Prepare to embark on an exhilarating journey through the world of cinema as we delve into the realm of the 50 highest-grossing movies of all time.
These extraordinary films have shattered box office records, captivating audiences worldwide and etching their names in the annals of film history.
Join us as we explore the magic, the spectacle, and the cultural impact of these cinematic triumphs.
The 50 Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time
1. Avatar (2009) – $2.924 Billion
James Cameron’s Avatar took the world by storm when it was released on December 18, 2009. Following his previous blockbuster hit, Titanic, Cameron faced the daunting task of surpassing its success.
However, with its mesmerizing tale set on an alien planet and the captivating story of a paraplegic Marine joining forces with its inhabitants, Avatar exceeded all expectations. Riding the wave of a 3-D resurgence and Cameron’s technological innovations, the movie dominated the box office, earning over $595 million in North America alone.
On its 47th day of release, Avatar broke the record for the highest domestic earnings, a title it held for almost six years.
Additionally, it became the first film to gross over $2 billion internationally, solidifying its status as the highest-grossing movie of all time. Though it eventually surrendered the top spot to Avengers: Endgame, a re-release in China reminded everyone of Avatar’s greatness.
Learn more: Avatar (2009) Review
2. Avengers: Endgame (2019) – $2.799 Billion
In April 2019, the Marvel Cinematic Universe reached a culmination with Avengers: Endgame. Building on the success of previous Marvel films since Iron Man’s debut in 2008, this highly anticipated movie attracted eager audiences.
Following the suspenseful cliffhanger of Avengers: Infinity War, fans eagerly flocked to theaters, shattering records. Endgame surpassed Infinity War’s year-long opening weekend record by almost $100 million and amassed over $500 million domestically in just eight days. While it faced fierce competition, Endgame remained a strong contender for the highest-grossing movie title. Although it didn’t break all the records during its run, a re-release with additional content helped it overtake Avatar in its 13th week of release.
While Avatar later regained the top spot, Endgame’s remarkable achievement cannot be diminished.
Learn more: Avengers: Endgame Review
3. Avatar: The Way of Water (2022) – $2.320 Billion
After a long wait of 13 years, James Cameron returned with Avatar: The Way of Water in December 2022. Some doubted whether the cultural impact of the original Avatar would be enough to draw large crowds again, but Cameron proved them wrong.
Despite having a relatively modest opening weekend compared to other blockbusters, word-of-mouth spread like wildfire, and the film soared at the box office. Spending seven weeks at number one and 15 weeks in the top 10, this sequel reaffirmed the enduring power of the Avatar franchise.
Once again, Cameron crafted an expensive and visually stunning masterpiece, securing his position as the master of cinematic spectacles. With three out of the four highest-grossing movies ever made to his name, Cameron’s visionary storytelling continues to captivate audiences worldwide.
Learn more: Avatar: The Way of Water Review
4. Titanic (1997) – $2.265 Billion
James Cameron’s Titanic, released on December 19, 1997, not only broke box office records but also captured the hearts of millions around the globe. Known for his penchant for making expensive movies, Cameron pushed the boundaries once again with this epic romantic disaster film.
Despite initial concerns about the budget and the delayed release, Titanic emerged as a global phenomenon. It held the all-time box office record for an impressive 12 years, until Cameron himself surpassed it with his next venture, Avatar.
Titanic’s reign was marked by 15 consecutive weeks at number 1, 14 Oscar nominations, and 11 wins. Its unforgettable story, stellar cast, and poignant theme song left an indelible mark on the world.
Learn more: Titanic (1997) Review
5. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – $2.071 Billion
When J.J. Abrams took on the monumental task of creating Star Wars: Episode VII, there was apprehension.
After the completion of the prequel trilogy, some wondered if audiences were still interested or perhaps even burned out. However, Abrams skillfully balanced the old and the new, reigniting the beloved franchise with The Force Awakens. This film introduced a fresh cast of characters while allowing the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia to pass the torch. The result was a resounding success.
Fans, hungry for adventure, flocked to theaters, propelling The Force Awakens to the highest opening weekend in history. It shattered records, earning $247.9 million domestically.
Within a mere 54 days, it became a member of the exclusive $2 billion club, solidifying its place in cinema history. Even to this day, it holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing domestic release of all time.
Learn more: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Review
6. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – $2.052 Billion
After almost a decade of building the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Avengers: Infinity War brought together a vast array of beloved characters for an intergalactic showdown against the formidable Thanos.
This ambitious film marked the culmination of Phase 3 of the epic series, leaving audiences on the edge of their seats with one of the most daring cliffhangers in franchise history. Infinity War smashed records, surpassing The Force Awakens’ three-day opening weekend with a staggering $257.6 million. It reached the $2 billion mark in just 48 days, showcasing the immense popularity of the Marvel Universe.
