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101 Top Grossing Films of all Time | by Craig Easom

Updated on September 10, 2014
Avatar - the No.1 global 'box office' smash hit
Avatar - the No.1 global 'box office' smash hit | Source

Box Office Smash Hit!

Was you aware that Avatar was the highest grossing film?

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Box Office Hits

Most people have an idea of the amount of money which films make, with the summer blockbusters, winter spectaculars, and all of the others, which seem as though they must be grossing a fortune.

Well, surprisingly enough, not all of those seemingly overly successful films make it straight to the top of this list, not unless the buzz was phenomenal for the film on its release date, which breaks ticket sales records for all time high amount.

Most of the top box office hits are from more recent films, as this list is not adjusted for inflation, which would alter the figures. It will come as a shock to some, and not such a shock to others when looking through the list, but do remember, we are living in a golden age for movies, with special affects, CGI, and animation at a whole new level, which has changed film making forever.

What We Need To See On The Box Office Chart

Films on the 'box office' have grossed millions, hundreds of millions, even making more than a billion, and on a rare occasion, making a whopping 2 billion or more in gross. But what we haven't yet seen is a film gross 3 billion dollars, and now, how insane would that be, to take the earnings to the next level.

From what we have seen it is mostly epic dramas, actions, and fantasy films which gross above the billion mark, so I would imagine if a film was going to hit 3 billion, then it would need to be something spectacular which gets a buzz like nothing ever seen before.

It seems the Avengers did exceedingly well grossing more than $1.5 billion, so I wonder how 'Justice League' will hold up at the 'box office' when released, which will need to be something of a phenomenon to beat 'The Avengers' ranking on the list. It would seem more likely that 'The Avengers' follow up, 'Avengers: Age of Ultron', would be a likely contender to make more than 'The Avengers', possibly making more than $1 billion, but most likely not $3 billion.

Which film out the following upcoming 2014 cinema releases, do you think is most likely to gross more than $1 billion worldwide?

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A Few Fun Facts Related To The Box Office List

Box Office Related Facts:

  • The two top grossing films of all time, Avatar, and Titanic were both directed by James Cameron.
  • Johnny Depp is the only actor to appear in 3 of the 17 films to gross $1 billion with Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Alice in Wonderland (2010) and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides.
  • 'Frozen' (2013) is history's top-grossing animated film.
  • The highest grossing film in North America in 2013 was 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire', which made $424.11 million.
  • The films included in the '101 top grossing films of all time' which were released in 2014 include The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Maleficent, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Transformers: Age of Extinction.

Titanic - the No.2 global 'box office' smash hit
Titanic - the No.2 global 'box office' smash hit | Source

Top 10 Grossing Films Of All Time

#1. Avatar - A breathtaking masterpiece with ground-breaking special effects and CGI, which made the film something of a timeless piece, which will be enjoyed by future generations.

#2. Titanic - Another ground-breaking film, based on true events which deserved to be told, and who better to recreate a tragic event than the talented director James Cameron, whose prior directorial work included the likes of Aliens and The Terminator.

#3. Marvel's The Avengers - A superhero spectacular unlike any other action-packed film ever made before, with Marvel fan favourite superhero characters joining together to fight evil like never before. This was an unexpected achievement which deserves gratification as possibly the best action/adventure film ever made.

#4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - The Harry Potter series finale, where anything was possible but one thing was for sure, it was going to end with the battle of a lifetime, so epic it has to be seen twice.

#5. Frozen - This was a fun, humorous, animated adventure which is said by a lot of people to be overrated, but the earnings don't lie. This was a popular film which has been credited for its classic Disney feel, wrapped up in a modern masterpiece.

#6. Iron Man 3 - There's no doubt that this is a film with more than enough action to satisfy anyone's hunger for brute force, as the film takes on a new light with more shooting and explosions than ever before.

#7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - Surprisingly, this is the highest grossing Transformers film so far, even though the first and fourth in the series were better by most peoples opinions. However it was an end to an era, with most expecting it to be the last at the time for the Transformers films, ending as a trilogy, which probably explains its high gross. Even though the film wasn't the best, it certainly had plenty of action to feed off, making it a descent action blockbuster.

#8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - The third in The Lord of the Rings trilogy which ended extremely well, exceeding expectations which made this a film to re-watch. Its not often the ending to a trilogy was almost as good as the first, but this one certainly was.

#9. Skyfall - The third 'Bond' film starring Daniel Craig as 'James Bond' (AKA '007'), which had to be the best 'Bond' film so far, with the perfect villain to match the perfect 'Bond'.

#10. The Dark Knight Rises - The third in the 'Dark Knight' trilogy, which sees 'Batman' face someone who is capable of breaking him, which is a first for the caped superhero. An all out action-packed blockbuster, which is darker than any other superhero film ever created before.

Marvel's The Avengers - the No.3 global 'box office' smash hit
Marvel's The Avengers - the No.3 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - the No.4 global 'box office' smash hit
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 - the No.4 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
Disney's Frozen - the No.5 global 'box office' smash hit
Disney's Frozen - the No.5 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
Iron Man 3 - the No.6 global 'box office' smash hit
Iron Man 3 - the No.6 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - the No.7 global 'box office' smash hit
Transformers: Dark of the Moon - the No.7 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - the No.8 global 'box office' smash hit
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King - the No.8 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
Skyfall - the No.9 global 'box office' smash hit
Skyfall - the No.9 global 'box office' smash hit | Source
The Dark Knight Rises - the No.10 global 'box office' smash hit
The Dark Knight Rises - the No.10 global 'box office' smash hit | Source

101 Highest Grossing Films... Of All Time!

I now present the top 101 grossing films of all time, as it currently stands:

101. The Smurfs

Worldwide Gross - $563.7M

100. Night at the Museum

Worldwide Gross - $574.5M

99. Iron Man

Worldwide Gross - $585.2M

98. I Am Legend

Worldwide Gross - $585.3M

97. Quantum of Solace

Worldwide Gross - $586.1M

96. The Hangover: Part II

Worldwide Gross - $586.8M

95. The Croods

Worldwide Gross - $587.2M

94. Men in Black

Worldwide Gross - $589.4M

93. War of the Worlds

Worldwide Gross - $591.7M

92. Tangled

Worldwide Gross - $591.8M

91. Casino Royale

Worldwide Gross - $599M

90. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

Worldwide Gross - $603.9M

89. Life of Pi

Worldwide Gross - $609M

88. Mamma Mia!

Worldwide Gross - $609.8M

87. The Passion of the Christ

Worldwide Gross - $611.9M

86. The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Worldwide Gross - $618.6M

85. Ratatouille

Worldwide Gross - $623.7M

84. Iron Man 2

Worldwide gross - $623.9M

83. Men in Black 3

Worldwide Gross - $624M

82. Hancock

Worldwide Gross - $624.4M

81. Fast Five

Worldwide Gross - $626.1M

80. The Incredibles

Worldwide Gross - $631.4M

79. Kung Fu Panda

Worldwide Gross - $631.7M

78. Thor: The Dark World

Worldwide Gross - $644.8M

77. Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones

Worldwide Gross - $649.4M

76. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

Worldwide Gross - $654.3M

75. Ice Age: The Meltdown

Worldwide Gross - $655.4M

74. Kung Fu Panda 2

Worldwide Gross - $665.7M

73. Man of Steel

Worldwide Gross - $668M

72. The Sixth Sense

Worldwide Gross - $672.8M

71. Forrest Gump

Worldwide Gross - $677.4M

70. The Hunger Games

Worldwide Gross - $691.2M

69. Mission: Impossible - Ghost protocol

Worldwide Gross - $694.7M

68. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Worldwide Gross - $698.5M

67. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Worldwide Gross - $708.2M

66. Transformers

Worldwide Gross - $709.7M

65. The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Worldwide gross - $709.8M

64. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1

Worldwide Gross - $712.2M

63. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

Worldwide Gross - $714M

62. Gravity

Worldwide Gross - $716.4M

61. Up

Worldwide Gross - $731.3M

60. Maleficent

Worldwide Gross - $736.1M

59. The Matrix Reloaded

Worldwide Gross - $742.1M

58. Monsters University

Worldwide Gross - $743.6M

57. X-Men: Days of Future Past

Worldwide Gross - $743.8M

56. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the witch and the wardrobe

