Special Report

The 25 Highest Grossing PG-13 Movies of All Time

Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

Lights, camera, box office extravaganza! Movies have long captured people’s imagination, taking them on epic journeys and transporting them to fantastical worlds. And when it comes to the highest grossing movies of all time, at least in the U.S., it’s clear that audiences can’t resist the allure of action, adventure, and creativity.

Some of Hollywood’s highest grossing productions have earned R ratings from the Motion Picture Association, meaning that anyone under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult guardian to gain admission. On the other hand, some box office smash hits have a G (general audiences) or PG (parental guidance suggested) rating – including such international box-office record-holders as “Bambi” and the original Disney “Pinocchio.”

A surprising number of the most successful movies of all time, though – including entries in many of the most popular franchises – fall between PG and R with a PG-13 rating, cautioning parents that some material may be unsuitable for those under 13. (These are the most popular PG-13 movies that people actually saw in theaters so far this year.)

To compile a list of the 25 highest-grossing PG-13 movies of all time in the U.S., 24/7 Tempo reviewed domestic ticket sales data from The Numbers, an online movie database owned by Nash Information Services. (The site defines “domestic” as the United States, including Puerto Rico and Guam, as well as Canada.)

Click here for a ranking of the 25 highest-grossing PG-13 movies of all time

The top earners fall into the action and adventure genres, with a creative twist that sets them apart. Superheroes, fantasy realms, and mind-bending science fiction stories dominate the box office, stirring fans’ imaginations. From cape-clad crusaders fighting for justice to intergalactic battles in galaxies far, far away, these cinematic gems have not only enthralled audiences but also raked in a fortune. (Here’s a list of the highest-grossing action movies of all time.)

25. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
> Release date: 12/18/2002
> Genre: Adventure, fantasy
> Domestic ticket sales: $342,548,984 (infl. adj.: $535,750,024)
> Directed by: Peter Jackson

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24. Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith
> Release date: 5/19/2005
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $380,270,577 (infl. adj.: $544,006,417)
> Directed by: George Lucas

23. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
> Release date: 11/22/2013
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $424,668,047 (infl. adj.: $545,742,211)
> Directed by: Francis Lawrence

22. Spider-Man 2
> Release date: 6/30/2004
> Genre: Adventure, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $373,524,485 (infl. adj.: $551,565,138)
> Directed by: Sam Raimi

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21. Avengers: Age of Ultron
> Release date: 5/1/2015
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $459,005,868 (infl. adj.: $568,993,032)
> Directed by: Joss Whedon

20. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
> Release date: 12/17/2003
> Genre: Adventure, fantasy
> Domestic ticket sales: $379,021,990 (infl. adj.: $570,485,874)
> Directed by: Peter Jackson

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19. Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker
> Release date: 12/20/2019
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $515,202,542 (infl. adj.: $583,984,999)
> Directed by: J.J. Abrams

18. The Dark Knight Rises
> Release date: 7/20/2012
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $448,139,099 (infl. adj.: $588,323,306)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan

17. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
> Release date: 7/7/2006
> Genre: Adventure, historical fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $423,315,812 (infl. adj.: $592,642,135)
> Directed by: Roland Emmerich

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16. Independence Day
> Release date: 7/2/1996
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $306,169,255 (infl. adj.: $635,197,299)
> Directed by: Roland Emmerich

15. Spider-Man
> Release date: 5/3/2002
> Genre: Adventure, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $403,706,375 (infl. adj.: $637,175,121)
> Directed by: Sam Raimi

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14. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
> Release date: 12/16/2016
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $533,539,991 (infl. adj.: $639,662,411)
> Directed by: Gareth Edwards

13. The Dark Knight
> Release date: 7/18/2008
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $534,987,076 (infl. adj.: $681,038,991)
> Directed by: Christopher Nolan

12. Avatar: The Way of Water
> Release date: 12/16/2022
> Genre: Action, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $684,075,767 (infl. adj.: $684,075,767)
> Directed by: James Cameron

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11. Top Gun: Maverick
> Release date: 5/27/2022
> Genre: Action, contemporary fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $718,732,821 (infl. adj.: $718,732,821)
> Directed by: Joseph Kosinski

10. Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi
> Release date: 12/15/2017
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $620,181,382 (infl. adj.: $720,664,458)
> Directed by: Rian Johnson

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9. Avengers: Infinity War
> Release date: 4/27/2018
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $678,815,482 (infl. adj.: $778,663,201)
> Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo

8. Black Panther
> Release date: 2/16/2018
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $700,059,566 (infl. adj.: $803,032,100)
> Directed by: Ryan Coogler

7. Jurassic World
> Release date: 6/12/2015
> Genre: Action, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $652,306,625 (infl. adj.: $808,608,993)
> Directed by: Colin Trevorrow

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6. Spider-Man: No Way Home
> Release date: 12/17/2021
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $814,115,070 (infl. adj.: $816,869,802)
> Directed by: Jon Watts

5. The Avengers
> Release date: 5/4/2012
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $623,357,910 (infl. adj.: $818,353,033)
> Directed by: Joss Whedon

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4. Avengers: Endgame
> Release date: 4/26/2019
> Genre: Action, superhero
> Domestic ticket sales: $858,373,000 (infl. adj.: $979,257,409)
> Directed by: Anthony and Joe Russo

3. Avatar
> Release date: 12/18/2009
> Genre: Action, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $785,221,649 (infl. adj.: $1,059,677,547)
> Directed by: James Cameron

2. Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens
> Release date: 12/18/2015
> Genre: Adventure, science fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $936,662,225 (infl. adj.: $1,154,974,891)
> Directed by: J.J. Abrams

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1. Titanic
> Release date: 12/19/1997
> Genre: Drama, historical fiction
> Domestic ticket sales: $674,396,795 (infl. adj.: $1,263,805,218)
> Directed by: James Cameron

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