The Top 100 Highest Grossing Movies Of All Time

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Updated on May 26, 2022 by
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When it comes to the highest-grossing movies of all time, you probably won’t be surprised by any of the names. Although films generate revenues through a number of different streams, box office earnings are the main metric used to determine how successful a film is. So even if you haven’t watched these multi-million dollar movies, you have certainly heard about them.

Over the past decade, franchises have performed particularly well and inched their way into the top of the list. While war films and historical dramas also tend to place well, the Marvel Universe and Star Wars have been top-earners for years. Now that the main Avengers storyline is closed, we can expect new movies to chart in the top ten in years to come.

The movie industry is one of the most competitive markets in the world. While each year brings with it a large number of new releases, only a handful will be able to make a significant impact at the box office. In order to reach this coveted spot, movies need to possess all of the qualities that make them attractive to moviegoers. One such quality is the star power of their leading men and women.

While stars can help propel movies into success, they can also be a hindrance. Many famous actors have failed to produce quality work over time and have had negative impacts on box office earnings. Fortunately for moviegoers, there are still plenty of stars who continue to entertain fans and provide entertainment throughout their careers.

Studios like Paramount, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros, and 20th Century Fox are continually bringing out a number of blockbuster movies every year. This helps to keep the movie industry at the top of the market and gives actors and actresses a great deal of opportunities to shine.

In addition, directors such as Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, and George Lucas have continued to produce hit movies throughout their careers. Each of these directors have had huge impacts on the industry and continue to produce blockbusters that are guaranteed to please moviegoers.

From Disney’s Aladdin, The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, and Toy Story to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), there are many iconic actors who have helped their respective movies become top grossing hits. As a result, we have compiled a list of the five highest grossing movies of all time, with a few notes on the stars and directors that helped make them such hits.

The highest grossing movies of all time: The top 5

Let’s take a deeper look at the top 5 highest grossing movies of all time.

1. Avengers: Endgame

avengers endgameLifetime Gross Earnings: $2,797,800,564
Release Date: April 26, 2019
Budget: $356 million USD
Directors: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo

Avengers: Endgame had a ton of buzz around it before it even launched, so Hollywood insiders already knew the movie was going to be big. Audiences were ready for the resolution of the one-year long cliffhanger and the ending of a journey that started in 2008 with the original Iron Man. Still, nobody expected the movie to earn a stunning $1.2 billion on its first weekend out.

While domestic box office earnings top the list with a grossing of $858,373,000, the movie also did extremely well in China ($614,316,021), the UK ($114,995,529), and South Korea ($100,016,554). This was the first movie to ever achieve the seemingly impossible: dethrone Avatar from first place position after years of many other movies trying (and failing).

Starring Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Mark Ruffalo, Danai Gurira, Don Cheadle, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff and Bradley Cooper, Avengers: Endgame is undoubtly one of the most anticipated movies of 2019.

Endgame picks up where Infinity War left off, following the heroes as they attempt to save their universe from destruction. The film stars a number of well-known actors, including Tom Holland. In addition, the actor’s Spider-Man franchises (Spider-Man: No Way Home and
Spider-Man: Far From Home) were also released to great acclaim, with Holland being praised for his performance.

The late Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed Black Panther, also appears in the film. Brie Larson, who has had a number of impressive roles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, plays Captain Marvel. In addition, stars such as Samuel L. Jackson and Scarlett Johansson are also featured in the film.

Endgame’s success can be attributed to the return of a number of the original Avengers. In addition to having the film’s prequels in place (including Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Iron Man, Iron Man 2, and Iron Man 3), it also has a well-rounded cast that allows the movie to remain entertaining throughout.

Marvel Studio’s blockbuster has been known to pull in huge numbers at the worldwide box office. Endgame is one of the highest grossing movies of all time, and one of the highest grossing superhero movies ever.


2. Avatar

avatar posterLifetime Gross Earnings: $2,790,439,000
Release date: December 18, 2009
Director: James Cameron
Budget: 237 million USD

Avatar held on to position #1 on the list of top-grossing movies for an incredible 10 years. Avatar is also a unique case because the movie earned an impressive 72.7% of its box office grossing overseas, an amount higher than usual for most movies. James Cameron’s film took over second place by dethroning Titanic – which is also directed by Cameron. Until Avengers: End Game came out and broke every possible movie record in history, Avatar was also the highest domestic earning movie ever.


3. Titanic

titanic movieLifetime Gross Earnings: $2,194,439,542
Release date: November 18, 1997
Director: James Cameron
Budget: 200 million USD

Titanic is the oldest movie on the top ten list of high-earnings films. It came out in 1997 and was only recently pushed to third place place because of the new Avengers movie. Titanic was a very expensive movie to make at $200 million. According to CBC, it was, at the time, the most expensive movie ever made. Avengers: End Game did, of course, cost more – but that was many years later and with a large cast of very expensive stars.

