 billion, despite mixed reviews from critics. With another Minions entry hitting cinemas this week, one can likely expect another despicable success.
43. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides – $1.046 billion
Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has always been chasing the high of Curse of the Black Pearl. While Gore Verbinski’s two sequels had their swashbuckling charm, On Stranger Tides is brutally boring, even with Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack at the helm.
Yes, it made more than $1 billion at the box office, but nobody ever talks about it. To sour its success even further, it’s still the most expensive movie of all time, with a ballooned budget of more than $410 million.
42. Aladdin – $1.051 billion
As I’m putting this list together, it’s hard not to wonder: do we even deserve good movies? Guy Ritchie’s live-action take on Aladdin isn’t terrible, but it certainly isn’t good. It’s bursting with spectacle, and Will Smith does well to fill Robin Williams’ impossibly big shoes as the Genie, but it’s all a bit vapid.
Alas, it comfortably earned a spot on the highest-grossing movies with a haul of more than $1.05 billion, and Ritchie has now been enlisted by the House of Mouse to bring Hercules to life.
41. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – $1.056 billion
As Gordon Ramsay once said: “Finally, some good f**king food.” In 2016, Lucasfilm released its first big-screen spinoff with Rogue One, exploring the tragic efforts of the Rebels who stole the Empire’s blueprints for the Death Star.
Its feel-bad ending was inevitable, yet it still packed a punch. However, there’s a reason we all went back to see it: in its closing minutes, Gareth Edwards delivered the greatest, most exhilarating Darth Vader scene we’d ever seen.
40. The Lion King – $1.064 billion
In 1994, Disney released one of its most seminal movies: The Lion King. It’s as close to perfect as an animated movie can get: it has the godly cadence of James Earl Jones as Mufasa; Elton John wrote the soundtrack; and Hans Zimmer won his first Oscar for its score.
Its box office success was only the beginning, with the film spawning several direct-to-video sequels, spinoffs, an award-winning stage show, and a remake – more on that later.
39. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – $1.066 billion
Gore Verbinski’s first Pirates sequel was a given after Curse of the Black Pearl became an immediate hit. It wasn’t slammed by critics, but its reception was far more mixed this time around, with the exception of the plaudits for Davy Jones’ untouchable CGI.
The box office tells a different story, however: it grossed more than $1.06 billion, making it the highest-grossing movie in the franchise.
38. Toy Story 3 – $1.067 billion
There’s a few red flags we can all agree on when it comes to movies: someone thinking The Shawshank Redemption is bad; anyone who believes Kingdom of the Crystal Skull is the best Indiana Jones movie; and notably, not feeling the slightest bit emotional at the end of Toy Story 3.
Released 11 years after Toy Story 2, the third film was a tear-jerking triumph on all fronts, making a perfect end to the trilogy – or so we thought.
37. Toy Story 4 – $1.073 billion
Toy Story 4 is fantastic. Was it needed? Absolutely not. Does it feel like Pixar capitalising on our love of these characters? A bit. But did it make us cry? Easily.
Functioning more as an epilogue for Woody than another instalment of Toy Story, the fourth film soared on breath-taking visuals and a surprisingly poignant plot. Even now, it’s one of the studio’s highest-grossing movies ever.
36. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker – $1.0741 billion
Really, The Rise of Skywalker was always going to be a bit of a mess; The Force Awakens was a glorious jolt of Star Wars nostalgia, and The Last Jedi was a bold inversion of the franchise’s mythos, upending the trilogy’s presumed direction and charting a course somewhere different entirely.
However, the latter film’s incendiary divisiveness saw Lucasfilm attempt a course correction. The result was a large box office success, but it still provokes volatile discourse between its fans and critics on social media.
35. Joker – $1.0744 billion
Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there? While the idea of a Joker origin story was first met with scepticism, Todd Phillips and Joaquin Phoenix didn’t just prove people wrong – they made the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time.
There was a fair amount of buzz around the film during its production, but the reviews out of the Venice Film Festival were unprecedented, with many hailing it to be a masterpiece. This unfettered praise didn’t continue into wide release, but a musical sequel is now on the way with Lady Gaga as Harley Quinn.
34. The Dark Knight Rises – $1.081 billion
There’s two types of people: there’s people who recognise The Dark Knight Rises as one of the greatest Batman movies ever, and an epic, worthy conclusion to one of the great blockbuster trilogies; and there’s those who are wrong.
Released four years after The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan’s Bat-finale didn’t land with every fan, but the sheer weight of anticipation made it a sure-fire hit as soon as it hit cinemas, with audiences wowed by Tom Hardy’s Bane and a spine-tingling climax.
33. Jurassic Park – $1.099 billion
Titanic may have been the first movie to make more than $1 billion, but Jurassic Park’s inaugural dino-thrills have made their way back to theatres in the decades since its release, allowing it to comfortably join the other highest-grossing movies.
It was an adventure 65 million years in the making, and for generations of moviegoers, it was the first time they truly experienced cinematic wonder. Its sequels never captured the same magic, nor did the Jurassic World trilogy – not that it mattered when it came to the box office.
32. Transformers: Age of Extinction – $1.104 billion
Unlike earlier entries on this list, Transformers: Age of Extinction’s billion-busting success isn’t in the least bit surprising: it’s loud, shiny, action-packed, stars Mark Wahlberg, and features a Dinobot.
Michael Bay may be a contentious filmmaker, but the Transformers franchise proved his ability to deliver a hit no matter how crap the film is; that, and the visual effects work is astounding, regardless of how you feel about these movies.
31. Skyfall – $1.109 billion
Even now, I wish I was James Bond, just for the day; kissing all the girls, blow the bad guys away. He’s the big screen’s finest secret agent, licensed to kill, mixing business with girls and thrills – and yet, his 23rd outing was the first in the franchise to make more than a billion dollars.
It’s even more extraordinary when you take into account its immediate predecessor: Quantum of Solace, reputably one of the worst – if not the worst – in Bond’s canon. However, there’s a myriad of factors behind Skyfall’s success that can be summed up in three words: it’s bloody amazing.
30. Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $1.124 billion
This is a pro-Transformers space. Dark of the Moon latched onto our imaginations with something deviously simple: what if Apollo 11 was actually a mission to find alien aircraft which crash-landed on the moon?
It was a relative return to form after Michael Bay’s stumble with Revenge of the Fallen, jam-packed with city-wide destruction and dynamic, eye-popping action sequences. The first film is far and away the best, but this remains the franchise’s highest-grossing movie.
29. Captain Marvel – $1.129 billion
Here comes the Marvel Cinematic Universe . Captain Marvel is the franchise’s first of many entries on this list, coming off the back of one of its biggest events and formally introducing one of the most powerful – and divisive, for all the wrong reasons – characters.
Brie Larson’s hero was teased in the wake of Infinity War’s stomach-dropping ending, with Samuel L. Jackson paging a symbol as the world fell to dust. The movie itself was a smash-hit and became the MCU’s seventh film to top $1 billion.
28. Spider-Man: Far From Home – $1.132 billion
Listen, Spider-Man: Far From Home is a terrific movie. It finally takes Peter Parker out of New York and makes Europe his playground, it has one of the MCU’s most charismatic villains with Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio, and it has a whopper of a cliffhanger.
Those reasons contributed to its box office success, and the fact that everyone loves Spidey , but it isn’t why it made more than a billion: it was the first MCU movie to hit cinemas after Avengers: Endgame, so it was always going to make crazy money.
27. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King – $1.146 billion
Will mainstream blockbusters ever reach the same dizzying heights as Lord of the Rings? Return of the King is the grand culmination of one of the greatest stories to ever be adapted for the screen. It’s an impossible-to-top benchmark in filmmaking craft and cultural achievement.
Not only did Return of the King break a billion, but it was rewarded handsomely at the Oscars, taking home every award it was nominated for – including Best Picture.
26. Aquaman – $1.148 billion
In 2018, DC’s cinematic universe wasn’t in the best shape. Batman v. Superman was a flop, Suicide Squad was a disaster, and Joss Whedon dismantled Zack Snyder’s Justice League into something altogether embarrassing.
Then came Aquaman, James Wan’s rip-roaring, ultra-movie movie with Pitbull covering Toto’s Africa, an octopus playing the drums, sea warriors riding sharks, and Jason Momoa and Patrick Wilson duking it out in the battle of smolders.
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25. Captain America: Civil War – $1.153 billion
What’s better than Earth’s mightiest heroes fighting an intergalactic enemy? Them fighting each other. “Divided we fall,” the tagline read, pitting the MCU’s two poster boys against each other and forcing fans to pick a side: Team Cap or Team Iron-Man.
Directed by the Russo brothers, Civil War remains one of the very best films in the franchise, blending the political interplay that made Winter Soldier so brilliant with never-before-seen superhero thrills and heart-wrenching character work. That, and it introduced Spidey to the mix. Underoos!
24. Minions – $1.159 billion
I weep for humanity. In the age of origin stories, spinoffs, and needless sequels, Minions isn’t even one of the most criminal examples – but it is a movie all about the most infuriating characters in the Despicable Me series, and that’s bad enough.
