The 50+ Highest-Grossing Movies of All Time [2023]

by | Last updated Dec 6, 2022

What are the highest-grossing movies of all time?

Today, you’ll get a list of the top-grossing movies, including high-grossing movies adjusted for inflation, domestic movies, and international movies.

Want to learn more? Read on!

Highest-grossing movies of all time – top statistics

  • Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time globally at $2.8 billion 
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the highest-grossing movie domestically
  • However, Gone with the Wind is the highest-grossing movie when adjusted for inflation
  • The highest-grossing movie franchise/sequel is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (at $22.59 billion) 
  • In 2022, the highest-grossing movie was Top Gun: Maverick 
  • James Cameron has directed two of the highest-grossing movies (Avatar and Titanic) 
  • The highest-grossing animated movie is The Lion King (Remake) 

Table of Contents: 

50 highest-grossing movies globally

10 highest-grossing movies adjusted for inflation

10 highest-grossing movies in the US

10 highest-grossing animated movies

10 highest-grossing Bollywood movies

What is the biggest box office hit?

There are a few ways to measure box office success: internationally, domestically, and adjusted for inflation. We’ve included all of them in this post. 

Internationally, Avatar is the biggest box office hit of all time. But adjusted for inflation, it’s Gone with the Wind. And the highest-grossing movie domestically is Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Interestingly enough, James Cameron has directed two of the most successful movies internationally–Titanic and Avatar. 

In terms of movie franchises and sequels, the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes the top spot at $22.59 billion. Star Wars come in second place at $10.2 billion and the Harry Potter world (including the Fantastic Beasts series) is third at $9.18 billion. 

And as for more recent movies, the highest-grossing movie of 2022 was Top Gun: Maverick at $1.42 billion–which means that it is one of the all-time best-selling movies at #12. 

Sources: CNN, Imdb

The top 50 highest-grossing movies of all time internationally

What are the top 50 movies of all time? Here are the biggest box office successes internationally!

1. Avatar 

Lifetime gross: $2,847,397,3

Year: 2009

Avatar is the highest-grossing movie of all time at $2.8 billion. Not only did James Cameron direct Avatar, but also another top-grossing movie–Titanic. While Avengers: Endgame took first place in 2019, Avatar climbed back up to the first spot when the movie was re-released in China in 2021. How well Avatar 2 will do remains to be seen. Avatar was originally produced and distributed by 20th Century Fox but is today in Disney’s ownership after it bought the production company. 

2. Avengers: Endgame

Lifetime gross: $2,797,501,328

Year: 2019

Marvel’s Avengers: Endgame is a cornerstone film within Marvel’s cinematic universe. Given the huge success of the previous films, these impressive box office numbers were almost expected. Produced by Kevin Feige and directed by the Russo brothers, the film was announced as “Avengers Infinity War – Part 2” in 2014 before being officially renamed “Endgame” in December 2018. Since Avengers: Endgame, Marvel Studios have focussed on more individual stories as opposed to their lucrative and popular collection of heroes, The Avengers. However, they have announced that the Avengers will be reuniting in 2025. They expect to break more box-office records when those films are released. 

3. Titanic

Lifetime gross: $2,201,647,264

Year: 1994

Titanic is considered one of the best films ever made according to IMDb. It was written, produced and directed by James Cameron. He is also the creative behind Avatar which is the highest-grossing movie of all time. Titanic was critically acclaimed on release, receiving 14 Academy Award nominations and winning 11 of them. The film was re-released in 2017 to celebrate its 20th anniversary which renewed its popularity and interest in the film. 

4. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Lifetime gross: $2,069,521,700

Year: 2015

Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens was the long-awaited return to the Star Wars universe after 32 years. Though the Star Wars franchise had multiple comics, toys and television shows in the interim, the sequel to Return Of The Jedi (1983) drew many old and new fans to investigate the latest installment in the saga. It starred many of the original cast such as Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and the late Carrie Fisher. New faces were introduced to the franchise to modernize for a younger audience; namely Oscar Isaac, John Boyega and Daisy Ripley. The film had a $259-306 million budget and became not only one of the highest-grossing films in the world but the highest-grossing film in the US and Canada. 