Although it fell slightly short of Black Panther’s domestic gross, released just two months prior, Avengers: Infinity War cemented its place as a monumental entry in the superhero genre.
Learn more: Avengers: Infinity War Review
7. Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – $1.922 Billion
In a year overshadowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, Spider-Man: No Way Home swung its way to the top of the box office charts, defying all expectations. As the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, this film brought together beloved characters from the web-slinger’s big-screen history, creating an ambitious and multiverse-expanding adventure.
Despite the challenging circumstances, audiences flocked to theaters, making it not only the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie but also the most successful film ever released by Sony Pictures. With a winning combination of humor, heartbreak, and thrills, Spider-Man: No Way Home claimed its spot in the all-time box office hall of fame.
Learn more: Spider-Man: No Way Home Review
8. Jurassic World (2015) – $1.672 Billion
More than two decades after the groundbreaking success of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, Jurassic World stomped its way into the hearts of audiences worldwide. This film marked a new chapter in the dinosaur franchise, catering to a new generation of fans hungry for prehistoric mayhem.
Despite facing stiff competition from other summer blockbusters, Jurassic World became only the third film since Titanic in 1998 to surpass the $600 million mark at the domestic box office. While it may not have matched the critical acclaim of its predecessor, this thrilling adventure proved that the allure of dinosaurs can captivate audiences across generations.
9. The Lion King (2019) – $1.663 Billion
Disney’s live-action re-imaginings have struck a chord with audiences in recent years, and none more so than The Lion King. Following the successful footsteps of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, this CGI-fueled remake brought the beloved 1994 animated classic to life for a new generation.
Despite receiving a mixed reception from critics, The Lion King’s nostalgic appeal and stunning visual effects propelled it to become the highest-grossing domestic release ever to receive a “Rotten” score on the Tomatometer. The film’s $191 million opening, eighth-highest at the time, showcased the enduring popularity of this timeless tale, which became the ninth film to cross the $1 billion mark at the overseas box office.
10. Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – $1.521 Billion
When Marvel’s beloved superheroes Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America joined forces, the result was a cinematic spectacle that surpassed all expectations. The Avengers, directed by Joss Whedon, not only brought these iconic characters together but also shattered box office records. Combining the success of their individual origin stories, the film soared to unprecedented heights, grossing a remarkable $1.521 billion worldwide.
Released on May 4, 2012, The Avengers marked Marvel’s entry into the exclusive Billion Dollar Club, a feat achieved by only 12 movies at the time. This superhero extravaganza set a new standard by becoming the first-ever film to amass over $200 million in a single weekend. The movie’s thrilling narrative, stellar cast, and spectacular action sequences mesmerized audiences, cementing its place in cinematic history.
11. Furious 7 (2015) – $1.515 Billion
The Fast and Furious franchise has come a long way since its inception, transforming from a street racing saga into a global phenomenon. Furious 7, directed by James Wan, propelled the series to new heights, reaching an astounding $1.515 billion in worldwide box office earnings.
The film’s success can be attributed to various factors. Vin Diesel’s return in the fourth installment rejuvenated the franchise, while Dwayne Johnson’s charismatic addition in the fifth film brought an extra dose of humor and attracted critical acclaim. However, it was the perfect blend of high-octane action and heartfelt tribute to the late Paul Walker that truly resonated with audiences.
Furious 7 not only smashed previous box office records but also became the highest-rated movie in the franchise, garnering an impressive 81% rating on the Tomatometer. Audiences flocked to theaters, with the opening weekend grossing a staggering $147 million, a testament to the film’s immense popularity and enduring legacy.
12. Top Gun: Maverick (2022) – $1.494 Billion
Over three decades after the release of the original Top Gun, audiences eagerly anticipated the long-awaited sequel. Directed by Joseph Kosinski and featuring the return of Tom Cruise as Pete “Maverick” Mitchell, Top Gun: Maverick soared to new heights, surpassing its predecessor’s domestic box office earnings and grossing an astonishing $1.494 billion worldwide.
The enduring popularity of the 1986 cult classic undoubtedly played a role in the sequel’s success. However, Top Gun: Maverick’s achievement was also attributed to director Joseph Kosinski’s strategic use of fan service and cutting-edge IMAX cameras. These elements, combined with exhilarating action sequences, resulted in a captivating cinematic experience that delighted both long-time fans and newcomers alike.
With a domestic gross of $718.7 million, Top Gun: Maverick secured its position as the seventh highest-grossing film in the United States and claimed the thirteenth spot globally. Its remarkable journey stands as a testament to the enduring appeal of the Top Gun franchise and the power of a well-crafted sequel.
13. Frozen II (2019) – $1.454 Billion
Frozen II, the highly anticipated sequel to the beloved animated film, took the world by storm, earning a staggering $1.454 billion at the box office. While it didn’t receive quite as much critical acclaim as its predecessor, with a 77% rating on the Tomatometer compared to the original’s 90%, the film’s immense popularity was undeniable.