Minions earned mixed reviews from critics, with its supporters praising its Looney Tunes-esque mishaps and slapstick. Just like Despicable Me 3, it’s a testament to the popularity of Illumination’s creation and their box office power, and time will tell if it remains their highest-grossing movie.
23. Iron Man 3 – $1.215 billion
Though a better film than Spider-Man: Far From Home, Iron Man 3 enjoyed a similar knock-on effect: it was the first MCU movie to follow The Avengers, the franchise’s then-most successful entry, and its trailers showed Tony Stark struggling with the events of the Chitauri invasion.
While its box office haul speaks for itself, it’s a film more commonly associated with controversy rather than success as a result of Shane Black’s twist on The Mandarin. In this writer’s opinion, it’s a delightful bait-and-switch, but others felt it was a disservice. Still, despite the debate, it’s one of Marvel’s highest-grossing movies.
22. Fast & Furious 8 – $1.236 billion
Fast & Furious 8, or The Fate of the Furious, or F8 – whatever you want to call it, the eighth film in long-running franchise was a dramatic success, becoming its second-best performer at the box office.
Whether it was the curiosity of an entry without Paul Walker whatsoever, The Rock and Jason Statham going at it again, or the introduction of Charlize Theron’s Cipher, fans turned up in spades. However, reviews were less than kind, with the film attracting the worst reviews since the fourth entry back in 2009.
21. The Incredibles 2 – $1.243 billion
Of all of Pixar’s 2000s movies, The Incredibles was always crying out for a sequel. It came out five years prior to the start of the MCU, and it’s still the best Fantastic Four movie despite having no connection to Marvel’s first family at all.
By the time Brad Bird returned to work on a follow-up, the superhero craze was in full swing, so he strove to concentrate more on the family dynamic of The Incredibles. The film landed with both critics and fans, remaining in the top 10 domestic earners of all time even now.
20. Beauty and the Beast – $1.274 billion
If we’re forgetting about Alice in Wonderland – which we all should, quite frankly – Beauty and the Beast solidified the Disney live-action formula: revise the songs slightly, cast inoffensive actors, and always, always adhere to the original, even if it feels to the detriment of the movie.
Bear in mind, Beauty and the Beast was the first animated movie to ever be nominated for Best Picture, so a flop would have been mildly catastrophic for Disney. Fortunately for the studio, it was an emphatic win, becoming the highest-grossing live-action musical movie to this day.
19. Frozen – $1.282 billion
Frozen conquered the world. For a time, of its animated classics, it was Disney’s highest-grossing movie ever. It took home the Oscars for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song, with Let It Go – the ultimate earworm – earning a perpetual spot on playlists in every shopping centre and supermarket.
As well as its huge box office haul, many critics declared it the best Disney film since the studio’s renaissance era – however, it went onto beat itself six years later with the sequel.
18. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – $1.311 billion
There’s always been two takeaways from the Jurassic World movies: a dinosaur theme park is still a really bad idea, obviously; but if you build one, people will come.
J.A. Bayona’s horror-hued sequel is a mixed bag; it has a strong start with one of the most harrowing images in the whole franchise, and shows promising gothic flair in the second half, but mostly descends into hare-brained nonsense by the end. Not quite raptor-ous, then, but successful nonetheless, sitting comfortably as the second highest-grossing movie in the series.
17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi – $1.333 billion
Is Star Wars: The Last Jedi the most controversial blockbuster of all time? Probably, given the toxic backlash and insufferable debate that still plagues social media nearly five years since its release. Still, that word-of-mouth and the yet-to-be-quelled Star Wars hype ensured it would be a box office smash.
Rian Johnson’s sequel had a lot riding on it: it marked the fully-fledged return of Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker; and The Force Awakens was a safe, mighty start to the new trilogy. For some, it’s one of the franchise’s most remarkable, fascinating efforts – for others, it’s a disgrace.
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II – $1.342 billion
“It All Ends” was the tagline’s promise. Ten years after the Philosopher’s Stone, Harry Potter’s journey concluded with the Deathly Hallows Part II. It didn’t just stick the landing: there’s a strong argument for it being the most entertaining in the franchise – who didn’t cheer when Neville killed the last Horcrux?
Naturally, one of the most widely-known franchises was always going to be jaunting to the bank with its last film, but this felt worthy of being a hit.
15. Black Panther – $1.348 billion
Coming after Chadwick Boseman’s debut as T’Challa in Captain America: Civil War, the MCU gave Black Panther his own feature film. The result was a triumph, earning a whopping $1.348 billion worldwide, and in a particularly rare case, earning more domestically than globally.
Its representation isn’t its only success – there’s a lot to be said for the nuance and motives of Michael B. Jordan’s antagonist – but it has to be noted: it was the first Marvel movie with a Black director and predominantly Black cast, and it was the first superhero movie to earn a Best Picture nomination.
14. Avengers: Age of Ultron – $1.402 billion
Joss Whedon returned to the MCU for Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the most hotly-anticipated movies of the franchise after the success of the team’s first team-up. Its financial success was clear in the numbers, and at the time it was the second-biggest opening ever.
How it was received is another story entirely. While not dismissed by critics and fans, many noted its shortcomings, like how the titular “Age” lasted no time at all, or how the juggling of the characters made the film almost incoherent. Worst of all, Black Widow said she’s a monster because she can’t have kids. Big yikes. There’s some A-grade Hulk-smashing, though.
13. Frozen 2 – $1.450 billion
Frozen 2 is a strange one. Yes, a sequel to a global phenomenon still rearing its head even now was always inevitable. Yes, it boasts a great soundtrack, whether it’s the ’80s vibes of Lost in the Woods or Idina Menzel’s belting vocals in Into the Unknown.
But – and this isn’t a slight against the film – it simply hasn’t lived on in the same way as the first film, instead piggy-backing on it. In some ways, it’s better and more emotionally rich than Frozen, but its box office takings speak to its predecessor’s popularity more than anything else.
12. Top Gun: Maverick – $1.488 billion
Only fools would bet against Tom Cruise , Top Gun, and ’80s nostalgia on the biggest screens possible. Some people genuinely thought Top Gun: Maverick would flop at the box office, believing its pop culture presence to be dead in the water – instead, it’s been soaring sky-high.
A potent mix of near-universal critical praise and word-of-mouth has made it Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing movie ever and the biggest hit of 2022, even beating Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. It appears moviegoers still have the need… the need… for speed.
11. Furious 7 – $1.515 billion
Up until Furious 7, the Fast and Furious franchise’s biggest box office hitter was the sixth film, which grossed $789 million worldwide. Previous entries had either been modest hits or flops, so what changed?
The honest answer is tragedy: Paul Walker, the co-lead next to Vin Diesel, passed away during the movie’s production, causing James Wan to halt shooting while they figured out how to proceed. Against all the odds, they struck a pitch-perfect balancing act of footage they already had and subtle CGI, and managed to pull off one of the most touching tributes in any blockbuster.
The top 10 highest-grossing movies of all time
10. the avengers – $1.520 billion.
It was all leading to this: from the first time Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury mentioned the “Avenger’s Initiative” in the post-credits scene of Iron Man, comic book fans knew a team-up was in the pipeline. Movies had collided before, but nothing had ever been done on this scale.
We take The Avengers for granted now, given everything that’s came since, but it’s a miracle that it worked. The script was funny, the action was propulsive, and the 360° shot of the heroes with Alan Silvestri’s theme was enough to make anyone a fan. Out of all the highest-grossing movies, this one makes sense.
9. The Lion King – $1.663 billion
This may be the most depressing entry on the list. Not because it’s a bad film – you’re kidding yourself if you can’t credit the gorgeous, game-changing visual work at play here – but it does almost nothing interesting beyond its technical wizardry.
Like many, I was hooked in by the first trailer, which ramped the nostalgia up to 11 with an enchanting mix of King of Pride Rock, and unveiled a star-studded cast. The film itself was actually a bit weird – seeing live-action-style animals sing is really jarring, it turns out. As expected though, it became one of cinema’s highest-grossing movies.
8. Jurassic World – $1.671 billion
It had been 22 years since Steven Spielberg’s original classic. The powers that be decided it was time to revisit Isla Nublar in Jurassic World, following the opening of a brand-new park on the same island and, apparently, forgetting all of the lessons of the first film.
This is an example of a critic-proof movie: it was always going to make more than a billion dollars, and it helped that it’s the second-best-reviewed film in the franchise after Jurassic Park, becoming one of the highest-grossing movies ever made. It also features one of the gnarliest kills in the whole series , and it’s worth a watch for that alone.
7. Spider-Man: No Way Home – $1.921 billion
One of the more recent films in the MCU is also one of its biggest success stories. Spider-Man: No Way Home had to work its way out of a corner after Far From Home’s identity-revealing cliffhanger, but that resolution isn’t what drove people into cinemas.
Perhaps the worst-kept secret in blockbuster history, No Way Home brought back Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s wall-crawlers for another spin, alongside their villains, including Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. Are we really surprised that it’s the highest-grossing movie in Spider-Man’s history?