5. Avengers Infinity War

Lifetime gross: $2,048,359,754

Year: 2018

Avengers Infinity War was the 3rd film in the Avengers lineup. Like Avengers: Endgame, it was directed by the Russo brothers and based on the Infinity comic books by Marvel. It had an original budget of $325-400million thereby qualifying as one of the most expensive films ever made. Luckily it still charts as one of the highest-grossing films ever made internally and domestically. Though the sequel, Avengers: Endgame, received higher critical acclaim and higher box office numbers in 2019, Infinity War broke box office records in 2018. 

6. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Lifetime gross: $1,901,232,550

Year: 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home is part of the Marvel cinematic universe though the distribution rights belong to Sony Pictures. This is the third Spider-Man film with Tom Holland playing the titular character. However, this film also involved previous Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield which drew more audience interest in the film. This is the highest-grossing Spider-Man film of all time and broke box office records for a film released during the Covid 19 pandemic. 

7. Jurassic World

Lifetime gross: $1,671,537,444

Year: 2015

Jurassic World is a sequel to the original Jurassic Park trilogy created in the 1990s. The original first film was based on the book Jurassic Park, released in 1990. Jurassic World was a return to the franchise after 14 years. It grossed over $82.6 million worldwide in its opening week and is the highest-grossing movie in the Jurassic franchise. It was also the fastest film ever to surpass the $ 1 billion gross mark at the worldwide box office. 

8. The Lion King (remake)

Lifetime gross: $1,663,250,487

Year: 2019

This is the highest animated film on the list. Based on Disney’s original animated film of the same name, The Lion King from 2019 was directed and produced by John Favreau. Advancements in animation technology allowed this film to have critically acclaimed photo-realistic computer animation. This technology contributed to The Lion King being one of the most expensive films ever made with an estimated budget of $260 million. 

9: The Avengers

Lifetime gross: $1,518,815,515

Year: 2012

The Avengers was the first film in the Avengers series helmed by Marvel Studios. This is considered one of the cornerstone films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was the first Marvel release to make $ 1 billion in revenue, however, it would not be the last! Directed and written by Joss Whedon, the film scored highly with critics for special effects. It even received a BAFTA and Academy Award nomination for best visual effects. It was the highest-grossing film in 2012 and is still one of Marvel’s best-reviewed releases. 

10: Furious 7

Lifetime gross: $1,515,341,399

Year: 2015

2015 strikes again! This is a popular year for making record-breaking movies. The Fast and Furious franchise has 9 films known as the “Fast Saga”. Furious 7 is the highest-grossing worldwide of the entire series. There will be a tenth installment, Fast X, set to release in 2023. It remains to be seen whether it can surpass the success of the 7th installment. 

11. Frozen II

Lifetime gross: $1,450,026,933

Year: 2019

Frozen II is the second highest-grossing Disney animated film of all time. It is a sequel to the first Frozen film released in 2013. It had the highest-grossing opening weekend for an animated film and is the second-highest animated film of all time. The film was translated into over 40 languages and featured a lot of the original production team, including directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee. Jennifer Lee is also the credited writer for both films.

12: Top Gun: Maverick

Lifetime gross: $1,422,877,964

Year: 2022

Top Gun Maverick is the long-awaited sequel of Top Gun, which was initially released in 1986. It stars Tom Cruise reprising his role as the main character of the series. Joseph Kosinski directed the film and it was delayed in production several times due to Covid 19. Despite that, it was the second film to gross over $1 billion in box office sales during the pandemic. 

13: Avengers: Age of Ultron

Lifetime gross: $1,402,809,540

Year: 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron is the second Avengers film and part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Joss Whedon returned to write and direct after the record-breaking success of The Avengers in 2012. It was the fourth highest-grossing film in 2015, as 2015 saw many $ 1 billion box office returns. Avengers: Age Of Ultron is the second most expensive film ever made (adjusted for inflation) after Pirates of the Caribbean: Stranger Tides. It had an estimated budget of $365 million.