When it hit theaters on November 22, 2019, Frozen II had the third-highest opening weekend for an animated film, raking in an impressive $130.26 million. The movie continued to dominate the box office, becoming the highest-grossing film over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, a remarkable feat considering it had already opened the weekend before.
In its fourth weekend, Frozen II achieved another milestone by surpassing the original Frozen, becoming the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Its success solidified its place as a global phenomenon and proved that audiences couldn’t resist embarking on a second adventure with their favorite characters.
14. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) – $1.405 Billion
Avengers: Age of Ultron, the second installment in the iconic Avengers franchise, earned an impressive $1.405 billion worldwide. Directed by Joss Whedon, the film may not have surpassed the record-breaking opening weekend of its predecessor, but it still secured the second-best opening of all time upon its release.
Despite receiving a 75% rating on the Tomatometer, falling short of the top 10 Tomatometer scores in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Avengers: Age of Ultron remains a thrilling and action-packed superhero adventure. It may have faced stiff competition from Jurassic World during the summer of 2015, but it managed to cross the $400 million mark domestically, joining an exclusive group of films.
Although it didn’t match the massive success of its predecessor, the film showcased the enduring popularity of the Avengers franchise and left audiences hungry for more superhero adventures.
15. Black Panther (2018) – $1.350 Billion
Black Panther, directed by Ryan Coogler, made a significant impact upon its release in February 2018, earning an impressive $1.350 billion worldwide. The film held great significance for audiences, as it provided representation and a powerful reintroduction to the character of T’Challa, who had made his debut in Captain America: Civil War.
Audiences flocked to theaters, resulting in Black Panther becoming the fifth film in history to achieve a $200 million opening weekend. It also became only the third film ever to gross over $700 million in North America, surpassing even the highly anticipated Avengers: Infinity War that followed later that summer.
While Black Panther’s global success was undeniable, it is worth noting that it made less money internationally than domestically, setting it apart from other post-Avengers films in the MCU. Nevertheless, the film’s impact resonated with audiences around the world, cementing its place as a groundbreaking superhero film.
16. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) – $1.342 Billion
Released on July 15, 2011, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2” holds the prestigious title of the highest-grossing movie of all time. This epic conclusion to the beloved Harry Potter series, based on J.K. Rowling’s fantasy novels, captivated audiences around the globe. Fans who had followed the magical journey since its inception in 2001 finally witnessed the culmination of the characters’ growth, played by a talented ensemble cast.
Notably, “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” set a new trend in Hollywood by splitting the final chapter into two parts. This decision allowed for a more comprehensive exploration of the story, enabling fans to savor the last moments of their favorite characters on the big screen. The film made an impressive $381.4 million domestically and a staggering $960 million internationally, securing its place as the third highest-grossing film in the international market, only surpassed by “Avatar” and “Titanic.” By the end of its theatrical run, the eight films in the Harry Potter series had collectively grossed a remarkable $7.72 billion, solidifying their place in cinematic history.
17. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) – $1.334 Billion
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” directed by Rian Johnson and released on December 15, 2017, takes the second spot on the highest-grossing movies list. As the eighth episode in the iconic Star Wars saga, this film continued the epic narrative that has captivated generations of fans. However, it also became a somewhat polarizing entry, sparking debates among viewers, particularly regarding the casino planet sequence.
Despite the divisive opinions, “The Last Jedi” managed to soar at the box office. With a domestic gross of $620.2 million, it became the highest-grossing film of 2017 in North America. While it experienced a 33.8% drop from its predecessor, “The Force Awakens,” this dip was not uncommon for middle films in the Star Wars series.
Regardless, the film received a positive response from critics, joining the ranks of Episodes IV, V, and VII with a 90%+ rating on the Tomatometer. It is believed that “The Last Jedi” served as a bridge, paving the way for the next generation of Star Wars enthusiasts.
18. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) – $1.311 Billion
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom,” directed by J.A. Bayona, roars into the third position on the highest-grossing movies list. This thrilling installment, released on June 22, 2018, continued the Jurassic Park franchise’s legacy, which originated from the creative genius of Steven Spielberg. Although it received a relatively lower Tomatometer score of 48% compared to other films in the series, it managed to captivate audiences and generate substantial box office revenue.
Following the trajectory commonly seen in second entries of film franchises, “Fallen Kingdom” experienced a 36% drop in domestic box office earnings compared to its predecessor, “Jurassic World.”
Nevertheless, it still achieved an impressive domestic gross of $417.7 million, ranking as the 23rd highest-grossing film of all time in North America. Its success extended beyond the domestic market, as it secured the 13th spot in terms of international box office earnings. In fact, “Fallen Kingdom” was the second highest-grossing domestic film of the 2018 summer season, narrowly trailing behind “Star Wars:The Last Jedi.”
