The film industry has slowly become one of the biggest money-making industries in existence. With many recent Hollywood tent pole blockbusters costing studios upwards of $200 million, there’s a good reason for those studios to keep such high budgets for their movies. On top of the money made by studios during their film’s main theatrical release, studios also earn from home video distribution, television broadcasting, merchandising and later theatrical reruns. It’s like a cow that they can keep milking forever!
A general trend you’ll observe in the list below is that apart from the top two movies, most of them are part of ongoing franchises. While these franchise films are topping the charts now, that wasn’t how it always was. Before the wake of the century, most of the highest grossing movies were usually historical dramas, war movies, and musicals. With that out of the way, these are the top 10 grossing Hollywood movies at the time of writing.
- AVATAR – $2787965078 ~ $2.78 billion
Directed, written, co-edited & co-produced by James Cameron, this science fiction epic stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Land, Michelle Rodrigues & Sigourney Weaver. It was released by 20th Century Fox in 2009.
The movie is set in the 22nd century where humans are colonizing the moon of another start system, Pandora, for mining the rare element Unobtanium. To blend in with the Na’vi, natives of Pandora, generically engineered Na’vi bodies which are remotely operated by humans.
This movie is best known for its technical achievements by being one of the first movies to extensively use motion capture for filming and widespread 3D & 4D release. The stereoscopic filmmaking was a breakthrough in filmmaking and presentation.
2.TITANIC – $2187
Also written, directed, co-edited and co-produced by James Cameron, this 1997 Paramount & 20th Century Fox co-production stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Bernard Hill, Jonathan Hyde, Danny Nucci, David Warne and Bill Paxton in a disaster romance epic that told a fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic.
Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet star in Titanic as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
This movie was the first movie to gross $1 billion at the box office. It also received widespread critical acclaim upon its release, being nominated for 14 Academy Awards and winning 11 of them (including Best Picture & Best Director). Part of its monetary success can also be attributed to its 3D re-releases in 2012 and 2017, which brought in an addition $343.5 million. In 2017, it was also selected for preservation at the National Film Registry in the USA.
3.STAR WARS EPISODE 7: THE FORCE AWAKENS – $2.068 billion
Directed, co-written and co-produced by J. J. Abrams, this 2015 epic space opera co-produced by Disney’s Lucasfilm& Abrams’ Bad Robot is a direct sequel to 1983’s Star Wars Episode 6: Return of the Jedi & the first live-action Star Wars movie since 2005’s Star Wars Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith. Starring Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Anthony Daniels and Peter Mayhew reprising their roles from Episode 6 & introducing Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Domhnall Gleeson, Lupita Nyong’o and Andy Serkis, this highly anticipated movie set 3 decades after Episode 6 follows Rey, Finn & Poe Dameron in their search for Luke Skywalker and their fight alongside the resistance led by General Leia Organa and veterans of the Rebels like Han Solo in their fight against the evil FIRST ORDER.
4.AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR – $2.048 billion
Directed by the Russo brother & produced by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, this science fiction superhero movie (the only one to earn more than $2 billion), this movie marks the beginning of the end of the first three phases of the Marvel Cinematic Universe in a climax which sees the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy teaming up to stop the mad Titan THANOS from wiping half of all life in the universe. The movie stars most major actors from various movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and has a follow-up Avengers: Endgame set to hit theaters in a few days. With an astronomical budget of nearly $400 million, this ambitious project paid off with an overwhelming critical and commercial as well as pleasing fans of the series.
WHILE THESE ARE THE TOP GROSSING MOVIES, THEY DON’T ACCOUNT FOR INFLATION. WHEN WE TAKE INFLATION INTO ACCOUNT, THESE ARE THE TOP 4 MOVIES:
- GONE WITH THE WIND (1939) – $3,703,000,000
- AVATAR (2009) -$3,251,000,000
- TITANIC (1997) – $3,078,000,000
- STAR WARS EPISODE 4 (1977) – $3,041,000,000
~Written by Tushar