Films generate income from several revenue streams, including theatrical exhibition, home video, television broadcast rights, and merchandising. However, theatrical box office earnings are the primary metric for trade publications in assessing the success of a film, mostly because of the availability of the data compared to sales figures for home video and broadcast rights, but also because of historical practice. All charts are ranked by international theatrical box office performance where possible, excluding income derived from home video, broadcasting rights, and merchandise.
We’ve put together a list of the all time highest grossing movies worldwide (as of the 26th of January 2020).
1. Avengers: Endgame (2019)
Worldwide gross: $2,797,800,564
Avengers: Endgame is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers, 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and the twenty-second film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
It was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Paul Rudd, Brie Larson, Karen Gillan, Danai Gurira, Benedict Wong, Jon Favreau, Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Josh Brolin. In the film, the surviving members of the Avengers and their allies attempt to reverse the damage caused by Thanos in Infinity War.
2. Avatar (2009)
Worldwide gross: $2,789,958,507
Avatar is an epic science fiction film directed, written, produced, and co-edited by James Cameron and stars Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, Stephen Lang, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sigourney Weaver. The film is set in the mid-22nd century when humans are colonizing Pandora, a lush habitable moon of a gas giant in the Alpha Centauri star system, in order to mine the mineral unobtanium, a room-temperature superconductor.
The expansion of the mining colony threatens the continued existence of a local tribe of Na’vi – a humanoid species indigenous to Pandora. The film’s title refers to a genetically engineered Na’vi body operated from the brain of a remotely located human that is used to interact with the natives of Pandora.
3. Titanic (1997)
Worldwide gross: $2,187,463,944
Titanic is an epic romance and disaster film directed, written, co-produced, and co-edited by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.
4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Worldwide gross: $2,068,223,624
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (also known as Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens) is an epic space-opera film produced, co-written and directed by J. J. Abrams. It is the first installment of the Star Wars sequel trilogy, following Return of the Jedi (1983). It was produced by Lucasfilm Ltd., Abrams’s production company Bad Robot Productions and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. The film stars Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Peter Mayhew, and Max von Sydow.
It was the first Star Wars film to not significantly involve franchise creator George Lucas. Set 30 years after Return of the Jedi, the film follows Rey, Finn, and Poe Dameron’s search for Luke Skywalker and their fight in the Resistance, led by General Leia Organa and veterans of the Rebel Alliance, against Kylo Ren and the First Order, a successor to the Galactic Empire. It is the seventh film in the nine-part “Skywalker saga”.
5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018)
Worldwide gross: $2,048,359,754
Avengers: Infinity War is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and 2015’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, and the nineteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
It was directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, written by Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely, and features an ensemble cast including Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Benedict Cumberbatch, Don Cheadle, Tom Holland, Chadwick Boseman, Paul Bettany, Elizabeth Olsen, Anthony Mackie, Sebastian Stan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Dave Bautista, Zoe Saldana, Josh Brolin, and Chris Pratt. In the film, the Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy attempt to prevent Thanos from amassing the all-powerful Infinity Stones in a quest to wipe out half of all life in the universe.
6. Jurassic World (2015)
Worldwide gross: $1,670,400,637
Jurassic World is a science fiction adventure film, the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, and the first film in the Jurassic World trilogy. It was directed by Colin Trevorrow, written by Derek Connolly and Trevorrow, produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley, and stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD Wong, and Irrfan Khan.
7. The Lion King (2019)
Worldwide gross: $1,656,943,394
The Lion King is a 2019 animated musical film directed and produced by Jon Favreau, written by Jeff Nathanson, and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. It is a photorealistic computer-animated remake of Disney’s traditionally animated 1994 film of the same name.
The film stars the voices of Donald Glover, Seth Rogen, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, Billy Eichner, John Kani, John Oliver, and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, as well as James Earl Jones reprising his role from the original film. The plot follows Simba, a young lion who must embrace his role as the rightful king of his native land following the murder of his father, Mufasa, at the hands of his uncle, Scar.
8. The Avengers (2012)
Worldwide gross: $1,518,812,988
Marvel’s The Avengers or simply The Avengers, is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sixth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, and Jeremy Renner as the titular Avengers team, alongside Tom Hiddleston, Clark Gregg, Cobie Smulders, Stellan Skarsgård, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, Nick Fury, director of the spy agency S.H.I.E.L.D., recruits Tony Stark, Steve Rogers, Bruce Banner, and Thor to form a team that must stop Thor’s brother Loki from subjugating Earth.
9. Furious 7 (2015)
Worldwide gross: $1,515,047,671
Furious 7 (alternatively known as Fast & Furious 7 or Fast Seven) is an action film directed by James Wan and written by Chris Morgan. It is the seventh installment in The Fast and the Furious franchise.
The film stars Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Jordana Brewster, Djimon Hounsou, Kurt Russell and Jason Statham. Furious 7 follows Dominic Toretto (Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Walker), and the rest of their team, who have returned to the United States to live normal lives after securing amnesty for their past crimes in Fast & Furious 6 (2013), until Deckard Shaw (Statham), a rogue special forces assassin seeking to avenge his comatose younger brother, puts the team in danger once again.
10. Frozen II (2019)
Worldwide gross: $1,406,474,969
Frozen II, also known as Frozen 2, is a 2019 3D computer-animated musical fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Animation Studios. The 58th animated film produced by the studio, it is the sequel to the 2013 film Frozen and features the return of directors Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee, producer Peter Del Vecho, songwriters Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez, and composer Christophe Beck.
Veteran voice cast Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff, and Ciarán Hinds return as their previous characters, and they are joined by newcomers Sterling K. Brown, Evan Rachel Wood, Alfred Molina, Martha Plimpton, Jason Ritter, Rachel Matthews, and Jeremy Sisto.
11. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)
Worldwide gross: $1,402,805,868
Avengers: Age of Ultron is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics superhero team the Avengers, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the sequel to 2012’s The Avengers and the eleventh film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film was written and directed by Joss Whedon and features an ensemble cast that includes Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgård, James Spader, and Samuel L. Jackson. In the film, the Avengers fight Ultron, an artificial intelligence obsessed with causing human extinction.
12. Black Panther (2018)
Worldwide gross: $1,346,913,161
Black Panther is a superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The film is directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death, but his sovereignty is challenged by an adversary who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution.