Special Report

Top Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Among this summer’s biggest blockbusters so far have been the recently released “Toy Story 4” and “Spider-Man: Far from Home.” Hollywood has a long tradition of producing “franchise films” — related motion pictures released closely together — for reasons that are abundantly clear. These movies often do extremely well at the box office, while skirting the risks involved in investing in a fully original film idea.

Sequels may seem more common than ever. Only one year passed between the release of Marvel hits “Avengers: Infinity” and “Avengers: Endgame.” Yet film franchises have existed for decades. The first James Bond movie, “Dr. No,” debuted in 1963. “Star Wars” came out in 1977. These movies have generated numerous sequels that have historically been — and remain to this day — exceedingly popular with movie audiences.

24/7 Tempo has identified the top grossing movie franchises of all time using domestic box office data from Box Office Mojo.

Many film franchises prove their worth with their longevity. For instance, there have been 25 James Bond movies. Audiences are enamored with the 007 character, and the series’ long-running popularity has been a blessing for its makers, even though not every film has been loved. Here is every James Bond movie, ranked from worst to best.

Other movie series may have fewer entries, yet are similarly successful and iconic. There have only been four Indiana Jones movies, but each one has been resoundingly successful on a financial level. A fifth entry in the series would almost certainly perform well at the box office thanks to name recognition and reputation. In fact, many of the 25 top grossing movies of all time belong to franchises.

Click here to see the top grossing movie franchises of all time.

To determine the top grossing movie franchises of all time, 24/7 Tempo looked at the combined domestic box office gross for all movies in franchises listed by box office data website Box Office Mojo. All box office figures were adjusted for inflation to provide a more fair comparison. Franchises that may be considered a subset of a larger franchise were not considered as stand-alone franchises. For example, The Dark Knight Trilogy — a Batman-based film trilogy directed by Christopher Nolan — was included as a part of the Batman franchise and not a separate series.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

30. Beverly Hills Cop
> Total gross: $1.05 billion
> Number of movies: 3
> Avg. gross per movie: $350.3 million
> Biggest movie: Beverly Hills Cop

Following his starring roles in “48 Hrs.” (1982) and “Trading Places” (1983), Eddie Murphy appeared in the smash hit “Beverly Hills Cop,” cementing his status as cinematic comedy superstar. The movie was the most successful of the series’ three, grossing more than $600 million when adjusting for inflation. A fourth entry to the series has been reportedly in development for years.

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Source: Courtesy of Amblin Entertainment

29. Men in Black
> Total gross: $1.06 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $266.2 million
> Biggest movie: Men in Black

Audiences went wild for the original “Men in Black,” starring Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones as secret agents monitoring alien presence on Earth. When adjusted for inflation, the movie grossed just under $500 million. The franchise’s most recent entry — “Men in Black: International” — bombed at the box office, however, grossing $78 million domestically against a $110 million production budget.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

28. The Godfather
> Total gross: $1.08 billion
> Number of movies: 3
> Avg. gross per movie: $360.1 million
> Biggest movie: The Godfather

“The Godfather” is on the short list of critics and audiences alike as among the greatest films of all time. And it certainly is among the most-quoted movies ever. The first two films each won the Oscar for Best Picture, the only time a film and its sequel accomplished this feat. The first film earned Marlon Brando his second Best Actor Oscar, which he famously refused to accept to protest the mistreatment of Native Americans. Adjusted for inflation, the first of the three Godfather epics made more than $708 million in box office gross.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

27. Alien
> Total gross: $1.09 billion
> Number of movies: 8
> Avg. gross per movie: $136.3 million
> Biggest movie: Alien

The Alien franchise has boasted some of Hollywood’s top directors, including Ridley Scott, James Cameron, and David Fincher, and most films starred Sigourney Weaver. The talent can be seen in the results as well as the financial success of the series. The most recent film — “Alien: Covenant” — was a financial disappointment, however, grossing $75 million at the domestic box office against a $97 million budget. The movie was directed by Ridley Scott.

