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.

RANK TITLE LIFETIME GROSS YEAR
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