The Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies of all Time

By on December 30, 2014 in ArticlesEntertainment

"The Interview" has been making news and making money, but rest assured the controversial comedy that is the reason hackers attacked Sony and Kim Jun Un all but lost what's left of his mind won't ever make a list of the Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies of All Time. It might make a list of the most infamous, however.

The highest grossing movies of all time run the gambit from sci-fi to weepy waterlogged romance to boy wizards to superhero adventures. What thrills audiences one year may be unseated by next year's big box office hit. James Cameron's "Titanic" held the top spot for 13 long and lucrative years until another Cameron film, "Avatar," surpassed it in 2010. Interestingly, those two films are the first two films to make more than $2 billion in worldwide box office receipts.

James Cameron is not the only director to make this list with two films. Michael Bay also holds that distinction with the Transformers franchise.

However, box-office gross isn't the only way for a film to make money. Video, DVD, television broadcasts, and stage adaptations all increase the profits of a film. For example, "The Lion King" earned over $2 billion in box-office and home video sales but this pales in comparison to the $6 billion the stage adaptation took in around the world.

In the list below, the top grossing films are ranked by worldwide box office receipts only. Some of them are expected. Others are surprising. Still others have had millions singing, "Let it Go" for over a year now. Let's take a look at the Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies of all time.

#10. Transformers: Age of Extinction

Release date: June 27,2014

Opening Box Office: $100,038,390

Total Box Office: $1,087,404,499

Director: Michael Bay

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, Ehren Kruger, Stanley Tucci, Nicola Peltz, Kelsey Grammar, TJ Miller, Jack Reynor

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#9. Skyfall

Release date: November 9, 2012

Opening Box Office: $88,364,714

Total Box Office: $1,108,561,013

Director: Sam Mendes

Actors: Daniel Craig, Judi Dench, Javier Bardem, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris

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#8. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Release date: December 17, 2003

Re-release date: June 28, 2011

Opening Box Office: $72,629,713

Total Box Office: $1,119,929,521

Director: Peter Jackson

Actors: Elijah Wood, Viggo Mortensen, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Cate Blanchett

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#7. Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Release date: June 29, 2011

Opening Box Office: $97,852,865

Total Box Office: $1,123,794,079

Director: Michael Bay

Actors: Shia LaBeouf, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich

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#6. Iron Man 3

Release date: May 3, 2013

Opening Box Office: $174,144,585

Total Box Office: $1,215,439,994

Director: Shane Black

Actors: Robert Downey, Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Guy Pearce, Don Cheadle, Jon Favreau

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#5. Frozen

Release date: November 22, 2013 (limited)

Opening Box Office: $243,390 in ONE theatre

Wide Release date: November 27, 2013

Wide Opening Box Office: $67,391, 326

Total Box Office: $1,274,219,009

Director: Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee

Actors: Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Jonathan Groff, Alan Tudyk

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#4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Release date: July 15, 2011

Opening Box Office: $169,189,427

Total Box Office: $1,341,511,219

Director: David Yates

Actors: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Alan Rickman, Gary Oldman, Emma Thompson

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#3. The Avengers

Release date: May 4, 2012

Opening Box Office: $207,438,708

Total Box Office: $1,518,594,910

Director: Joss Whedon

Actors: Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Jeremy Renner, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Samuel L. Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, Gwyneth Paltrow

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#2. Titanic

Release date: December 19, 1997

Opening Box Office: $28,638,131

Total Box Office: $2,186,772,302

Director: James Cameron

Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Kathy Bates, Billy Zane, Bill Paxton

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#1. Avatar

Release date: December 18, 2009

Opening Box Office: $77,025,481

Total Box Office: $2,787,965,087

Director: James Cameron

Actors: Sigourney Weaver, Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Michelle Rodriguez, Giovanni Ribisi

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Articles Written by Amy Lamare
Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based writer covering business, technology, entertainment, philanthropy, and pop culture. She spent 8 1/2 years covering the entertainment industry for www.hsx.com. She attended the University of Southern California where she majored in Creative Writing. An avid long distance runner, weekends she can be found running the streets of Los Angeles training for 1/2 and full marathons. Follow her on Facebook.
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