The smashing success of Avengers: infinity War showed that the MCU is the king of the movie franchise. But it’s not the first as many other have come before it. Here are the ten highest grossing movie franchises today.
1. Marvel Cinematic Universe – WW Gross – $16,766,040,563
Since Iron Man was released in 2008 in Emagine and other theaters, the MCU has gone from strength to strength. With 19 films led by billion dollar blockbusters like Avengers Infinity War, The Avengers, Black Panther, Captain America Civil War, Iron Man 3 and Avengers Age of Ultron, there seems to be no stopping the Marvel train from dominating.
The other MCU have been huge box office hits as well. With the highly anticipated Captain Marvel coming out in March 2019, the fourth Avengers film in May and Spider Man Homecoming 2 in July, the gold coffers at Marvel will only get bigger.
2. Star Wars – WW Gross – $9,016,774,591
The SW movies began decades ago but it is still going strong. Solo didn’t turn out to be the hit Disney was expecting, but that won’t stop the House of Mouse from releasing more Star Wars films, probably every year.
This should only increase the franchise’s box office in the future. What happened to Solo showed SW is not sure box office gold, but you can be sure Disney will pull out all the stops for Episode IX.
3. Harry Potter – WW Gross – $8,539,253,704
The film adaptations of JK Rowling’s wildly popular books have been massive box office successes, with each one earning close to a billion dollars at the box office. The Fantastic Beasts film also did well in the box office and two more are in the pipeline, so expect more from the Wizarding World.
4. James Bond – WW Gross – $7,040,275,645
The highest grossing entry is 2012’s Skyfall with $1.1 billion and profits wise the Daniel Craig movies are the biggest draws. But it should come as no surprise really because since Dr. No came out in 1963, Bond has never lost his appeal.
The question of who’s going to be cast as the new Bond always comes up every few years, but it hasn’t hurt the franchise’s profitability. If anything, it’s become part of what makes 007 endure through the decades.
5. J. R. R. Tolkien’s Middle-earth – WW Gross – $5,884,488,087
The Middle Earth franchise includes the LOTR and the Hobbit films, all of which were blockbusters. The highest grossing are the The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey with $1 billion in 2012 and 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King at $1.1 billion.
There are no concrete plans to make another Tolkien film, but Amazon has announced they’re going to make Lord of the Rings TV series.
6. X-Men – WW Gross – $5,498,303,390
With the main X Men films plus the Wolverine titles and Deadpool, this franchise lands at number 6. The highest grossing entry is Deadpool with around $800 million. Dark Phoenix and New Mutants are coming up, though the franchise’s future is in doubt with the announced Fox-Disney deal.
7. The Fast and the Furious – WW Gross – $5,134,895,344
Who would have thought the FF films would be here? The first one made just over $200 million worldwide, while Furious 7 grossed more than $1.5 billion. Furious 9 is in the works as well as a spinoff series starring Dwayne Johnson’s character Luke Hobbs. If this proves successful the FF franchise will only get bigger.
8. Batman – WW Gross – $4,995,812,576
The biggest earners here are the Nolan films, with the $1 billion from The Dark Knight Rises comprising a majority of the gross. This total includes Batman vs Superman, the Lego Batman film, Mask of the Phantasm and the Burton/Schumacher films.
The totals for the Batman franchise will be different if the animated films are not included of course. Some lists also don’t include Batman v. Superman, which is why depending on the films included, its place here could be swapped with Spider Man.
9. Spider Man – WW Gross – $4,843,426,428
The 2002 Spider Man was a monster hit that paved the way for modern superhero films, and the third in the Raimi trilogy earned the most at $894 million. The Andrew Garfield films weren’t as critically or financially successful, but Spider Man Homecoming made over $880 million. A sequel to Spider Man Homecoming is scheduled for release in July 2019.
10. Pirates of the Caribbean – WW Gross – $4,524,439,761
The five Pirates films have grossed more than $4.5 billion dollars, beginning with 2003’s Curse of the Black Pearl. No word yet if Jack Sparrow will be up for another adventure following 2017’s Dead Men Tell No Tales, but there’s no questioning this series’ profitability. Not bad considering it’s based of a theme park ride.