The 15 Highest-Grossing Movies Of 2014

Guardians of the galaxyGuardians of the Galaxy trailerChris Pratt led the box office with two huge movies this year.

This year’s box office was one of the worst in recent years.

A lack of really huge summer blockbusters resulted in the lowest domestic box-office since 2007. According to, this year’s movies made an approximate total gross of $US9.9 billion to date.

Superhero movies, family-friendly flicks, and high-profile book adaptations were big hits this year. Marvel did particularly well with several major releases. 

We know “Guardians of The Galaxy” was an unexpected summer blockbuster and that “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1” performed well, but which movie reigned supreme at the box office?

We’ve compiled the highest-grossing movies of 2014.*

*Grosses as of 12/24/14. We will continue to update this post accordingly.

15. 'Lucy': $458.9 million

Studio: Universal

Release date: Jul. 25, 2014

Estimated budget: $US40 million

Domestic gross:$US126.7 million

The critically divisive sci-fi indie starring Scarlett Johansson as a young woman who could unlock the full potential of the human brain exploded at the box office. It helped that the film made this out to be a female superhero movie starring a popular 'Avengers' character. There's been a lot of anticipation for Johansson to get her own spin-off Black Widow film. 'Lucy' proved that even without the rest of the Avengers at her side, Johansson can bring in a large audience. After the film's success, both Warner Bros. and Marvel announced future female standalone movies.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

14. 'The LEGO Movie': $468.1 million

Studio: Warner Bros.

Release date: Feb. 7, 2014

Estimated budget: $US60 million

Domestic gross: $US257.8 million

'The LEGO Movie' debuted at number one on the box-office charts with a $US69.1 million opening weekend, making for one of the biggest February openings ever.

The universal praise for the movie and a catchy theme song from the talented writer-director team of Christopher Miller and Phil Lord ('Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs,' '21 Jump Street') helped prove everything about a LEGO movie is awesome. The film's combination of smart, subversive commentary about conformity, pop culture references and Easter eggs, along with top-notch voice talent (Chris Pratt, Will Arnett, and Elizabeth Banks) all made for an appealing movie for both kids and adults.
Warner Bros. already has three sequels in the works including a Batman spin-off.

With no Pixar film this year, 'The LEGO Movie' has a good chance at taking home the Oscar for best-animated film.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

13. 'Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles': $477.2 million

Studio: Paramount

Release date: Aug. 8, 2014

Estimated budget: $US125 million

Domestic gross:$US191.2 million

Even though the movie was critically panned, it still managed to be a box-office success, showing nostalgia and sheer curiosity are powerful tools for bringing in audience members. The movie also starred Megan Fox.

'Ninja Turtles' debuted at number one opening weekend, knocking 'Guardians Of The Galaxy' off its box-office throne with $US65.6 million opening weekend. The film went on to be one of the highest-grossing movies of the summer. Paramount has no plans on retiring this franchise; it already has a sequel planned for June 2016.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

12. 'Rio 2': $498.8 million

Studio: Fox

Release date: Apr. 11, 2014

Estimated budget: $US103 million

Domestic gross: $US131.5 million

The animated Amazon adventure from the makers of the 'Ice Age' trilogy featured an all-star cast, including the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Tracy Morgan, and Bruno Mars. Despite a cast of A-listers, the movie only grossed $US39.3 million in its opening weekend. However, it continued to steadily bring in audiences throughout the spring and summer, and became a big hit overseas grossing $US367.2 million outside of the US.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

11. 'Godzilla': $525 million

Studio: Warner Bros.

Release date: May 16, 2014

Estimated budget: $US160 million

Domestic gross:$US200.7 million

'Godzilla' crushed the box office, grossing a whopping $US93.2 million in its opening weekend. It's unsurprising the movie performed well despite lukewarm reviews; 'Godzilla' is a bankable name, and with newer technology, the giant lizard monster was more real-looking than ever.

Director Gareth Edwards brought the monster back to its terrifying roots after 1998's widely-panned disaster starring Matthew Broderick. It helped that marketing heavily revolved around Bryan Cranston ('Breaking Bad') even though he wasn't the main star of the movie. Warner Bros. announced a sequel soon after the movie's release in May.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

10. 'How To Train Your Dragon 2': $618.9 million

Studio: Fox

Release date: Jun. 13, 2014

Estimated budget: $US145 million

Domestic gross: $US177 million

DreamWorks Animation's big summer tentpole had the unfortunate timing of being released while hits including '22 Jump Street,' 'The Fault in Our Stars,' and Kevin Hart's 'Think Like a Man Too' dominated the box office. Although 'Dragon' never hit number one at the box office, the anticipated sequel to the 2010 hit steadily continued to bring in audiences throughout the summer. The movie also made headlines for featuring a subtle -- but notable -- animated coming-out scene.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

9. 'Interstellar': $636.2 million

Studio: Paramount

Release date: Nov. 5, 2014

Estimated budget: $US165 million

Domestic gross: $US171.5 million

Despite the initial hype, this time-travel sci-fi feature starring Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway opened to a significantly smaller box office than anticipated. However, director Christopher Nolan's latest has continued to bring in audience members throughout the fall, particularly through a surge in IMAX screenings -- even throughout the release of 'Mockingjay,' which was not released in the format. Since beautiful visuals are central to 'Interstellar,' it's likely that audiences shelled out extra to see the film in the more expensive IMAX format and that Nolan fanboys saw it multiple times to fully comprehend the existential plot.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

8. 'The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1': $641.6 million

Studio: Lionsgate

Release date: Nov. 21, 2014

Estimated budget: $US125 million

Domestic gross: $US289.4 million

The highly-anticipated sequel to 2013's 'Catching Fire' arrived right before Thanksgiving, and while reviews were mixed, fans of the franchise still flocked to movie theatres to see Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) back in action and fighting the Capitol.

