When it comes to movies, it really is a personal choice. We love some, we hate others, but we can’t help throw out money at them. In most cases, however, motion pictures make millions of dollars and get nominated for numerous awards. Each film has its own innovative marketing strategy that is geared towards making the maximum amount of money once it’s released. There are many that have been extremely successful, and even racked up billions of dollars after the release. Currently, however, the movies that have been making the most money, as you will see from our list, are the marvel comic movies. In fact, they take most of the positions in our list below. The logic behind this could be that everyone is looking for a superhero in the world, or perhaps they just love a good story.
So, please ensure to click Next, so you can have a look at the movies in our list that are considered to be the 20 highest-grossing films in the history of cinema.
Iron Man 3
Budget: $200 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.215 billion
Iron Man 3 is the third installation in the American superhero films that are based on a Marvel Comic character Iron Man. The movie was produced by Marvel Studios and it was distributed by Walt Disney Studios – Motion Pictures. It features big stars such as Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, and Ben Kingsley. These are certainly some of the biggest names in Hollywood, which would explain why the movie was so successful. When the film was released, it received praise from critics for the performances of the cast and the incredible action sequences, as well as the humor. The film managed to gross more than $1.2 billion worldwide, which means that the audience certainly loved it.
The Fate of the Furious
Budget: $250 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.236 billion
If you are like most people and watched the Fast and Furious movies from the beginning, then get ready for the time of a lifetime with the Fate of the Furious. It was released in 2017 and was the sequel to the equally successful Furious 7, and the Fate of the Furious is the eighth installation of the franchise. The most hilarious story to come out of this movie was the kiss between Vin Diesel and Charlize Theron, where each of them claims that the other wasn’t all that in the kissing department. The whole incident was well covered in the interviews they both did to promote the movie. Anyway, the cast consists of the crème de la crème of Hollywood, such as Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Scot Eastwood, Charlize Theron, etc. In fact, this movie gave birth to the new Jason Statham and Dwayne Johnson movie – Hobbs & Shaw that went on to make almost 800 million dollars. The truth is that anything that is associated with Fast and Furious is almost a sure hit.
Budget: $200 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.243
This is quite literally a movie for everyone. It’s got action, comedy, and drama all in one. The fact that it is an animated movie doesn’t seem to faze the adults who seem to enjoy it too. Pixar animated studios released this movie through Walt Disney and it was the second movie in the Incredibles franchise that is now very successful. It follows the Parr family as they are trying to restore the trust of the public and also trying to balance their family life. Their efforts are actually met by many foes who seek to turn their populace against them. Led by quite an accomplished cast such as Holly Hunter, Craig T. Nelson, and Samuel L. Jackson, this movie deserves all of the accolades it received when it was released. In its premiere weekend, the movie actually made more than $180 million, which showed the world that it was on its way to $1 billion dollars. It set the record for the best debut by an animated film and made history as the 4th highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Budget: $160 – $255 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.264 Billion
This title is bound to bring lots of nostalgic memories for anyone who loved the old classic – Beauty and Beast that aired in the ’80s. It’s because of these feelings that Walt Disney Pictures decided to produce this latest installation of the Beauty and the Beast story. It has an enormous cast led by Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, etc. It is a live-action remake of the first movie. It features some elements of Broadway Musicals and performances for the cast that include a visual style, songs, costume design, and musical score. Although the movie was highly criticized for its similarities to the original movie, it still makes a killing at the box office. This movie actually received numerous nominations such as the Critics’ Choice Awards nominations, and 2 from the 71st British Academy awards. It also received an academy award nomination for the Best Production design movie at the 90th Academy awards.
