When a film turns into millions or billions of dollars at the box office, they tend to secure their place in cinematic history. With a sense of wonder, excitement, and anticipation, movies such as Avengers: Endgame could gross $2.798 billion, while Beauty and the Beast grossed $1.264 billion.
These top-grossing films all made over one billion! Keep reading as we lead up to the highest-grossing movie in Hollywood.
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey: $1.017 Billion
After the success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson took on the Hobbit, starting with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. While not as popular as the original trilogy, the film following the story of Bilbo Baggins was still a smashing success.
It wound up grossing $1.017 billion at the box office against a $200 – $315 million budget, surpassing The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi: $1.333 Billion
When it comes to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, fans were excited to finally see how Luke Skywalker would take on a Padawan, Rey. While the film has mixed reviews, at best, it doesn’t detract from the fact that the space opera became the highest-grossing film of 2017.
The film grossed $1.333 billion at the box office against a $200 – $317 million budget.
Joker: $1.074 billion
The 2019 film Joker was a smashing success. A psychological thriller, Joker, was a new spin on the Clown Prince of Crime, showing the backstory of how he finds himself at Arkham Asylum and, inevitably, transforms into the Joker.
The film was a huge success, grossing $1.074 billion against a $70 million budget. It became the first R-rated movie to gross over one billion dollars at the box office.
The Dark Knight Rises: $1.081 Billion
The final installment in Peter Jackson’s Dark Knight trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises, saw Batman, alongside a bad-girl-gone-good Catwoman, fight Bane to save the people of Gotham.
A highly-anticipated final film, The Dark Knight, grossed $1.081 billion at the box office against a net budget of $230 million, making it the third-highest-grossing film of 2012.
Transformers: Dark Of The Moon: $1.124 billion
The third installment of the Transformers franchise, Dark of the Moon, brought with it a conclusion to the epic battle between the Autobots and Decepticons. The epic adventure was long-awaited and had fans flocking to the theater.
Upon its 2011 release, Dark of the Moon grossed $1.124 billion at the box office against a $195 million budget, making it the second-highest-grossing film of the year.
Captain Marvel: $1.128 Billion
The 21st film in the MCU was released in 2019. Captain Marvel became the first female solo movie of the franchise, making it very intriguing for fans to see what the origin story surrounding the most powerful Avenger was going to be.
Grossing $1.129 billion at the box office against a $152 – 175 million budget, Captain Marvel became the fifth-highest-grossing film of the year.
Spider-Man: Far From Home: $1.132 Billion
For Marvel fans, the highly-anticipated sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and the aftermath of Avengers: Endgame very much lived up to all the hype. Spider-Man: Far From Home follows Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, as he deals with losing Tony Stark, making his own path, and dealing with Mysterio, all while on a school field trip in Europe.
The film was a smashing success on a $160 million budget, grossing $1.132 billion at the box office. At the time of its release, this film became the highest-grossing Spidey movie of all time.
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King: $1.146 Billion
The final film of the Lord of the Rings trilogy was released in 2003, marking the end of an incredible journey across Middle Earth to defeat the evil that was attempting to take over the land.
With many people waiting to see the epic conclusion of the tale, The Return of the King became the highest-grossing film of Peter Jackson’s career. It grossed a whopping $1.146 billion at the box office against a $94 million budget.
Aquaman: $1.148 Billion
After seeing Jason Momoa in Justice League, DC Comic fans were very excited for the superhero’s solo movie, Aquaman. Released in 2018, the underwater adventure rejuvenated an otherwise alright DC Extended Universe.
Due to the hype surrounding the film, it wound up grossing a solid $1.148 billion at the box office against a $160-$200 million budget.
Captain America: Civil War: $1.153 Billion
The aftermath of Age of Ultron had MCU fans wanting more of the world’s greatest heroes. Needless to say, an epic war between the Avengers was just enough to pique fans’ interest. Captain America: Civil War was unlike anything the MCU had done before, pitting the Avengers against one another.
