Who doesn’t love a big blockbuster movie?
There’s nothing better than excitedly sitting down in a cinema, sticky floor and all, armed with a giant box of popcorn and enough soda to fill up three adult human bladders! And while streaming services are doing their best to kill the theater industry, the fact is that people still flock to them to see the biggest new releases. While many films come and go throughout each year, there are some that generate enough revenue to fund a small nation.
So, what are the 20 Top Grossing Films of All Time, based on their daily cumulative box office in the United States?
Here they are!
Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens
After Disney bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise, there was immense anticipation for the next installment of trilogies. The first of these was Episode VII. In this film, we are introduced to a new generation of the Rebel Alliance, and a new sinister version of the Dark Side and Galactic Empire (now called the First Order). 119 days after its release, this installment of the franchise had earned a massive $936,662,225, making it the highest grossing film in US history based on daily cumulative domestic box office figures.
While it may be hard to keep up with all the Avengers films released, let alone the Marvel Universe, Avengers: Endgame stands out amongst the rest. In this hugely successful climactic epic to the Infinity Saga, the surviving heroes must undo the destruction brought by Thanos and defeat his army to restore life in the universe. Endgame made a domestic box office profit of $ 858,373,000 and actually outperformed the no.1 on this list in terms of worldwide sales.
Spider-Man: No Way Home
Another Marvel superhero with a film on this list of highest grossing US films is Spidey. In this installment of everyone’s favorite human arachnid, Dr. Strange joins Peter Parker in erasing the world’s memory of his secret identity. Of course, it doesn’t quite go to plan and the multiverse is broken wide open. No Way Home grossed $814,115,070 in a 120-day box office run in the US, also performing extremely well across the globe.
Films set in alternate universes and realities seem to be box office gold, with Avatar amongst the most profitable. Coming in at number four on this list is this science fiction tale about Pandora, where the Na’vi people roam and are fighting a righteous battle against selfish humans mining their planet’s precious resources. Grossing $785,221,649 in the US, it did even better internationally where it was the highest grossing film at the box office, of all time!
Top Gun: Maverick
This immensely popular sequel to the 1986 classic grossed $ 718,732,821 during its 120-day box office run in the United States. In Maverick, Tom Cruise is no longer the student, and instead a wily veteran teaching a new group of America’s most sought-after fighter pilots. But technological advancement and Maverick’s own inner demons put much of his instruction at risk.
Another Marvel entry on this list, Black Panther depicts the story of the superhero T’Challa and his alias Black Panther, the new king of Wakanda. He must lead his nation against a foe who wants to destroy Wakanda’s way of life, as well as other nations around the world. This refreshing superhero saga made $700,059,566 domestically in the US.
Avatar: The Way of Water
This sequel to the 2009 smash hit sees Pandora once again as the focal point, this time as Neytiri and Jake explore its ocean depths, where a new threat to life on the planet emerges. While maybe not as financially successful as the original, it still made a whopping $684,075,767 at US box offices.
Avengers: Infinity Wars
Thanos is again the foe the Avengers must take down in this 2018 epic that got fans of the Marvel comic universe very excited. This prequel to Endgame was also extremely successful at the box office where it generated $678,815,482 in sales.
There was a time when this 1997 romantic saga was the “king of the (box office) world”. And while the story depicts the tragic sinking of the world’s biggest passenger vessel, it was obviously far from a shipwreck when it came to ticket sales. Titanic’s box office receipts were huge at the time, coming in at a whopping $674,396,795 domestically.
Audiences were gob smacked by the original Jurassic Park, but the most successful in the dinosaur action movie franchise was 2015’s Jurassic World. Generating $652,306,625 in domestic box office sales, Jurassic World sees the famous theme park come under siege once again, this time from a new, genetically created dinosaur.
While the promotions and advertising seemed endless when Barbie was released, few thought it would do as well in the box office as it did. Audiences laughed and reflected on several societal issues as Barbie navigated her decision of remaining in her world, or the real one. Barbie generated a massive $636,059,588 in US box office sales.
Yep, another Avengers film generated a huge amount of domestic box office sales, this time to the tune of $623,357,910! In this 2012 hit, the Marvel heroes team up to fight Loki and his alien army.
Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi
In this 2017 installment of the third trilogy of the Star Wars saga, Rey comes to terms with her Jedi identity, while the Rebels must make some tough decisions of their own in their struggle to take back the universe from the First Order. The Last Jedi generated $620,181,382 in domestic box office sales.
Incredibles 2 is a fun, animated film that sees the lovable crime fighting family deal with something far less complex than they are used to (or are they) – everyday life and familial roles! It made a huge $608,581,744 in domestic box office sales and is widely regarded as a great vehicle for the discussion of gender roles.
The Super Mario Bros. Movie
Mario must traverse the Mushroom Kingdom to fight Bowser with the help of Princess Peach (and Toad) in search of his lost brother and fellow plumber Luigi. Lovers of the famous video games flocked to cinemas to see this 2023 depiction of Nintendo’s masterpiece, to the tune of $574,934,330.
The Lion King
In this 2019 reimagining of Simba’s famous coming of age story, audiences were treated to stunning visuals and songs that made their feet tap up and down the aisles. Often dubbed “Hamlet for kids”, The Lion King made $543,638,043 domestically.
The Dark Knight
Batman is back and in full swing in The Dark Knight, although many would argue that this film was stolen by Heath Ledger’s amazing performance as the eternal villain, The Joker. Gotham City needed Batman’s help once again, this time to the tune of $533,720,947 at US box offices.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
This prequel to the original 1977 film, released in 2016, made $533,539,991 in sales and is widely regarded as the best of the “new” Star Wars movies. In it, we see how the Rebels managed to steal the plans to the original Death Star and also the cost it came at.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
The final Star Wars entry on this list was released in 2019 and is, to date, the final of the franchise too. This film depicts Rey meeting a horrible reality and a climactic battle that may once and for all see the dark side of the force triumph. The Rise of Skywalker made $515,202,542 in domestic sales.
Beauty and the Beast
This endearing 2017 remake of the famous Disney animated classic made $504,014,165 at domestic box offices and sees the familiar romantic tale of Belle and the Beast reimagined for a new generation of filmgoers.
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