While the movie earned an impressive amount of money when it came out, the earnings got even bigger in 2012, when a 3D version of the movie was released on the day of the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. Titanic has been re-released multiple times since its initial release, with the latest version hitting theaters in 2010. It is also available to watch on Netflix. The re-release and remake versions of the movie were also considered to be some of the best remakes of all time.


4. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force AwakensLifetime Gross Earnings: $2,068,223,624
Release date: December 18, 2015
Director: J.J. Abrams
Budget: 306 million USD

Before the explosive world of the Avengers took over the box office, Star Wars had a few movies as earning leaders. Right now, only 2015’s Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is in the top 10 – though there’s another Star Wars movie in position #14: 2017’s The Last Jedi. Like the last Avengers movie, The Force Awakens was eagerly awaited by fans. It came out twelve years after the ending of the prequel trilogy and it promised a brand-new world that would also answer many old questions.

As one of the most successful franchises in history, Star Wars (directed by J.J. Abrams) has seen its fair share of successful movies. The sci-fi franchise has been responsible for the creation of many popular characters, including Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Darth Vader. The franchise has also given rise to one of the most popular movie series of all time, which is based on the original trilogy.

The franchise’s latest installment, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, was a massive success, which resulted in the movie becoming the highest grossing movie of all time. In order to bring this hit franchise back to life, Disney decided to bring back the original stars of the franchise, including Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher.


5. Avengers: Infinity War

avengers infinity war posterLifetime Gross Earnings: $1,670,400,637
Release date: April 27, 2018
Director: Joe Russo, Anthony Russo
Budget: 316 million USD

It’s perhaps no surprise that another Avengers movie is sitting near the top. Especially when that movie is the first half of the stunning showdown that finally gets resolved in End Game. While domestically the movie didn’t do better than other films lower on the top 10 list, it had a stunning international debut, breaking all kinds of records in the first month it was out.

Marvel Studios is in the business of making sure their movies are seen by as many people as possible, and that means setting records for the largest grosses in history. DC’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice was also a success, but not quite as much of one as Infinity War. That’s likely because of the anticipation surrounding Infinity War, which is a phenomenon in and of itself.

Although there are many fans of the Batman movie, The Dark Knight was not as well received by critics and moviegoers alike. It also didn’t perform as well in the box office, even though it had a number of great actors and actresses in it. Compared to Infinity War and Endgame, the two were just not able to match the box office of their predecessors.


Highest-grossing Films Adjusted for Inflation

Including old films in a list of high-earning movies is tricky. A movie released in the 1950s would show much smaller earnings than one released two years ago. But once you adjust for inflation, it’s entirely possible that movie earned much more for its release time. Experts sometimes take to the task, adjusting for inflation and changes in ticket price –but the system isn’t perfect, especially when you’re trying to include worldwide grosses and currency exchange rates come into play.

The short version? An inflation adjusted list is not very accurate.

All that said, most movie experts agree that Gone with the Wind can safely be declared the highest-grossing inflation-adjusted film at the global post office. According to the Guinness World of Records, the 1939 film earned “just” US$393.4 million around the world at the time, but once you adjust those numbers for inflation, they rise to a total gross of $3.44 billion. This would put Gone with the Wind on position #1 in our previous list.

While other inflation-adjusted movies aren’t much of a surprise (Avatar, Avengers: Endgame, and Titanic are still near the top), a list including inflation-adjusted films would include two nice surprises: 1965’s The Sound of Music and 1982’s E.T. the Extraterrestrial in positions 6th and 7th.

Top 100 Highest Grossing Films Of All Time

Movies like Jaws, Spider-Man, and the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise have helped make the list of highest grossing movies of all time. It is worth to note that some of the movies on this list have been released multiple times and have earned billions of dollars.

While new blockbusters might one day change the winners on this list, some movies will be very hard to beat for years to come. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (from the Jurassic Park franchise), Fast and Furious 7, Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows: Part 2, The Incredibles 2, The Jungle Book, Aquaman, Frozen II, Despicable Me, Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone, The Fate of the Furious, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Guardians of The Galaxy and Transformers: Dark of the Moon are also included on this list. Here is a full list of the top 100 most successful blockbuster films of all time.