19. Frozen (2013) – $1.285 Billion
Released on November 22, 2013, Frozen quickly captivated audiences worldwide and became the highest-grossing animated film in history. This heartwarming tale of two sisters on a quest for true happiness struck a chord with viewers of all ages. Alongside its memorable characters and engaging storyline, Frozen boasted an enchanting Oscar-winning song that, although adored by many, has also been known to torment parents for nearly a decade.
Not only did Frozen win the prestigious Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but it also set a new record for the highest international box office earnings for an animated film. Its remarkable global haul of $875.7 million surpassed the previous record held by Ice Age: Continental Drift ($715.9 million).
Even with the strong competition from films like Minions and Incredibles 2, Frozen remains the reigning champion in the animated film realm. However, with the introduction of the new animated Lion King, this particular crown no longer graces the heads of our beloved Arendelle princesses.
20. Beauty and the Beast (2017) – $1.274 Billion
March 17, 2017, marked the release of Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast, which shattered box office records. This reimagining of the timeless tale, starring Emma Watson, not only captured the hearts of fans worldwide but also surpassed the financial achievements of its beloved animated predecessor, which was nominated for Best Picture in 1991.
Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast became the seventh film in history to cross the impressive milestone of half a billion dollars in North America alone.
Furthermore, its global success was equally remarkable, as it joined the exclusive club of movies that surpassed three-quarters of a billion dollars internationally. With a domestic earning of $504.5 million, Beauty and the Beast left an indelible mark on the record books and solidified its place as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
21. The Super Mario Bros. Movie (2023) – $1.256 Billion
On April 5, 2023, Nintendo, the company renowned for its influential presence in the gaming community, made a triumphant return to the world of movies with The Super Mario Bros. Movie. This animated film, produced by the creators of Despicable Me and The Secret Life of Pets, revitalized the beloved video game characters on the big screen. The result? A resounding success that surpassed all expectations.
Having learned from the disappointment of the ill-fated live-action Mario Bros. film from 1993, Nintendo’s latest cinematic endeavor dominated the box office. The Super Mario Bros. Movie collected an astounding $551.1 million domestically, making it the second-highest-grossing animated film ever released in North America.
On a global scale, it secured the third spot, falling only behind the formidable Frozen and its sequel, Frozen II. With its impressive performance, The Super Mario Bros. Movie revitalized the iconic franchise and solidified its place among the highest-grossing films in history.
22. Incredibles 2 (2018) – $1.243 Billion
Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 made its mark as the highest-grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office, surpassing its predecessor by more than double the box office earnings. The film was released fourteen years after the original and proved that the beloved Pixar brand was still a guarantee of success and quality.
Incredibles 2 became the ninth film to cross the impressive $600 million mark in North America and remains in the top 10 highest-earning movies of all time domestically. It perfectly captured the hearts of audiences young and old, solidifying its place among the most successful movies in history.
23. The Fate of the Furious (2017) – $1.236 Billion
The Fate of the Furious, the eighth installment in the Fast and Furious franchise directed by F. Gary Gray, may not have reached the same heights as its predecessor, Furious 7, domestically.
However, it more than made up for it with its remarkable global performance. The film benefited from an investment of half a billion dollars across the production of the seventh and eighth chapters of the franchise, resulting in a combined worldwide box office total of $2.75 billion. The Fate of the Furious became the sixth film in history to cross the impressive $1 billion mark outside the U.S. and Canada alone, showcasing its immense popularity with international audiences.
24. Iron Man 3 (2013) – $1.215 Billion
Iron Man 3, the first Marvel film to hit theaters after the monumental success of The Avengers, proved to be a massive hit both domestically and overseas.
Directed by Shane Black, who took over from Jon Favreau, the film introduced intriguing twists to the beloved comic-book lore. While some fans expressed disappointment with these changes, the general moviegoing public embraced the film wholeheartedly. Iron Man 3 became the 13th movie to surpass $400 million domestically during its initial run.
Moreover, it holds the distinction of being the highest-grossing non-Avengers film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe overseas, raking in over $805 million. With this achievement, Iron Man 3 solidified its position as one of the top Disney properties in the global box office.
25. Minions (2015) – $1.159 Billion
Released on July 10, 2015, “Minions” quickly became a massive hit after the success of the first two “Despicable Me” films. This time, the lovable and mischievous yellow creatures took center stage in their own story. The film made a smart move by capitalizing on the popularity of the Minions, as it had the largest opening for Illumination Entertainment, earning a staggering $115.7 million on its first weekend alone.
While it fell slightly short of “Despicable Me 2” domestically, with $336 million compared to $368 million, it made up for it with its outstanding overseas performance. “Minions” stands as the second-highest-grossing animated film internationally, with a remarkable $823.4 million, trailing only behind Disney’s “Frozen.” Overall, it remains the biggest global success for Illumination Entertainment.