6. Avengers: Infinity War – $2.052 billion
We’re in the $2 billion club now. Ever since the Mad Titan was teased in The Avengers’ post-credits scene, Thanos’ arrival was a ticking time bomb. Dread it, run from it, destiny still arrives, and Infinity War gathered all of its heroes for one of the biggest showdowns we’d ever seen.
The film deserves plaudits for deftly navigating between so many characters and locations, from Wakanda to Titan. However, its legacy will always be how it left audiences stumbling out the cinema, tears dripping from their chin, wondering how the universe had been so cruel as to show them Spider-Man dying in Tony Stark’s arms.
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens – $2.071 billion
George Lucas’ prequels have enjoyed somewhat of a reappraisal in recent years, particularly around the release of Obi-Wan Kenobi. By 2015, Lucasfilm was ready to have another crack at the galaxy far, far away and kicked off a whole new trilogy with The Force Awakens.
You can point out all of its similarities to A New Hope all you like, because The Force Awakens is as close to perfect as a Star Wars film can get. The magic in the air on opening night as John Williams’ theme blared through the speakers was unlike anything ever experienced. Of the highest-grossing movies in the franchise, it deserves to be at the top.
4. Titanic – $2.254 billion
The one that started it all. Titanic was widely predicted to be a crippling, historic studio disaster, as it was the most expensive film ever made at the time and endured a surprising delay from the prime summer blockbuster spot.
Of course, we know better than to bet against James Cameron now, don’t we? In North America, it stayed in the number one spot for 15 consecutive weeks, a record that’s yet to be beaten – it most likely never will. There’s a reason the director declared himself “King of the World” at the Oscars: when it comes to movies, he is.
3. Avatar: The Way of Water – $2.267 billion
Avatar: The Way of Water , the sequel to James Cameron’s box office-defining mega-hit, has been dominating cinemas since its release, having quickly soared to become the third highest-grossing movie of all time.
It’s all down to the perfect alchemy of hype, offline excitement (social media will try to convince you nobody cares about Avatar, when that’s far from true), distributors deserting multiplexes out of fear of being pancaked by Cameron, and a movie that’s every bit as good as it should have been. Check out our review here .
2. Avengers: Endgame – $2.799 billion
Before we even talk about the movie itself, consider the step up to the number two spot: Avengers: Endgame made nearly $600 million more than Titanic at the box office, and no other movie has landed in the middle. It’s a monumental commercial achievement that’s hard to fully explain.
Endgame marked the end of the Infinity Saga, an 11-year journey that started with Iron Man in 2008. It’ll be a long, long time before another pop culture event of the same caliber or scale can summon a $1.2 billion opening weekend. If only it would come back to cinemas again!
1. Avatar – $2.923 billion
Avengers: Endgame briefly snagged the top spot from Avatar during its theatrical run, even pushing a so-called “extended” version with some deleted scenes tacked onto the end so it could take the crown. All James Cameron had to do was re-release Avatar in China, and it was number one again.
Avatar has become an easy punching bag in the years since its release. It hasn’t left a huge mark on pop culture, and there’s the oft-quipped brain fog around any of the characters’ names. But a mediocre film can’t reach more than $2.8 billion – Avatar’s spectacle was like seeing a new color for the first time, and Cameron has returned to show everyone how it’s done this year with The Way of the Water.
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This article will be updated upon any box office changes. In the meantime, check out our list of the longest movies ever made here .
What is the highest grossing movie of all time? And other box-office record breakers
Putting together a movie can cost millions of dollars. The most expensive movie ever made is the fourth installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides," which had production costs of $410.6 million , according to Forbes.
But what about the money-making side of the film industry? Movies can make anywhere from thousands to billions in the box office, domestically and worldwide. The highest grossing film of all time has a price tag beyond this planet, just like the setting of the movie.
Here is the highest grossing film of all time, plus other box-office record breakers.
Review: Satisfying 'Avengers: Endgame' is Marvel's glorious greatest-hits package
'Titanic: 20 Years Later': James Cameron analyzes what he got right and wrong
What is the highest grossing movie of all time?
Avatar , directed by James Cameron, is the highest grossing movie of all time, having a lifetime gross of over $2.8 billion , according to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro.
The 2009 science fiction film, starring Sam Worthington and Zoe Saldaña, follows Jake Sully, who is sent to Pandora, a moon in the Alpha Centauri star system, as a part of the Avatar Program. Along the way, Jake becomes conflicted between following orders and protecting the Na'vi people and their home.
A sequel to Avatar, "Avatar: The Way of Water," hit theaters on Dec. 16, 2022, 13 years after the original film and once again directed by Cameron. The movie stars original cast members, including Worthington, Saldaña, Sigourney Weaver and Stephen Lang, as well as newcomers to the franchise, such as Kate Winslet and Jemaine Clement . The film is the third highest grossing film of all time.
Three additional installments to the Avatar franchise are planned with releases set for 2024 , 2026 and 2028 , according to IMDb.
'Avatar: The Way of Water' review: Prepare for a visually stunning return to Pandora
'Avatar: The Way of Water': Director James Cameron talks replicating box-office magic
Top 10 highest grossing films of all time
Here are the top 10 highest grossing movies of all time, according to Box Office Mojo by IMDbPro:
- Avatar (2009), $2.9 billion
- Avengers: Endgame (2019), $2.7 billion
- Avatar: The Way of Water (2022), $2.28 billion
- Titanic (1997), $2.2 billion
- Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015), $2.07 billion
- Avengers: Infinity War (2018), $2.05 billion
- Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), $1.9 billion
- Jurassic World (2015), $1.67 billion
- The Lion King (2019), $1.66 billion
- The Avengers (2012), $1.518 billion
What is the highest grossing movie adjusted for inflation?
The highest grossing film at the global box office adjusted for inflation is "Gone With the Wind," making a total gross of $3.44 billion , according to Guinness World Records. The historical romance adaptation of the 1936 novel of the same name stars Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Leslie Howard.
Released in 1939, "Gone With the Wind" made $393.4 million domestically and 88 million pounds internationally, says Guinness World Records.
Read more: 'Gone with the Wind' returning to HBO Max with introduction of 'historical context' by Black scholar Jacqueline Stewart
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The 50 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time: Your Top Box Office Earners Ever Worldwide
Top gun: maverick soars up to no. 13 in our guide to the highest-grossing movies of all time – from avengers: endgame to jurassic park – with key details on box office performance and records broken..
TAGGED AS: Box Office , movies , Summer
(Photo by Scott Garfield/©Paramount Pictures)
While Avengers: Endgame and Avatar recently duked it out for bragging rights as the all-time highest-grossing movie, 2021 surprised everyone — to an extent — with the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home , which blew everyone away, setting new records and entertaining fans all over the world even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the industry. With No Way Home landing at No. 6 and Disney’s absorption of what used to be 21st Century Fox, Disney now occupies seven of the 10 top box office rankings of all time worldwide (eight, if you count its joint ownership of Titanic with Paramount).
But even after the release of would-be juggernauts like The Batman , Jurassic World Dominion , The Batman , and a pair of Marvel movies in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Thor: Love and Thunder , only one film has managed to crack this list in 2022, and boy was it a big one. Tom Cruise suited up again to play ace pilot Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in Joseph Kosinski’s three-and-a-half-decades-later sequel Top Gun: Maverick and delivered what was easily the biggest movie of the summer (and probably the entire year), landing at N0. 13 in the worldwide box office rankings. Who would have thought?
For the list below, we’ve included global box office performance, as well as domestic, and release date. We included dollars earned in re-releases, and in each of our descriptions, we look at where the film stood record-wise at the time of its run, and dive into things like critical and audience reception. We’ll be here to track the progress of new blockbusters and regularly update this list of top box office performers. So keep your eyes here, and check in with our weekly weekend box office wrap-ups .
1. $2.847 Billion
The world had to wait some 12 years for James Cameron to follow up the biggest film of all time with what would become the new biggest film of all time . Nobody believed he was going to surpass Titanic ’s numbers with this tale of an alien planet and the paraplegic Marine who teams up with its inhabitants in the battle for Unobtanium. But he did. At the peak of a 3-D reemergence, aided by the filmmaker’s usual technological gamesmanship (and higher ticket prices), Avatar ‘s seven straight weekends at number 1 led to over $595 million at the North American box office. Then, two days later on Feb. 2, 2010, its 47th day of release, the movie became the highest domestic earner ever. Avatar held that record for five years and eleven months and went on to become the only film ever to earn $2 billion outside of the U.S. and Canada, making it the world’s highest grosser at the time. It held onto its impressive global record for nearly 10 years, until Avengers: Endgame came along and snatched the crown. But with Avatar 2 coming soon, the now Disney-owned-and-rebranded 20th Century Studios decided to remind everybody the franchise existed, re-releasing the film in China in March of 2021 and, whether intentional or not, pushing it back into pole position.