14. Black Panther

Lifetime gross: $1,347,597,973

Year: 2018

Black Panther is another Marvel Studios movie based on the comic book superhero of the same name. The titular character was played by the late Chadwick Boseman receiving high praise from critics and a 96% score on the critical aggregator Rotten Tomatoes. Black Panther was the first Marvel film to be helmed by a black director, Ryan Coogler, and feature a majority black cast. It is the second highest-grossing film of 2018, behind Avengers Infinity War. It is also the highest-grossing film ever made by a black filmmaker. 

15. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 

Lifetime gross: $1,342,359,942

Year: 2011

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the final film in the Harry Potter series. It is based on the last book by J. K. Rowling and follows the first part of the story, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1. Unlike Part 1, Part 2 broke the record for its opening day box office in several countries and hit an opening weekend gross of $483.2million. It is the highest-grossing film in the Harry Potter film series to date, including the spin-off Fantastic Beasts saga. 

16. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi

Lifetime gross: $1,332,698,830

Year: 2017

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the second film in the trilogy that started with the Force Awakens. This is the most polarizing film in the trilogy, garnering mixed reviews from critics and audience members alike. During its theatrical run, it was the 9th highest-grossing film of all time. 

17. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Lifetime gross: $1,310,466,296

Year: 2018

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the sequel to Jurassic World. Though it failed to surpass its predecessor, it still succeeded in grossing over $1 billion in worldwide box office sales. It is the second highest-grossing Jurassic Park film in the franchise.

18. Frozen

Lifetime gross: $1,281,508,100

Year: 2013

Frozen was a smash box office hit for Disney’s animated studios. It was inspired by Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. It received two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Animated Picture.

19. Beauty and The Beast (remake)

Lifetime gross: $1,273,576,220

Year: 2017

Beauty and The Beast is the second highest performing Disney remake in terms of box office numbers. It is one of the most expensive films ever made with a total budget estimated at around $255 million. The filmmakers combined live-action and computer animation to create a life-like beast to mimic the original animated film’s appeal. It is the highest live-action musical film of all time. 

20. Incredibles 2

Lifetime gross: $1,243,089,244

Year: 2018

Incredibles 2 came out 14 years after the first film, The Incredibles. A Pixar Animation Studios film, the film was well received by critics. It received a nomination for Best Animated Film at the Academy Awards but lost to Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. It was the third Pixar film to break the $1 billion mark and remains one of the studio’s most successful films. 

21. The Fate of the Furious

Lifetime gross: $1,236,005,118

Year: 2017

The Fate of the Furious, also known as F8, is the 8th installment in the Fast Saga. During its theatrical run, it was the 11th highest-grossing film of all time. The Fate of the Furious saw the return of many of its main stars such as Vin Diesel, Dwayne The Rock Johnson and Jason Statham. Having a stable cast throughout the franchise has been rumored to be part of their success. 

22. Iron Man 3

Lifetime gross: $1,214,811,252

Year: 2013

Iron Man 3 is the 7th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the sequel to Iron Man and Iron Man 2. The titular character was played by Robert Downey Jr like in the first two films. However, the original director, Jon Favreau, did not return for the 3rd film. Instead, Shane Black was hired to direct and co-write with Drew Pearce. This was the second highest-grossing film of 2013 behind Frozen. 

23. Minions

Lifetime gross: $1,159,444,662

Year: 2015

Minions is a computer-animated film that is not helmed by Disney or Pixar. Instead, it was produced by Illumination Entertainment. The Minions franchise is Illumination’s most successful franchise and this is the highest-grossing animated film not released by Disney. 

24. Captain America: Civil War

Lifetime gross: $1,153,337,496

Year: 2016

Captain America: Civil War is another film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to break $1 billion in box office sales. The majority of its gross sales were made outside of the US and Canada. However, Finding Dory and Rogue One surpassed Captain America: Civil War as the highest-grossing film of 2016. 

25. Aquaman

Lifetime gross: $1,148,528,393

Year: 2018

Aquaman is not part of the Marvel slate of heroes, but DC. DC Comics and Marvel Studios have long been rivals and their film franchises follow suit. Aquaman is the highest-grossing film in the DC Extended Universe or any film based on a DC character, including the multiple Batman films. 

26. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Lifetime gross: $1,146,436,214

Year: 2003

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is one of the oldest films on this list after Titanic, which is impressive considering it has made over $1 billion. It is the final installment in the Lord of The Rings trilogy, following the popular books of J. R. R. Tolkein. 

27. Spider-Man: Far From Home

Lifetime gross: $1,131,927,996

Year: 2019

Not to be confused with Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man: Far From Home was the second film to star Tom Holland as Spider-Man. It is Sony Pictures’ highest-grossing film of all time and the first Spider-Man film to pass $1 billion in sales. 

28. Captain Marvel

Lifetime gross: $1,128,462,972

Year: 2019

Captain Marvel is one of the few female-led films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The titular character was played by Brie Larson and it was co-directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck. 

29. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Lifetime gross: $1,123,794,079

Year: 2011

The Transformers franchise started in 2007 and spans 6 films to date, with the 7th set to release in 2023. The initial director was Michael Bay who left the franchise in 2017. Transformers: Dark of the Moon was the third installment that was directed by Michael Bay and written by Ehren Kruger. It remains the highest-grossing Transformers film to date. 

30. Skyfall 

Lifetime gross: $1,108,569,499

Year: 2012

Skyfall is the best-performing James Bond movie since the series’ inception in 1962. It starred Daniel Craig as MI6 agent, James Bond, and was directed by Sam Mendes. Skyfall is the second highest-grossing movie of all time in the UK, behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens. 

31. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Lifetime gross: $1,104,054,072

Year: 2014

Transformers: Age of Extinction didn’t manage to surpass the performance of its predecessor, Dark of the Moon. However, Michael Bay’s 4th film in the franchise still broke some records. It was the only film in 2014 to break $1 billion in box office sales. 

32. Jurassic Park

Lifetime gross: $1,099,699,003

Year: 1993

The original Jurassic Park film has been named one of the best movies of all time by IMDb. Though it is not the highest-grossing in the Jurassic Park franchise, it is the oldest film in history to pass the $1 billion mark and Steven Spielberg’s highest-grossing film to date. 

33. The Dark Knight Rises

Lifetime gross: $1,081,153,097

Year: 2012

The Dark Knight Rises is the final installment in the Dark Knight trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan and co-written by his brother, Jonathan Nolan. This is the highest-grossing film in the series and the highest-grossing Batman film of all time. 

34. Joker

Lifetime gross: $1,074,445,730

Year: 2019

Joker was produced by Warner Bros in association with DC Films, however, it is not part of the DC Extended Universe. The film was written and directed by Todd Phillips. Joker is his highest-grossing film and the first R-Rated movie to pass $1 billion in international box office sales. 

35. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker

Lifetime gross: $1,074,149,279

Year: 2019

Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker was directed by J. J. Abrams and distributed by Walt Disney Studios. It is the final installment in the modern Star Wars trilogy focused on the new characters Ray, Po and Fin played by Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac and John Boyega. It is the lowest-grossing film in the trilogy. 

36. Toy Story 4

Lifetime gross: $1,073,394,593

Year: 2019

Toy Story 4 was made by Pixar as the 4th installment of the Toy Story series. It beat the previous film as the highest-grossing in the series, though it was only the 8th most successful film at the box office of 2019. Tom Hanks and Tim Allen returned to their famed roles as Woody and Buzz. The film won Best Animated Feature at the Academy Awards and was nominated for many more. 

37. Toy Story 3

Lifetime gross: $1,066,970,811

Year: 2010

Before Toy Story 4 came along, Toy Story 3 was the star, becoming the first animated film ever to make $1 billion at the box office. The film won Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song at the Academy Awards.

38. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Lifetime gross: $1,066,179,747

Year: 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest is a Walt Disney Studios film. It is the second film in the franchise and the highest-grossing to date. During its theatrical release, it made $1 billion in just 63 days, which was the fastest at the time. 

39. The Lion King

Lifetime gross: $1,063,611,805

Year: 1994

The original animated Lion King musical by Disney is still appreciated as one of the greatest animated films of all time. It received two Academy Awards for Best Original Song and Best Original Score. It is the highest-grossing traditionally animated film ever created. 

40. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Lifetime gross: $1,057,207,893

Year: 2016

Rogue One is a prequel to the original 1977 Star Wars film. It was the second highest-grossing film of 2016 behind Captain America: Civil War. Bob Iger, Disney’s chairman, was reportedly surprised that Rogue One could match The Force Awakens in box office sales and opening weekend gross. 

41. Aladdin (remake)

Lifetime gross: $1,050,693,953

Year: 2019

The live-action remake of Disney’s animated Aladdin was released in 2019 to huge box office numbers. However, it only placed 9th in the highest-grossing films of the year, trailing behind large comic-based films like Avengers: Endgame, Captain Marvel and Joker. 

42. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Lifetime gross: $1,045,713,802

Year: 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the fourth installment in the Pirates movies and was the third highest-grossing film of 2011. However, it was met with lukewarm reviews according to Rotten Tomatoes and high-profile critics like Roger Ebert. 

43. Despicable Me 3

Lifetime gross: $1,034,800,131

Year: 2017

The Despicable Me franchise was started in 2010 by the animation house Illumination. They also created the Minions franchise. Despicable Me 3 is the most successful out of the three installments. The 4th film is set to release in 2024. 

44. Finding Dory

Lifetime gross: $1,028,570,942

Year: 2016

Finding Dory is the sequel to 2003’s successful computer-animated film, Finding Nemo. During the time of its release, it was the highest-animated film in the US and Canada. The film focuses on one of Finding Nemo’s side characters, Dory, who was played by Ellen DeGeneres. 

45. Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Lifetime gross: $1,027,082,707

Year: 1999

Following the success of the original trilogy in the 1970s, George Lucas returned to the Star Wars franchise to helm a new trilogy. These would be prequels to the original 3 films, starting with Star Wars Episode I – The Phantom Menace in 1999. At the time of release, it was the most successful Star Wars film ever in terms of box office numbers. This is not surprising as there was a huge amount of press coverage focused on the film’s release, given that the Return of the Jedi was released 17 years prior. 

46. Alice in Wonderland

Lifetime gross: $1,025,468,216

Year: 2010

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland was produced by Disney but had a different feel from their other live-action remakes. Burton put a dark twist on the fantasy tale but this did not deter audiences. It was the second highest-grossing film of 2010. 

47. Zootopia

Lifetime gross: $1,024,121,104

Year: 2016

Zootopia is the third computer-animated film by Disney to pass the $1 billion mark out of a total of 55 films. In many countries, the film was released under the name “Zootropolis”. In Belgium, it was the best opening for any animated film in history. 

48. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Lifetime gross: $1,022,290,019

Year: 2001

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone is the first in the Harry Potter film series and the second highest-grossing. The film introduced many to the wizarding world based on the first book of the same name by J. K. Rowling. It did not make $1 billion in its initial run. Rather the re-releases of the film aided the push in gross revenue for Warner Bros.

49. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Lifetime gross: $1,017,030,651

Year: 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was marketed as a sequel to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Though The Hobbit book by J. R. R. Tolkein has very little to do with the Lord of the Rings saga. That said, fans of the Lord of the Rings showed their support for returning to the franchise by making it the fourth highest-grossing film of 2012.

50. The Dark Knight

Lifetime gross: $1,006,102,277

Year: 2008

The Dark Knight is the second film in the Dark Knight trilogy, after Batman Begins. It set the record for the highest-gross in a single day and the highest ever IMAX opening. It was also the first ever superhero film to surpass $1 billion.

Sources: Box Office Mojo 

The 10 highest-grossing movies of all times adjusted for inflation

Inflation plays a big role in prices. So what are the best movies when we adjust them for inflation? Avatar is still in second place–but Gone with the Wind, from 1939, takes spot #1. 

1. Gone with the Wind

Lifetime gross: $3,724,000,000

Year: 1939

Gone With The Wind is known as one of the greatest films ever made and the most successful. Its financial success is due to multiple rereleases over the decades, typically to commemorate the film’s anniversary.  The real worldwide box office was $402.3 million but given the age of the film, this is worth several billion today.