26. Captain America: Civil War (2016) – $1.155 Billion
“Captain America: Civil War,” released on May 6, 2016, may not have been an official Avengers film, but it certainly felt like one.
Although Thor and Hulk were absent, the movie introduced two beloved characters to the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Spider-Man and Black Panther. The film opened with a bang, earning an impressive $179.1 million on its opening weekend, marking the fifth-highest opening at that time. Its international box office performance was equally impressive, raking in $745 million. This made “Captain America: Civil War” the fourth MCU film to surpass the $1 billion milestone. Notably, Anthony and Joe Russo, the directors of the film, join an elite group of filmmakers with three films in the top 50 highest-grossing movies.
27. Aquaman (2018) – $1.149 Billion
Released on December 21, 2018, “Aquaman” proved to be the film that propelled the DC Extended Universe (DCEU) to the billion-dollar club. Previous attempts to reach that milestone fell short, including the addition of Batman to the Superman storyline and the success of “Wonder Woman.”
However, “Aquaman” managed to break through and achieve this feat. Directed by James Wan, it had the second-smallest opening weekend in the DCEU. But what it lacked in initial numbers, it made up for with its remarkable longevity and success throughout the holiday season and beyond. The film’s box office performance multiplied nearly five times from its opening, outperforming any other DC property since Tim Burton’s “Batman” in 1989.
With a domestic total of $335.1 million, “Aquaman” made a splash internationally, contributing significantly to its impressive $1.149 billion global box office earnings.
28. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – $1.148 Billion
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, directed by Peter Jackson, stands tall as one of the highest-grossing movies of all time, having amassed a staggering $1.148 billion at the global box office.
Released on December 17, 2003, this epic conclusion to the first Lord of the Rings trilogy took the world by storm. Garnering critical acclaim, it went on to make history by winning all 11 Oscars it was nominated for, including Best Picture and Best Director.
This cinematic masterpiece not only impressed the critics but also delighted audiences around the globe. With a domestic gross of $379.4 million, it claimed the fourth spot among the highest-grossing films in the United States, trailing only Titanic, The Phantom Menace, and Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man.
Moreover, its success extended beyond borders, as it ranked second only to Titanic in terms of international earnings. The Return of the King truly reigned supreme, captivating audiences with its remarkable storytelling, breathtaking visuals, and unforgettable characters.
29. Skyfall (2012) – $1.142 Billion
In 2012, the James Bond franchise received a magnificent boost with the release of Skyfall. Starring Daniel Craig as the iconic secret agent, this film became a game-changer for the series. Skyfall not only crossed the $300 million mark domestically but also soared to a remarkable $1.142 billion globally, solidifying its position among the highest-grossing movies ever.
This thrilling Bond adventure captivated audiences with its gripping story, heart-pounding action sequences, and stellar performances. Skyfall also etched its name in cinematic history by becoming one of the top five highest-rated Bond films according to the Tomatometer, with an impressive 92% approval rating. As audiences flocked to theaters, they were treated to a film that perfectly blended nostalgia with modern sensibilities, resulting in an unforgettable cinematic experience.
30. Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – $1.132 Billion
Spider-Man: Far From Home swung into theaters in 2019, leaving audiences in awe and solidifying the beloved superhero’s popularity. This film, which marked the collaboration between Disney and Sony, not only mended their past disagreements but also became Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time, raking in an astounding $1.132 billion worldwide.
As the ninth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) to join the prestigious billion-dollar club, Spider-Man: Far From Home showcased the enduring appeal of the friendly neighborhood web-slinger. With a domestic gross of $390.5 million, the film delighted fans and proved to be a resounding success. Moreover, it achieved critical acclaim, earning a Certified Fresh rating of 90% or higher on the Tomatometer, solidifying its place as one of the best-reviewed Spider-Man films to date.
31. Captain Marvel (2019) – $1.132 Billion
Captain Marvel soared into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in 2019, making a groundbreaking impact as the first female superhero to headline her own film. Played by the talented Brie Larson, Carol Danvers made her mark as a powerful and inspiring character. The movie not only outperformed DC’s Wonder Woman globally but also surpassed it in the domestic market. With a worldwide box office collection of $1.132 billion, Captain Marvel became the seventh MCU film to achieve the impressive billion-dollar milestone.
Released on March 8, 2019, Captain Marvel delighted fans and critics alike. Although its Certified Fresh score of 78% on Rotten Tomatoes ranks it 18th among the 23 films in the MCU, the film was embraced for its thrilling space epic and Larson’s captivating performance. It remained in the top 10 for an impressive 10 consecutive weeks, alongside another MCU hit, Black Panther.
32. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – $1.124 Billion
Directed by Michael Bay, Transformers: Dark of the Moon took the world by storm in 2011, becoming a global box office sensation. While it may not have received the highest critical acclaim, with a 35% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it managed to capture audiences’ attention and generate a massive worldwide gross of $1.124 billion.