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

26. The Exorcist
> Total gross: $1.17 billion
> Number of movies: 5
> Avg. gross per movie: $234.2 million
> Biggest movie: The Exorcist

There have been five movies in The Exorcist franchise, yet none has come close to reaching the financial success of the 1973 original, which grossed nearly $930 million in North America when adjusting for inflation. The most recent entry — “Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist” (2005) — grossed only $353,500.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

25. Despicable Me
> Total gross: $1.35 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $337.5 million
> Biggest movie: Despicable Me 2

All four animated Despicable Me films have been box office hits. The second film, voiced by Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and Benjamin Bratt, was released in 2013 and was the most successful. It pulled in more than $422 million, inflation adjusted, in box office revenue.

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Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

24. Planet of the Apes
> Total gross: $1.36 billion
> Number of movies: 9
> Avg. gross per movie: $151.4 million
> Biggest movie: Planet of the Apes (2001)

The movie franchise in which apes are the top dog on a futuristic Earth originated in 1968 and starred Charlton Heston. The screenplay was co-written by the master of the macabre, Rod Serling. Adjusted for inflation, the first film grossed more than $224 million, trailing the more recent, CGI-enhanced films in box office revenue.

Source: Courtesy of Lionsgate Films

23. The Hunger Games
> Total gross: $1.58 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $394.4 million
> Biggest movie: The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

Based on a best-selling trilogy of novels by author Suzanne Collins, the Hunger Games franchise depicts a violent, dystopian future. The movies were in some ways more mature than series such as Harry Potter and Twilight, though all were aimed at young adults. A Hunger Games movie starring Jennifer Lawrence was released each year between 2012 and 2015.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

22. Mission: Impossible
> Total gross: $1.59 billion
> Number of movies: 6
> Avg. gross per movie: $265.1 million
> Biggest movie: Mission: Impossible

Tom Cruise is the star of the Mission: Impossible franchise, playing lead Ethan Hunt and co-producing the series. With the exception of “Mission: Impossible III” (2006), each of the six movies has grossed more than $200 million when adjusting for inflation. The seventh and eighth film are scheduled for release in 2021 and 2022.

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Source: Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

21. Twilight
> Total gross: $1.59 billion
> Number of movies: 5
> Avg. gross per movie: $318.6 million
> Biggest movie: The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

The Twilight Saga, starring Kristen Stewart, is a series of five movies based on a series of vampire romance novels by Stephenie Meyer. The franchise — aimed at a young adult audience — was not a favorite among critics, yet it was a smash at the box office, grossing just over $1.59 billion in total at the domestic box office after adjusting for inflation.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

20. Jaws
> Total gross: $1.63 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $407.8 million
> Biggest movie: Jaws

Steven Spielberg’s “Jaws” (1975) is often considered the first summer blockbuster. The movie about a killer shark starring Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss was a massive success and remains the seventh highest grossing movie of all time, when adjusting for ticket price inflation. Although the other three Jaws movies came nowhere near reaching the financial heights of the original, they still drew substantial audiences. “Jaws 2” (1978), the second top earner in the series, grossed nearly $300 million.

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Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

19. Toy Story
> Total gross: $1.72 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $343.9 million
> Biggest movie: Toy Story 3

Pixar’s Toy Story movies have been consistently popular since the original movie was released in 1995. Featuring high quality animation, engaging story lines, and voice acting from the likes of Tom Hanks and Tim Allen, among many others, the Toy Story franchise has come to represent high standards in the world of animated movies.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

18. The Fast and the Furious
> Total gross: $1.78 billion
> Number of movies: 8
> Avg. gross per movie: $222.8 million
> Biggest movie: Furious 7

There have been eight movies released in the Fast and Furious franchise starring Vin Diesel, starting with the original — “The Fast and the Furious” — in 2001. The series, which focuses largely on street racing, will branch out with the spin-off “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw,” set to be released on August 2.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

17. Transformers
> Total gross: $1.85 billion
> Number of movies: 7
> Avg. gross per movie: $264.1 million
> Biggest movie: Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

The Transformers franchise was originally launched in 1986 with the animated feature “The Transformers: The Movie,” which boasted such voice talent as Orson Welles and Leonard Nimoy. The animated movie is by far the lowest grossing entry in the series, bringing in under $6 million adjusted for inflation, but it paved the way for the live-action blockbusters, including “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” (2009), which grossed $485 million.

