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The Biggest Blockbusters Of The 2010s That Weren't Franchises Or Sequels, Ranked  

Maggie Clancy
5.9k votes 1k voters 27.1k views 16 items

List Rules Vote up the best standalone blockbusters that stood out against the decade's franchise mania.

Sequels and franchises are not new to the film world, but in a market increasingly dominated by data and the need to appeal to as broad a demographic as possible, not many original, non-franchise films make their way to the big screen. The highest-grossing non-franchise movies without sequels, admittedly, don't have box office numbers as impressive as franchises like the MCU or Star Wars. But while the best standalone movies might not have broken box office records, these highest-grossing non-franchise movies prove that there's still hope for original blockbusters.

Inception is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Biggest Blockbusters Of The 2010s That Weren't Franchises Or Sequels, Ranked
Photo:  Warner Bros.

Worldwide Box Office: $828,322,032

Christopher Nolan's 2010 cerebral thriller Inception had audiences talking long after the credits rolled. What does the spinning top mean? Was Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) successful in his attempt to plant an idea in Fischer's (Cilian Murphy) head through his dreams? The dream-based film inspired loads of think pieces about the dream state and what it really means. 

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, + more

Released: 2010

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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The Martian is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Biggest Blockbusters Of The 2010s That Weren't Franchises Or Sequels, Ranked
Photo:  20th Century Fox

Worldwide Box Office: $630,161,890

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is assumed KIA after a particularly nasty storm on Mars. Unable to find him, the rest of his crew leaves - only to discover that Watney is very much alive and in need of rescuing. Until then, audiences get to stay with Watney as he uses his wits and humor to keep himself alive. The 2015 film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, but didn't take home any.

Actors: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Jeff Daniels, Michael Peña, + more

Released: 2015

Directed by: Ridley Scott

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Zootopia is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Biggest Blockbusters Of The 2010s That Weren't Franchises Or Sequels, Ranked
Photo:  Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Worldwide Box Office: $1,023,784,195

Disney's 2016 animated feature Zootopia follows bunny Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) as she ventures to the big city to chase her dreams of becoming a police officer. Unfortunately, bunnies aren't a typical police species in this world, and no one takes her seriously, even when animals mysteriously start "going savage." There have been rampant rumors about this standalone movie turning into a franchise, but nothing has been properly confirmed in an official capacity. 

Actors: Ginnifer Goodwin, Jason Bateman, Idris Elba, Jenny Slate, Nate Torrence, + more

Released: 2016

Directed by: Byron Howard, Rich Moore, Jared Bush

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Interstellar is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Biggest Blockbusters Of The 2010s That Weren't Franchises Or Sequels, Ranked
Photo:  Paramount Pictures

Worldwide Box Office: $677,463,813

Director Christopher Nolan is never one to shy away from an ambitious project. His 2014 film, Interstellar, explores the lengths humans might have to go through if we render Earth uninhabitable. Retired astronaut Cooper (Mathhew McConaughey) makes the difficult choice to leave his family to go into space to try to find one last hope for the human race. 

Actors: Anne Hathaway, Matthew McConaughey, Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Michael Caine, + more

Released: 2014

Directed by: Christopher Nolan

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