The Movie That Took the Box Office by Storm Every Year Since 1995

How to determine a movie’s popularity isn’t something everyone agrees on. Some use the box office take, but that can skew toward newer movies due to ticket prices rising. Adjusting for inflation is a remedy for that, but it’s an imprecise science.

A better way might be to go by sheer ticket sales, and this is the method we took to determine the most popular movie each year since 1995.

1995– Batman Forever

Batman Forever.
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

 

The third installment of the initial Batman series stars Val Kilmer in the title role and introduces Robin for the first time. In it, Batman has to stop the Riddler and Two-Face from enforcing their will over Gotham City.

 

Ticket Sales: 42,306,002

 

1996– Independence Day

Image Credit: Twentieth Century Fox.

Critics were, well, critical. However, audiences loved this film about seemingly invincible aliens trying to take over the world and humans fighting back.

 

Ticket Sales: 69,269,062

 

1997– Men in Black

Men in Black.
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

For the second year in a row, Will Smith starred in the top ticket-seller. Once again, he was fighting aliens, this time as a secret agent partnered with Tommy Lee Jones.

 

Ticket Sales: 54,607,854

 

1998– Titanic

Sinking of the Titanic The lifeboats row away from the still lighted ship on April 15th 1912 as depicted in the British Newspaper.
Image Credit: Everett Collection/Shutterstock.

 

Telling the story of the famously doomed ship and mixing in a love story proved to be a winner. The film shattered box office records, received generally favorable reviews, and took 11 Oscars, including for Best Picture, Director, and Cinematography. No other movie on this list sold more tickets, and only 3 came even close.

 

Ticket Sales: 104,092,298

 

1999– Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999).
Image Credit: LucasFilms.

 

One of the most-anticipated releases of all time, ticket sales didn’t disappoint. The story and acting did, though, and many fans rank this film that introduces the child Anakin Skywalker as the worst in the franchise.

 

Ticket Sales: 84,732,942

 

2000– How the Grinch Stole Christmas

How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

 

Jim Carrey plays the notorious Dr. Seuss character who plots to ruin Christmas for everyone in Whoville. Many loved this adaptation using real people while some took a Grinch-like approach and grumbled about preferring the animated classic.

 

Ticket Sales: 47,006,948

 

2001– Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.
Image Credit:
Warner Bros.

 

At last, fans got to see Harry Potter, Dumbledore, and Voldemort come to life on the big screen. Both the first and final films of the series led in ticket sales in the years they were released.

 

Ticket Sales: 53,074,988

 

2002– Spider-Man

Spider Man 2002.
Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

The first of the series starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst shows us how Peter Parker got his powers. Willem Dafoe is spectacular as Spidey’s enemy, the Green Goblin.

 

Ticket Sales: 69,484,746

 

2003– Finding Nemo

Finding Nemo.
Image Credit: Pixar Animation.

 

Nemo is a young clownfish hatched from the only remaining egg after a barracuda attack claims his mother and all the rest of his siblings-to-be. When he’s captured by a scuba diver who wants him for his aquarium, his father, Marlin, sets out on an epic journey across the ocean to get him back.

 

Ticket Sales: 56,337,374

 

2004– Shrek 2

Shrek 2.
Image Credit: Dreamworks Pictures.

 

To celebrate their marriage, Shrek and Fiona travel to the kingdom Fiona’s parents rule. Unfortunately, they don’t receive the welcome they expected.

 

Ticket Sales: 71,050,925

 

2005– Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

 

The final prequel finishes the story of Anakin’s transformation to Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine’s takeover of the galaxy. Although most viewers thought it was much better than The Phantom Menace, the movie didn’t see nearly as many tickets.

 

Ticket Sales: 59,324,582

 

2006– Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.
Image Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

 

After the popularity of the first in the series, moviegoers were eager to sail with Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) again. This time, he’s after the heart of Davy Jones to avoid eternal enslavement to him.

 

Ticket Sales: 64,628,368

 

2007– Spider-Man 3

Image Credit: Columbia Pictures.

