In laymen terms, the highest grossing movies are those that have done impeccable business since the time they've been first released on the big screen for the broad audience. Their success is measured by the length of the time period they've been successfully viewed in the cinemas and more importantly by the amount of revenue generated by the films. While mostly a movie's performance is evaluated by how it does business in the theaters, there are certain other streams as well that contribute heavily to the revenue. Some of these other channels include entertainment through home video, rights to broadcasting on television and various merchandising.
We are going to look at ten of the highest grossing movies of all time in the Hollywood cinema while trying to find a recipe for inclusion in the top ten list. You should also note the fact, that all of these movies have grossed over a billion dollars and still earning. For reasons of inappropriate data collection of old films and inflation, only the most recent movies have been taken into consideration. If the revenue of Gone with the Wind is calculated with contemporary prices, it could easily take the top position with a safe earning of more than $3 billion. It has been the most successful film for up to 25 years after its initial release.
While evaluating the top scoring movies of the past fifteen years, the first position is secured by none other than Avatar, an epic science fiction American film; the movie directed, produced and written by James Cameron has done an enormous business of $2.7 billion. Surprisingly enough, following Avatar is again an epic movie created by James Cameron: Titanic. Records show that the film has done the astonishing $1.8 billion.
Moving on to the next spot, the movie taking the third position with $1.33 billion is the franchise film Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows: Part II. The next three movies following suit are Transformers: Dark of the Moon, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest – all doing business of approximately $1.1 billion and all of them being franchises too.
Animated movies have also managed to pull in a lot of fanatic viewers to the cinema for a long time now. With a dedication to quality and originality of the story, the animated films have done just as well on the box office as movies of serious nature and with live characters. So the seventh highest grossing film is none other than Toy Story 3, which has done $1.06 billion at the box office. The last three movies having a place in the top ten of the world’s highest grossing movies yet are Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Alice in Wonderland and The Dark Knight, each with a revenue slightly higher than a billion dollars.
By a survey of the records, it becomes evident that the franchise films are the ones, which have performed the best in worldwide cinemas. With the exception of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, it seems a film should be either a franchise's episode or a James Cameron movie in order to be on the top ten list. Generally speaking, franchise films are the movies that have been made into series. So to emphasize the power of franchises even further, some of the popular series that have not been mentioned in the countdown above are Star Wars, Spiderman and Superman. And there are numerous animated franchise series too that have reached great heights of fame, like Ice Age, Shrek and the recently re-released in 3D The Lion King.
The latter leads us to another notable trend. Despite all of the criticism (including ours) 3D movies receive, more than the half of the films among the top ten highest grossing movies are actually 3D films. Of course, this could be attributed to the higher prices for viewing movies in 3D but it is a trend worth mentioning and it explains why even blockbusters like Titanic and The Lion King have been recently re-released in 3D.