List of Highest-grossing Films Throughout History - Highest-grossing Franchises and Film Series

Highest-grossing Franchises and Film Series

Prior to 2000, only seven series had grossed over $1 billion at the box office: James Bond, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Rocky, Batman, Jurassic Park and Star Trek. Since the turn of the century that number has increased to over thirty; this is partly due to inflation and market growth, but also to Hollywood's adoption of the franchise model: films that have built-in brand recognition, such as being based on a well known literary source (The Lord of the Rings) or an established character (Indiana Jones). The methodology is based on the concept that films associated with things audiences are already familiar with can be more effectively marketed to them, and as such are known as "pre-sold" films within the industry. The Harry Potter series has grossed the most, amassing nearly $8 billion over eight films at the box office, although the EON James Bond series is the highest grossing when adjusted for inflation, with a total of over $13 billion at 2011/12 prices. If ancillary income from merchandising is included, then Star Wars is the most lucrative franchise, earning more than $22 billion in total, with direct income from the films themselves accounting for just one third of overall revenues. At constant prices the live-action Star Wars films are also the most consistent performers, earning on average more per film than any other series, while Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is the nominal record-holder, averaging at about $970 million with each film earning in excess of $870 million.

Background shading indicates that at least one film in the series is playing in the week commencing 28 December 2012 in theaters around the world.
Highest-grossing franchises and film series (The films in each franchise can be viewed by selecting "show")
Rank Series Total worldwide
box office
No. of films Average of films Highest-grossing film
1 Harry Potter $7,706,147,978 8 $963,268,497 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($1,328,111,219)
1 Deathly Hallows – Part 2 $1,328,111,219
2 Philosopher's Stone $974,755,371
3 Deathly Hallows – Part 1 $956,399,711
4 Order of the Phoenix $939,885,929
5 Half-Blood Prince $934,416,487
6 Goblet of Fire $896,911,078
7 Chamber of Secrets $878,979,634
8 Prisoner of Azkaban $796,688,549
2 James Bond $6,051,240,023 25 $242,049,601 Skyfall ($1,000,200,000)
Eon series $5,849,495,305 23 $254,325,883 Skyfall ($1,000,200,000)
Daniel Craig Bond $2,185,336,687 3 $728,445,562 Skyfall ($1,000,200,000)
1 Skyfall $1,000,200,000
2 Casino Royale $599,045,960
3 Quantum of Solace $586,090,727
Pierce Brosnan Bond $1,479,008,618 4 $369,752,155 Die Another Day ($431,971,116)
1 Die Another Day $431,971,116
2 The World is Not Enough $361,832,400
3 GoldenEye $352,194,034
4 Tomorrow Never Dies $333,011,068
Roger Moore Bond $1,151,600,000 7 $164,514,286 Moonraker ($210,300,000)
1 Moonraker $210,300,000
2 For Your Eyes Only $194,900,000
3 The Spy Who Loved Me $185,400,000
4 Octopussy $183,700,000
5 A View to a Kill $152,400,000
6 Live and Let Die $126,400,000
7 The Man with the Golden Gun $98,500,000
Sean Connery Bond $621,500,000 6 $103,583,333 Thunderball ($141,200,000)
1 Thunderball $141,200,000
2 Goldfinger $124,900,000
3 Diamonds Are Forever $116,000,000
4 You Only Live Twice $101,000,000
5 From Russia with Love $78,900,000
6 Dr. No $59,500,000
Timothy Dalton Bond $347,400,000 2 $173,700,000 The Living Daylights ($191,200,000)
1 The Living Daylights $191,200,000
2 Licence to Kill $156,200,000