 

This was the final of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man films. In this one, Spider-Man deals with inner turmoil and an old friend seeking revenge.

 

Ticket Sales: 48,914,288

 

2008– The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight (2008)
Image Credit: Warner Bros Entertainment.

 

As Alfred tells Bruce Wayne, “Some men just want to watch the world burn,” and that’s what Batman’s up against with the Joker, unforgettably played by Heath Ledger. The second film of Christopher Nolan’s franchise reboot, it’s most fans’ favorite.

 

Ticket Sales: 73,955,652

 

2009– Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
Image Credit: Dreamworks Pictures.

 

Two years after the Autobots saved the Earth, things seem pretty normal. Then an ancient Decepticon returns for vengeance.

 

Ticket Sales: 53,614,916

 

2010– Toy Story 3

Toy Story 3
Image Credit: Disney/Pixar.

 

Andy’s grown up and heading to college, but he intends to keep his beloved childhood toys for his own kids. Instead of being put in the attic, the toys accidentally end up in a day-care center and have to find a way home.

 

Ticket Sales: 52,598,844

 

2011– Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part II

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Pt. 2 (2011).
Image Credit: Warner Bros Entertainment.

 

The final and darkest film in the series riveted audiences. We finally learn the truth about the past, and we get to see the final confrontation between Harry and Voldemort.

 

Tickets Sales: 48,046,812

 

2012– The Avengers

Marvel's The Avengers (2012).
Image Credit: Marvel.

 

This one kicked off the series. In it, Loki and his alien army plot to take over the world, and only the Avengers can stop them.

 

Ticket Sales: 78,311,295

 

2013– Iron Man 3

Iron Man 3.
Image Credit: Marvel.

 

Robert Downey, Jr. had another great year as Tony Stark – Iron Man. Without the Avengers this time, he has to rebuild and seek retribution after a powerful terrorist tears the world apart.

 

Ticket Sales: 50,306,552

 

2014– Guardians of the Galaxy

Sean Gunn as Kraglin in Marvel Studios' Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3.
Photo courtesy of Marvel Studios.

 

A deranged criminal has bad plans in store for the universe. A group of intergalactic criminals band together to stop him.

 

2015– Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens

Star Wars Episode VII
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

 

With a new director at the helm, fans convinced that George Lucas had lost it with the prequels were ready to try again. Some old favorites return as we meet a scavenger girl who has the potential to restore order to the universe.

 

Ticket Sales: 88,043,765

 

2016– Finding Dory

Finding Dory (2016).
Image Credit: Disney/Pixar.

 

In Finding Nemo, Dory is Marlin’s forgetful but well-meaning companion and guide. This time, it’s Dory who’s on a quest: finding the parents she was separated from long ago, Marlin and Nemo join her in her search.

 

Ticket Sales: 56,219,140

 

2017– Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi

Star Wars Episode VIII
Image Credit: Lucasfilm.

 

Kylo Ren and the First Order continue to seek supremacy over the galaxy. In the meantime, Rey develops her skills and seeks to persuade Luke Skywalker to rejoin the fight.

 

Ticket Sales: 57,660,910

 

2018– Black Panther

Bangkok, Thailand - February 17, 2018: Beautiful Standee of A Marvel Superhero Movie Black Panther Display at the theater.
Image Credit: Sarunyu L/Shutterstock.

 

It’s time for T’Challa, heir to the kingdom of Wakunda, to step up and lead his people. A villain from the country’s past presents a challenge to him.

 

Ticket Sales: 76,845,177

 

2019– Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame (2019).
Image Credit: Marvel.

 

The evil demigod Thanos has devastated much of the universe. In this final installment of the series, the remaining Avengers are the only hope of defeating him.

 

Ticket Sales: 93,708,843

 

2020– Bad Boys for Life

Bad Boys for Life.
Image Credit:
Columbia Pictures.

