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The Most Profitable Movies of All Time  

Ranker Film
8.1k views 20 items

What are the most profitable films of all time? This list includes the top 20 most profitable movies ever made. Some of these movies that have made the most money are Skyfall, Iron Man 3, and multiple films from the Harry Potter and Twilight series. Whether a pop culture phenomenon or summer blockbuster hit, these movies have all brought in huge profits worldwide.

Movies have the ability to make us feel. They make us want to believe, be inspired, and live vicariously through the stories we see on screen. When a film is truly great and entertaining, viewers may see it in theaters multiple times. Movies that have a built in draw are often the ones that draw the biggest crowds and see anxious viewers line dup for midnight screenings. Movies that have been books, familiar TV shows we grew up with, or Disneyland rides are often the most popular.

These most profitable films provide the kind of escapism that people seek in entertainment. It the reason why people flock in large numbers to theaters despite ever increasing ticket prices. Profits are equal to the money made, less the cost of production. Many of these movies are blockbusters with large budgets, but in return, they drew enormous crowds. These movies vary in their genre but they all equally fascinating.

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1
Ranker Video
Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Rodriguez
$1,739,899,354 - $516,262,000 = $1,223,637,354 profit Avatar is a 2009 American epic science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron, and starring Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, Joel David Moore, Giovanni ...more
2
Ranker Video
Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo
$970,476,373 - $300,290,000 = $670,186,373 profit Marvel's The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Joss Whedon, based on the Marvel Comics superhero team. Earth's mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a ...more
3
Ranker Video
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Gary Oldman
$814,603,067 - $177,306,000 = $637,297,067 profit Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 is a 2011 fantasy film directed by David Yates, based on the novel by J. K. Rowling and the final film in the series. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron ...more
4
Ranker Video
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Orlando Bloom
$854,594,109 - $293,790,000 = $560,804,109 profit This film is a 2006 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, following The Curse of the Black Pearl. It was directed by Gore ...more
5
Ranker Video
Russell Brand, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig
$678,390,341 - $143,056,000 = $535,334,341 profit Despicable Me 2 is a 2013 computer animated comedy film written by Ken Daurio and Cinco Paul.
6
Ranker Video
Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Heath Ledger
$798,630,259 - $263,340,000 = $535,290,259 profit The Dark Knight is a 2008 superhero film directed by Christopher Nolan, based on the DC Comics character, Batman. Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale), Police Lieutenant James Gordon (Gary Oldman) and ...more
7
Ranker Video
Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg, Michael Keaton
$779,264,001 - $267,398,000 = $511,866,001 profit Toy Story 3 is a 2010 American 3D computer-animated comedy film, and the third film in the Toy Story series. It was produced by Pixar Animation Studios and released by Walt Disney Pictures. ...more
8
Ranker Video
Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe
$700,355,700 - $202,594,000 = $497,761,700 profit Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is a 2007 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The ...more
9
Ranker Video
Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson, Daniel Radcliffe
$672,155,834 - $208,064,000 = $464,091,834 profit Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is a 2005 fantasy film directed by Mike Newell and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is based on the novel of the same name by J. K. Rowling. The film, ...more
10
Ranker Video
Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick
$561,922,047 - $103,444,000 = $458,478,047 profit New Moon is the sequel to 2008's Twilight, based on a novel of the same name written by Stephanie Meyer.
11
Ranker Video
Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Odette Annable
$653,619,842 - $202,632,000 = $450,987,842 profit Transformers is a 2007 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line. An ancient struggle between two Cybertronian races, the heroic Autobots and the evil ...more
12
Ranker Video
Emma Watson, Daniel Radcliffe, Helena Bonham Carter
$626,950,531 - $180,774,000 = $446,176,531 profit Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 is a 2010 fantasy film directed by David Yates and distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures. It is the first of two cinematic parts based on the novel ...more
13
Ranker Video
Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene, Anna Kendrick
$553,506,214 - $117,520,000 = $435,986,214 profit The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, commonly referred to as Eclipse, is a 2010 American romantic fantasy film based on Stephenie Meyer's 2007 novel Eclipse. It is the third installment of The Twilight ...more
14
Ranker Video
Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley, Keith Richards
$782,724,328 - $353,222,000 = $429,502,328 profit Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is a 2007 American fantasy swashbuckler film and the third film in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series. The plot follows Will Turner, Elizabeth ...more
15
Ranker Video
Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr., Ben Kingsley
$680,303,797 - $252,176,000 = $428,127,797 profit
Iron Man 3 is a 2013 superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character Iron Man, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2008's ...more
16
Transformers: Dark of the Moon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Most Profitable Movies of All Time
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Shia LaBeouf, John Malkovich
$667,154,225 - $241,684,000 = $425,470,225 profit Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line, and the third film in the series. The Autobots learn of a ...more
17
Ranker Video
Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf, Hugo Weaving
$692,234,753 - $267,372,000 = $424,862,753 profit Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a 2009 American science fiction action film directed by Michael Bay, based on the toy line, and the second film in the series. Sam Witwicky (Shia LeBeouf) ...more
18
Ranker Video
Queen Latifah, Kristen Wiig, Jane Lynch
$555,257,341 - $138,280,000 = $416,977,341 profit Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a 2009 American 3-D computer animated comedy adventure film, and the third installment in the Ice Age series. It was produced by Blue Sky Studios and ...more
19
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Most Profitable Movies of All Time
Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons, Matthew Broderick
$611,177,667 - $197,724,000 = $413,453,667 profit The Lion King is a 1994 American animated musical epic film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures. It is the 32nd animated feature in the Walt Disney ...more
20
Ranker Video
Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Javier Bardem
$649,979,332 - $257,660,000 = $392,319,332 profit Skyfall is the twenty-third James Bond film produced by Eon Productions. It features Daniel Craig in his third performance as James Bond, and Javier Bardem as Raoul Silva, the film's villain. It ...more