- Without adjusting for inflation, only 37 movies have made $US1 billion or more at the box office.
- “Aquaman” just joined the list, but “Avatar,” “Titanic,” and “The Force Awakens” hold the top three spots.
With movie ticket prices increasing and the resurgence of franchises like “Star Wars,” films earning over $US1 billion worldwide may become commonplace. But, for now, there are only 37 movies from the last 25 years that have managed to join this exclusive club.
Using data from Box Office Mojo, we compiled a list of the highest-grossing movies that made $US1 billion or more (not adjusting for inflation).
From “Minions” to “Aquaman” and more, keep reading for a look at the biggest box-office hits.
37. “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Total gross revenue: $US1,004,600,000
Back in July of 2008, people began speculating that Christopher Nolan’s “Batman Begins” sequel starring Heath Ledger as the Joker might have the box-office power to set a world record. “There are even whispers starting whether ‘Dark Knight’ can beat the incredible worldwide numbers posted by the all-time $US1.8 billion benchmark of ‘Titanic,'”Deadline reported.
Unfortunately “The Dark Knight” remains in nearly last place when it comes to highest-grossing movies of all time.
36. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)
Total gross revenue:
When Peter Jackson’s first “Hobbit” movie crossed the $US1 billion mark, it appeared a good indication the subsequent two sequels would perform equally well, if not better, at the box office. But neither of the second two “Hobbit” films wound up crossing that box-office landmark. Both “The Desolation of Smaug” and “Battle of the Five Armies” made around $US960,000,000 each.
35. “Aquaman” (2018)
Total gross revenue: $US1,023,000,000 (and counting)
On January 13, The Hollywood Reporter announced that “Aquaman” had become the first DC superhero movie to make one billion dollars at the box office. The movie was already breaking records in China before it had opened in the US in early December, and clearly it was all up from there.
34. “Zootopia” (2016)
Total gross revenue: $US1,023,800,000
Disney’s “Zootopia” is one of four animated features the studio has made that have crossed the $US1 billion mark.
“Not only did it earn Disney Animation’s biggest opening ever – debuting to $US75 million,” Entertainment Weekly reported in July 2016. “But it also set a record for the biggest animated March opening of all time.”
33. “Alice In Wonderland” (2010)
Total gross revenue: $US1,025,500,000
When Tim Burton’s take on the original Disney classic hit $US1 billion at the box office in 2010, it was only the sixth ever film to do so. In the years since, more than 20 other films have joined the club – but the sequel to this live-action “Alice In Wonderland” was not among them. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016) grossed $US299,500,000 worldwide.
32. “Star Wars: Episode 1 — The Phantom Menace” (1999)
Total gross revenue: $US1,027,000,000
“The Phantom Menace” was the first “Star Wars” movie to earn $US1 billion, thanks to its 3D re-release in theatres 13 years after the original debut. Without that second surge of ticket purchases, the film would have stayed under $US1 billion along with the original three movies.
31. “Finding Dory” (2016)
Total gross revenue: $US1,028,600,000
Moviegoers flocked back to theatres in the summer of 2016 for Disney Pixar’s “Finding Nemo” sequel. It was the second animated feature of 2016 to pass the $US1 billion mark (“Zootopia” is the other). The box-office numbers also make “Finding Dory” the fifth highest-grossing animated movie of all time.
30. “Jurassic Park” (1993)
Total gross revenue: $US1,029,200,000
Similar to “The Phantom Menace,” a 3D re-release is responsible for putting “Jurassic Park” over the edge and into the $US1 billion club. “Jurassic Park” wasn’t originally released in China in 1993, according to a report from The Wrap. But the 20th anniversary international re-release included China – and the difference in ticket sales showed.
29. “Despicable Me 3” (2017)
Total Gross Revenue: $US1,033,500,000
“Despicable Me 3” was a sleeper hit of 2017. With the return of Gru, Lucy, and of course the Minions, this is the second movie in the franchise to gross over one billion dollars. The introduction of “South Park” co-creator Trey Parker as a new villain was clearly a smart move.
28. “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011)
Total gross revenue: $US1,045,700,000
There are four total “Pirates of the Caribbean” movies in the franchise- and two of them have joined the billion dollar club. “On Stranger Tides” will likely be surpassed by “The Last Jedi” as 2018 continues, but for now its in the 23rd spot.
27. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016)
Total gross revenue: $1,056,100,000
“Rogue One” cemented its place in the “Star Wars” franchise by raking in $US1 billion just 39 days after the global release. The spinoff became the fourth and final movie of 2016 to make $US1 billion at the box office. It’s also worth noting that all four billion-dollar movies of 2016 were made by Disney.
26. “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
Total gross revenue: $US1,066,200,000
Back in 2006, when the sequel to Disney’s “Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl” hit theatres, it took just three months for the movie to make $US1 billion at the box office. At that time, it was the third ever film to do so.
25. “Toy Story 3” (2010)
Total gross revenue: $US1,067,000,000
The third movie in the “Toy Story” franchise crossed the $US1 billion mark in 2010 and made Disney history as Pixar’s highest-grossing film of all time. The success of “Toy Story 3” helped push a fourth movie into Disney’s animated movie plan. After a couple of delays, “Toy Story 4” is now expected in 2019.
24. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Total gross revenue:
Christopher Nolan’s follow-up to “The Dark Knight” had became the 13th film in history to reach $US1 billion in 2012. This achievement was remarkable, especially given concerns that the movie’s success would be dampened after the Aurora theatre shooting took place during a midnight screening of the film.
23. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (2014)
Total gross revenue: $US1,104,000,000
Ah yes, the unstoppable box-office power of the “Transformers” franchise. According to The Wrap, “Age of Extinction” (the fourth movie) was made specifically with international audiences in mind – and it paid off. Almost a third of the total box-office revenue came from China alone.
22. “Skyfall” (2012)
Total gross revenue: $US1,108,600,000
“Skyfall” is the only James Bond movie in history that has cracked the $US1 billion ceiling. It remains Sony’s biggest hit of all time, and holds the record as the first movie toever cross the 100 million pound mark in the UK.
21. “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003)
Total gross revenue: $US1,119,900,000
People came out in droves for the final instalment of Peter Jackson’s “Lord of the Rings” trilogy. After only 10 weeks in theatres, “Return of the King” became the second movie ever in history to make $US1 billion (“Titanic” was the first in 1997). The film went on to break an Academy Award record by sweeping all 11 categories for which it was nominated.
20. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011)
Total gross revenue: $US1,123,800,000
The third “Transformers” movie was the first Paramount picture to reach $US1 billion at the box office. Just like with “Age of Extinction,” the boost in ticket sales came largely from international movie audiences. This was the last “Transformers” movie which starred Shia LaBeouf.
19. “Captain America: Civil War” (2016)
Total gross revenue: $US1,153,300,000
And here we begin with the seemingly unstoppable success of Marvel universe movies. “Captain America: Civil War” was a blockbuster hit in 2016, and the first movie of that year to rake in $US1 billion.
18. “Minions” (2015)
Total gross revenue: $US1,159,400,000
The 2015 prequel to “Despicable Me” focused only on the overall-wearing Minions the world had come to love. People clearly appreciated the yellow henchman’s standalone film, since neither of the two “Despicable Me” movies have breached $US1 billion.
17. “Iron Man 3” (2013)
Total gross revenue: $US1,214,800,000
Tony Stark swept away comic fans with the third movie of his trilogy, “Iron Man 3.” It only took 23 days in the box office for the film to hit $US1 billion. If anyone doubted the power of Robert Downey Jr.’s success as Iron Man before, this movie was the final confirmation of his vital role in Marvel’s franchise.
16. “The Fate of the Furious” (2017)
Total gross revenue: $1,235,800,000
In April 2017, the eighth movie in “The Fast and the Furious” franchise joined the billion dollar club. Clearly Vin Diesel’s creative control of these action-packed movies is paying off. This is the second movie from the franchise to make more than $US1 billion.
15. “Incredibles 2” (2018)
Total Gross Revenue: $$US1,242,800,000
Despite the 14-year gap between the first Pixar original movie “The Incredibles” and its sequel, the critically acclaimed “Incredibles 2” created a new record as fastest animated film to gross one billion dollars at the box office.
14. “Beauty and the Beast” (2017)
Total gross revenue: $US1,263,500,000
Also in April 2017, Walt Disney Studios announced that its live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” had officially passed the $US1 billion mark for global box-office sales. Its total revenue makes “Beauty and the Beast” the highest grossing film of 2017.