 

Will Smith delivers another blockbuster performance, this time as Detective Mike Lowrey. The wife and son of a drug lord are out to kill all of those involved in his trial and conviction, and that includes Lowrey. Ticket numbers are by far the lowest here, but 2020 was the year of the COVID-19 outbreak, and many theaters closed.

 

Ticket Sales: 21,723,470

 

2021– Spider-Man: No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).
Image Credit: Sony Pictures.

 

Separating regular life from being a superhero proves difficult now that the world knows who Spider-Man is. When a new challenge arises, Spider-Man seeks the assistance of Dr. Strange.

 

Ticket Sales: 55,094,689

 

2022– Top Gun: Maverick

DANNY RAMIREZ PLAYS
Image Credit: CREDIT: Paramount Pictures/Paramount+.

 

Critics and audiences alike raved about this sequel to the 1986 original, and many thought it was robbed of Best Picture. Maverick is back, this time to train the Navy’s best pilots for an exceptionally dangerous mission.

 

Ticket Sales: 68,255,728

 

2023– Barbie

(L-r) RYAN GOSLING as Ken and MARGOT ROBBIE as Barbie in Warner Bros. Pictures’ “BARBIE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (PRESS KIT).
Courtesy Warner Bros. Pictures.

Everything’s great in the perfect Barbie World. Then Barbie and Ken get a chance to go to the real world, and they find that life among actual humans is more difficult.

 

Ticket Sales: 60,414,947

12 of the Most Annoying TV Show Characters of All Time, According to the Internet

Orange is the new black.
Image Credit: JoJo Whilden/Netflix.

There are plenty of characters on TV that just plain irk you, but a few are written so irritating that it actively detracts from the show. We tracked down some fan answers with what they thought the most annoying TV show characters of all time was and these were some of the most popular answers.

A few characters were written annoying on purpose but others seem to be the victim of bad writing or poor acting. Either way, they sure make some of these shows hard to watch!

12 of the Most Annoying TV Show Characters of All Time, According to the Internet

The 12 Most Epic Opening Scenes in Movie History

Scream.
Image Credit: Dimension Films.

Opening scenes matter: they set the tone for the entire film. We wanted to know what the greatest opening scenes in movie history were – so we rounded up the best fan answers to this very question.

Some of these opening scenes are so iconic you can almost picture the whole thing in your mind. Others stood out stronger than the rest of the film, making it all you might remember. From action-packed to utter tearjerkers, these iconic opening scenes are often considered to be the greatest in movie history.

The 12 Most Epic Opening Scenes in Movie History

The 12 Most Genius Movie Plot Holes You Never Knew Were Actually Explained

Jim Carrey in The Truman Show (1998),
Image Credit: Paramount Pictures.

 

Friends (and strangers) trying to sound smart by pointing out a movie mistake that isn’t really a mistake?

We found the best answers to “What infamous movie plot hole has an explanation that you’re tired of explaining?” with these 12 movie plot holes that actually have perfectly good explanations.

The 12 Most Genius Movie Plot Holes You Never Knew Were Actually Explained

19 Hyped-Up Movies That Were Actually Terrible

Brid Box.
Image Credit: Netflix.

 

So, you know how there’s always this buzz around those hyped-up movies, right? Like, the ones that everyone’s talking about, the trailers that give you goosebumps, and the anticipation that’s through the roof?

Yeah, those. But here’s the kicker- sometimes, they turn out to be total duds.

19 Hyped-Up Movies That Were Actually Terrible

Unpopular Opinion: These 15 Shows Everyone Raved About, but We Couldn’t Stand

BRIDGERTON (L to R) REGÉ-JEAN PAGE as SIMON BASSET in episode 108 of BRIDGERTON
Image Credit: LIAM DANIEL/NETFLIX.

 

Ever been excited about a show that someone recommended, but you couldn’t get into it? A show that everyone loved, but you couldn’t stand it? Here are 15 shows people couldn’t get into despite the hype.

Unpopular Opinion: These 15 Shows Everyone Raved About, but We Couldn’t Stand

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