Many movies come and go, but some stay engraved in our hearts forever. Here are the top 15 highest grossing movies that took over the world in a snap and were able to win hearts and make money at the same time. While there are multiple factors responsible for making a movie success, in this list, we can see how movies from every genre can succeed with the audience’s approval.
Top 15 Highest Grossing Movies of All-Time in the History
1. Avengers: Endgame
Worldwide Box Office: $2.797 billion+
The Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame is the sequel to the Avengers series Infinity War and was released in 2019. It is not only the top grossing Avenger movies of all time but is also the most recent movie to gain the number one spot on the list of the highest grossing movies.
Here are some facts (1) that make the top grossing movies even better:
- Marvel had a fake Infinity War & Endgame scripts that were referred to as ‘code blue’.
- The movie became the highest grossing movie of all time just within 11 days of its release
- Visual effects were used to make Tony Stark look emaciated at the movie’s beginning in space
Worldwide Box Office: $2.788 billion+
The James Cameron directed, written, produced, and co-edited epic science fiction film Avatar marked its presence across the world with its unique plot set in the mid 22nd century when humans colonize a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, Pandora (2).
The movie was initially planned to be filmed after Cameron’s Titanic, for a scheduled release in 1999. However, according to James Cameron, the technology available was not sufficient to build his vision into a movie yet. Thank God for that, as the 1990s tech could never deliver what the 2009 movie delivered.
Fun Fact: The development of the plot for Avatar began in 1994 when James Cameron wrote an 80-page treatment for the film.
Worldwide Box Office: $2.208 billion+
The 1997 epic romance and disaster film is an adaptation of the real-life tragic event of the sinking of Titanic that occurred in April 1912. Included in the top grossing movies of all time, the movie’s production began in 1995 when James Cameron, the director of the movie, shot the footage of the actual Titanic wreck underwater.
The Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio starrer film, in addition to dramatizing the ill-fated maiden voyage, also displays the shortlived love story of the leads hailing from different social classes, giving a bigger message to the society, that love has no boundaries. The movie’s 3D version was released in 2012 to commemorate the centennial of the sinking.
Fun Fact: Various sinking scenes from the Titanic were filmed in an indoor pool.
4. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens
Worldwide Box Office: $2.068 billion+
Star Wars is one of the most diligently followed movies by fans and followers. In fact, many still follow and organize Star War-themed events and parties for fans to experience the fictional world. This is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy that was released in 2015. It was 12 years after the Star Wars prequel trilogy that J. J. Abrams was tasked with making Ep, VII- the most monumental one of all.
Some fun fact about the highest grossing movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens are:
- This was the first J. J. Abrams film that did not have a musical score by Michael Giacchino.
- The film is the highest grossing installment in the franchise
- The film received 5 nominations at the 88th Academy Awards and received the award for Best Special Visual Effects at the 69th British Academy Film Awards
5. Avengers: Infinity War
Worldwide Box Office: $2.048 billion+
The 2018 movie Infinity Wars is a path-breaking sequel in the Avengers series where the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to prevent Thanos from collecting the six powerful Infinity Stones, which, once collected, will fulfill his quest of killing half of all life in the universe.
It obviously had to be a part of the top grossing movies on the list! Well, we all know what happened next, or we don’t (no spoilers from my side). For the ones who know, the film featured one of the gutsiest cliffhangers in the history of any franchise, leaving the wait of the next part, EndGame, even harder.
Fact: The film surpassed Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ three-day opening weekend record with $257.6 million, & hit the $2 billion mark in mere 48 days
6. Jurrasic World
Worldwide Box Office: $1.67 billion+
The 2015 science fiction adventure movie Jurrasic World is the fourth installment of the Jurrasic Park film series, and the first part for the planned Jurrasic World trilogy. The Colin Trevorrow directed movie was able to cater to a massive audience, ranging from kids to adults indulging the exciting sci-fi graphics.
Here are some interesting facts about Jurrasic World, one of the top grossing movies of all time:
- The movie franchise is based on Michael Crichton’s novel, which was published in 1990.
- The use of CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery) in Jurrasic Park represented a groundbreaking technological achievement for the film industry.
7. The Lion King
Worldwide Box Office: $1.656 billion+
The 2019 animated American musical film The Lion King crossed Disney’s Frozen to become the top grossing animated movies, in addition to being in the grossing movies list for 2019. The remake of the Disney’s 1994 original created the adorable Simba’s photorealistic computer-animated version, and the word fell on its knees.
The movie has been directed by Jon Favreau and revolved around a budget of $260 million, making it a part of the most expensive films ever made. However, the one monumental scene that everyone absolutely looked forward to seeing was the Simba birth scene. (we’re not singing, you are)
Did you know: The Lion King was originally called ‘King of the Jungle.’
8. The Avengers
Worldwide Box Office: $1.518 billion+
The release of The Avengers was the beginning of the ultimate Marvel vs. DC clash. The superhero movie, based on Stan Lee’s The Avengers, comprises of the most popular characters of the Marvel Comics like Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America, to form a team capable of destroying Thor’s brother Loki from enslaving the Earth.