An epic movie that paved the way for Infinity War went on to gross $1.153 billion at the box office against a $250 million budget.
Minions: $1.159 Billion
A spin-off of Despicable Me, the Minions movie became the highest-grossing film in the franchise. Following the story of Kevin, the minion, the animated movie tells a tale of the single-eyed yellow beings as they try to find an evil master to serve.
Kids loved the movie so much that Minions went on to gross $1.159 billion at the box office against a $74 million budget.
Iron Man 3: $1.215 Billion
Fans were eager to see what became of Tony Stark after he barely survived the Battle of New York. This led to troves of people lining up to see Iron Man 3. Overly dependent on his Iron Man suit, fans watched Stark get his mojo back to take on the Mandarin.
The film was a smashing success, grossing $1.215 billion at the box office against a $200 million budget.
The Fate Of The Furious: $1.239 Billion
In 2017, the eighth installment of the Fast and Furious franchise was released. In The Fate of the Furious trailer, fans of the series saw Dom turn against his team, someone who is all about keeping those he loves safe.
A different premise than the other films, it was enough to gain people’s interest and have them lining up to see the crew’s fate without their fearless leader. The film grossed $1.239 billion on a $250–270 million budget.
Incredibles 2: $1.245 Billion
Incredibles fans waited a solid 14 years for the sequel film to be released. A highly-anticipated Pixar film, it was only a matter of time before Incredibles 2 began to gross a solid amount of money.
Out-grossing the original film, the more feminist-focused sequel film grossed $1.245 billion at the box office against a $200 million budget.
Beauty And The Beast: $1.264 Billion
Starring Emma Watson as Belle, people couldn’t wait to see the Harry Potter actress sing and act in the Disney live-action version of Beauty and the Beast. Going off the blueprint of the original animated movie, the live-action adaptation added new songs and flair, thanks to some big-named talent!
In the end, Beauty and the Beast out-grossed the original film ($440.1 million) by a wide margin, grossing $1.264 billion on a $160 – 255 million budget, becoming the highest-grossing live-action musical film.
Frozen: $1.280 Billion
Upon its 2013 theatrical release, Frozen overtook Toy Story 3 to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time. Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale “The Snow Queen,” Frozen follows the story of Princesses Elsa and Ana, two sisters who are navigating ruling the country of Arendelle. Oh, and Elsa also has to hide her magical powers.
The film became a phenomenon, breaking away from the typical damsel in distress Disney trope. It grossed a solid $1.280 billion at the box office against a $150 million budget.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: $1.310 Billion
The highly-anticipated sequel to Jurassic World, Fallen Kingdom takes viewers back to the island of Isla Nublar, where Owen and Claire attempt to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from a volcanic eruption.
While it is not nearly as beloved as the original Jurassic Park, Fallen Kingdom was still a smashing success at the box office, grossing $1.310 billion against a $170 – 187 million budget.
Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows — Part 2: $1.342 Billion
The final Battle of Hogwarts came to the silver screen in 2011. Fans couldn’t wait to view Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, seeing how the movie adaptation of the beloved franchise would come to an end.
Upon its release, the final Potter film became the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, earning $1.342 billion at the box office against a $250 million budget that was shared with the first part of The Deathly Hallows.
Black Panther: $1.348 Billion
MCU fans traveled to the city of Wakanda in the 2018 film Black Panther. A highly-anticipated Marvel film, the movie followed the life of T’Challa, the prince of Wakanda who takes on the role of Black Panther after his father’s death.
Grossing $1.248 billion at the box office against a $200 million budget, Black Panther became the second-highest-grossing film of the year.
Avengers: Age Of Ultron: $1.403 Billion
After the smashing success of the first Avengers film, MCU fans were hyped up to see Age of Ultron. Finally, the heroes were back together, battling Ultron while bringing on some new members of the team, including Wanda and Vision.
