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The Highest Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time

Updated June 17, 2021 22.8k views102 items

List RulesDomestic box office numbers only

All the highest grossing movie franchises of all time in one convenient list of the top grossing movie franchises ever. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is by far the highest grossing film series ever, but franchises like Star Wars, James Bond, and X-Men, which all churn out movies to high opening weekends, each have billions of dollars in box office sales.

Most of the film franchises on this list are regarded as some of the best movie franchises ever as well as some of the best movies of all time, so it shouldn't come as any surprise that some of these movie series have pulled in over a billion dollars at the domestic box office alone.

How do we calculate the figures that determine a series' position on this list of the highest grossing movie series ever? All the movies that share similar characters are lumped into the grand total and put in order on the list. For example: all movies that feature the James Bond character but with different actors (Skyfall, Dr. No, Tomorrow Never Dies) all fall under the James Bond franchise. Now, it gets trickier when you consider something like The Avengers, which isn't on here since the individual characters all have their own movie franchises. All incarnations of The Hulk, for instance, would be part of a Hulk franchise. Complicated.

If you want to have a look at some of the up and coming movie franchises (ones that will eventually have three movies like The Hangover and The Hunger Games, take a look at the complete list of movie franchises at The-Numbers.com.

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  • 1

    $8,686,024,628

    The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe centered on a series of superhero films, independently produced by Marvel Studios and based on characters that...  more
  • 2

    $7,524,594,713

    This films franchise is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series created by George Lucas. The film series, consisting of two trilogies, has spawned an extensive media...  more
  • 3

    $5,758,465,716

    The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character of MI6 agent James Bond, "007", who originally appeared in a series of books by Ian Fleming. It is one of...  more
  • 4

    $3,638,704,111

    Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J. K. Rowling. The series is distributed by Warner Bros. and consists of eight fantasy films. A spin-off...  more
  • 5

    $3,371,000,993

    The fictional superhero Batman, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics, has appeared in various films since his inception. Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger,the character first...  more
  • 6

    $2,868,891,688

    The X-Men film series is an American series of superhero films based on the fictional superhero team of the same name, who originally appeared in a series of comic books created by Stan Lee and Jack...  more
  • 7

    $2,691,051,457

    Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science-fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg. The first installment of the Jurassic Park franchise, it is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by...  more
  • 8

    $2,594,747,188

    The Star Trek film series is the cinematic branch of the Star Trek media franchise, which began in 1966 as a weekly television series on NBC, running for three seasons until it was canceled in 1969...  more
  • 9

    $2,520,474,385

    The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are...  more
  • 10

    $2,492,068,769

    Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi, based on the Marvel Comics character. When bitten by a genetically modified spider, Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire), a nerdy, shy, and...  more
  • 11

    $2,142,877,426

  • 12

    $2,063,482,532

    The Indiana Jones franchise is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Dr. Henry "Indiana" Jones, a fictional archaeologist. It began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. A...  more
  • 13

    $2,004,388,066

    The American comic book character Superman has appeared in many types of media. Since his first comic book appearance in 1938, Superman has appeared in radio, television, movies, and video games each...  more
  • 14

    $1,952,505,259

    The Shrek franchise from DreamWorks Animation, based on William Steig's picture book Shrek!, consists of four computer-animated films including: Shrek (2001), Shrek 2 (2004), Shrek the Third (2007),...  more
  • 15

    $1,942,429,850

    Rocky is a boxing saga of popular films all starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays the eponymous character Rocky Balboa. The films by order of release date are: Rocky (1976), Rocky II (1979), Rocky...  more
  • 16

    $1,912,072,392

    Pirates of the Caribbean is a series of fantasy swashbuckler films produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and based on Walt Disney's theme park ride of the same name. Directors of the series include Gore...  more
  • 17

    $1,863,419,555

    Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films based on the toys created by Hasbro and Tomy. The first four were directed by Michael Bay, including Transformers (2007),...  more
  • 18

    $1,819,593,813

    The Fast and the Furious (also known as Fast & Furious) is an American franchise based on a series of action film that is largely concerned with illegal street racing and heists, and includes...  more
  • 19

    $1,714,929,704

    Jaws is an American natural horror film series that started with a 1975 film that expanded into three sequels, a theme park ride, and other tie-in merchandise, based on a 1974 novel. The main subject...  more
  • 20

    $1,622,424,771

    The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels, by the American author Suzanne Collins. Distributed by Lionsgate...  more
  • 21

    $1,610,862,622

    The Twilight Saga is a series of five romance fantasy films from Summit Entertainment based on the four novels by American author Stephenie Meyer. The films star Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson,...  more
  • 22

    $1,593,972,694$

    Mission: Impossible is a series of action spy thriller films based on the television series of the same name, produced by and starring Tom Cruise as IMF agent Ethan Hunt....  more
  • 23

    $1,481,303,737

    The Dark Knight Trilogy is a British-American superhero film trilogy based on the DC Comics character Batman. The trilogy consists of Batman Begins (2005), The Dark Knight (2008) and The Dark Knight...  more
  • 24

    $1,467,907,310

    Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based on the play Peter Pan, or The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up by J. M. Barrie. It is the 14th film in the Walt...  more
  • 25

    $1,374,716,792

    Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, and Estella Warren....  more