What sets this Transformers installment apart is its distinction as the only sequel in the franchise to achieve a rating above 20% on the Tomatometer. This fact, coupled with its comparatively lower budget, contributed to its success as the highest-grossing Transformers movie to date.
In 2011, only the final installment of the Harry Potter series managed to surpass Transformers: Dark of the Moon domestically, making it one of the standout movies of that summer.
33. Jurassic Park (1993) – $1.110 Billion
Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park revolutionized the world of cinema when it was released in 1993. Based on Michael Crichton’s novel, this thrilling adventure brought dinosaurs to life like never before. Jurassic Park quickly became a beloved blockbuster and made a significant impact at the box office, grossing an impressive $1.110 billion worldwide.
Upon its release, Jurassic Park shattered records, surpassing Batman Returns as the highest-grossing opening weekend at the time, with an incredible $47 million. Its success continued throughout the summer, ultimately falling just short of Spielberg’s own classic, E.T., in terms of domestic earnings.
However, thanks to re-releases in both 2-D and 3-D formats over the years, Jurassic Park’s domestic box office surpassed $400 million, solidifying its status as a billion-dollar juggernaut worldwide.
34. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014) – $1.104 Billion
In 2014, the Transformers series reached new heights with “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” While the franchise was showing signs of age in North America, it continued to captivate audiences around the world. This fourth installment, directed by Michael Bay and starring Mark Wahlberg as the central hero, boasted a runtime of nearly three hours.
Although its domestic earnings fell below $300 million for the first time, its international box office haul of $858 million secured its position as the sixth highest-grossing movie worldwide at the time (now 16th). Despite receiving mixed reviews, with a low 18% Tomatometer score, “Age of Extinction” remained a global blockbuster.
35. The Dark Knight Rises (2012) – $1.081 Billion
Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy concluded with a bang in “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012. This thrilling film introduced iconic characters like Bane and Catwoman while surprising audiences along the way.
Domestically, only four films had grossed more in their initial runs that summer: “Avatar,” “Titanic,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Marvel’s The Avengers.” The latter was the only film to surpass “The Dark Knight Rises” in 2012. When all was said and done, Nolan’s trilogy amassed an impressive $2.46 billion worldwide, leaving a lasting impact on the superhero genre.
36. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – $1.077 Billion
“The Rise of Skywalker” marked the grand finale of the iconic Skywalker saga in 2019. While it deviated from the trend set by previous third entries in the Star Wars trilogies, which outgrossed their middle episodes, it broke a record unlikely to be surpassed.
In January 2020, it became the seventh Disney film released in 2019 to surpass $1 billion at the box office, achieving this feat in just 28 days. By comparison, “The Last Jedi” achieved the same milestone in less than three weeks.
Despite mixed critical reception and a lower Tomatometer score among the nine films, “The Rise of Skywalker” solidified its place in cinematic history. It served as a fitting conclusion to a nine-episode series spanning from 1977 to 2019, which collectively grossed an astounding $8.71 billion (including re-releases).
37. Joker (2019) – $1.074 Billion
When the director of The Hangover films, Todd Phillips, decided to create an origin story for Batman’s iconic villain, the Joker, many were skeptical.
However, the film quickly gained attention as it made its way through the festival circuit. Joker even received the prestigious Golden Lion award at the Venice Film Festival, and some critics hailed it as a masterpiece.
Despite receiving a relatively lower Tomatometer score of 69%, the film shattered records by achieving the highest-opening ever in October, surpassing previous releases like Venom. Joker became the highest-grossing film ever released in October in North America, surpassing Gravity by Alfonso Cuaron. It even surpassed several other blockbuster films, including Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Jurassic Park, Finding Dory, The Phantom Menace, Aladdin, and Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight. With a total gross of $1.074 billion, Joker also secured its place as one of the most profitable films of all time.
38. Toy Story 4 (2019) – $1.073 Billion
When Pixar released Toy Story 4, some were disappointed by its opening weekend box office of $120 million. Many had expected it to become the studio’s biggest opening ever. Some even dismissed the film as another failed sequel in the summer of 2019.
However, Woody and the gang proved everyone wrong. Toy Story 4 went on to surpass its predecessor by over $12 million domestically, proving its enduring popularity.
Although it fell slightly short internationally, it still became the fourth Pixar film to join the billion-dollar club and remains their third-highest-grossing film overall. With a total worldwide gross of $1.073 billion, Toy Story 4 reaffirmed the franchise’s beloved status among audiences of all ages.
39. Toy Story 3 (2010) – $1.067 Billion
After the heartwarming conclusion of Toy Story 2, many believed it was the end of Woody, Buzz, and their beloved toy friends. The film’s bittersweet ending left a lasting impression.