Budget: $150 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.280 billion
No movie list is ever complete without including this incredible movie – Frozen. It is actually a 3D computer-animated musical fantasy movie that was produced by Walt Disney Studios. It is the 53rd Disney animated film and it was inspired by the fairy tale “the Snow Queen,” by Hans Christian Andersen. The movie tells the incredible story of a fearless princess who sets out for a journey with a rugged iceman, a naïve snowman, and a loyal reindeer. This movie was brought to life the incredible voice of Idina Menzel, who sings one of the most-watched frozen songs on YouTube. This movie really broke all sorts of records such as being the highest-grossing musical film, the highest-grossing animated film at the time, and the 16the highest-grossing film of all time in the year of its release. It won numerous awards as well, such as 2 Academy Awards for Best original song – the famous “Let it be” song and the Best Animated Feature. It also won the Golden Globe award for the Best Animated Feature film, the BAFTA award for the best-animated film, and two critic’s choice awards among others.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Budget: $170 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.308 billion
This movie is from the big franchise of Jurassic Movies, and it is a science fiction adventure film that is a sequel to the 2015 Jurassic World Movie. It is set in the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar that is just off the pacific coast and Costa Rica. The film stars Chris Pratt, BD Wong, and Bryce Dallas, plus Jeff Goldblum reprises his role from the previous movies, with Ted Levine, Rafe Spall, and Toby Jones, who join the cast. It was filmed in the UK and Hawaii and when it was released, it grossed the more than 1 billion dollars at the box office. This made it the third highest-grossing film of 2018. It, however, received mixed reviews from the critics who only praised the performance of Pratt and Howard. Its sequel – Jurassic World: Dominion is set for release in 2021.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Budget: Between $200 and $317 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.333 billion
Star Wars is a big franchise that includes plenty of movies. This particular one was released in 2017, and it is an American epic space opera movie that was written by Rian Johnson. Of course, any movie in the Stars wars franchise ends up making big bucks and this one is no exception. It is actually the second installment of the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy and it follows the previous movie the force awakens, which was released in 2015. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, and many other great names. The Last Jedi follows Rey as she seeks help from Luke Skywalker in the hope of turning the tide for the Resistance so it can fight against the First Order and Kylo Ren. The movie made more than $1 billion dollars in the box office and it was the 9th highest-grossing film of all time in that year.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Budget: $250 million (This figure is shared with Part 1)
Box Office Earnings: Approx. $1.342 billion.
When the Harry Potter movies came out, they were the most-watched movies of that time, and also the most famous. This is a fantasy film that was distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and it was the second of the two cinematic parts that are based on J.K Rowling’s novel by the same name. It is, however, the 8th and the final installment in the Harry Potter film series which was written by Steve Kloves. The film continues to follow Harry Porter and his quest to find the destroyed Lord Voldemort’s Horcruxes so he can stop him once and for all. This film was a major commercial success and it was one of the best-reviewed films in 2011. The film managed to gross more than $400 million in its opening weekend, which was a big achievement on its part. It was nominated for the Academy Awards in the Best Makeup, Best Art Direction, and Best Visual Effects category.
Budget: $200 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.347 Billion
It is sad to write about Black Panther when we know that Chadwick Boseman, who played the title character, is no more. This is the most beloved movie that almost became a movement. It is a superhero film that was based on the Marvel Comics characters with the same name. The film stars great names such as the late Chadwick Boseman, who plays King T’Challa, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, and many other big names. In the movie, T’Challa is crowned as the King of the fictional country of Wakanda, after his father’s death. It received many awards and nominations including seven academy award nominations and won for Best original score, best costume design, and best production design.
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Budget: Between $444 and $495 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.403 billion.
This is another marvel comic’s superhero movie that was distributed by Walt Disney Studios. It is the sequel to the 2012 Avengers film. It is the 11the film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and stars big names such as Mark Ruffalo, Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Chris Evans, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Don Cheadle among others. It was a highly successful film that received positive reviews from the critics and was able to gross more than $1 billion dollars worldwide. It made history as the fourth highest-grossing film in 2015 and was also the 5th highest-grossing film of all time.
Budget: $150 million
Box Office: $1.450 Billion
Yes, we are back with another Frozen movie on the list. This is the sequel to the previously mentioned Frozen movie and it is known as Frozen 2. The film features the previous cast of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, and many others. It is set just three years after the first film and follows Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven as they embark on a journey that goes beyond the kingdom of Arendelle so they can discover the origin of Elsa’s magical powers and be able to save their kingdom after a mysterious voice calls Elsa out. It was a huge success and was the second-highest-grossing animated film that year, with many nominations and awards.
Budget: $190 Million
Box Office Earnings: $1.515 Billion
This is another Fast and Furious franchise film that was released in 2015. The film is a sequel to the Fast and Furious 6 movie that was the 7th installment in the franchise. It stars Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Paul Walker, Djimon Housou, Kurt Russel, and Jason Statham. It follows Dominic Toretto and the rest of the team after they have returned to the US to live normal lives. They have just secured amnesty for their past crimes until Deckard Shaw, who is played by Statham starts seeking vengeance for his brother who is comatose. This puts the team in danger again. This was actually the first movie to be set after Tokyo Drift, and it marks the last appearance of Paul Walker who died in 2013. His brothers were actually used as stand-ins so as to complete the remaining scenes that he had not done. The film was wildly successful and grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide which made it the 2nd highest-grossing film in the franchise.
The Avengers (2012)
Budget: $220 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.519 Billion
This is yet another Avengers movie, which goes to show that this is a very successful franchise. It is a superhero movie that is based on the Marvel Comics team of superheroes with the same name. It is the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this particular film, Nick Furry of the Spy Agency, S.H.I.E.L.D recruits Bruce Banner, Steve Rogers, and Tony Stark to form a team that is able to stop Thor’s brother Loki from subjugating the earth. The film won numerous awards and was nominated for many others including BAFTA nominations and academy awards for achievements in visual effects.