2. Avatar

Lifetime gross: $3,273,000,000

Year: 2009

Avatar is the highest international grossing movie of all time but couldn’t pass Gone with the Wind when adjusted for inflation. The future Avatar films may succeed but we’ll have to wait and see!

3. Titanic 

Lifetime gross: $3,096,000,000

Year: 1997

Titanic had a budget of around $200 million when it was released and is the third highest-grossing film of all time.

4. Star Wars

Lifetime gross: $3,059,000,000

Year: 1977

The original Star Wars film is a cultural milestone in filmmaking, not only for its craftsmanship but also for its box office numbers. Over the years it has accrued several billion in lifetime gross when adjusted for inflation. 

5. Avengers: Endgame

Lifetime gross: $2,811,000,000

Year: 2019

Avengers: Endgame is the most recent film on this list and therefore has the least inflation adjustment. This film is the second highest-grossing film in the world.

6. The Sound of Music

Lifetime gross: $2,562,000,000

Year: 1965

The Sound of Music is the highest-grossing musical of all time. Released in 1965, it stars Julie Andrews as the main character. In real life worldwide box office numbers, it earned $286 million.

7. E.T the Extra-Terrestrial

Lifetime gross: $2,501,000,000

Year: 1982

E.T The Extra-Terrestrial directed by Steven Spielberg and is considered one of the greatest films of all time. It is likely the lowest budget film on this list with just $10.5 million. The film has had many rereleases over the years, including a remastered release in IMAX in August 2022 to celebrate its 40th anniversary. 

8. The Ten Commandments

Lifetime gross: $2,368,000,000

Year: 1956

The Ten Commandments is a 1956 religious drama depicting the bible story of the ten commandments. It starred major Hollywood actors Charlton Heston and Yul Brynner. The real worldwide box office was around $122.7 million at the time of release. 

9. Doctor Zhivago

Lifetime gross: $2,244,000,000

Year: 1965

Doctor Zhivago is another film from the 1960s that enchanted audiences upon its release. The historical romantic drama had a budget of $11 million. It was based on a book that was banned by the Soviet Union, so the film was made in Spain. It won 5 Academy Awards and is heralded as the 27th greatest British film of all time according to the British Film Institute. 

10. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lifetime gross: $2,213,000,000

Year: 2015

 Force Awakens was a triumphant revival of the Star Wars franchise. It is the highest-grossing Star Wars film to date and the fourth highest-grossing film worldwide. 

Movie Lifetime Gross (USD)
Gone With The Wind (1939) $3,724,000,000
Avatar (2009) $3,273,000,000
Titanic (1997) $3,096,000,000
Star Wars (1977) $3,059,000,000
Avengers: Endgame (2019) $2,811,000,000
The Sound of Music (1965)  $2,562,000,000
E.T. (1982) $2,501,000,000
The Ten Commandments (1956) $2,368,000,000
Doctor Zhivago (1965) $2,244,000,000
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) $2,213,000,000

Sources: Wikipedia

The 10 highest-grossing movies of all time in the US

What are the top-grossing movies domestically? Here’s what you need to know!

1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Lifetime gross: $936,662,225

Year: 2015

The Force Awakens broke box office records when it was released in the US and Canada in December 2015. It made $57 million during Thursday night previews, which is unheard of! It also had the largest single opening day box office to date. 

2. Avengers: Endgame

Lifetime gross: $858,373,000

Year: 2019

Avengers: Endgame had the widest release ever in US & Canada, playing in over 4500 movie theatres nationwide. It earned $357.1 million domestically during the opening weekend.

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home

Lifetime gross: $804,793,477

Year: 2021

Spider-Man: No Way Home made $121.85 million on its opening day and $50 million during Thursday previews. It is also the 6th highest-grossing film worldwide of all time. 

4. Avatar

Lifetime gross: $760,507,625

Year: 2009

Though Avatar tops the charts internationally, the James’ Cameron epic part computer animated film did better internationally than it did in the US & Canada. It gross $600 million during its opening weekend at the domestic box office. But almost $2 billion of its total sales were made internationally. 