2. $2.798 Billion
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
The journey that began in 2008 with Iron Man was coming to an end – at least for some of the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences that had been holding their breath for an entire year after perhaps the biggest cliffhanger since Empire Strikes Back could not wait to buy their tickets – and did they ever buy those tickets when they finally could. Opening weekend for Avengers: Endgame in April 2019 surpassed Infinity War ’s year-long record by nearly $100 million. In just eight days, the film had grossed a half-billion domestically. On day 10 it was over $621 million. One by one the records fell, leading many to ignore the words “if” and “can” and focus instead on “when” Avatar ’s previous record ($2.787 billion) as the highest-grossing movie would fall. But Endgame began to show signs early in its run that its impressive sprinting start might not be enough for it to ultimately come out ahead of James Cameron’s epic; it only had the second-biggest second weekend ever and the fourth-best third weekend. In the era of the modern blockbuster, even a record-breaker can be front-loaded and only spend three weeks atop the charts. It really all came down to a final dash near the finish line. After just six weeks of release, Endgame was about $73 million away from dethroning Avatar – substantial ground to make up. But then Marvel and Disney re-released the film on June 28 with new goodies over its end credits. And then, over the weekend of July 19, 2019 – its 13th week of release – when another Disney release would begin its run for the top 10 all-time earners (hello, Lion King ), Endgame squeaked ahead. It may not have been able to catch The Force Awakens for the all-time domestic leader, but by the time summer was over, it would pull in front of Avatar and become the king of the world… at least for a while. With a 2021 re-release in China, Avatar did ultimately take back the crown, but it doesn’t diminish the incredible achievement of Endgame .
3. $2.202 Billion
James Cameron makes expensive movies. The Abyss , Terminator 2 , and True Lies were all the most expensive movies of their time upon release. In 1997, Cameron blew out the budget again and this time there was worry he may have gone too far. Though delayed from July until December, Titanic nevertheless became a global phenomenon the likes of which the box office had never seen at the time. After 15 straight weeks at number 1, 14 Oscar nominations and 11 statuettes, Titanic , its stars and its song were ingrained in the hearts and tear ducts of the world, and the movie would hold the all-time box office record for 12 years – until Cameron would eclipse himself once again with Avatar .
4. $2.070 Billion
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Twelve years after the completion of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, J.J. Abrams was tasked with making Episode VII – a monumental undertaking, and a risky one. Were people still interested after the prequels? Were they burnt out? The approach was to mix the old and the new, and it worked. Abrams gave a brand-new cast of characters the chance to interact with the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia, and generations of fans were so ready for the adventure that they gave the film the highest opening weekend in history ($247.9 million). In just under three weeks, The Force Awakens became the all-time domestic champion, passing Avatar and joining the $2 billion club within 54 days. It still remains the highest-grossing domestic release of all time.
5. $2.048 Billion
Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Just shy of 10 years since it began, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gathered nearly every one of its characters for a galaxy-wide showdown with the series’ Big Bad, Thanos. The movie featured one of the gutsiest cliffhangers in any franchise’s history, leaving audiences to wait in shock for an entire year to discover how Phase 3 of the epic series would end. The film bested The Force Awakens ’ three-day opening weekend record with $257.6 million, and hit the $2 billion mark in 48 days. Domestically, it would ultimately come up just short of Black Panther , which was released two months prior.
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6. $1.901 Billion
Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)
Speaking of gathering Marvel characters for an epic showdown, 2021 provided an unexpected box office champion that would swing triumphantly into the top 10. That is to say, the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home wasn’t unexpected because of the film itself, which was an ambitious, multiverse-expanding entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brought together some of the most beloved characters in the web-slinger’s big-screen history in a funny, heartbreaking, thrilling spectacle. No, it was unexpected because it managed this herculean feat even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to keep audiences largely at home. If there was one movie in all of 2021 — or, hell, even going back as far as 2020 — that moviegoers were willing to risk going to the theater for, it was absolutely No Way Home , and boy did they ever show up. The film became not only the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever made, but also the most successful movie ever released by Sony Pictures en route to dominating 2021 and settling into the top 10 here. The future of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is still up in the air, but he has earned himself a rather secure spot on the all-time box office list.
7. $1.671 Billion
Jurassic World (2015)
Twenty-two years after Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park became the Jaws for a new generation, it was time for that generation’s kids to have their own version of dinosaur mayhem. The second-best–reviewed film in the Jurassic series (72% on the Tomatometer vs. the original’s 91%), Jurassic World trampled a competitive summer full of Avengers, Minions , and inner feelings, and became just the third film since Titanic in 1998 to pass $600 million in domestic box office.
8. $1.663 Billion
The Lion King (2019)
Having found success with its live-action re-imaginings of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast , Disney tripled down in 2019 with three “new” remakes. Dumbo was a bit of a bust, Aladdin was a success, but The Lion King truly roared. That made sense given that the 1994 original, at the time, was one of the studio’s most successful films in the middle of its rebirth, and director Jon Favreau’s CGI-fueled version traced it for a new generation. The result is the highest-grossing domestic release to receive a Rotten score on the Tomatometer, at 53%. But its $191 million opening was the eighth highest of all time and it became the 14th film to pass a half-billion domestically and just the ninth film to rack up $1 billion overseas.
9. $1.519 Billion
Marvel's the Avengers (2012)
Want proof that Avengers work best together? Consider that the first combined outing for Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America bested the $1.4 billion that their origin stories had made combined. Five films into the MCU (including Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk ), the team was finally assembled for a singular battle against Loki and his inherited army. Joss Whedon’s movie became the first ever to make over $200 million in a single weekend and was Marvel’s first entry into the Billion Dollar Club, which had just 12 members at the time.
10. $1.515 Billion
Furious 7 (2015)
What started out as a Point Break derivative – with cars! – became one of the unlikeliest mega franchises ever. Vin Diesel’s return in the series’ fourth film is what really got the Fast and Furious franchise engines revving, and Dwayne Johnson’s addition in the fifth film added some humor and helped get the critics on board. But it was the full embrace of the series’ now-signature bombast, as well as the untimely death of Paul Walker, that brought the combo of curiosity and tribute that helped make James Wan’s Furious 7 the franchise’s most successful entry. It hit with audiences – the opening weekend haul of $147 million was almost $50 million more than any previous entry – as well as with critics (it’s the highest-rated movie in the series at 81% on the Tomatameter).
11. $1.450 Billion
Frozen II (2019)
When a film becomes not just a global phenomenon but the highest-grossing film in your canon of animated entertainment, a sequel is inevitable. While not quite as well-received as the first film critically (77% vs. 90% on the Tomatometer), Frozen II virtually demanded that parents bring their children for a second adventure. It began with the third-highest opening weekend for an animated film (after Pixar sequels Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory ) – $130.26 million – and then became the highest-grossing film over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, which was all the more impressive given it had opened the prior weekend. In its fourth weekend of release, it became Disney’s sixth billion-dollar film of 2019, pushing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle out of the Top 50 on the same weekend that its sequel The Next Level opened. Now, the movie has overtaken the original Frozen to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
12. $1.402 Billion
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
If any film in the top 10 could be considered both a success and a disappointment it would be Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel. Coming up shy of the first film’s record-breaking opening weekend – note that it was still the second-best opening of all time when it was released – the movie never matched its predecessor in dollars or affection. With a 75% Tomatometer rating, it doesn’t even rank among the top 10 Tomatometer scores of the MCU – though we think there’s a case to be made for reassessing its virtues – and it lost the summer of 2015 to the dinosaurs of Jurassic World . Still, it was just the 16th film ever to cross the $400 million line domestically in its initial run.
13. $1.357 Billion
Top Gun: Maverick (2022)
Tony Scott’s fighter pilot movie Top Gun topped the box office in 1986 with a domestic gross of $176.8 million (it tallied $357.3 million worldwide), so it was no slouch by any means, and it went on to become a celebrated cult classic. But no one could have reasonably predicted that, more than three and a half decades later, its sequel would earn more than that in the US alone , moving it all the way up to No. 7 on the domestic charts, and enter the top 20 earners worldwide at No. 13 with over $1.3 billion in receipts. Part of that was likely thanks to Tom Cruise reprising his role as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, but director Joesph Kosinski also utilized some strategically deployed fan service and specially developed, state-of-the-art IMAX cameras for stunning action sequences to deliver the biggest crowd-pleaser of Summer 2022.
14. $1.348 Billion
Black Panther (2018)
After an introduction in Captain America: Civil War , T’Challa got his own film in February of 2019. Audiences were hungry for representation on screen and looking for a thrilling re-introduction to the character, and in Ryan Coogler’s action-packed, beautiful-looking epic, they got both. The movie became the fifth film in history to have a $200 million opening weekend, and just the third film ever to gross over $700 million in North America, outlasting even Avengers: Infinity War that summer. Why isn’t it even higher in the list? Because it remains the only post- Avengers film in the MCU to make less money internationally than domestically.
15. $1.342 Billion
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
Fans of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series got to see its characters (and the actors who played them) grow up in front of their eyes. The culmination of the journey that began in 2001 also ushered in a new trend of splitting final chapters in halves. The back half of the Potter finale set the new record for an opening weekend at the time with $169.1 million, and its $960 million international haul ranked only behind Avatar and Titanic . By the end of its run, the eight Harry Potter had films grossed a combined $7.72 billion.