Audience members were likely anxious to see how the movie would handle the tragic death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, whose character, Plutarch Heavensbee, is central to 'Mockingjay.' Though predictions called for a $US150 million opening, the film opened to $US121.9 opening weekend. However, it wasn't anything to complain over. That figure helped give 'Mockingjay' the biggest opening weekend of the year.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

7. 'Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes': $708.3 million

Studio: Fox

Release date: Jul. 11, 2014

Estimated budget: $US170 million

Domestic gross:$US208.5 million

The sequel to the 2011 film topped the box-office in its first two weekends in theatres, and continued to steadily profit throughout the summer and early fall, even without headline-maker James Franco! An entirely new director, Matt Reeves, was at the helm of the latest instalment of the franchise. Reeves along with motion capture guru Andy Serkis may have accounted for how well 'Dawn' performed. Generally solid reviews and impressive special effects certainly helped this movie in its mission to conquer the box office.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

6. 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2': $709 million

Studio: Sony/Columbia

Release date: May 2, 2014

Estimated budget: $US200 million

Domestic gross: $US202.9 million

The latest instalment in the revamped 'Spider-Man' trilogy might have performed well with a seemingly impressive $US91.6 million opening weekend but given Spidey's brand recognition (he's the best-selling superhero toy) and a lot of hype for the sequel, it probably should have been the first $US100 million opening weekend of the year.

The opening weekend for 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' was worse than any of the movies in the original 'Spider-Man' trilogy starring Tobey Maguire, and overall, it's the lowest-performing 'Spider-Man' movie of the five. Reviewers weren't particularly taken with the over-bloated instalment ; critics generally noted that the movie focused on building its franchise and not on storytelling. The movie was by no means a total failure, but it was a box-office disappointment putting into question the future of the Spidey franchise at Sony.

(Source: Box Office Mojo, IMDBpro)

5. 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier': $714.1 million

Studio: Buena Vista

Release date: Apr. 4, 2014

Estimated budget: $US170 million

Domestic gross: $US259.8 million

Marvel had quite the year, beginning with 'Captain America' and its
$US95 million opening weekend. The movie, which saw Captain America (Chris Evans) join forces with Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson), held the number one position at the box office for three weeks, and it continued to do well throughout the spring and into the summer. Unsurprisingly, Marvel is already gearing up for a third 'Captain America' instalment in May 2016 called 'Captain America: Civil War.' The third film in the series is already planning to be a knock-out with plenty of of superheroes, similar to 'The Avengers.'

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

4. 'X-Men: Days Of Future Past': $746 million

Studio: Fox

Release date: May 23, 2014

Estimated budget: $US200 million

Domestic gross: $US233.9 million

The star-studded franchise took the Memorial Day weekend box office by storm with a $US90.8 million opening weekend. Sexual assault allegations against director Bryan Singer didn't hurt the movie as viewers still flocked to the box office to see their favourite mutant action heroes fight Dr. Bolivar Trask (Peter Dinklage). A big draw to the film was the interaction and team up of X-Men from older movies (Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, and Hugh Jackman) with those from the newer movies (Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbender).

However, the real scene stealer was the introduction of a new fan-favourite, Quicksilver (Evan Peters) a goofy, fast mutant who rapidly frees a young Magneto (Fassbender) from a prison cell 100 floors below the Pentagon. A sequel to the film, 'X-Men: Apocalypse' will be in theatres summer 2016.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

3. 'Maleficent': $757.8 million

Studio: Buena Vista

Release date: May 30, 2014

Estimated budget: $US180 million

Domestic gross: $US241.4 million

The live-action re-telling of Disney's classic tale 'Sleeping Beauty' yielded mixed reviews, but one thing was certain: Angelina Jolie was stellar as the titular villain. Despite a modest opening weekend of $US69.4 million, the movie continued to pull in viewers throughout the summer. The majority of the movie's financial success came from foreign box offices, as it grossed $US516.3 million from theatres outside of the US.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

2. 'Guardians Of The Galaxy': $772.3 million

Studio: Buena Vista

Release date: Aug. 1, 2014

Estimated budget: $US170 million

Domestic gross: $US332.5 million

This one was a gamble for Marvel. No one knew whether fans would go out to see an adaptation of an obscure comic. However, 2014 has been the year of Chris Pratt. The 'Parks and Rec' star and a soundtrack carefully selected by the film's director James Gunn helped make 'Guardians' a huge success. The film opened to one of the largest debuts of the summer ($US93.2 million). Additionally, it recieved praise from critics for its mix of humour, action, science fiction, and heart. The movie was also responsible for the introduction of Baby Groot, the tiny, dancing spawn of Groot (Vin Diesel), who became an Internet sensation this summer.

It may also help that director James Gunn is very hands on with his film on social media, sharing behind-the-scenes images and interacting with his fanbase. Fans itching for more adventures with the Guardians can breathe a sigh of relief. A sequel is already in the works and is set for release on May 5, 2017.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

1. 'Transformers: Age Of Extinction': over $1 billion

Studio: Paramount

Release date: Jun. 27, 2014

Estimated budget: $US210 million

Domestic gross: $US245.4 million

The worst-reviewed movie on this list is also the highest-grossing one! 'Transformers: Age of Extinction' became the highest-grossing film of the year after just two weeks in theatres. The fourth instalment of Michael Bay's popular franchise succeeded in part to a $US90 million opening in China, making it the largest opening ever in China. Unsurprisingly, a fifth untitled film is already in the works for 2016.

(Source: Box Office Mojo)

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