10 Action Franchises That Banked The Most Money

Since their release, James Cameron’s films Avatar and Titanic together have grossed close to $5 billion internationally. They currently take the top two places of the highest-grossing films of all time.

Seven entries inside the top ten highest-grossing films of all time are part of franchises. For example, the current number three entry is this year’s release, Jurassic World. Despite the film’s cumulative gross exceeding $1.6 billion, the Jurassic Park franchise, with four films in total, misses the top ten highest-grossing film franchises by one entry, currently at number eleven.

At number twenty-four with twelve films, Star Trek has grossed over $1.9 billion internationally. Following that closely are Toy Story and Indiana Jones, with three and four films respectively. The two have grossed over $1.9 billion individually.

The Hunger Games, with three films, is at number twenty of all time with over $2.3 billion gross, followed closely by Mission Impossible, in the number seventeen position with a gross of over $2.5 billion. Closer to the top ten are X-Men, Twilight and Shrek, with a gross of $3 billion, $3.3 billion, and $3.5 billion.

Here are the top ten entries of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time.

10. Pirates of The Caribbean - $3,729,577,967


The Pirates of The Caribbean franchise includes four films, the least amount of entries out of the whole top ten. The films feature Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly, Orlando Bloom and Geoffrey Rush.

It peaked with the second release in 2006, and resurrected with its last release five years later. The highest-grossing of the franchise is Pirates of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, with over $1 billion accumulated in worldwide ticket sales. The film franchise has two entries in the top twenty of all time, and three in the overall fifty highest-grossing films. Their total worldwide gross is $3.7 billion.

9. Transformers - $3,779,696,275


The Transformers franchise, the 2000s revival of the beloved cartoons, includes five films; an animated release released in 1986, and four live-action films. The actors featured include Josh Duhamel, Shia LeBouf, Tyrese Gibson, Hugo Weaving, and Mark Wahlberg. The director of the set, Michael Bay, is known for action movies like Bad Boys, Armageddon, and Pearl Harbor.

The Transformers franchise peaked with its third release, and highest-grossing, Transformers: Dark of The Moon. That film has grossed over $1.12 billion in worldwide ticket sales. The latest, Transformers: Age of Extinction, has grossed $1.10 billion. The franchise is currently over $3.7 billion internationally.

8. Batman - $3,805,543,530


This franchise is the first and lowest-charting which includes double-digit releases. This includes ten films made under the Batman umbrella. There is the original 1966 release, a 1993 animated film, the five Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher films, Catwoman, and the Christopher Nolan trilogy, the latest being the most successful.

Throughout all of the resurrections, the main character, and superhero, has been played by actors Adam West, Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer, George Clooney and Christian Bale. Sidekicks and antagonists include those played by Heath Ledger, Jim Carrey, Nicole Kidman, Danny DeVito, Anne Hathaway, Halle Berry, Tom Hardy, Jack Nicholson, Tommy Lee Jones, Drew Barrymore, Uma Thurman and Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The Dark Knight and The Dark Night Rises both grossed over $1 billion individually, with the latter being on top of the bunch, and number fourteen of all-time, grossing over $1.08 billion. The whole franchise is currently at $3.8 billion.

7. The Fast and The Furious - $3,894,912,149


This set includes seven films, going back to The Fast and The Furious in 2001 and the latest and highest-grossing of the bunch, Furious 7, in 2015. The latter has so far grossed over $1.5 billion internationally and is number five on the list of all-time.

The films took a big dip on its third installment in 2006, Tokyo Drift, but once the fourth film, Fast and Furious, came in 2009, the additional four films did better with each release. The franchise made a steady up-hill climb in ticket sale revenue, including the latest, after the death of actor Paul Walker. The overall gross for the franchise is over $3.8 billion.


4 Spider-Man - $3,963,259,504


The Spider-Man franchise includes 2000's Spider-Man, played by Tobey Maguire and love interest Kristen Dunst, and 2010's revival The Amazing Spiderman, played by Andrew Garfield and love interest Emma Stone.

Interestingly enough, the first and last installments of Spider-Man are in the top 50 highest-grossing of all time. The same is not the case for The Amazing Spiderman, since they have all grossed under $760 million each. The second set of films together have grossed over $1.4 billion internationally, whereas the trilogy has grossed over $2.4 billion.

The highest-grossing film is Spider-Man 3, with over $890 million. The overall gross of franchise the franchise surpasses $3.9 billion.

5. Star Wars - $4,391,953,805


The Star Wars franchise includes seven films, three of the original, three of the prequel, and a 2008 animated film, all by George Lucas. The series includes two entries in the all-time list, both from the prequel trilogy. The highest-grossing of the bunch is Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace, with over $1 billion in international revenue.

Most of these films held higher positions on the list before the turn of the new century, especially in the past ten years, when films have higher budgets, higher promotional tools, and higher ticket prices. The overall gross for all films is $4.3 billion.

4. Middle Earth - $5,883,468,587


The Middle Earth series includes seven films, six by Peter Jackson, and the animated 1978 film, The Lord of the Rings. The two Jackson installments include the initial three for Lord of the Rings, and three latest for The Hobbit.

The latest three grossed more internationally than two of the originals. However, the highest grossing of the set is The Return of The King, released in 2003, with over $1.1 billion internationally.

Even though the LOTR trilogy gained momentum, grossing higher with each release, the Hobbit trilogy has decreased with each release, with the lowest of the three being the latest, The Battle of the Five Armies. The overall gross of the series is $5.8 billion.

3 James Bond - $6,469,778,047


James Bond is the franchise with most entries within a series of films, with twenty-five movies released. This goes back to the original film, Dr. No, in 1962 portrayed by Sean Connery, and includes starring roles by Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and current performer Daniel Craig as 007.

The highest-grossing film off this series, Skyfall, has grossed over $1.1 billion, putting it at number twelve in the all-time list. The newest installment, Spectre, directed by Sam Mendes, was just released. The overall gross for these is $6.4 billion internationally.

2 Harry Potter - $7,723,431,572


The Harry Potter series, based on the books by J.K. Rowling, includes eight films in the spawn of a decade, starting with Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone in 2001, and finishing with Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows - Part 2 in 2011.

The lowest grossing film from the franchise is the third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. All of the entries are inside the top fifty of highest-grossing films of all time, including the last installment at number seven, with over $1.3 billion gross worldwide. Overall, the franchise has grossed $7.7 billion internationally.

1 Marvel Cinematic Universe - $9,081,386,580


The Marvel Universe film franchise boasts three entries in the top ten of the all-time highest-grossing films: The Avengers (number four), The Avengers: Age of Ultron (number six), and Iron Man 3 (number nine).

In this intricate world, there are twelve films included, involving Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, the Guardians of The Galaxy, and Ant-Man. The actors involved include Scarlett Johansson, Chris Pratt, Chris Hemsworth, Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, Natalie Portman, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, and Zoe Zaldana. Between all of these releases, the overall international gross is $9 billion, and counting.




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