Here are some facts about the highest grossing movies of all-time:
- The development of the film began after Marvel Studios received a loan from Merrill Lynch in 2005
- The movie features over 2,000 visual effects shots
- The Avengers was featured as one of the greatest films of all times in an Empire magazine poll (3)
9. Furious 7
Worldwide Box Office: $1.518 billion+
Furious 7 is a 2015 American action film directed by James Wan & written by Chris Morgan that is a sequel to 2013’s Fast & Furious 6 and the seventh installment in the Fast & Furious franchise. Sadly, in 2013 Paul Walker, the lead of the movie, met with an accident within which he took his last breathes. He was shooting for the Furious 7 that very year, because of which the movie was rewritten and released in 2015. The Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth sung song ‘See You Again’ was commissioned for the film’s soundtrack as a tribute to Pual Walker.
Fact: The film crossed the $1.5 billion mark worldwide after 12 days of its release, making it the highest grossing film of the franchise.
10. Frozen II
Worldwide Box Office: $1.45 billion+
Frozen II is a 2019 American musical fantasy produced as a 3D computer-animated film that is the sequel to 2013 Frozen. The movie elaborates on the magical journey of Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven, beyond their kingdom of Arendelle, to discover the origin of Elsa’s magical powers. The movie was premiered at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on 7th November 2019 and was later released by the Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures on 22nd November 2019.
Here are some fun facts about the second highest grossing animated film of all time:
- The musical fantasy film has a total of seven songs
- The directors and producer of the film went on a research trip to Finland, Norway, and Iceland to drive inspiration for the content
- The visual development artists considered over 122 choices for Anna’s wardrobe, which were initially designed for Elsa.
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron
Worldwide Box Office: $1.403 billion
Avengers: Age of Ultron is part of one of the biggest movie franchisee of all time. Released in 2015, the Marvel superhero movie has been produced by Marvel Studios and has been written and directed by Joss Whedon. The film received positive reviews from the critics and even became the fourth highest grossing movie of 2015. The audience was left in awe with Avengers: Age of Ultron’s twisted ending (as usual), waiting for the sequels Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, which was released in 2018 and 2019 respectively.
Some interesting facts about Avengers: Age of Ultron, one of the highest grossing movies of all time are:
- Scarlet Johansson, playing the role of Black Widow, was pregnant during the filming of the movie. While many scenes were filmed before she began to show, later, three stunt doubles were hiredd to help hide her pregnancy.
- The trailer of Avengers: Age of Ultron was viewed on YouTube for over 34 million times with the first 24 hours of the trailer release.
- Industrial Light and Magic developed a new motion capture system for the film called Muse that captured the facial & body movements of the actor better.
12. Black Panther
Worldwide Box Office: $1.347 billion
Based on the Marvel Comics character, Black Panther himself, the 2018 American superhero movie, talks about the story of T’Challa, the crowned king of Wakanda, who is challenged by Killmonger who plans to abandon Wakanda’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution. The movie was released in 2018 and even received multiple awards and nominations, including seven nominations at the 91st Academy Awards. It became the 9th top grossing movies of all time, the third highest grossing movies in Us and Canada, and even the second top grossing movies of 2018.
The second top grossing movies of 2018 included the following as its cast members:
- Chadwick Boseman
- Michael B. Jordan
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Danai Gurira
- Martin Freeman
- Daniel Kaluuya
- Letitia Wright
- Winston Duke
- Angela Bassett
- Forest Whitaker
- Andy Serkis
13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2
Worldwide Box Office: $1.341 billion+
Harry Potter series has been a part of our childhood; it is the magical solace, a place full of magic and fantasy. Wanted to get enrolled in Hogwarts? Me too! Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter series that was released in 2011. Harry Potter has a large fanbase across the world, which made the final episode of the tale between Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter a commercial success, making it the highest grossing movies in the Harry Potter series. It also became the top grossing movies of 2011.
The highest grossing movies in the Harry Potter series is the end of the Harry Potter decade which included:
- Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone (2001)
- Harry Potter & the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (2010)
- Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (2011)
14. Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi
Worldwide Box Office: $1.332 billion+
Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi is the second installment of the Star Wars trilogy sequel that was released in 2017. Directed by Rian Johnson, the highest grossing movies of all time features the first posthumous movie performance by Fisher, who sadly dies in 2016, with the film being dedicated to her loving memory. It became the second highest grossing movies in the Star Wars series. It received a positive review from the critics and even received four nominations at the 90th Academy Awards.
The cast members of the top grossing movies of all-time include:
- Mark Hamill
- Carrie Fisher
- Adam Driver
- Daisy Ridley
- John Boyega
- Oscar Isaac
- Andy Serkis
- Lupita Nyong’o
- Domhnall Gleeson
- Anthony Daniels
- Gwendoline Christie
- Kelly Marie Tran
- Laura Dern
- Frank Oz
- Benicio del Toro
15. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Worldwide Box Office: $1.308 billion+
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is 2018 released American science fiction film that is a sequel to the 2015 superhit Jurassic World and the fifth overall installment of the Jurassic Park film series. It was the third top grossing movies of 2018. However, the film received mixed reviews from the critics but was also enjoyed by the audiences worldwide. The Jurassic World series is also set to release its sequel Jurassic World: Domination in 2021.
In addition to these 15 amazing top grossing films of all time, some honourary mentions would include Incredibles 2, Captain America: Civil War, Aquaman, The Fate of the Furious, Skyfall, Iron Man 3, Minions, Frozen, and Beauty and the Beast. All these movies belong to different categories and genres, yet what brings them together as box office successes are the association and message delivered by the film for its audience. Which is your favorite one from above?