George Lazenby Bond $64,600,000 1 $64,600,000 On Her Majesty's Secret Service ($64,600,000)
1 On Her Majesty's Secret Service $64,600,000
Never Say Never Again $160,000,000
Casino Royale (1967) $41,744,718
3 Star Wars $4,382,359,868 7 $626,051,410 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ($1,027,044,427)
Prequel trilogy $2,525,197,773 3 $841,732,591 Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace ($1,027,044,677)
1 I: The Phantom Menace $1,027,044,677
2 III: Revenge of the Sith $848,754,768
3 II: Attack of the Clones $649,398,328
Original trilogy $1,788,879,251 3 $596,293,084 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope ($775,398,007)
1 IV: A New Hope $775,398,007
2 V: The Empire Strikes Back $538,375,067
3 VI: Return of the Jedi $475,106,177
The Clone Wars $68,282,844
4 Marvel Cinematic Universe $3,802,227,995 6 $633,704,666 The Avengers ($1,511,757,910)
The Avengers $1,511,757,910
Iron Man $1,209,107,553 2 $604,553,777 Iron Man 2 ($623,933,331)
1 Iron Man 2 $623,933,331
2 Iron Man $585,174,222
Thor $449,326,618
Captain America: The First Avenger $368,608,363
The Incredible Hulk $263,427,551
5 Pirates of the Caribbean $3,727,735,967 4 $931,933,992 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($1,066,179,725)
1 Dead Man's Chest $1,066,179,725
2 On Stranger Tides $1,043,871,802
3 At World's End $963,420,425
4 The Curse of the Black Pearl $654,264,015
6 Batman $3,718,343,339 8 $464,792,917 The Dark Knight Rises ($1,081,041,287)
Nolan trilogy $2,459,818,404 3 $819,939,468 The Dark Knight Rises ($1,081,041,287)
1 The Dark Knight Rises $1,081,041,287
2 The Dark Knight $1,004,558,444
3 Batman Begins $374,218,673
Burton/Schumacher series $1,252,907,544 4 $313,226,886 Batman ($411,348,924)
1 Batman $411,348,924
2 Batman Forever $336,529,144
3 Batman Returns $266,822,354
4 Batman & Robin $238,207,122
Batman: Mask of the Phantasm $5,617,391
7 J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-Earth $3,634,681,376 5 $726,936,275 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119,929,521)
Peter Jackson series $3,604,209,956 4 $901,052,489 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119,929,521)
The Lord of the Rings $2,917,506,956 3 $972,502,319 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119,929,521)
1 The Return of the King $1,119,929,521
2 The Two Towers $926,047,111
3 The Fellowship of the Ring $871,530,324
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey $686,703,000
The Lord of the Rings (1978) $30,471,420
8 Shrek $3,510,516,231 5 $702,103,246 Shrek 2 ($919,838,758)
Main series $2,955,807,005 4 $738,951,751 Shrek 2 ($919,838,758)
1 Shrek 2 $919,838,758
2 Shrek The Third $798,958,162
3 Shrek Forever After $752,600,867
4 Shrek $484,409,218
Puss in Boots $554,709,226
9 The Twilight Saga $3,314,822,527 5 $662,964,505 The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 ($799,330,000)
1 Breaking Dawn – Part 2 $799,330,000
2 Breaking Dawn – Part 1 $712,171,856
3 New Moon $709,827,462
4 Eclipse $698,491,347
5 Twilight $392,616,625
6 Twilight/New Moon combo $2,385,237
10 Spider-Man $3,248,563,075 4 $812,140,769 Spider-Man 3 ($890,871,626)
Raimi series $2,496,346,518 3 $832,115,506 Spider-Man 3 ($890,871,626)
1 Spider-Man 3 $890,871,626
2 Spider-Man $821,708,551
3 Spider-Man 2 $783,766,341
The Amazing Spider-Man $752,216,557
11 Ice Age $2,800,447,450 4 $700,111,863 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($886,686,817)
1 Dawn of the Dinosaurs $886,686,817
2 Continental Drift $875,115,339
3 The Meltdown $655,388,158
4 Ice Age $383,257,136
12 Transformers $2,675,610,116 4 $668,902,529 Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1,123,746,996)