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Source: Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

16. Pirates of the Caribbean
> Total gross: $1.89 billion
> Number of movies: 5
> Avg. gross per movie: $377.4 million
> Biggest movie: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Inspired by Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride, this franchise has spawned five films, totalling just under $1.9 billion adjusted for inflation in domestic box office gross. A reboot of the series without Johnny Depp — who stars in all of the existing five films — was in development, but recent reports indicate that the project may not come to fruition.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

15. Rocky
> Total gross: $1.91 billion
> Number of movies: 8
> Avg. gross per movie: $239.0 million
> Biggest movie: Rocky

The original “Rocky,” about a scuffling club fighter who gets a shot at the heavyweight boxing championship, made Sylvester Stallone a star and launched an eight-movie franchise. The original, released in 1976, remains the franchise’s champ, raking up $495.9 million in box office revenue, adjusted for inflation.

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Source: Courtesy of DreamWorks Distribution

14. Shrek
> Total gross: $1.93 billion
> Number of movies: 5
> Avg. gross per movie: $386.8 million
> Biggest movie: Shrek 2

The Shrek franchise is centered around the titular goodhearted ogre, played by Mike Myers of “Austin Powers” fame. There are currently four Shrek movies, with a fifth having been teased for years. The series also includes the spin-off movie “Puss in Boots” (2011) — included in this count — for which a sequel titled “Puss in Boots 2: Nine Lives & 40 Thieves” is planned.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

13. Superman
> Total gross: $2.01 billion
> Number of movies: 7
> Avg. gross per movie: $287.5 million
> Biggest movie: Superman

Audiences have flocked to films about Superman since the release of the original in 1978, starring Christopher Reeve and Marlon Brando. The character has been at the forefront of six more features since, with the most recent being a crossover film, “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” (2016). Clark Kent/Superman has also appeared in movies including “Justice League” (2017), though these are not included in the franchise count.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

12. Indiana Jones
> Total gross: $2.02 billion
> Number of movies: 4
> Avg. gross per movie: $505.4 million
> Biggest movie: Raiders of the Lost Ark

All four Indiana Jones films were directed by Steven Spielberg and either written or co-written by George Lucas. It seems that little else is needed for box office success. All of the movies starred Harrison Ford and were blockbusters, with the first entry in the series — “Raiders of the Lost Ark” — the top-grosser, bringing in nearly $696 million at the domestic box office after adjusting for inflation.

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

11. DC Extended Universe
> Total gross: $2.12 billion
> Number of movies: 7
> Avg. gross per movie: $303.1 million
> Biggest movie: Wonder Woman

The DC Extended Universe series — beginning with “Man of Steel” (2013), which is also included in the Superman franchise — has produced seven features in six years. This will increase to eight with the release of “Joker” in October 2019. Each of the movies has been profitable, with “Wonder Woman” (2017) grossing the most at the domestic box office with $415 million adjusted for inflation. The movie is the highest grossing film from a female director.

Source: Courtesy of New Line Cinema

10. Middle Earth
> Total gross: $2.47 billion
> Number of movies: 6
> Avg. gross per movie: $411.1 million
> Biggest movie: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Taken as a whole, the Middle Earth film franchise — which includes both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies — has grossed $2.47 billion at the domestic box office when adjusting for inflation. Filmmaker Peter Jackson directed all six of the movies, which won numerous Academy Awards. Jackson has also said he would be open to helping Amazon with the company’s upcoming Lord of the Rings television series, though he won’t direct.

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Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

9. Star Trek
> Total gross: $2.56 billion
> Number of movies: 13
> Avg. gross per movie: $196.6 million
> Biggest movie: Star Trek

The Star Trek franchise perhaps benefits more from quantity than quality when it comes to movies. When adjusting for inflation, only one of the long-running series’ features — “Star Trek” (2009) — has grossed more than $300 million. The franchise’s lowest grossing entry is “Star Trek: Nemesis” (2002), which grossed $66 million and only received positive reviews from 37% of critics on Rotten Tomatoes.