The Lion King (2019)
Budget: between $250 and $260 million
Box Office Earnings: $1.657 billion
This particular movie was released in 2019 and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is actually a little different from the first one because this one is a photorealistic computer-animated movie that saw the biggest names in the cast such as Donald Glover, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Kani, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, John Oliver, etc. James Earl Jones reprised his role from the original, and of course, with his incredible voice, we couldn’t have had it any other way. Most of the actors worked on the soundtrack that actually became a very big hit on its own. The movie grossed more than $1.5 billion worldwide and it even surpassed Frozen to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. It was nominated for numerous awards including several during the 77th Golden Globe Awards, and the 92nd Academy Awards. In 2020, it was announced that a follow-up movie was in the works.
Budget: $150 million
Box Office Earnings: Approx. $1.670 billion
This is a 2015 American science-fiction film that is the fourth installment in the Jurassic Park franchise. It is also a direct sequel to the first Jurassic Park movie of 1993. It is set 22 years after the first Jurassic Park takes place and it is on the same fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar. This is supposed to be located just off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, where there is a theme park filled with cloned dinosaurs. They have been in operation for more than a decade. The park then plunges into chaos when there is a transgenic dinosaur that escapes from the enclosure and goes on a rampage. During its opening weekend, the movie made $500 million and was ranked as the second-highest-grossing movie of 2015. It is currently the highest-grossing movie released by Universal Pictures.
Avengers: Infinity War
Budget: Between $316and $400 million
Box Office Earnings: Approx. $2.048 billion.
This movie is a superhero film that is based on the Marvel Comics team of Avengers. It was produced by Marvel Studios and was a sequel to the Avengers 2012 movie, and the Avengers: Age of Ultron that was released in 2015. It is the 19th film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and it stars big names such as Robert Downey Jr. Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Chadwick Boseman, Scarlett Johansson, among others. It was released in 2018 with plenty of praise, especially for Brolin’s performance, the action sequences, and the visual effects.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Budget: $306 Million,
Box Office Earnings: $2.068 billion
This movie is also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens. It is an American Epic Space Opera film that is a sequel to the Star Wars trilogy. It follows the story of Return of the Jedi that was released in 1983. The film has an ensemble cast that includes Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Lupita Nyongo, Daisy Ridley, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow. It was a widely anticipated film that Disney backed with excellent and extensive campaigns. The film premiered in Los Angeles in 2015 and received positive reviews for its visual effects, musical score, and action sequences. It also went on to break various box office records and was the highest-grossing film in North America at the time. Additionally, it was the highest-grossing film in 2015 and garnered five nominations during the 88the Academy awards, and four nominations at the 69the British Academy Film Awards.
Budget: $200 Million,
Box Office Earnings: $2.195 billion
Oh, the memories! This film is simply nostalgic. It is an epic disaster and romance movie that was produced and written by James Cameron. Titanic was the movie that blew everyone away and broke way too many records. It incorporated both the fictional as well as historic effects of the RMS Titanic ship that sunk. Led by an ensemble cast of Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, the only way this movie was going was up. The film was the highest-grossing film for many years, and still today, it remains one of the best romantic stories ever told.
Budget: $267 Million
Box Office Earnings: $2.79 billion
Avatar was one of the most talked-about movies when it came out. It is a 2009 epic sci-fi film that was written, directed, and produced by James Cameron. The movie stars Zoe Saldana, Sam Worthington, Sigourney Weaver, and Michelle Rodriguez. It is set in the 22nd century where humans are colonizing Pandora, which is a lush and habitable moon within the gas giant in the Alpha Centauri system of stars. The development of this concept actually started in 1994, and this is when Cameron wore an 80-paged treatment of the movie. It was supposed to start filming in 1997 after Cameron was done with Titanic and was meant to be released in 1999, but Cameron said that the technology necessary to make the film as he wanted was not available yet. This stereoscopic film was touted as a major breakthrough in cinematic technology.
Budget $356 million
Box Office Earnings: $2.798
It makes sense that the number one spot goes to a Marvel Comics movie, and a recent one for that matter. This is a 2019 superhero film that was produced by Marvel Studios. In the film, the surviving members of the Avengers together with their allies attempt to reverse all of the damages that were caused by Thanos during the Infinity War movie. Initially, it was named Avengers: Infinity War – Part 2, but the name was later on changed. Its storyline revisits some moments from the first films and brings back actors and settings from the franchise and music from the other films as well. It received plenty of praise for its acting, direction, action sequences, musical scores, emotional weight, and visual effects. It was lauded by critics for its culmination of a 22-film story, and grossed the highest amount of money, and surpassed Infinity War’s entire theatrical run in just 11 days. This broke many records and it was named the highest-grossing film of all time.