5. Black Panther

Lifetime gross: $700,426,566

Year: 2018

Marvel’s Black Panther grossed $646.9 million in international territories which made it the 14th highest-grossing film of all time. The film doubled its projected opening weekend box office by earning $242.1 million. It is the best President’s Day movie opening on record. 

6.  Top Gun: Maverick

Lifetime gross: $683,375,000

Year: 2022

Earning $732.2 million overseas, Top Gun: Maverick is another example of a film that did better overseas than at the domestic box office. However, the film did break records as the largest Memorial day opening weekend. It is Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing film ever.

7. Avengers: Infinity War

Lifetime gross: $678,815,482

Year: 2018

Avengers Infinity War made over $100 million on its opening day in the US & Canada. The only film to have a bigger opening was Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

8. Titanic

Lifetime gross: $659,363,944

Year: 1997

Titanic is one of the 10 best ranking movies nationally, even though it was slightly more successfully internationally (#3).

9. Jurassic World

Lifetime gross: $653,406,625

Year: 2015

Jurassic World had a wide release in the US and Canada, being featured in over 3000 movie theaters. It set an opening weekend record of $208 million and an IMAX opening record of $20.6 million. 

10. The Avengers

Lifetime gross: $623,357,910

Year: 2012

The Avengers set many opening records for superhero films in the US for the period. It had the best per theater average, the best IMAX opening and the best 3D opening at the time of release. 

Movie Lifetime Gross (USD)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) $936,662,225
Avengers: Endgame (2019) $858,373,000
Spider Man: No Way Home (2021) $804,793,477
Avatar (2009) $760,507,625
Black Panther (2018) $700,426,566
Top Gun: Maverick (2022) $683,375,000
Avengers: Infinity War (2018) $678,815,482
Titanic (1997) $659,363,944
Jurassic World (2015) $653,406,625
The Avengers (2012) $623,357,910

Sources: Box Office Mojo 

The 10 highest-grossing animated movies

Out of all animated movies out there, which ones were the most lucrative? Let’s take a look.

1. The Lion King (remake)

Lifetime gross: $1,657,713,459

Year: 2019

Making many technological strides and featuring an all-star cast, it isn’t surprising that The Lion King remake accrued such huge numbers at the international box office. The international superstar Beyoncé was a prominent voice actor in the film as well as Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, James Earl Jones and Chiwetel Ejiofor. 

2. Frozen II 

Lifetime gross: $1,450,026,933

Year: 2019

Frozen II employed around 80 animators to work on the film. They slightly changed the character design and animation techniques to improve upon the first Frozen film without making it unrecognizable. 

3. Frozen

Lifetime gross: $1,290,000,000

Year: 2013

Frozen’s animation team took influences from Scandinavian winter to create the visual style. They also blended traditional hand-drawn animation with computer animation to achieve a unique look. Frozen is the 18th highest-grossing movie of all time – some would say because of the animation.

4. Incredibles 2

Lifetime gross: $1,242,805,359

Year: 2018

The Incredible franchise has a distinct visual look which was carried through to Incredibles 2. This film is one of the rare films that have an even split of box office domestic and international, making it the 20th highest-grossing film of all time. 

5. Minions

Lifetime gross: $1,159,398,397

Year: 2015

From Illumination studios, this is the highest-grossing animated film that is not from Pixar or Disney. The Despicable Me franchise has 7 feature films. This is the most successful one at the box office to date. 

6. Toy Story 4 

Lifetime gross: $1,073,394,593

Year: 2019

The original Toy Story film was a huge innovation in computer animation. Pixar had long perfected the technique by the time they got to Toy Story 4. Though the film made a respectable $47.4 million on its opening day, the studio had projected higher numbers due to the success of Incredibles 2.

7. Toy Story 3 

Lifetime gross: $1,066,973,008

Year: 2010

Toy Story 3 made $145.3 million on its first weekend which is the ninth-best opening weekend for any animated film ever created.

8. Despicable Me 3

Lifetime gross: $1,034,799,409

Year: 2017

During its theatrical run, Despicable Me 3 was the 4th highest-grossing animated film of all time. It has since dropped in standing due to newer films like Frozen II and Incredibles 2 surpassing it. 

