The Top 10 Money-making Movies of All Time

We all know it – movies are not only for the sake of entertainment. While there are remarkable films that are honestly crafted all for the love of art, most movies are definitely intended and tailored based on how much money they can bring home.

So, which movies actually tick that box? Here are the top 10 money-making movies of all time based on the cumulative worldwide box office.

1. FROZEN II (2019) | Box office: $1,447,244,586

Director: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

Tenth on our list is Frozen’s sequel, Frozen II. The animated movie follows the icy adventure of Elsa as she answers the strange call of the ‘unknown.’ Much like in the first movie, it explored the themes of self-discovery and empowerment and, at the same time, the importance of family and friends as one’s support system. Frozen II did not fail its predecessor and also gave us another compelling and moving theme song, ‘Into the Unknown,’ which stuck around for quite a while for its straightforward but strangely empowering lyrics.

2. THE AVENGERS (2012) | Box office: $1,515,100,211

Director: Joss Whedon

The Avengers movie is the last of Marvel Infinity Saga’s Phase 1, and it painted a clearer picture and spawned tons of theories about what the future of Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) would be like. The film features the coming together of MCU’s core characters, namely, Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, The Hulk, Hawkeye, and Thor, to defend Earth from Loki’s invasion alongside the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D. Joss Whedon, the movie’s director, was applauded for the film’s direction and screenplay, visual effects, action sequences, acting, and musical score, which earned nominations and awards.

3. FURIOUS 7 (2015) | Box office: $1,517,179,709

Director: James Wan

The action-thriller film, Furious 7 was a tribute to the actor Paul Walker, who died in a car accident in 2013. But that is not only the reason why the movie attracted so many fans and viewers. Furious 7 brought a lot on the table aside from the expected adrenaline-powered stunts and fight scenes. The movie represented a diverse array of emotions throughout the film. The apparent invincibility and masculinity are obviously there, but we can also get hints of the fun, comedic, and even vulnerable aspects of the characters. Adding to it was the solemnity and calmness to the fact that the franchise seized the opportunity to say one final thanks and goodbye to one of its original lead characters, Walker.

4. THE LION KING (2019) | Box office: $1,654,381,934

Director: Jon Favreu

Almost everyone anticipated the live-action remake of one of our childhood’s most beloved animated film, The Lion King. Though riddled with some controversies, moviegoers still didn’t miss the opportunity to watch once again the adventures of Simba, especially the tear-jerking moment of Mufasa’s death. One of the best-selling points of this film is the ‘realness’ of the characters as opposed to its original version. The songs were a decisive win as they bring back childhood memories when as kids, we also sang and danced to the tune of ‘Hakuna Matata.’

5. JURASSIC WORLD (2015) | Box office: $1,669,979,967

Director: Colin Trevorrow

The fourth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise was a must-see science fiction adventure film. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Ty Simpkins, Jurassic World was a mixture of comedic timing and the expected, gruesome plot of dinosaur carnage. Needless to say, the film cannot compare to its original predecessor, but it is also a good chunk of entertainment in its own right.

6. AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018) | Box office: $2,044,540,523

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

This 2 hours, 17-minute-long epic told us that MCU is just getting better. Avengers: Infinity War probably has one of the coolest, greatest movie openings of all time. The movie starts with Thanos’s menacing figure, the saga’s main villain carrying the defeated Thor like a ragdoll. The opening itself was a whole meltdown as the two most adored side characters died early in the hands of the Mad Titan – Loki and Heimdall. The movie ends in an anti-heroic fashion where Thanos successfully collected the six Infinity Stones and did the snap to wipe out half of the universe’s population. Believe it or not, there is no dead air in this film – only dead characters.

7. STAR WARS EPISODE VII: THE FORCE AWAKENS (2015) | Box office: $2,065,478,084

Director: J.J. Abrams

The Force Awakens probably is a fresh comeback, and the saving grace after its prequels apparently took minor setbacks. The film’s not only packed with stunts and guns but also with heavy emotions equalized by the characters’ humor and charm. The movie radiates nostalgia as the movie’s set resembles that of the original trilogy. Actors such as Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher coming back is a huge plus.

8. TITANIC (1997) | Box office: $2,207,986,545

Director: James Cameron

Who can possibly forget this iconic epic romance-in-a-disaster film? Titanic was based on true accounts of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. What makes Titanic a phenomenal hit was the unlikely relationship between two people of different social classes. Jack Dawson, a poor artist, stops Rose’s plan on committing suicide on the ship’s stern. That moment opened all the succeeding hot, daring, and refreshingly naughty scenes, thanks to the street-smart Jack and the innocent Rose. The film ends tragically as Jack dies soaked in freezing water while Rose survived to tell the story that stands the test of time.

a man and a woman hugging over a picture of the Titanic's bow

9. AVATAR (2009) | Box office: $2,788,701,337

Director: James Cameron

Fantastic and magical – these will be your first words after seeing another of James Cameron’s masterpiece. Story-wise, Avatar offers quite a simple plot – infiltrating and eventually saving a tribe from the evil colonizers. But what makes it deserving of its spot is the amount of work and dedication that is obvious throughout the film. The stunning visual effects are easily the most spectacular ever seen in a motion picture. The technology and attention to detail involved in filmmaking bring us to a seemingly real planet with glowing Flora and Fauna. The movie didn’t just tell us a story – it let us experience a story in a transformative way. The planet’s beauty makes us want to protect the planet, too – if only it were real.

faces of a man and a female blue alien with yellow eyes, with a giant planet and a moon in the background

10. AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019) | Box office: $2,797,800,564

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

There is way too much in this film that’s enough to pull in a massive amount of viewers that eventually let Avengers: Endgame dethrone Avatar as the highest-grossing film of all time.

Characters of the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ on a starry background

Marvel’s culmination of its 23-film Infinity Saga was an enormous treat for all its audiences, young and adult alike. Black Widow’s ultimate sacrifice, Captain America lifting the Mjolnir, the spectacular comeback of the fallen heroes, Wanda’s one-on-one with Thanos, and lastly, Tony Stark’s reversal of the snap were a whirlpool of emotions that made everyone in the theatre shed a tear, Marvel fan or not. The realistic costumes, advanced CGI effects, the script, and great performances from the actors all proved the Avengers: Endgame’s supremacy.