However, Toy Story 3 surprised everyone by making a grand return to the big screen. As the first summer release for the franchise, it shattered records by becoming Pixar’s first film to earn over $100 million during its opening weekend. Toy Story 3 not only achieved the studio’s first $400 million domestic box office but also crossed the remarkable milestone of $1 billion worldwide.
For nearly two years, it held the title of Disney’s second-highest-grossing domestic release, and although it dropped to 16th place by 2019, its impact and success were undeniable.
40. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) – $1.066 Billion
Released on July 7, 2006, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest surprised everyone when Disney decided to turn their classic ride into a feature-length film.
Initially met with skepticism, the movie defied expectations, earning over $1 billion at the box office. It featured Johnny Depp’s iconic portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow, which even earned him an Oscar nomination.
While critics had mixed feelings about the franchise’s epic length and earnestness, audiences embraced the swashbuckling adventure. Dead Man’s Chest became Disney’s first movie to open with over $100 million, and it held the title of the highest-grossing domestic release in Disney’s history until 2010. With its thrilling escapades and memorable characters, this pirate adventure set sail to massive success.
41. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – $1.059 Billion
In December 2016, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story transported audiences to a galaxy far, far away. Serving as a bridge between the original and prequel trilogies, this spin-off film aimed to fill in the gaps leading to the destruction of the first Death Star.
While some fans embraced the movie as an instant favorite, others saw it as an average side trip in the Star Wars universe.
Nevertheless, Rogue One joined the exclusive $1 Billion Club, becoming the seventh film to surpass $500 million domestically. Its success was not just limited to the United States, as it garnered significant international earnings as well.
Despite the high expectations set by its predecessor, Rogue One cemented itself as a significant force in the Star Wars saga and left a lasting impression on fans around the world.
42. Aladdin (2019) – $1.051 Billion
When Aladdin hit theaters on May 24, 2019, it was not without its fair share of doubts and concerns. Early reveals of a blue Will Smith as the Genie received mixed reactions from fans. Moreover, Disney’s live-action adaptation came on the heels of the underperforming Dumbo.
However, Aladdin proved to be a diamond in the rough. Director Guy Ritchie’s fresh take on the beloved 1992 animated film struck a chord with audiences. It capitalized on the shortcomings of other summer releases, holding a spot in the top five at the box office for an impressive seven consecutive weeks. The film’s international earnings nearly matched the record-breaking 2017 film Beauty and the Beast. Surpassing several other highly successful movies on the list, Aladdin’s enchanting journey captured the hearts of viewers worldwide.
43. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – $1.047 Billion
In 2011, the fourth installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, titled “On Stranger Tides,” took the world by storm, grossing a staggering $1.047 billion.
After the success of the previous trilogy, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer were determined to keep the series afloat.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics (scoring only 33% on Rotten Tomatoes), the film managed to attract audiences both domestically and internationally. While it didn’t surpass expectations in terms of domestic ticket sales, the film’s international total of $804.6 million secured its place in the record books.
44. Despicable Me 3 (2017) – $1.035 Billion
The lovable minions struck box office gold once again with “Despicable Me 3,” which raked in an impressive $1.035 billion worldwide. Domestically, the film earned $264.6 million, surpassing its predecessors by a small margin.
However, it was the film’s international success that truly shone, with a 164% increase in earnings compared to the first film in the franchise. With a record-breaking launch in North America and a widespread theater count, “Despicable Me 3” set the stage for other films to follow suit.
45. Finding Dory (2016) – $1.029 Billion
Pixar’s “Finding Dory,” the sequel to the beloved “Finding Nemo,” swam its way to box office victory in 2016, grossing $1.029 billion worldwide. Thirteen years after the original film became Pixar’s first $300 million domestic hit, “Finding Dory” reclaimed the throne as the animation studio’s highest-grossing domestic film ever. It outperformed “Toy Story 3” by over $71 million domestically, demonstrating the growing success of Pixar’s sequel ventures.
While it fell slightly short of “Toy Story 3” in international earnings, “Finding Dory” showcased Pixar’s ability to captivate audiences and build on the success of their beloved characters.
46. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999) – $1.027 Billion
George Lucas, the visionary creator of the Star Wars universe, returned to the director’s chair after more than two decades with “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace.” Released on May 19, 1999, this highly anticipated prequel aimed to satiate the desires of fans who had waited 16 long years since the release of “Return of the Jedi.”
While the movie undoubtedly drew crowds and generated a staggering $474.5 million domestically, it left many with a lingering sense of disappointment. This sentiment would continue to haunt the prequel trilogy for years to come.
“The Phantom Menace” initially earned an impressive $431 million during its initial run, securing the second-highest spot in North America’s all-time box office records, second only to “Titanic.”
However, it required subsequent re-releases to surpass the $1 billion global milestone. Notably, it was the first film in history to exceed $100 million in just five days, surpassing the previous record set by “The Lost World: Jurassic Park.”
