When Walt Disney released Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1937, no one thought the animated feature would be a big hit. After proving all its critics wrong, the film outfit rose to fame and started making and releasing high-grossing movies one after the other. In its long history, Walt Disney has launched numerous profitable films, with the following comprising the Top 10 list.
10. Cars 2 (2011) – Worldwide gross: $560 million
This computer-animation is a comedy spy movie serving as a sequel to the 2006 movie Cars. Pixar Animation Studios produced and released it through Walt Disney Pictures. The motion picture hit the big screen in June 2011 in the U.S. in Disney Digital 3D, IMAX 3D, and traditional 2D and IMAX formats. Despite mixed reviews from film critics, it broke the studio’s critical success streak, hitting the top rank on its opening weekend in North America, where it grossed $66.14 million that weekend alone. It surpassed the international success of other Pixar movies like Toy Story, Monsters, Inc, and A Bug’s Life.
9. Tangled (2010) – Worldwide gross: $591 million
The computer animated film combines musical, fantasy, and comedy genres. It is a Walt Disney Animation Studios production released through Walt Disney Pictures. The movie is the most expensive animated flick ever produced after it incurred a production cost of about $260 million. It took six years to finish as it combined techniques of traditional animation and computer generated imagery. It also used non-photorealistic rendering to produce painting-like scenes. Luckily, the movie was well received by audiences and critics alike.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003) – Worldwide gross: $654 million
The fantasy adventure movie was an unexpected success. It was a film based on one of the popular rides at most Disney theme parks. Aside from the box office success, it was liked by most film critics. Thus, the movie became the first in what eventually came as a series of movies, which consisted of two back-to-back sequels in 2006 and 2007 and a much anticipated final installment in 2011. In 2003, it was considered a big risk as it adopted the theme of the 1995 flop movie Cutthroat Island.
7. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (2005) – Worldwide gross: $745 million
The movie based in C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia instantly generated positive reviews on its release in December 2005. It enjoyed a worldwide opening gross of $107.1 million, making it the fifth biggest opening movie for Disney worldwide. It remains as the highest grossing film within the Narnia franchise and the biggest film from producer Walden Media, which co-produced it with Walt Disney Pictures. Its DVD release was equally successful particularly in the U.S. and Canada.
6. The Lion King (1994) – Worldwide gross: $952 million
The epic musical drama is the most successful production of Walt Disney Feature Animation. Its development started in 1988 with the production commencing only in 1991. The music and story generated raves from most critics and audiences. Aside from gathering Academy and Golden Globe awards, it is so far the highest grossing two-dimensional animated movie in the U.S. In its initial run, it easily climbed the charts to become the highest grossing movie of all time globally, behind Jurassic Park. Now, it is the 17th biggest grossing movie worldwide.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (2007) – Worldwide gross: $960 million
The adventure fantasy movie was the third installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series. It easily rose to become the highest grossing motion picture in 2007 despite mixed critics’ reviews. Luckily, the movie earned so much as it is the most expensive movie ever produced worldwide after incurring a production cost totaling $300 million. It holds the record as the seventh biggest opening film, grossing $344 million only on its worldwide opening weekend.
4. Alice in Wonderland (2010) – Worldwide gross: $1.02 billion
The computer animated live action fantasy movie was directed by Tim Burton. Obviously, it was inspired by Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the 1865 novel by Lewis Caroll. The second highest grossing movie in 2010 is also the 11th highest grossing film of all time worldwide so far. On its debut weekend alone, it earned about $210.1 million globally. It dominated the box office for three weekends in a row. It is also the sixth movie to exceed the $1-billion-mark.
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) – Worldwide gross: $1.04 billion
Trailing closely behind Alice in Wonderland is this fantasy adventure movie. It is the fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film. As expected, it broke box office records on its release, making it the 12th biggest grossing movie of all time globally so far. It did not matter if it generated mostly negative reviews from critics, who complained about its alleged lack of originality, excessiveness, and poor script-writing. Its direction, visuals, and acting proved to be its redeeming factors.
2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) – Worldwide gross: $1.07 billion
The second movie of the Pirates of the Caribbean series was the highest grossing in all those four. Mostly positive reviews were generated by the film for its interesting plot and outstanding special effects. Its opening weekend in the U.S. broke records at $136 million. It also rose to be the fastest motion picture to reach $1 billion in overall gross worldwide. To date, it is the 10th highest grossing movie of all time worldwide.
1. The Avengers (2012) – Worldwide gross: $1.51 billion
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures released this Marvel Studios production, which is based on the superhero team from Marvel Comics. The movie easily received positive reviews from both critics and audiences. It broke records for the biggest opening weekend in the U.S. and Canada and the fastest flick to gross $1 billion. As of now, it ranks as No. 3 in the list of highest grossing movies of all time worldwide. Logically, it is also the biggest grossing adaptation of a comic book, the highest grossing superhero movie, and the highest grossing motion picture that Walt Disney ever released so far.
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