16. $1.333 Billion
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017)
One of the more controversial entries in the Star Wars series – don’t get anyone started on the casino planet sequence! – Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi took the standard dip that had afflicted other middle films in the franchise. The Empire Strikes Back made 31.9% less than A New Hope , Attack of the Clones made 34.6% less than The Phantom Menace , and The Last Jedi fell 33.8% off The Force Awakens . Still, Johnson’s film joined Episodes IV , V , and VII in the 90%+ realm on the Tomatometer and may end up being the ultimate bridge to the next generation of Star Wars fans.
17. $1.311 Billion
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
J.A. Bayona’s follow-up to Colin Trevorrow’s continuation of Steven Spielberg’s series received the weakest Tomatometer score of the franchise to date (48%) and, following the path of many “second” entries in franchises (even if it’s technically the fifth), dropped 36% from Jurassic World in overall domestic box office. But it was still good enough for 23rd all-time in North America and 13th in overseas dollars. It was also the second-highest-grossing domestic film of the 2018 summer season, behind the #17 film on this list.
18. $1.282 Billion
The Oscar-winning song that has tortured parents for nearly a decade was just part of what made Frozen the highest-grossing animated film in history. The story of two sisters searching for happily-ever-after with each other rather than the standard gentlemen suitors also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and bested 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift for the highest international haul for an animated film ever ($875.7 million compared to $715.9 million), a record it holds to this day despite challenges from Minions and Incredibles 2 . (If you consider the new Lion King animated though, this is one crown the Arendelle princesses no longer wear.)
19. $1.274 Billion
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Speaking of Disney soundtracks, it was the 2017 live-action redo and not the Best Picture-nominated animated Beauty and the Beast from 1991 that really broke the bank and remains in the record books. Bill Condon’s version of the tale as old as 1991, starring Emma Watson, was not the first of Disney’s splashy re-imaginings, but it certainly was the most successful at the time, becoming the seventh film to cross a half-billion in North America and the 16th to pass three-quarters of a billion overseas.
20. $1.243 Billion
Incredibles 2 (2018)
Brad Bird’s The Incredibles debuted a full four years before the MCU began, a time when the Pixar brand was as close to a guarantee of success (and quality) as the industry had. Fourteen years later and deep into the superhero cinematic explosion, Bird’s sequel more than doubled the original’s box office and became the highest-grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office. It was the ninth film to cross the $600 million mark in North America and remains in the top 10 all-time earners domestically.
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21. $1.236 Billion
The Fate of the Furious (2017)
A half-billion dollars was put into the production of the seventh and eighth chapters of this franchise and they made a combined $2.75 billion globally. F. Gary Gray’s film was a bit of a comedown from the highs of James Wan’s Furious 7. It even fell behind the sixth Furious film domestically, but did incredibly well abroad: it was the sixth film ever to make a cool billion outside the U.S. and Canada alone. Though still Fresh (67% on the Tomatometer), it was the lowest-scored Fast and Furious movie among critics since the fourth film.
22. $1.215 Billion
Iron Man 3 (2013)
The first Marvel film released following the massive success of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was also the most successful of the individual Iron Man films. Robert Downey Jr.’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director, Shane Black, took over for Jon Favreau and put a twist on some comic-book lore in ways that still draws out disappointment from some fans. The general moviegoing public ate it up, though. Iron Man 3 was just the 13th film to reach $400 million domestic in its initial run, and is the highest-grossing non-Avengers film in the MCU overseas with over $805 million. (And, if you are are keeping track, it is the 12th Disney property in the top 20.)
23. $1.159 Billion
After two successful Despicable Me films it was time to give Gru’s kooky supporting yellow folk their own story. Smart move. Minions had the largest opening for Illumination Entertainment ever, earning $115.7 million on its first weekend. Though it came up shy domestically of Despicable Me 2 ($336 million vs. $368 million) it can still boast the second-best overseas return for any animated film ($823.4 million), behind only Disney’s Frozen , and stands as the company’s biggest global success to date.
24. $1.153 Billion
Captain America: Civil War (2016)
It was not officially an Avengers film, but Civil War may as well have been. Thor and Hulk were AWOL, sure, but Spider-Man received his welcomed introduction into the MCU, as did Black Panther. The movie’s run kicked off with the fifth-highest opening in history, earning $179.1 million on opening weekend (that’s now the 11th-highest opening). Another $745 million internationally made this the fourth MCU film to reach $1 billion. Another fun fact: Anthony and Joe Russo are one of only two filmmakers/filmmaking pairs on this list to have three films in the top 50
25. $1.149 Billion
How could the DCEU get to $1 billion? Adding Batman into their Superman storyline couldn’t do it. Wonder Woman ’s solid domestic numbers were nearly matched internationally, but even those figures came up short of Suicide Squad – and the goal. It would take Aquaman to crack the $1 billion mark for the DC Extended Universe. James Wan’s second billion-dollar film on the list may have had the second-smallest opening weekend of the Universe, but its prolonged success through the holiday season and beyond – the movie made nearly five-times its opening – was greater than any DC property since Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.
26. $1.146 Billion
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
Peter Jackson’s (first) epic trilogy unfolded over three straight holiday seasons and its finale was rewarded in every fashion: Return of the King historically won all 11 Oscars that it was nominated for, including Best Picture and Best Director; it was one of the best-reviewed films of the year (Certified Fresh at 93%); and it became the fourth-highest domestic grosser of all time behind just Titanic , The Phantom Menace, and Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film. It was no slacker overseas, either: When Return finished its run, only Titanic had a greater number outside of the U.S. and Canada.
27. $1.132 Billion
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
No wonder Disney and Sony made up: 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home , which might have been the end of their association had they not moved past their impasse , is Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time. Six of the studio’s eight highest-grossing films ever have involved Spider-Man (or Venom), but this was the first Sony flick to cross the $1 billion line, and the ninth film in the MCU to do it. (Spider-Man appeared in four of the MCU’s other members of the $1 Billion Club). It was also the fifth stand-alone Spider-Man film (live-action or animated) to register at 90% or higher on the Tomatometer – critics love their web-slinger.
28. $1.129 Billion
Captain Marvel (2019)
After getting tag-teased at the end of Infinity War , Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers made her debut in the MCU as the universe’s first headlining female superhero in 2019’s Captain Marvel . Outgrossing DC’s Wonder Woman around the world and at home, the breakthrough film was embraced by critics (though its Certified Fresh score of 78% ranks 18th out of the MCU’s 23 films). The space epic was only one of two films in 2018-19 to spend 10 straight weeks in the top 10 (the other being Black Panther ), and was the seventh MCU film to reach $1 billion at the box office globally.
29. $1.124 Billion
Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
The only Transformers sequel under the direction of Michael Bay to rank higher than 20% on the Tomatometer (a whopping 35%!) is not the series’ biggest domestic or international earner. But combined it remains the champion overall in worldwide gross (and bonus for the studio: it had one of the series’ lowest budgets). Only the final Harry Potter chapter could beat it in the summer of 2011, when they were the only films to pass $300 million domestic.
30. $1.109 Billion
The James Bond franchise got a boost with Pierce Brosnan and an even larger one with Daniel Craig. But there was no bigger boost to the long-running franchise than Craig’s Skyfall , the first film to cross $300 million domestically and $1 billion globally. A series that has existed for 50-plus years is going to get a little help from inflation – Goldfinger , Thunderball , and You Only Live Twice would have been $300 million grossers today – but we’re not doing inflation here. Skyfall was also a gold standard for Bond beyond the box office: It stands amongst the series’ top five scores on the Tomatometer, Certified Fresh at 92%.
31. $1.104 Billion
Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
The Transformers series was beginning to show its age in North America in 2014, but around the world it was more popular than ever. Shia LaBeouf was replaced with Mark Wahlberg as the franchise’s central hero, and the fourth film from Michael Bay approached a near three-hour running time at 165 minutes. But even as it dipped below $300 million for the first time at home, its $858 million international haul was still the sixth-highest total for any movie outside the U.S. and Canada at the time. (It is now 16th.) Bay’s fifth film of the franchise, The Last Knigh t , fell 47% in overall domestic and nearly 45% internationally. At 18% on the Tomatometer, Age of Extinction has the lowest Tomatometer score of the top 50 biggest films at the worldwide box office.
32. $1.099 Billion
Jurassic Park (1993)
Before James Cameron owned the top two spots in all-time domestic box office (for a period), it was Steven Spielberg who had pulled off that feat. His adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel, Jurassic Park , was a return to the revered popcorn blockbusters he made his name on and it replaced the previous year’s Batman Returns as the top opener ever with $47 million and went on to gross over $357 million that summer. That was just a couple million dollars shy of his 1982 classic, E.T. , but re-releases in 2-D and 3-D over the years have put the film over $400 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide.
33. $1.081 Billion
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
The conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy gave us Bane, Catwoman, and even a surprise along the way. By the end of that summer only four films had grossed more domestically in their initial runs than The Dark Knight Rises : Avatar , Titanic , The Dark Knight , and Marvel’s The Avengers , which was the only film to eclipse Rises in all of 2012. When all was said and done, Nolan’s trilogy had grossed over $2.46 billion worldwide.