9. Finding Dory 

Lifetime gross: $1,029,000,000

Year: 2016

Finding Dory overtook Finding Nemo’s opening weekend box office by 93%. It is one of the best-selling IMAX animated releases, only behind Toy Story 3 and Zootopia.

10. Zootopia

Lifetime gross: $1,023,784,195

Year: 2016

Speaking of Zootopia, this film earned a high opening weekend of $75.1 million. Disney animation had been working on the movement of fur to make the Zootopia characters more realistic. Visual effects were celebrated critically and by audiences.

Sources: Wikipedia

The 10 highest-grossing movies of all time in Bollywood

Bollywood is a $2.3 billion movie industry, AKA the third-biggest movie industry in the world. What are the top Bollywood movies? Let’s find out.

1. Dangal

Lifetime gross: ₹2,024 crore (US$311 million)

Year: 2016

Dangal is a wrestling sports drama centering a father’s wish to make his daughters wrestling champions. It is the sixth highest-grossing non-English and non-Mandarin film in the world. One of its largest markets is China. 

2. Baahubali 2: The Conclusion

Lifetime gross: ₹1,810 crore (US$278 million)

Year: 2017

Baahubali 2: The Conclusion is part 2 of the cinematic action saga Baahubali. Within India, this is the highest-grossing film of all time, but worldwide, it is second to Dangal.

3. K.G.F: Chapter 2

Lifetime gross: ₹1,200 crore (US$150 million)–₹1,250 crore (US$160 million)

Year: 2022

Another sequel, K.G.F: Chapter 2 is a period action film that was released in April 2022. It is the second highest-grossing film in India (domestic box office). 

4. RRR

Lifetime gross: ₹1,150 crore (US$140 million)–₹1,200 crore (US$150 million)

Year: 2022

RRR is another action drama film that has broken records in Bollywood. It was initially due for production in 2018 but was delayed due to Covid. RRR is the most expensive Indian film to date with a spend of $72 million. The film is written and directed by S. S. Rajamouli who also wrote and directed the Baahubali franchise.

5. Bajrangi Bhaijaan

Lifetime gross: ₹969.06 crore (US$151.06 million)

Year: 2015

Bajrangi Bhaijaan is a Bollywood drama that has been nominated for multiple awards. The main driver of the film’s commercial success was the excellent reviews and release at the Chinese box office. Once released in Chine, it crossed the $100million mark in just 20 days.

6. Secret Superstar

Lifetime gross: ₹966.86 crore (US$154 million)

Year: 2017

Secret Superstar is a musical film written and directed by Advait Chandan. The film was extremely profitable with a budget of $2.3 million and a gross box office of $154 million.

7. PK

Lifetime gross: ₹854 crore (US$139.93 million)

Year: 2014

PK is the highest-grossing Indian comedy film of all time. The title PK translates to “Tipsy”. Domestically it made around $80.2 million and $53.4 million internationally.

8. 2.0 

Lifetime gross: ₹655.81–800 crore (US$96–117 million)

Year: 2018

2.0 is an Indian science fiction film and the second most expensive Indian film ever made. It was released worldwide in 3D and 2D, earning $ 15 million on its first day. 

9. Baahubali: The Beginning

Lifetime gross: ₹650 crore (US$101 million)

Year: 2015

The first installment of the Baahubali was the record breaker before the sequel was released. During its theatrical run, it was the highest-grossing Indian film.

10. Sultan

Lifetime gross: ₹623.33 crore (US$93 million)

Year: 2016

Finally, Sultan is a sports drama Bollywood film in the Hindi language. The film broke records within India for the highest number of bookings. Overseas, the largest markets for the film were the US & Canada, the UAE, the UK, Australia and Pakistan. 

Sources: Wikipedia, BollyMovieReviewz, Statista

Conclusion

There you have it! 

Now you know what the highest-grossing movies of all time are. 

Were you surprised by any of these movies? 

While Avatar is in spot #1, the next contender might be right around the corner. We’ll keep the list updated!

(PS. Want to learn more about working in the movie industry and becoming an animator? Read more!)

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