Live-action series $2,669,760,469 3 $889,920,156 Transformers: Dark of the Moon ($1,123,746,996)
1 Dark of the Moon $1,123,746,996
2 Revenge of the Fallen $836,303,693
3 Transformers $709,709,780
The Transformers: The Movie $5,849,647
13 Mission: Impossible $2,096,647,856 4 $524,161,964 Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol ($694,713,380)
1 Ghost Protocol $694,713,380
2 Mission: Impossible II $546,388,105
3 Mission: Impossible $457,696,359
4 Mission: Impossible III $397,850,012
14 Indiana Jones $1,983,841,081 4 $495,960,270 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($786,636,033)
1 Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $786,636,033
2 Last Crusade $474,171,806
3 Raiders of the Lost Ark $389,925,971
4 Temple of Doom $333,107,271
15 Toy Story $1,948,143,626 3 $649,381,209 Toy Story 3 ($1,063,171,911)
1 Toy Story 3 $1,063,171,911
2 Toy Story 2 $485,015,179
3 Toy Story $361,958,736
4 Toy Story/Toy Story 2 (3D) $32,284,600
5 Toy Story 2 (3D) $5,713,200
16 Jurassic Park $1,902,110,926 3 $634,036,975 Jurassic Park ($914,691,118)
1 Jurassic Park $914,691,118
2 The Lost World $618,638,999
3 Jurassic Park III $368,780,809
17 X-Men $1,890,097,619 5 $378,019,524 X-Men: The Last Stand ($459,359,555)
Main series $1,163,410,631 3 $387,803,544 X-Men: The Last Stand ($459,359,555)
1 The Last Stand $459,359,555
2 X2: X-Men United $407,711,549
3 X-Men $296,339,527
X-Men Origins: Wolverine $373,062,864
First Class $353,624,124
18 Madagascar $1,878,691,276 3 $626,230,425 Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted ($742,110,251)
1 3: Europe's Most Wanted $742,110,251
2 Escape 2 Africa $603,900,354
3 Madagascar $532,680,671
19 Men in Black $1,655,236,118 3 $551,745,373 Men in Black 3 ($624,026,776)
1 Men in Black 3 $624,026,776
2 Men in Black $589,390,539
3 Men in Black II $441,818,803
20 The Matrix $1,632,989,142 3 $544,329,714 The Matrix Reloaded ($742,128,461)
1 The Matrix Reloaded $742,128,461
2 The Matrix $463,517,383
3 The Matrix Revolutions $427,343,298
21 The Fast and the Furious $1,591,404,818 5 $318,280,964 Fast Five ($626,137,675)
1 Fast Five $626,137,675
2 Fast & Furious $363,164,265
3 2 Fast 2 Furious $236,350,661
4 The Fast and the Furious $207,283,925
5 Tokyo Drift $158,468,292
22 The Chronicles of Narnia $1,580,364,900 3 $526,788,300 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe ($745,013,115)
1 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe $745,013,115
2 Prince Caspian $419,665,568
3 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader $415,686,217
23 Star Trek $1,463,693,272 11 $133,063,025 Star Trek ($385,680,446)
The Original Series $622,900,000 6 $103,816,667 Star Trek: The Motion Picture ($139,000,000)
1 The Motion Picture $139,000,000
2 IV: The Voyage Home $133,000,000
3 VI: The Undiscovered Country $96,900,000
4 II: The Wrath of Khan $96,800,000
5 III: The Search for Spock $87,000,000
6 V: The Final Frontier $70,200,000
The Next Generation $455,112,826 4 $113,778,207 Star Trek: First Contact ($150,000,000)
1 First Contact $150,000,000
2 Generations $120,000,000
3 Insurrection $117,800,000
4 Nemesis $67,312,826
Star Trek $385,680,446
24 The Mummy $1,415,408,499 4 $353,852,125 The Mummy Returns ($433,013,274)
Main series $1,250,075,319 3 $416,691,773 The Mummy Returns ($433,013,274)
1 The Mummy Returns $433,013,274
2 The Mummy $415,933,406
3 Tomb of the Dragon Emperor $401,128,639
The Scorpion King $165,333,180
25 Terminator $1,402,938,658 4 $350,734,665 Terminator 2: Judgment Day ($519,843,345)
1 2: Judgment Day $519,843,345
2 3: Rise of the Machines $433,371,112
3 Terminator Salvation $371,353,001
4 The Terminator $78,371,200

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