34. $1.0745 Billion
The director of The Hangover films wanted to make an origin story out of Batman’s most infamous nemesis. The project was met with skepticism, and then it began a run on the festival circuit. Venice awarded the film its top prize in the Golden Lion; some critics were hailing it a masterpiece. Though its Tomatometer score is among the lower scores in the Top 50 (69%), Todd Phillips’ Joker had the highest-opening ever in the month of October (passing the previous years’ Venom ) and ultimately became the highest-grossing film ever released in that month in North America, surpassing Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity domestically. The film has just taken over Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides , Jurassic Park , Finding Dory , The Phantom Menace , Aladdin , and Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight on this list, and also earns a place as one of its most profitable films of all time.
35. $1.0742 Billion
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
The final chapter of the Skywalker saga may have broken the trend set by the other third entries in the franchise’s trilogies (each outgrossed the middle episodes), but it will become record that we may never see broken again. During the week of January 12, 2020, it became the seventh film released by Disney in 2019 to break the $1 billion barrier – it reached that marker in 28 days, whereas The Last Jedi did it in less than three weeks. That will be remembered far longer than having the 12th-highest opening of all-time – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were numbers one and two until Avengers: Infinity War opened – or that it had one of the lowest Tomatometer scores among the nine films. Nevertheless, it puts a capper on a nine-episode series from 1977-2019 that grossed (with re-releases) a collective $8.71 billion.
36. $1.073 Billion
Toy Story 4 (2019)
When the fourth entry of Pixar’s signature series opened to “only” $120 million, many labeled it “a disappointment.” Some had expected Toy Story 4 to have the studio’s biggest opening ever, and the film was then written off – by some – as part of a string of failed sequels in the summer of 2019. Well, Woody and the gang proved them all wrong. The movie went on to outgross the third film by over $12 million domestically. Even if it came up a bit short internationally, it still became the fourth billion-dollar grosser in Pixar’s history and their third-highest–grossing film overall.
37. $1.067 Billion
Toy Story 3 (2010)
We all assumed it was the end for Woody, Buzz, and all their toy friends – that bittersweet finish was just so perfect. The series would have gone out with a box-office bang, too. The first summer release for the Toy Story franchise turned into the first $100 million opening weekend for Pixar as well as the studio’s first $400 domestic tally and first worldwide haul of $1 billion. For almost two years it was the second-highest–grossing domestic release in Disney’s history; by 2019 it was 16th.
38. $1.066 Billion
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
Everyone mocked the concept of Disney turning one of their classic rides into a feature-length film. Well, some $300 million and an Oscar nomination for Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow later, we were looking at a franchise with a modicum of respect. At least, for a little while. Critics went from disdain for the concept before the first film was released to disdain for its epic-length and earnestness in the space of just two films, with the original movie’s score of 79% dropping to 53% on the Tomatometer for the sequel. But audiences went the other direction, giving Dead Man’s Chest a 38.6% boost in domestic earnings and an 84.2% boost internationally. It was Disney’s first $100-plus million opening ($135 million to be precise), and the studio has had 20 more since then. From 2006 until Toy Story 3 was released in 2010, Dead Man’s Chest was the highest-grossing domestic release in Disney’s history.
39. $1.064 Billion
The Lion King (1994)
For 25 years, this film has remained relevant in pop culture through an acclaimed stage show, direct-to-video sequels, spinoffs, television series, and that mammoth re-imagination. The original Lion King was the second-highest–grossing film of 1994 behind Forrest Gump , which was – at the time – third only to the initial runs of E.T. and Jurassic Park at the all-time domestic box office. That made The Lion King the fourth highest-grossing film ever (not counting re-releases) and the number 1 domestic animated release of all time, a title it held for nine years until Finding Nemo .
40. $1.056 Billion
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
A year after J.J. Abrams launched the record-breaking continuation of George Lucas’ Skywalker saga, audiences were given a go-between tale to help fill in the gaps that led to the destruction of the first Death Star. The Magnificent Seven -like story was an instant favorite for some and an average side-trip for others. It became just the seventh film to clear a half-billion dollars in domestic box office. A nearly-equal international haul filled in the other half needed for Rogue One to join the $1 Billion Club, a goal that Solo: A Star Wars Story came up more than $600 million short of.
41. $1.051 Billion
Aladdin wasn’t always a sure bet: A blue Will Smith was mocked in early reveals of his Genie character and Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo proved to be a bust just two months before Aladdin ‘s release. But Guy Ritchie’s new version of the beloved 1992 animated film took advantage of other 2019 summer under-performers like Godzilla: King of the Monsters , Dark Phoenix , and Men In Black International , gobbling them all up and staying in the top five at the box office for seven straight weeks. Its international haul was only $70 million less than 2017’s Beauty and the Beast , and was even higher than several films above it on this list including Black Panther , Incredibles 2 , and numbers 29-32.
42. $1.046 Billion
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
After Gore Verbinski’s Pirates trilogy grossed a combined $2.68 billion worldwide, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer were not about to let the series sail into the sunset. The third film’s bloated length of 168 mins was roundly criticized (its Tomatometer score is just 45%), and this fourth film fared even worse with reviewers (33%), but it did the job at the box office. Domestic audiences showed up for the revamped outing with Jack Sparrow, just not in the expected droves, and a mammoth international total ($804.6 million) kept Stranger Tides in the record books.
43. $1.035 Billion
Despicable Me 3 (2017)
Though the third film in the Despicable Me franchise made just $13 million more than the original at the domestic box office, internationally the Despicable Me films had a 164% increase from the first film ($543.1 million) to the third ($1.035 billion). Released in 4,529 theaters, Gru’s third chapter did manage to have the largest launch in film history in North America until Avengers: Endgame came along. Four other films during the summer of 2019 also exceeded its one-time-record theater count.
44. $1.029 Billion
Finding Dory (2016)
Thirteen years after Finding Nemo became Pixar’s first $300 million domestic grosser and its biggest hit, the sequel focusing on Ellen Degeneres’ beloved memory-challenged sidekick reclaimed the throne, becoming again the animation house’s highest domestic grosser ever. The movie bested Toy Story 3 by over $71 million at home – even if it came up a bit short of that film internationally – and showed Pixar’s sequel business was really starting to thrive.
45. $1.027 Billion
Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace (1999)
George Lucas returned to the director’s chair after more than two decades to give fans what they thought they wanted 16 years after the release of Return of the Jedi . Fans certainly turned over their money but many left with a sense of disappointment that would help taint the prequel trilogy for decades to come. Phantom Menace was the highest-grossing film domestically to earn a Rotten score 55% (until 2019’s The Lion King came along). The $431 million earned in its initial run was enough to make it second only to Titanic all-time in North America; it took re-releases to push it over $1 billion globally. In 1999, it was the first film to clear $100 million in five days, beating the previous record holder, The Lost World: Jurassic Park , which earned $98.6 million in the same amount of time.
46. $1.026 Billion
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Among the first five attempts Disney had made to bring its classic cartoons to life by 2010, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland was by far the most successful. Its $116.1 million start was the sixth-largest movie opening ever at the time and the second-highest for Disney behind the second Pirates film. It was Burton’s seventh collaboration with Johnny Depp and the director has not had a film gross as much domestically in total as Alice made in its first three days since – not even with his attempt to replicate the success with Dumbo in 2019, which grossed a total of $114.7 million. But back in 2010, only Avatar , Titanic , and The Return of the King had made more money outside of North America than Alice did.
47. $1.024 Billion
To this day, Zootopia remains the second-highest–grossing animated Disney film not connected with Pixar. Since Frozen spent 16 straight weeks in the top 10, only three films have come as close, with 13 straight weeks in that top 10: Black Panther , La La Land , and yes, Zootopia . Its $682 million overseas is the sixth-best ever for an animated film, the second-best for any Disney animated film, Pixar or otherwise. Also, it is just one of four films on this list to receive a Tomatometer score of 97%.
48. $1.022 Billion
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Four years after the publication of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, Chris Columbus brought it to the big screen and its legions of fans turned up in record numbers. A $90.2 million opening weekend crushed the previous title holder from four years earlier, The Lost World: Jurassic Park , by over $18 million. The Sorcerer’s Stone ‘s final domestic total ranked sixth all-time behind the initial runs of Titanic , The Phantom Menace , E.T. , Jurassic Park , and Forrest Gump . That total remained the highest of the series until Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.
49. $1.017 Billion
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
Almost a decade after wrapping up his landmark Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson returned to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien to give audiences the Bilbo Baggins tale. A planned two-parter turned into a full-blown trilogy and critics were feeling the bloat: While Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films all scored over 90% on the Tomatometer, the Hobbit films never rose above 74%, with the first film right in the middle with 64%. Audiences were not tired just yet, though, even if this was the last of the Middle-earth series to hit $300 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide. On the glass-half-full side, Jackson’s first four Tolkien films grossed a combined $3.938 billion globally.
50. $1.006 Billion
The Dark Knight (2008)
The untimely passing of Heath Ledger in January 2008 was a gut punch, but it made anticipation for what would become his iconic, Oscar-winning portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, even more feverish. It was the central piece of what is considered one of the greatest comic-book films ever made. The movie’s $158 million opening weekend broke the previous record-holder, Spider-Man 3 , by more than $7 million, and Dark Knight held the record for nearly three years to the day until the final Harry Potter chapter was released. The opening is still 17th all-time and the movie’s domestic total haul is the 12th-highest ever.