13. “Frozen” (2013)
Total gross revenue: $US1,276,500,000
The global success of “Frozen” continues to maintain records for Disney. The movie currently holds the #1 spot as the highest-grossing animated feature of all time. “Frozen” joined the billion dollar club in the same week it nabbed two Oscars, as well.
12. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018)
Total Gross Revenue: $US1,309,500,000
The second instalment in Universal’s rebooted “Jurassic Park” trilogy had an impressive opening weekend and then quickly grossed one billion dollars after just two weeks. The impressive numbers for “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” are a good indicator that the coming third film will be just as popular.
11. “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” (2017)
Total Gross Revenue: $US1,332,500,000
“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” crossed the $US1 billion mark just three weeks after its release. This second instalment in the new franchise made $US500 million in its first weekend alone – though “The Force Awakens” still holds the record for biggest “Star Wars” opening weekend of all time with $US529 million.
10. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two” (2011)
Total gross revenue: $US1,341,500,000
Following the trend of some other franchises in our top list, the final “Harry Potter” film is the only one of the bunch that raked in $US1 billion or more. The only other movie adaptation of J.K. Rowling’s work that came close was “Sorcerer’s Stone,” which remains at $US975 million total.
9. “Black Panther” (2018)
Total Gross Revenue: $US1,346,900,000
“Black Panther” crossed this milestone in just 26 days after breaking the record for best February opening weekend of all time. This movie was the 16th Disney film to gross over one billion dollars.
8. “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (2015)
Total gross revenue: $US1,405,400,000
“Transformers,” “The Dark Knight,” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” are three franchises which each have two movies in the billion dollar club – and you can add “The Avengers” to that list. The 2015 follow-up ensemble movie added James Spader as the terrifying new villain, and (surprising no one) “Age of Ultron”opened in the number one spot around the world.
7. “Furious 7” (2015)
Total gross revenue: $US1,516,000,000
“Furious 7” broke records when it raced past the $US1 billion box office mark in just 17 days. As Entertainment Weekly reported“that makes ‘Furious’ 7 the fastest live-action film to reach that number.” But two other 2015 movies (coming later on our list) eventually bumped it to third place. This was the last “Fast and Furious” movie to include Paul Walker, which some believe helped boost box-office numbers.
6. “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012)
Total gross revenue: $US1,518,800,000
The first “Avengers” movie brought together an all-star cast of comic book heroes – and Marvel’s efforts were rewarded at the box office. The film passed $US1 billion in ticket sales in just 19 days – which means it’s tied for third place in the list of fastest grossing movies alongside “Avatar” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two.”
5. “Jurassic World” (2015)
Total gross revenue: $US1,670,400,000
“Jurassic World” broke all sorts of records. It bumped “Furious 7” out of the number one spot for fastest movie to make $US1 billion when it broke the record in only 13 days. At the time it also stunned box-office analysts with the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time, besting “Marvel’s The Avengers,” with $US208.8 million. Worldwide, it opened to over $US500 million, making it the first movie to ever crack that number opening weekend.
That record didn’t last long, however.
4. “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
Total gross revenue: $US2,002,100,000 (and counting)
The third “Avengers” film broke the all-time world record with a $US630 million opening weekend, proving the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise is stronger than ever. By mid-June, “Avengers: Infinity War” became only the fourth movie to ever crack the two-billion dollar ceiling as well.
3. “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015)
Total gross revenue: $US2,068,200,000
The seventh movie in the “Star Wars” franchise broke the “Jurassic World” records when box-office numbers tallied $US1 billion after only 12 days. And it didn’t stop there – “The Force Awakens” went on rake in more than $US2 billion, solidifying its number three place on our list and becoming the highest-grossing “Star Wars” movie of all time.
2. “Titanic” (1997)
Total gross revenue: $US2,187,500,000
Two decades later, James Cameron’s “Titanic” is still untouchable at its number two spot for box-office records. The movie made around $US1.8 billion during its initial 1997 release, and then topped $US2 billion after it was re-released in 3D in honour of the 100-year anniversary of the iconic ship’s sinking.
1. “Avatar” (2009)
Total gross revenue: $US2,788,000,000
James Cameron’s “Avatar” is also sitting pretty as the highest-grossing movie of all time. With more than $US2.7 billion in box office revenue, it’s miles ahead of other films on the list. But as ticket prices increase and billion-dollar movies become more common, we’ll have to wait and see how many more years “Avatar” can claim the number one spot.
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