Disney is a powerhouse company that has managed to produce everything from beloved and timeless animated movies, to heart-stopping superhero flicks. The company has captured the hearts of people all of the world with smash hits like Frozen and old classics such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and The Lion King. Some of the best memories can be made from watching Disney movies with family or visiting one of the Disney theme parks to experience Disney magic first hand. Considering how many people attend Disney parks and watch practically all of the Disney movies made, it will come as no surprise that Disney is essentially a money making machine. Even if you just take a glance at the top grossing movies of all time list, it is clear that Disney dominates. So for your entertainment, below is a list of twelve of the top grossing Disney movies of all time. Some of these movies are old classics that have managed to stick with us through good times and bad. Others, are newer hits that will without doubt, live on and become their own brand of classic. Whenever these films were made, it is clear that they all managed to entice us with their Disney magic.
12 Monsters University (2013) - Over $743,000,000
Monsters University is the highly anticipated sequel of the beloved movie, Monsters Inc. The prequel goes back in time before Mike And Sully were friends to show how they met and the adventures that they had along the way. The plans to make the movie go all the way back till 2005, when Disney was planning on making a sequel to Monster’s Inc. However, in 2011 Disney announced that the sequel had turned into a prequel and the rest is history. Although Monsters University wasn’t as successful with the critics as its predecessor, audiences didn’t seem to mind. The movie earned a whopping $743.6 million, making it a box office smash.
11 Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (2008) - Over $786,000,000
When the plans were announced to continue the Indiana Jones series nineteen years after the third film’s release, the public was a little skeptical. The possibility of ruining a much loved and popular series was real with a fourth installment, but Disney continued with their production. The new film starred Cate Blanchett, Karen Allen, Shia LaBeouf and of course, Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones. The movie pitted Indiana Jones against Soviet agents in the search for a crystal skull. Although the audience reception of the movie was fairly mixed, Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull was a box office success. The film grossed an estimated $786 million, making it the franchise’s highest grossing film.
10 Finding Nemo (2003) - Over $936,000,000
Finding Nemo is a Disney and Pixar film that tells the story of an overprotective clown fish who goes on a wild adventure to find his lost son. The movie is filled with memorable characters like the ever forgetful Dory and Bruce the shark, who is doing his best not to eat his friends. The movie was released in 2012 and instantly won the favor of audiences and critics everywhere. The film won the Academy Award for Best animated feature and even went on to become the best selling DVD of all time. It grossed an estimated $936 million worldwide. Luckily for Finding Nemo fans everywhere, a sequel chronicling the adventures of Dory will be released in 2016.
9 Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007) - Over $963,000,000
The Pirates of the Caribbean series has been a massive moneymaker for Disney. When the series first started out, people were skeptical of the potential of turning a Disney ride into a movie, but with a powerhouse cast like, Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightly and Geoffrey Rush, the movie was bound for success. At World’s End is the third installment of the Pirates series and follows the original crew as they try to rescue Captain Jack Sparrow from Davy Jones’ Locker and fight the East India Trading Company. Although the critical reception of the movie was mixed, the film managed to make a whopping $963 million, making it a box office success.
8 The Lion King (1994) - Over $987,000,000
The Lion King is a Disney classic that never seems to get old (and probably never will). The story takes place in Africa, where a kingdom of lions are fighting for power. The narrative follows Shakespeare’s Hamlet but luckily the ending is much happier. The movie was released in 1994 and was praised by critics everywhere. Audiences agreed with the critics’ response and made it the highest grossing movie in 1994. In 2011, The Lion King was re-released with massive success. The film managed to rake in a cool $987 million, thanks to audiences that were feeling a bit nostalgic and newer audiences that were experiencing the magic of The Lion King for the first time.
7 Alice in Wonderland (2010) - Over $1,025,000,000
Alice in Wonderland is the Tim Burton re-imagining of Lewis Carroll’s classic novels, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. The movie stars big name actors like Johnny Depp, Mia Wasikowska, Anne Hathaway and Helena Bonham Carter. The film tells the story of Alice, who once again, finds herself in Wonderland to help restore the White Queen to the throne. Although the film received mixed reviews from critics, it ended up grossing $1.02 billion worldwide, making it Tim Burton’s most successful film to date. A sequel to the hit entitled, Alice in Wonderland: Through the Looking Glass, is set to be released in May, 2016.
6 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011) - Over $1,045,000,000
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides is the fourth installment in the wildly popular Pirates of the Caribbean series. The movie is the first in the series to be made without two of its biggest stars, Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom. Even though two of the main cast members were absent from the fourth movie, that didn't seem to dissuade theatergoers from seeing the film. The movie follows Captain Jack Sparrow as he searches for the fountain of youth. Although critical reception of the movie was mixed at best, the film broke many box office records, making an estimated gross of $1.4 billion worldwide and even stands as the 14th highest-grossing film of all time (when not adjusted for inflation).
5 Toy Story 3 (2010) - Over $1,063,000,000
Toy Story 3 is obviously the third film in the Toy Story series and arguably the best of the three. The movie follows the toys that audiences have come to know and love as Andy is heading to college. The tear jerking film was a hit with critics and audiences alike. It was nominated for five academy awards and it became the first animated film to make over $1 billion worldwide. Even though many fans thought that Toy Story 3 was the perfect bittersweet end to the Toy Story series, a fourth toy story is set to be released in 2017.
4 Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006) - Over $1,066,000,000
The third and final appearance on this list from the Pirates series comes from the second film in the series, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest. The film stars all of our favorite characters in all the swashbuckling fun that we have come to know and love. The film received mixed reviews from critics. Critics complained about the length of the movie and the over ambitious plot. Despite the critics’ response to the movie, the film became the fastest movie to ever gross over $1 billion worldwide. Of course the success of the movie enabled two more sequels to be made, and another that is in the process of filming.
3 Iron Man 3 (2013) Over $1,215,000,000
It’s sometimes still surprising that Walt Disney Studios is big enough to own Marvel but it’s true, and it has made the company a lot of money, over $1.2 billion worth. Iron Man 3 is the third installment in the Iron Man series. The movie follows Tony Stark as he tries to deal with post -traumatic stress while he is investigating a terrorist organization. The film premiered in 2013 and was successful with both critics and audiences. The film is currently ranked as the sixth-highest grossing film of all time. A fourth Iron Man is expected to be released after the next Avengers film.
2 Frozen (2013) - Over $1,274,000,000
Frozen is the wildly popular “new fairytale” that had all of us screaming, “Let it go,” at the top of our lungs for months on end. The film is inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale, The Snow Queen and tells the story of two sisters who both go on their own crazy adventures, only to learn that the love that they have for one another is the most important thing of all. The film was extremely popular with critics and has even been considered the best Disney film since The Lion King. Audiences also loved the film. The movie managed to gross almost $1.2 billion worldwide and currently ranks as the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
1 The Avengers (2012) - Over $1,518,000,000
The Avengers film was basically every Marvel fan’s dream. The film brings all of your favorite super heroes together in an effort to stop Loki from taking over the Earth. The film premiered in 2012 to rave reviews from audiences and critics alike. The film broke multiple box office records and even became the fastest film to gross $1.2 billion. Today, the film is the third highest grossing movie of all time. The highly anticipated sequel to the film is set to be released on May 1, 2015. In addition, a third and a fourth sequel are scheduled to be released in 2018 and 2019.