1 Avengers: Endgame $2,797,800,564 2019
2 Avatar $2,790,439,000 2009
3 Titanic $2,194,439,542 1997
4 Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens $2,068,223,624 2015
5 Avengers: Infinity War $2,048,359,754 2018
6 Jurassic World $1,670,400,637 2015
7 The Lion King $1,656,943,394 2019
8 The Avengers $1,518,812,988 2012
9 Furious 7 $1,515,047,671 2015
10 Frozen II $1,450,026,933 2019
11 Avengers: Age of Ultron $1,402,805,868 2015
12 Black Panther $1,346,913,161 2018
13 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 $1,341,932,398 2011
14 Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi $1,332,539,889 2017
15 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom $1,308,467,944 2018
16 Frozen $1,280,802,282 2013
17 Beauty and the Beast $1,263,521,126 2017
18 Incredibles 2 $1,242,805,359 2018
19 The Fate of the Furious $1,236,005,118 2017
20 Iron Man 3 $1,214,811,252 2013
21 Minions $1,159,398,397 2015
22 Captain America: Civil War $1,153,296,293 2016
23 Aquaman $1,148,461,807 2018
24 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King $1,142,219,401 2003
25 Spider-Man: Far from Home $1,131,927,996 2019
26 Captain Marvel $1,128,274,794 2019
27 Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1,123,794,079 2011
28 Skyfall $1,108,561,013 2012
29 Transformers: Age of Extinction $1,104,054,072 2014
30 The Dark Knight Rises $1,081,041,287 2012
31 Joker $1,074,251,311 2019
32 Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker $1,074,144,248 2019
33 Toy Story 4 $1,073,394,593 2019
34 Toy Story 3 $1,066,969,703 2010
35 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $1,066,179,725 2006
36 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $1,056,057,273 2016
37 Aladdin $1,050,693,953 2019
38 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $1,045,713,802 2011
39 Despicable Me 3 $1,034,799,409 2017
40 Jurassic Park $1,032,020,521 1993
41 Finding Dory $1,028,570,889 2016
42 Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace $1,027,082,707 1999
43 Alice in Wonderland $1,025,467,110 2010
44 Zootopia $1,023,784,195 2016
45 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $1,017,003,568 2012
46 The Dark Knight $1,004,934,033 2008
47 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone $978,087,613 2001
48 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 $976,920,103 2010
49 Despicable Me 2 $970,766,005 2013
50 The Lion King $968,511,805 1994
51 The Jungle Book $966,550,600 2016
52 Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle $962,102,237 2017
53 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $960,996,492 2007
54 The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug $958,366,855 2013
55 The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $956,019,788 2014
56 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers $951,208,089 2002
57 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $942,044,510 2007
58 Finding Nemo $940,343,261 2003
59 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $934,326,396 2009
60 Shrek 2 $928,760,770 2004
61 Bohemian Rhapsody $903,655,259 2018
62 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire $896,346,229 2005
63 Spider-Man 3 $894,983,373 2007
64 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring $887,832,826 2001
65 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $886,686,817 2009
66 Spectre $880,674,609 2015
67 Spider-Man: Homecoming $880,166,924 2017
68 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets $879,465,594 2002
69 Ice Age: Continental Drift $877,244,782 2012
70 The Secret Life of Pets $875,457,937 2016
71 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice $873,634,919 2016
72 Wolf Warrior 2 $870,325,439 2017
73 Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith $868,390,560 2005
74 The Hunger Games: Catching Fire $865,011,746 2013
75 Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 $863,756,051 2017
76 Inside Out $857,611,174 2015
77 Venom $856,085,151 2018
78 Thor: Ragnarok $853,977,126 2017
79 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen $836,303,693 2009
80 Inception $829,895,144 2010
81 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 $829,746,820 2012
82 Spider-Man $825,025,036 2002
83 Wonder Woman $821,847,012 2017
84 Independence Day $817,400,891 1996
85 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them $814,037,575 2016
86 Shrek the Third $813,367,380 2007
87 Coco $807,082,196 2017
88 Jumanji: The Next Level $796,575,993 2019
89 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban $796,093,802 2004
90 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales $794,861,794 2017
91 E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial $793,482,178 1982
92 2012 $791,217,826 2009
93 Mission: Impossible – Fallout $791,115,104 2018
94 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $790,653,942 2008
95 Spider-Man 2 $788,976,453 2004
96 Fast & Furious 6 $788,679,850 2013
97 Deadpool 2 $785,794,179 2018
98 Deadpool $782,612,155 2016
99 Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope $775,512,064 1977
100 Guardians of the Galaxy $772,776,600 2014

Final Thoughts

While it is impossible to rank all of the movies that have ever been released, many of these movies have been part of blockbuster franchises. Some gained success due to their stars, while others have made the most of their budgets and have become big box office hits. Some Oscar winners, such as Titanic, have gone on to become classics that are still loved by many moviegoers.

Other movies were simply successful due to their unique concepts and themes. These movies have made a significant impact on the industry and continue to be relevant to moviegoers today. Marvel’s The Avengers franchise has become one of the most popular franchises in the world, and its stars continue to be a major draw for moviegoers. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has also had a significant impact on the industry and continues to be popular with moviegoers.

At the end of the day, these movies continue to be relevant and are a large part of the entertainment industry. While many of these movies have become classics, others have simply gone on to become highly regarded by moviegoers. No matter what the quality of these movies, they continue to break records and provide entertainment for moviegoers around the world.


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