Source: Courtesy of Universal Pictures

8. Jurassic Park
> Total gross: $2.64 billion
> Number of movies: 5
> Avg. gross per movie: $528.2 million
> Biggest movie: Jurassic Park

This sci-fi franchise about dinosaurs being bred back into existence has been a colossal success at the domestic box office, with both “Jurassic Park” (1993) and “Jurassic World” (2015) grossing over $700 million adjusted for inflation. The franchise’s other three films have also done well financially. Universal Pictures is planning to release a new film, “Jurassic World III,” in 2021.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

7. X-Men
> Total gross: $2.84 billion
> Number of movies: 12
> Avg. gross per movie: $236.4 million
> Biggest movie: Deadpool

Fox’s X-Men franchise — centered around a group of super-powered mutants — now totals 12 feature films, including the original “X-Men” (2000). The series’ top-grossing film, adjusted for inflation, is the comedic, R-rated “Deadpool,” released in 2016. A 13th film titled “The New Mutants” is planned for 2020 release.

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Source: Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

6. Spider-Man
> Total gross: $2.98 billion
> Number of movies: 8
> Avg. gross per movie: $373.3 million
> Biggest movie: Spider-Man

Peter Parker (and his hidden identity Spider-Man) has undergone many cinematic representations, having been played by actors such as Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland. In 2018, there was also an animated movie released — “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” — that won the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

5. Batman
> Total gross: $3.53 billion
> Number of movies: 11
> Avg. gross per movie: $320.8 million
> Biggest movie: The Dark Knight

Batman is another superhero who has been portrayed by numerous actors, including Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, and, most recently, Christian Bale. The Christopher Nolan-directed “The Dark Knight” (2008) is the top-grossing Batman movie, bringing in $669.2 million when adjusted for inflation. This is over $100 million more than the second highest grossing film in the series, Tim Burton’s 1989 “Batman.” Actor Robert Pattinson is reportedly next in line to play the caped crusader.

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Source: Courtesy of Warner Bros.

4. J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World
> Total gross: $3.59 billion
> Number of movies: 11
> Avg. gross per movie: $326.5 million
> Biggest movie: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

The 11 movies from the J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World franchise, boosted by the appeal of young wizard Harry Potter and the recent Fantastic Beasts films, have made it the fourth most successful movie franchise. The films have also helped make J.K. Rowling, who was once nearly homeless, the highest paid author in the world. The first Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” grossed more than $503 million, adjusted for inflation.

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

3. James Bond
> Total gross: $5.89 billion
> Number of movies: 25
> Avg. gross per movie: $235.6 million
> Biggest movie: Thunderball

The James Bond films are the most enduring of all movie franchises. Starting with “Dr. No” in 1963, there have been 25 James Bond films, with Sean Connery, Roger Moore, and Daniel Craig starring as Bond, among other actors. As successful as the most recent Bond films have been, “Thunderball,” released in 1965, remains the franchise box office champ, raking in $673.9 million in box office revenue.

Source: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox

2. Star Wars
> Total gross: $6.87 billion
> Number of movies: 11
> Avg. gross per movie: $624.7 million
> Biggest movie: Star Wars

The original “Star Wars” movie, released in 1977, is the second highest grossing movie of all time when adjusting for inflation. Combining its multiple theatrical releases, the movie has grossed $1.6 billion — trailing only “Gone With the Wind” (1939). “Star Wars” has led the way for numerous successive blockbusters, giving the series one of the highest average box office gross per movie. The franchise has also generated billions in merchandising.

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Source: Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

1. Marvel Cinematic Universe
> Total gross: $8.88 billion
> Number of movies: 23
> Avg. gross per movie: $385.9 million
> Biggest movie: Avengers: Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the top grossing movie franchise of all time. In about 11 years — beginning with 2008’s “Iron Man” — there have been 23 related movies released, totalling $8.9 billion in inflation-adjusted box office gross. While “Avengers: Endgame” has been the franchise’s most successful movie — it also holds the record for biggest opening weekend ever — there have been numerous smash blockbusters released under the MCU mantle. “The Avengers” (2012), “Black Panther” (2018), and “Avengers: Infinity War” (2018) all grossed over $650 billion at the domestic box office when adjusting for inflation.

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