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The Most Profitable Movies of All Time

Updated September 20, 2019 8.7k views20 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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  • Avatar1

    Avatar

    Zoe Saldana, Sigourney Weaver

    Released2009

    Directed byJames Cameron

    $1,739,899,354 - $516,262,000 = $1,223,637,354 profit
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  • The Avengers2

    The Avengers

    Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans

    Released2012

    Directed byJoss Whedon

    $970,476,373 - $300,290,000 = $670,186,373 profit
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  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 23

    Released2011

    Directed byDavid Yates

    $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,...  more

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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest4

    Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley

    Released2006

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    $854,594,109 - $293,790,000 = $560,804,109 profit
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  • Despicable Me 25

    Despicable Me 2

    Russell Brand, Steve Carell

    Released2013

    Directed byPierre Coffin, Chris Renaud

    $678,390,341 - $143,056,000 = $535,334,341 profit
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  • The Dark Knight6

    The Dark Knight

    Christian Bale, Michael Caine

    Released2008

    Directed byChristopher Nolan

    $798,630,259 - $263,340,000 = $535,290,259 profit
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  • Toy Story 37

    Toy Story 3

    Tom Hanks, Whoopi Goldberg

    Released2010

    Directed byLee Unkrich

    $779,264,001 - $267,398,000 = $511,866,001 profit
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  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix8

    Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

    Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson

    Released2007

    Directed byDavid Yates

    $700,355,700 - $202,594,000 = $497,761,700 profit
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  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire9

    Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

    Emma Watson, Robert Pattinson

    Released2005

    Directed byMike Newell

    $672,155,834 - $208,064,000 = $464,091,834 profit
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  • The Twilight Saga: New Moon10

    The Twilight Saga: New Moon

    Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene

    Released2009

    Directed byChris Weitz

    $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...  more

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  • Transformers11

    Transformers

    Megan Fox, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2007

    Directed byMichael Bay

    $653,619,842 - $202,632,000 = $450,987,842 profit
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  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part I12

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid Yates

    $626,950,531 - $180,774,000 = $446,176,531 profit
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  • Eclipse13

    Eclipse

    Kristen Stewart, Ashley Greene

    Released2010

    Directed byDavid Slade

    $553,506,214 - $117,520,000 = $435,986,214 profit
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  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End14

    Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End

    Johnny Depp, Keira Knightley

    Released2007

    Directed byGore Verbinski

    $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...  more

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  • Iron Man 315

    Iron Man 3

    Gwyneth Paltrow, Robert Downey Jr.

    Released2013

    Directed byShane Black

    $680,303,797 - $252,176,000 = $428,127,797 profit
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  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon16

    Transformers: Dark of the Moon

    Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Shia LaBeouf

    Released2011

    Directed byMichael Bay

    $667,154,225 - $241,684,000 = $425,470,225 profit
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  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen17

    Released2009

    Directed byMichael Bay

    $692,234,753 - $267,372,000 = $424,862,753 profit
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  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs18

    Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

    Queen Latifah, Kristen Wiig

    Released2009

    Directed byCarlos Saldanha, Mike Thurmeier

    $555,257,341 - $138,280,000 = $416,977,341 profit
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  • The Lion King19

    The Lion King

    Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Irons

    Released1994

    Directed byRob Minkoff, Roger Allers

    $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...  more

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  • Skyfall20

    Skyfall

    Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes

    Released2012

    Directed bySam Mendes

    $649,979,332 - $257,660,000 = $392,319,332 profit
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