47. Zootopia (2016) – $1.026 Billion
In 2016, Disney’s animated gem “Zootopia” charmed audiences worldwide, establishing itself as the second-highest-grossing non-Pixar animated film produced by the studio. The movie, released on March 4, effortlessly captured the hearts of viewers, resulting in a domestic box office earnings of $341.3 million.
What makes “Zootopia” particularly noteworthy is its remarkable longevity in the top 10 highest-grossing films. Only three other movies—namely, “Black Panther,” “La La Land,” and the aforementioned “Zootopia”—have managed to remain in the top 10 for 13 consecutive weeks, a feat only overshadowed by the astounding 16-week run of “Frozen.”
Moreover, the film garnered a worldwide total of $682 million, securing its position as the second-best-performing Disney animated film, irrespective of whether it is associated with Pixar or not. Additionally, “Zootopia” boasted an exceptional Tomatometer score of 97%, further attesting to its critical acclaim.
48. Alice in Wonderland (2010) – $1.026 Billion
Tim Burton’s whimsical interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved tale, “Alice in Wonderland,” took audiences on a mesmerizing journey upon its release on March 5, 2010. As one of Disney’s early attempts to bring their classic cartoons to life, “Alice in Wonderland” outshined its predecessors in terms of commercial success.
With a domestic box office earnings of $334.2 million, the film made an impactful debut, amassing $116.1 million—an impressive feat that landed it the sixth-largest movie opening at that time. Notably, this accomplishment also marked the second-highest opening for a Disney film, falling short only of the second “Pirates of the Caribbean” installment.
Internationally, “Alice in Wonderland” reigned supreme, joining the exclusive club of films that had grossed more money overseas than in North America. At the time of its release, only “Avatar,” “Titanic,” and “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” had achieved this incredible feat. Despite subsequent endeavors by Tim Burton to recreatethe success with films like “Dumbo” in 2019, “Alice in Wonderland” remains unmatched in terms of domestic gross earnings within the director’s filmography.
49. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001) – $1.023 Billion
In 2001, the world was captivated by the magical story of Harry Potter, and the film adaptation of the first book, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” took the box office by storm.
Directed by Chris Columbus, the movie brought J.K. Rowling’s beloved characters to life and attracted an enormous following. Just four years after the publication of the first Harry Potter book, fans flocked to theaters, resulting in a remarkable opening weekend of $90.2 million. This impressive figure shattered the previous record set by “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” by over $18 million.
The success of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” continued throughout its theatrical run, culminating in a domestic total of $318.9 million. This outstanding figure secured the film’s position as the sixth highest-grossing movie of all time domestically, following the likes of blockbusters such as “Titanic,” “The Phantom Menace,” “E.T.,” “Jurassic Park,” and “Forrest Gump.”
It’s worth noting that the movie’s domestic total remained unbeaten within the Harry Potter series until “Deathly Hallows: Part 2” claimed the record in 2011. With a worldwide box office gross of $1.023 billion, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” cast a spell on audiences around the globe, establishing the magical franchise’s cinematic success.
50. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) – $1.017 Billion
Almost a decade after completing his acclaimed “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, director Peter Jackson returned to J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythical world with “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.”
Released on December 14, 2012, this film marked the beginning of an unexpected adventure for audiences worldwide. Originally planned as a two-part series, it eventually expanded into a trilogy, much to the surprise of some critics who felt the story suffered from unnecessary length. While Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” films garnered critical acclaim, with ratings above 90% on the Tomatometer, the “Hobbit” films received more mixed reviews, with the first installment scoring a 64% rating.
However, despite the mixed critical reception, audiences were still eager to embark on Bilbo Baggins’ journey. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” grossed $303 million domestically, making it the last film in the Middle-earth series to surpass the $300 million milestone in the domestic market. On the global stage, the film soared to even greater heights, crossing the $1 billion mark, amassing a worldwide box office total of $1.017 billion.
When combined with the earnings of Jackson’s previous Tolkien adaptations, the four films set in Middle-earth accumulated an astonishing $3.938 billion globally. Despite the criticisms, the allure of Tolkien’s fantastical universe and Jackson’s masterful storytelling proved irresistible to fans, making “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” a massive success at the box office.
As we conclude our exploration of the 50 highest-grossing movies of all time, we are left in awe of the profound influence and enduring popularity of these cinematic gems.
From iconic franchises that have spanned generations to groundbreaking original stories that have captured our hearts, these films have left an indelible mark on the industry and the collective imagination of audiences worldwide.
Beyond their staggering financial success, these movies have become cultural touchstones, inspiring countless fans and shaping popular culture in unimaginable ways. They have transported us to distant galaxies, stirred our emotions, and challenged our perceptions of what is possible on the silver screen. Through their captivating narratives, exceptional performances, and breathtaking visual effects, they have united us in shared experiences, forging connections that transcend borders and languages.