21.9k readers

The Highest Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time

Updated February 24, 2021 21.9k 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.

  • Marvel Cinematic Universe1


    The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is an American media franchise and shared universe...  more

    More Marvel Cinematic Universe 

    #27 of 109 The Best Disney Live-Action Movies#118 of 450 The Best Movies For Guys

  • Star Wars Franchise2


    This films franchise is an American epic space opera franchise centered on a film series...  more

    More Star Wars Franchise 

    #4 of 99 The Greatest Kids Sci-Fi Movies#139 of 164 Live Action Movies With The Best CGI Effects

  • James Bond Franchise3


    The James Bond film series is a British series of spy films based on the fictional character...  more

    More James Bond Franchise 

    #9 of 306 The Greatest Movie Themes#6 of 20 Movie Franchises You Need To Stop Watching

  • Harry Potter Franchise4


    Harry Potter is a British-American film series based on the Harry Potter novels by author J....  more

    More Harry Potter Franchise 

    #1 of 95 The Best Film Adaptations Of Young Adult Novels#16 of 65 The Best Adventure Movies for Kids

  • Batman Franchise5


    The fictional superhero Batman, who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics,...  more

    More Batman Franchise 

    #316 of 424 The Best Feel-Good Movies#27 of 140 The Best Geek Movies

  • X-Men Franchise6


    The X-Men film series is an American series of superhero films based on the fictional...  more

    More X-Men Franchise 

    Interesting X-Men Movie Fan Theories That Actually Make A Lot Of SenseThings You Didn't Know About The X-Men Movies

  • Jurassic Park Franchise7


    Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science-fiction adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg....  more

    More Jurassic Park Franchise 

    Small Details From The 'Jurassic Park' Films That Fans Somehow Noticed19 Weird Jurassic Park Thoughts That Actually Make A Lot Of Sense

  • Star Trek Franchise8

    Star Trek Franchise


    The Star Trek film series is the cinematic branch of the Star Trek media franchise, which...  more


    The Best Insults from Star Trek#1 of 39 The Very Best TV Franchises

  • The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy9


    The Lord of the Rings is a film series consisting of three epic fantasy adventure films...  more

    More The Lord of the Rings Trilogy 

    The Best Insults from The Lord of the Rings#5 of 369 The Best Movies Based On Books

  • Spider-Man10


    Spider-Man is a 2002 American superhero film directed by Sam Raimi, based on the Marvel Comics...  more

    More Spider-Man 

    Small Details From 'Spider-Man' That Prove It Still Holds Up#17 of 177 The Greatest Comic Book Movies Of All Time

  • 11

    DC Extended Universe


  • Indiana Jones Franchise12


    The Indiana Jones franchise is an American media franchise based on the adventures of Dr....  more

    More Indiana Jones Franchise 

    12 Stories That Prove The Making Of 'Raiders Of The Lost Ark' Was An Adventure Behind The Scenes TooSmall But Poignant Details Fans Of Indiana Jones Noticed About The Franchise

  • Superman Franchise13


    The American comic book character Superman has appeared in many types of media. Since his...  more
  • Shrek Franchise14


    The Shrek franchise from DreamWorks Animation, based on William Steig's picture book Shrek!,...  more

    More Shrek Franchise 

    30 'Shrek' Memes For Fans Who Love The Ogre Movies More Than Life#16 of 244 The Best Movies For Kids

  • Rocky Franchise15


    Rocky is a boxing saga of popular films all starring Sylvester Stallone, who plays the...  more

    More Rocky Franchise 

    The 'Rocky' Series Was More Intense Behind The Scenes Than A Swift Punch To The Jaw#22 of 103 The Very Best Movie Franchises

  • Pirates of the Caribbean16


    Pirates of the Caribbean is a series of fantasy swashbuckler films produced by Jerry...  more

    More Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise 

    Things You Probably Didn't Know About The 'Pirates of the Caribbean' Cast#7 of 15 15 Wildly Successful Movie Franchises (That Only Have One Great Film)

  • Transformers Franchise17


    Transformers is a series of American science fiction action films based on the toys created by...  more

    More Transformers Franchise 

    Small Details From The Transformers Movies That Are More Than Meet The EyeAll the Transformers In The Michael Bay Transformers Movies

  • Fast and Furious Franchise18


    The Fast and the Furious (also known as Fast & Furious) is an American franchise based on a...  more

    More Fast and Furious Franchise 

    15 Fast And The Furious Fan Theories That Are Just Crazy Enough To Be TrueThe Best Insults from The Fast and the Furious

  • Jaws Franchise19


    Jaws is an American natural horror film series that started with a 1975 film that expanded...  more

    More Jaws Franchise 

    'Jaws' Made Us Believe Some Ludicrous Shark Myths—And It Had Devastating Real-World EffectsEvery 'Jaws' Movie, Ranked Best To Worst

  • The Hunger Games Franchise20

    The Hunger Games Franchise


    The Hunger Games film series consists of four science fiction dystopian adventure films based...  more


    Fan Theories About 'The Hunger Games' That Prove It's Darker Than We RememberThe Saddest 'Hunger Games' Deaths

  • The Twilight Saga21


    The Twilight Saga is a series of five romance fantasy films from Summit Entertainment based on...  more
  • Mission: Impossible Franchise22


    Mission: Impossible is a series of action spy thriller films based on the television series of...  more

    More Mission: Impossible Franchise 

    15 Small Details From 'Mission: Impossible' That Prove They're Worth Revisiting#9 of 45 The Greatest Action Film Franchises, Ranked

  • Dark Knight Trilogy23


    The Dark Knight Trilogy is a British-American superhero film trilogy based on the DC Comics...  more

    More Dark Knight Trilogy 

    25 Memes About Christopher Nolan's Batman Trilogy That Put A Smile On Our Face18 Details About 'The Dark Knight' Trilogy Villains That Fans Somehow Noticed

  • Peter Pan Franchise24


    Peter Pan is a 1953 American animated fantasy-adventure film produced by Walt Disney and based...  more

    More Peter Pan 

    #42 of 542 The Best Animated Films Ever#115 of 356 The Best Musical Movies Of All Time

  • Planet of the Apes Franchise25


    Planet of the Apes is a 2001 American science fiction film directed by Tim Burton and starring...  more

    More Planet of the Apes Franchise 

    #100 of 625 The Greatest Action Movies Of All Time#18 of 22 The Best Film Franchises Based on Books