Worldwide Gross - $745M

55. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted

Worldwide Gross - $746.9M

54. Shrek Forever After

Worldwide Gross - $752.6M

53. The Amazing Spider-Man

Worldwide Gross - $757.9M

52. The Da Vinci Code

Worldwide Gross - $758.2M

51. 2012

Worldwide Gross - $769.7M

50. Star Wars

Worldwide Gross - $775.4M

49. Spider-Man 2

Worldwide Gross - $783.8M

48. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Worldwide Gross - $786.6M

47. Fast and Furious 6

Worldwide Gross - $788.7M

46. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial

Worldwide Gross - $792.9M

45. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Worldwide Gross - $796.7M

44. Shrek the Third

Worldwide Gross - $799M

43. Independence Day

Worldwide Gross - $817.4M

42. Spider-Man

Worldwide Gross - $821.7M

41. Inception

Worldwide Gross - $825.5M

40. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2

Worldwide Gross -$829.7M

39. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Worldwide Gross -$836.3M

38. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Worldwide Gross -$848.8M

37. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Worldwide Gross -$864.6M

36. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Worldwide Gross -$871.5M

35. Ice Age: Continental Drift

Worldwide Gross -$877.2M

34. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Worldwide Gross -$879M

33. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Worldwide Gross -$886.7M

32. Spider-Man 3

Worldwide Gross -$890.9M

31. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Worldwide Gross -$896.9M

30. Shrek 2

Worldwide Gross - $919.8M

29. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Worldwide Gross -$926M

28. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Worldwide Gross - $934.4M

27. Finding Nemo

Worldwide Gross -$936.7M

26. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Worldwide Gross -$939.9M

25. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Wordlwide Gross -$958.4M

24. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

Worldwide Gross -$960.3M

23. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

Worldwide Gross - $963.4M

22. Despicable Me 2

Worldwide Gross -$970.8M

21. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Worldwide Gross -$974.8M

20. The Lion King

Worldwide Gross -$987.5M

19. The Dark Knight

Worldwide Gross -$1,004.6M

18. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Worldwide Gross -$1,017.0M

17. Alice in Wonderland (2010)

Worldwide Gross -$1,025.5M

16. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Worldwide Gross -$1,027.0M

15. Jurassic Park

Worldwide Gross -$1,029.2M

14. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Worldwide Gross -$1,032.4M

13. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Worldwide Gross -$1,045.7M

12. Toy Story 3

Worldwide Gross -$1,063.2M

11. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Worldwide Gross -$1,066.2M

10. The Dark Knight Rises

Worldwide Gross -$1,084.4M

9. Skyfall

Worldwide Gross -$1,108.6M

8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Worldwide Gross -$1,119.9M

7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Worldwide Gross -$1,123.8M

6. Iron Man 3

Worldwide Gross -$1,215.4M

5. Frozen

Worldwide Gross -$1,274.2M

4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

Worldwide Gross -$1,341.5M

3. Marvel's The Avengers

Worldwide Gross -$1,518.6M

2. Titanic

Worldwide Gross -$2,186.8M

1. Avatar

Worldwide Gross -$2,788.0M


The highest grossing films change more often than one might think, as whenever another film is released and it is a hit, making an unbelievable amount of money at the 'box office', the list suddenly changes making way for the new 'box office' hit.

Its always interesting knowing which films are making the most, as it is only by first knowing a films profit, that we can then judge the likelihood of their being a sequel. As when a films grossing hundreds of millions at the 'box office', it only makes sense to release a follow up, so that the production companies can maximise their earning potential with safe film producing choices.

Thank you for reading. If you have any thoughts or questions then please leave them in the comments box below.


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    • Craig Easom profile imageAUTHOR


      4 years ago from British Empire

      Thanks for the comment Billy. I'm pleased to hear that you enjoyed reading the hub, and your certainly right, it's a safe bet for action flicks at the box office.

      No problem, glad to be following!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      I love lists like this...curiosity more than anything pays to make action flicks, doesn't it? Thanks for the follow.


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