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The 50 highest-grossing movies of all time
The 50 most profitable films af all time in terms of ticket sales as of Jan. 30th, 2020.
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1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
PG-13 | 181 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
After the devastating events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018), the universe is in ruins. With the help of remaining allies, the Avengers assemble once more in order to reverse Thanos' actions and restore balance to the universe.
Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Mark Ruffalo , Chris Hemsworth
Votes: 1,155,816 | Gross: $858.37M
2. Avatar (2009)
PG-13 | 162 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
A paraplegic Marine dispatched to the moon Pandora on a unique mission becomes torn between following his orders and protecting the world he feels is his home.
Director: James Cameron | Stars: Sam Worthington , Zoe Saldana , Sigourney Weaver , Michelle Rodriguez
Votes: 1,328,405 | Gross: $760.51M
3. Titanic (1997)
PG-13 | 194 min | Drama, Romance
A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.
Director: James Cameron | Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio , Kate Winslet , Billy Zane , Kathy Bates
Votes: 1,203,154 | Gross: $659.33M
4. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
PG-13 | 138 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
As a new threat to the galaxy rises, Rey, a desert scavenger, and Finn, an ex-stormtrooper, must join Han Solo and Chewbacca to search for the one hope of restoring peace.
Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Oscar Isaac , Domhnall Gleeson
Votes: 939,632 | Gross: $936.66M
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
PG-13 | 149 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The Avengers and their allies must be willing to sacrifice all in an attempt to defeat the powerful Thanos before his blitz of devastation and ruin puts an end to the universe.
Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Hemsworth , Mark Ruffalo , Chris Evans
Votes: 1,101,779 | Gross: $678.82M
6. Jurassic World (2015)
PG-13 | 124 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.
Director: Colin Trevorrow | Stars: Chris Pratt , Bryce Dallas Howard , Ty Simpkins , Judy Greer
Votes: 651,126 | Gross: $652.27M
7. The Lion King (2019)
PG | 118 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Donald Glover , Beyoncé , Seth Rogen , Chiwetel Ejiofor
Votes: 250,093 | Gross: $543.64M
8. The Avengers (2012)
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are going to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.
Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Scarlett Johansson , Jeremy Renner
Votes: 1,403,906 | Gross: $623.28M
9. Furious 7 (2015)
PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
Deckard Shaw seeks revenge against Dominic Toretto and his family for his comatose brother.
Director: James Wan | Stars: Vin Diesel , Paul Walker , Dwayne Johnson , Jason Statham
Votes: 395,517 | Gross: $353.01M
10. Frozen II (2019)
PG | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf and Sven leave Arendelle to travel to an ancient, autumn-bound forest of an enchanted land. They set out to find the origin of Elsa's powers in order to save their kingdom.
Directors: Chris Buck , Jennifer Lee | Stars: Kristen Bell , Idina Menzel , Josh Gad , Jonathan Groff
Votes: 178,068 | Gross: $477.37M
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When Tony Stark and Bruce Banner try to jump-start a dormant peacekeeping program called Ultron, things go horribly wrong and it's up to Earth's mightiest heroes to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plan.
Director: Joss Whedon | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Chris Evans , Mark Ruffalo , Chris Hemsworth
Votes: 875,336 | Gross: $459.01M
12. Black Panther (2018)
PG-13 | 134 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
T'Challa, heir to the hidden but advanced kingdom of Wakanda, must step forward to lead his people into a new future and must confront a challenger from his country's past.
Director: Ryan Coogler | Stars: Chadwick Boseman , Michael B. Jordan , Lupita Nyong'o , Danai Gurira
Votes: 791,752 | Gross: $700.06M
13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)
PG-13 | 130 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort's remaining Horcruxes in their effort to destroy the Dark Lord as the final battle rages on at Hogwarts.
Director: David Yates | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe , Emma Watson , Rupert Grint , Michael Gambon
Votes: 889,249 | Gross: $381.01M
14. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
The Star Wars saga continues as new heroes and galactic legends go on an epic adventure, unlocking mysteries of the Force and shocking revelations of the past.
Director: Rian Johnson | Stars: Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Mark Hamill , Carrie Fisher
Votes: 640,638 | Gross: $620.18M
15. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)
PG-13 | 128 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When the island's dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.
Director: J.A. Bayona | Stars: Chris Pratt , Bryce Dallas Howard , Rafe Spall , Justice Smith
Votes: 323,151 | Gross: $417.72M
16. Frozen (I) (2013)
PG | 102 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
When the newly crowned Queen Elsa accidentally uses her power to turn things into ice to curse her home in infinite winter, her sister Anna teams up with a mountain man, his playful reindeer, and a snowman to change the weather condition.
Directors: Chris Buck , Jennifer Lee | Stars: Kristen Bell , Idina Menzel , Jonathan Groff , Josh Gad
Votes: 633,638 | Gross: $400.74M
17. Beauty and the Beast (I) (2017)
PG | 129 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
A selfish Prince is cursed to become a monster for the rest of his life, unless he learns to fall in love with a beautiful young woman he keeps prisoner.
Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Emma Watson , Dan Stevens , Luke Evans , Josh Gad
Votes: 315,374 | Gross: $504.01M
18. Incredibles 2 (2018)
PG | 118 min | Animation, Action, Adventure
The Incredibles family takes on a new mission which involves a change in family roles: Bob Parr (Mr. Incredible) must manage the house while his wife Helen (Elastigirl) goes out to save the world.
Director: Brad Bird | Stars: Craig T. Nelson , Holly Hunter , Sarah Vowell , Huck Milner
Votes: 304,109 | Gross: $608.58M
19. The Fate of the Furious (2017)
PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
When a mysterious woman seduces Dominic Toretto into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.
Director: F. Gary Gray | Stars: Vin Diesel , Jason Statham , Dwayne Johnson , Michelle Rodriguez
Votes: 236,960 | Gross: $226.01M
20. Iron Man 3 (2013)
PG-13 | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When Tony Stark's world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.
Director: Shane Black | Stars: Robert Downey Jr. , Guy Pearce , Gwyneth Paltrow , Don Cheadle
Votes: 860,935 | Gross: $409.01M
21. Minions (2015)
PG | 91 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Minions Stuart, Kevin, and Bob are recruited by Scarlet Overkill, a supervillain who, alongside her inventor husband Herb, hatches a plot to take over the world.
Directors: Kyle Balda , Pierre Coffin | Stars: Sandra Bullock , Jon Hamm , Michael Keaton , Pierre Coffin
Votes: 243,980 | Gross: $336.05M
22. Captain America: Civil War (2016)
PG-13 | 147 min | Action, Sci-Fi
Political involvement in the Avengers' affairs causes a rift between Captain America and Iron Man.
Directors: Anthony Russo , Joe Russo | Stars: Chris Evans , Robert Downey Jr. , Scarlett Johansson , Sebastian Stan
Votes: 800,725 | Gross: $408.08M
23. Aquaman (2018)
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Arthur Curry, the human-born heir to the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, goes on a quest to prevent a war between the worlds of ocean and land.
Director: James Wan | Stars: Jason Momoa , Amber Heard , Willem Dafoe , Patrick Wilson
Votes: 483,537 | Gross: $335.06M
24. Spider-Man: Far from Home (2019)
PG-13 | 129 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
Following the events of Avengers: Endgame (2019), Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.
Director: Jon Watts | Stars: Tom Holland , Samuel L. Jackson , Jake Gyllenhaal , Marisa Tomei
Votes: 505,468 | Gross: $390.53M
25. Captain Marvel (2019)
PG-13 | 123 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe's most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races.
Directors: Anna Boden , Ryan Fleck | Stars: Brie Larson , Samuel L. Jackson , Ben Mendelsohn , Jude Law
Votes: 570,840 | Gross: $426.83M
26. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
PG-13 | 154 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
The Autobots learn of a Cybertronian spacecraft hidden on the moon, and race against the Decepticons to reach it and to learn its secrets.
Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Shia LaBeouf , Rosie Huntington-Whiteley , Tyrese Gibson , Josh Duhamel
Votes: 414,660 | Gross: $352.39M
27. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
PG-13 | 201 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.
Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Elijah Wood , Viggo Mortensen , Ian McKellen , Orlando Bloom
Votes: 1,866,224 | Gross: $377.85M
28. Skyfall (2012)
PG-13 | 143 min | Action, Adventure, Thriller
James Bond's loyalty to M is tested when her past comes back to haunt her. When MI6 comes under attack, 007 must track down and destroy the threat, no matter how personal the cost.
Director: Sam Mendes | Stars: Daniel Craig , Javier Bardem , Naomie Harris , Judi Dench
Votes: 704,719 | Gross: $304.36M
29. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
PG-13 | 165 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
When humanity allies with a bounty hunter in pursuit of Optimus Prime, the Autobots turn to a mechanic and his family for help.
