If you want to produce a top-grossing film nowadays, make it animated and about superheroes, wizards, vampires, and pirates doing battle in the dystopian future in Middle Earth in a galaxy far, far away. That would seem to be a winning combination of ingredients, in any case, if you look at the 100 biggest box office hits since 2000.
The roster of top box office earners over the past two decades is dominated by animated films, superhero flicks, and sequel-churning movie franchises such as “Harry Potter,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Twilight,” “The Hunger Games,” “The Lord of the Rings,” “Star Wars,” and various corners of the Marvel universe. These are the best movie franchises to marathon from home.
Spending money to make money is a big part of the recipe for success. Big-budget blockbusters obviously rule the day, as only three of the top 100 films had production budgets lower than $50 million, and more than three-quarters of the movies on the list cost at least $100 million. See which movies that made the most money with the fewest dollars.
24/7 Tempo has compiled a list of the top 100 domestic box office hit films of the 21st century thus far. Information on production budget, domestic and worldwide gross, and domestic box office was sourced from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by consulting firm Nash Information Services. When unavailable from that source, domestic box office figures were taken from IMDb, an online movie database owned by Amazon, or from Rotten Tomatoes, an online movie and TV review aggregator. Casting information comes from IMDb.