Lists

Highest Grossing Movies Of All Time

Last updated on June 10, 2020 by
avengers - highest grossing movies

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 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).

Trailer:

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.

Trailer:

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.

Trailer:

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.

Trailer:

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.

Trailer:

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

While new blockbusters might one day change the winners on this list, some movies will be very hard to beat for years to come. Here is a full list of the top 100 most successful blockbuster films of all time.

RANKTITLELIFETIME GROSSYEAR
1Avengers: Endgame$2,797,800,5642019
2Avatar$2,790,439,0002009
3Titanic$2,194,439,5421997
4Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens$2,068,223,6242015
5Avengers: Infinity War$2,048,359,7542018
6Jurassic World$1,670,400,6372015
7The Lion King$1,656,943,3942019
8The Avengers$1,518,812,9882012
9Furious 7$1,515,047,6712015
10Frozen II$1,450,026,9332019
11Avengers: Age of Ultron$1,402,805,8682015
12Black Panther$1,346,913,1612018
13Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2$1,341,932,3982011
14Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi$1,332,539,8892017
15Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom$1,308,467,9442018
16Frozen$1,280,802,2822013
17Beauty and the Beast$1,263,521,1262017
18Incredibles 2$1,242,805,3592018
19The Fate of the Furious$1,236,005,1182017
20Iron Man 3$1,214,811,2522013
21Minions$1,159,398,3972015
22Captain America: Civil War$1,153,296,2932016
23Aquaman$1,148,461,8072018
24The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King$1,142,219,4012003
25Spider-Man: Far from Home$1,131,927,9962019
26Captain Marvel$1,128,274,7942019
27Transformers: Dark of the Moon$1,123,794,0792011
28Skyfall$1,108,561,0132012
29Transformers: Age of Extinction$1,104,054,0722014
30The Dark Knight Rises$1,081,041,2872012
31Joker$1,074,251,3112019
32Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker$1,074,144,2482019
33Toy Story 4$1,073,394,5932019
34Toy Story 3$1,066,969,7032010
35Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest$1,066,179,7252006
36Rogue One: A Star Wars Story$1,056,057,2732016
37Aladdin$1,050,693,9532019
38Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides$1,045,713,8022011
39Despicable Me 3$1,034,799,4092017
40Jurassic Park$1,032,020,5211993
41Finding Dory$1,028,570,8892016
42Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace$1,027,082,7071999
43Alice in Wonderland$1,025,467,1102010
44Zootopia$1,023,784,1952016
45The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey$1,017,003,5682012
46The Dark Knight$1,004,934,0332008
47Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone$978,087,6132001
48Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1$976,920,1032010
49Despicable Me 2$970,766,0052013
50The Lion King$968,511,8051994
51The Jungle Book$966,550,6002016
52Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle$962,102,2372017
53Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End$960,996,4922007
54The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug$958,366,8552013
55The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies$956,019,7882014
56The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers$951,208,0892002
57Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix$942,044,5102007
58Finding Nemo$940,343,2612003
59Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince$934,326,3962009
60Shrek 2$928,760,7702004
61Bohemian Rhapsody$903,655,2592018
62Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire$896,346,2292005
63Spider-Man 3$894,983,3732007
64The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring$887,832,8262001
65Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs$886,686,8172009
66Spectre$880,674,6092015
67Spider-Man: Homecoming$880,166,9242017
68Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets$879,465,5942002
69Ice Age: Continental Drift$877,244,7822012
70The Secret Life of Pets$875,457,9372016
71Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice$873,634,9192016
72Wolf Warrior 2$870,325,4392017
73Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith$868,390,5602005
74The Hunger Games: Catching Fire$865,011,7462013
75Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2$863,756,0512017
76Inside Out$857,611,1742015
77Venom$856,085,1512018
78Thor: Ragnarok$853,977,1262017
79Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen$836,303,6932009
80Inception$829,895,1442010
81The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2$829,746,8202012
82Spider-Man$825,025,0362002
83Wonder Woman$821,847,0122017
84Independence Day$817,400,8911996
85Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them$814,037,5752016
86Shrek the Third$813,367,3802007
87Coco$807,082,1962017
88Jumanji: The Next Level$796,575,9932019
89Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban$796,093,8022004
90Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales$794,861,7942017
91E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial$793,482,1781982
922012$791,217,8262009
93Mission: Impossible – Fallout$791,115,1042018
94Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull$790,653,9422008
95Spider-Man 2$788,976,4532004
96Fast & Furious 6$788,679,8502013
97Deadpool 2$785,794,1792018
98Deadpool$782,612,1552016
99Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope$775,512,0641977
100Guardians of the Galaxy$772,776,6002014