Director: Michael Bay | Stars: Mark Wahlberg , Nicola Peltz Beckham , Jack Reynor , Stanley Tucci
Votes: 318,489 | Gross: $245.44M
30. The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
PG-13 | 164 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
Eight years after the Joker's reign of chaos, Batman is coerced out of exile with the assistance of the mysterious Selina Kyle in order to defend Gotham City from the vicious guerrilla terrorist Bane.
Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale , Tom Hardy , Anne Hathaway , Gary Oldman
Votes: 1,723,077 | Gross: $448.14M
31. Toy Story 4 (2019)
G | 100 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
When a new toy called "Forky" joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy.
Director: Josh Cooley | Stars: Tom Hanks , Tim Allen , Annie Potts , Tony Hale
Votes: 257,272 | Gross: $434.04M
32. Joker (I) (2019)
R | 122 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
The rise of Arthur Fleck, from aspiring stand-up comedian and pariah to Gotham's clown prince and leader of the revolution.
Director: Todd Phillips | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix , Robert De Niro , Zazie Beetz , Frances Conroy
Votes: 1,320,815 | Gross: $335.45M
33. Toy Story 3 (2010)
G | 103 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home.
Director: Lee Unkrich | Stars: Tom Hanks , Tim Allen , Joan Cusack , Ned Beatty
Votes: 845,824 | Gross: $415.00M
34. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
PG-13 | 151 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Jack Sparrow races to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid enslaving his soul to Jones' service, as other friends and foes seek the heart for their own agenda as well.
Director: Gore Verbinski | Stars: Johnny Depp , Orlando Bloom , Keira Knightley , Jack Davenport
Votes: 729,170 | Gross: $423.32M
35. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)
PG-13 | 133 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire's ultimate weapon of destruction.
Director: Gareth Edwards | Stars: Felicity Jones , Diego Luna , Alan Tudyk , Donnie Yen
Votes: 649,405 | Gross: $532.18M
36. Aladdin (2019)
PG | 128 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family
A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.
Director: Guy Ritchie | Stars: Will Smith , Mena Massoud , Naomi Scott , Marwan Kenzari
Votes: 271,750 | Gross: $355.56M
37. Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker (2019)
PG-13 | 141 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
In the riveting conclusion of the landmark Skywalker saga, new legends will be born-and the final battle for freedom is yet to come.
Director: J.J. Abrams | Stars: Daisy Ridley , John Boyega , Oscar Isaac , Adam Driver
Votes: 459,953 | Gross: $515.20M
38. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
PG-13 | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Jack Sparrow and Barbossa embark on a quest to find the elusive fountain of youth, only to discover that Blackbeard and his daughter are after it too.
Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Johnny Depp , Penélope Cruz , Ian McShane , Geoffrey Rush
Votes: 536,040 | Gross: $241.06M
39. Despicable Me 3 (2017)
PG | 89 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Gru meets his long-lost, charming, cheerful, and more successful twin brother Dru, who wants to team up with him for one last criminal heist.
Directors: Kyle Balda , Pierre Coffin , Eric Guillon | Stars: Steve Carell , Kristen Wiig , Trey Parker , Miranda Cosgrove
Votes: 140,147 | Gross: $264.62M
40. Jurassic Park (1993)
PG-13 | 127 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A pragmatic paleontologist touring an almost complete theme park on an island in Central America is tasked with protecting a couple of kids after a power failure causes the park's cloned dinosaurs to run loose.
Director: Steven Spielberg | Stars: Sam Neill , Laura Dern , Jeff Goldblum , Richard Attenborough
Votes: 1,001,923 | Gross: $402.45M
41. Finding Dory (2016)
PG | 97 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Friendly but forgetful blue tang Dory begins a search for her long-lost parents and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.
Directors: Andrew Stanton , Angus MacLane | Stars: Ellen DeGeneres , Albert Brooks , Ed O'Neill , Kaitlin Olson
Votes: 282,586 | Gross: $486.30M
42. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
PG | 136 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
Two Jedi escape a hostile blockade to find allies and come across a young boy who may bring balance to the Force, but the long dormant Sith resurface to claim their original glory.
Director: George Lucas | Stars: Ewan McGregor , Liam Neeson , Natalie Portman , Jake Lloyd
Votes: 815,665 | Gross: $474.54M
43. Alice in Wonderland (I) (2010)
PG | 108 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Nineteen-year-old Alice returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure, where she reunites with her old friends and learns of her true destiny: to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Mia Wasikowska , Johnny Depp , Helena Bonham Carter , Anne Hathaway
Votes: 421,663 | Gross: $334.19M
44. Zootopia (2016)
PG | 108 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
In a city of anthropomorphic animals, a rookie bunny cop and a cynical con artist fox must work together to uncover a conspiracy.
Directors: Byron Howard , Rich Moore , Jared Bush | Stars: Ginnifer Goodwin , Jason Bateman , Idris Elba , Jenny Slate
Votes: 508,619 | Gross: $341.27M
45. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
PG-13 | 169 min | Fantasy
A reluctant Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home, and the gold within it from the dragon Smaug.
Director: Peter Jackson | Stars: Martin Freeman , Ian McKellen , Richard Armitage , Andy Serkis
Votes: 837,569 | Gross: $303.00M
46. The Dark Knight (2008)
PG-13 | 152 min | Action, Crime, Drama
When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, Batman must accept one of the greatest psychological and physical tests of his ability to fight injustice.
Director: Christopher Nolan | Stars: Christian Bale , Heath Ledger , Aaron Eckhart , Michael Caine
Votes: 2,684,746 | Gross: $534.86M
47. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
PG | 152 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy
An orphaned boy enrolls in a school of wizardry, where he learns the truth about himself, his family and the terrible evil that haunts the magical world.
Director: Chris Columbus | Stars: Daniel Radcliffe , Rupert Grint , Richard Harris , Maggie Smith
Votes: 798,280 | Gross: $317.58M
48. Despicable Me 2 (2013)
PG | 98 min | Animation, Adventure, Comedy
When Gru, the world's most super-bad turned super-dad has been recruited by a team of officials to stop lethal muscle and a host of Gru's own, He has to fight back with new gadgetry, cars, and more minion madness.
Directors: Pierre Coffin , Chris Renaud | Stars: Steve Carell , Kristen Wiig , Benjamin Bratt , Miranda Cosgrove
Votes: 406,495 | Gross: $368.06M
49. The Lion King (1994)
G | 88 min | Animation, Adventure, Drama
Lion prince Simba and his father are targeted by his bitter uncle, who wants to ascend the throne himself.
Directors: Roger Allers , Rob Minkoff | Stars: Matthew Broderick , Jeremy Irons , James Earl Jones , Whoopi Goldberg
Votes: 1,071,626 | Gross: $422.78M
50. The Jungle Book (2016)
PG | 106 min | Adventure, Drama, Family
After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan forces him to flee the jungle, a man-cub named Mowgli embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of panther Bagheera and free-spirited bear Baloo.
Director: Jon Favreau | Stars: Neel Sethi , Bill Murray , Ben Kingsley , Idris Elba
Votes: 281,137 | Gross: $364.00M
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The highest-grossing films of all time
- Troy Smith , author of Axios Cleveland
Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio dancing in a scene from "Titanic." Photo: 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images
Only 11 films have held the title of highest-grossing films of all time.
Driving the news: "Avatar: The Way of Water" opened this week and hopes to become the 12th.
- The first "Avatar," released in 2009, is the world's current all-time box office champion, a mantle that goes back more than 100 years.
1915: Despite controversy , "The Birth of a Nation" becomes the first film to earn more than $10 million (the equivalent of nearly $300 million today).
1939: "Gone with the Wind" blows by "The Birth of a Nation."
- When adjusted for inflation, "Gone with the Wind" remains the highest-grossing film of all time, according to Guinness World Records .
1965: "The Sound of Music" ends "Gone with the Wind's" long run at the top.
1967: "Gone with the Wind" takes back the crown after a re-release on 70 mm film.
1972: "The Godfather" becomes the fastest film to $100 million worldwide on its way to overtaking "Gone with the Wind."
1973: "Jaws" moves into the top spot and is considered the first summer blockbuster, according to Guinness .
- Steven Spielberg's film debuted in more than 400 theaters with a record $7 million weekend, according to Box Office Mojo .
1977: "Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope" overtakes "Jaws," earning more than $300 million worldwide during its original release.
1982: Spielberg is history's box office king once again as "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" surpasses $600 million worldwide.
1993: "Jurassic Park" shatters the previous record with more than $970 million worldwide , proving only Steven Spielberg can beat Steven Spielberg.
1997: Moviegoers cry countless tears as James Cameron's "Titanic" becomes the first film to earn $1 billion worldwide .
2009: Like Spielberg, Cameron breaks his own record with "Avatar," the world's first $2 billion earner.
2019: Marvel reaches its peak powers as "Avengers: Endgame" earns a worldwide total of nearly $2.8 billion .
- "Endgame" is one of 10 films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to earn more than $1 billion worldwide, according to Box Office Mojo .
2021: "Avatar" takes back the title of the highest-grossing film thanks to a re-release in China.
- To date, it has earned more than $2.9 billion worldwide .
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