With Age of Ultron releasing this weekend, it got me thinking about movie franchises and how they’ve affected moviegoing as some of the biggest box office heavyweights in history. Check out the list of the Top 10 Grossing Franchises after the break!
UPDATE: After the 2015 summer, there’s been a shakeup in the lower spots. Read below to see who got bumped.
10. 11. Transformers ($1,325M)
Directed by Michael Bay, who has earned a reputation for being one of the most divisive directors of all time (just ask our Facebook fans), the Transformers franchise brought action figures to the forefront of movie studio attention and has continued to haul in record-breaking box office receipts each time a sequel is released. Hate him or love him, Bay has creating money explosions down to a science.
9. 10. Twilight ($1,363.5M)
Following in the footsteps of the young adult (or YA) fantasy adaptation success story of Harry Potter, Twilight also split audiences heavily between the haters and diehards, but millions of young book fans turned out to support their favorite vampire and/or werewolf on the big screen. Which leads me to announce my next article: “Is Iron Man on Team Edward or Team Jacob?” (/sarcasm)
(Sept 2015 UPDATE!) 9. Jurassic Park ($1,417.8M)
Yes, it happened! With Jurassic World breaking all kinds of box office records this past summer, it brought the Jurassic Park franchise up several spots to overtake Twilight and Transformers for the #9 spot. More sequels on the horizon have already been announced, so it’s very likely we’ll see this oversized franchise stomp up a few more places on the box office ladder.
8. Shrek ($1,419.6M)
With a rapier wit that brought audiences in, both young and old, the William Steig adaptation continued to rake it in as it iterated off of its first success. Although the Puss In Boots spinoff didn’t do quite so well (only grossing 10% of the total out of the 5 Shrek movies), the originals carried more than enough water to bring this franchise into the top 10.
7. Spider-Man ($1,578.7M)
First as Tobey McGuire and more recently as Andrew Garfield (in the future, who knows?!), Spider-Man is one of Marvel’s most beloved superheroes. Yeah, maybe Spider-Man 3 wasn’t the most impressive of the movies in the franchise, but it did well enough to convince Sony to hang on to the rights and reboot it entirely. Rumor has it we’ll be seeing a crossover with the webslinger and the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) in the near future!
6. The Lord of the Rings ($1,877.1M)
Peter Jackson has exhausted all of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit books by J.R.R. Tolkien, but the early 20th century writer’s world is so vast that there could be more of these coming soon (or at least, he hasn’t ruled it out). Fun fact if you didn’t know: there was actually an attempt to make the LOTR story into a movie in 1978. It only grossed $30M, but it is cited as one of the inspirations for Jackson to take his own turn at the series.
See the top 5 movie franchises on the next page by clicking below!