While the film wasn’t nearly as popular as the original, Age of Ultron still made a boatload of cash at the box office, grossing $1.403 billion on a $365 million net budget.
Frozen II: $1.450 Billion
After Frozen’s music, story, and lessons, it was only a matter of time before Frozen II was in the works. Released in 2019, Elsa and Ana were back on another adventure “into the unknown,” learning more about their family.
Having the highest all-time worldwide opening for an animated film, the sequel film earned more than the original at the box office, grossing $1.450 billion against its $150 million budget.
Furious 7: $1.516 Billion
The crew split up after the events of Fast & Furious 6, making the events of Furious 7 very intriguing to fans of the franchise. It’s most likely what got people to buy tickets and see the film on the silver screen—and having action star Jason Statham as the villain helped matters!
Furious 7 became the third-highest-grossing film of 2017, earning $1.516 billion against a $190 million budget at the box office.
The Avengers: $1.519 Billion
In 2012, the world’s mightiest heroes were brought together for the first time to defeat Loki and the Chitauri who attacked New York. It was a highly anticipated film, as it was the first time an MCU film revolved around an ensemble cast.
With fans gearing up for the first phase of the MCU, they were more than eager to purchase theater tickets, helping the movie gross $1.519 billion at the box office against a $220 million budget. It was the highest-grossing film of the year.
The Lion King: $1.657 Billion
The animated movie The Lion King is one of the most beloved Disney classics. So, when it was announced the film would be adapted into a “live-action” CGI version, adults and kids alike couldn’t wait!
Grossing $1.657 billion at the box office against a $250 – 260 million budget, The Lion King became the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Jurassic World: $1.670 Billion
Set 22 years after the original Jurassic Park film, Jurassic World brought new life into the franchise and became the highest-grossing movie in the franchise. With new stakes and characters, both fans of the original trilogy and newcomers were excited to see Chris Pratt star in the film.
It wound up being a huge success, grossing $1.670 billion at the box office against a $150 million budget.
Avengers: Infinity War: $2.048 Billion
After a ten-year build-up of MCU films, everything came down to what the team of heroes would do when faced with a threat like no other — Thanos and the Infinity Stones.
The film became a cultural phenomenon, leaving fans wanting the next film immediately after watching their favorite characters disappear with the infamous snap. Upon its release, Infinity War became the first superhero film to gross over two billion dollars, earning $2.048 billion at the box office against a $325 – 400 million budget.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: $2.069 Billion
In 2015, Star Wars: The Force Awakens brought new life into the Skywalker saga, becoming the seventh film in the franchise. Bringing in a new character, Rey, fans were curious how the film would tie into the original trilogy.
The curiosity and sheer love of the space opera helped the film gross $2.069 billion at the box office against a $259 – 306 million budget, making it the highest-grossing movie in the franchise.
Titanic: $2.202 Billion
The 1997 epic romance Titanic was the first film ever to reach the billion-dollar mark at the box office. People couldn’t get enough of Rose and Jack’s forbidden and doomed romance as the famous ship sank to the bottom of the ocean.
Grossing $2.202 billion at the box office against a $200 million budget, Titanic was the highest-grossing film of all time until Avatar came around.
Avengers: Endgame: $2.798 Billion
In one of the most epic finales ever, Avengers: Endgame had people talking for months after its release. The film’s epic conclusion of the Infinity War against Thanos had people in tears as they watched one of their beloved heroes die protecting the world.
Endgame managed to boot Avatar out of the highest-grossing-film slot at the box office, earning $2.798 at the box office against a $356 million budget. That is, until Avatar‘s re-release in 2021.
Avatar: $2.847 Billion
Released in 2009, Avatar was unlike anything else on the silver screen. The groundbreaking visual effects, the interesting culture of the Na’vi, and the storyline had people flocking to theaters.
Avatar became the highest-grossing film of all time, earning $2.847 billion at the box office after its re-release in 2021, officially overtaking Endgame for the title.