The 50 Biggest Box Office Franchises of All Time

From Star Wars to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, movie franchises have driven the global box office for decades.

Newsweek reveals the all-time highest-grossing film franchises, based on global box office statistics compiled by movie industry data website The Numbers.

50. Deadpool ($1,570,612,681)

Deadpool
Actors Blake Lively (L) and Ryan Reynolds attend the Deadpool fan event at AMC Empire Theatre on February 8, 2016 in New York City Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The superhero movie franchise packed with adult humor is based on the Marvel Comics character with incredible healing powers.

49. Alien ($1,629,599,887)

Alien
American actress Sigourney Weaver in the role of Ripley in the film Alien Hulton Archive/Getty Images

This long-running science-fiction horror movie franchise depicts humans battling an extraterrestrial lifeform, commonly known as "the Alien" or Xenomorph.

48. Matrix ($1,631,254,389)

Matrix
Keanu Reeves and Hugo Weaving face each other in a scene from Andy and Larry Wachowski's 1999 movie The Matrix. In this scene, Neo (Reeves) fights the computerized Agent Smith (Weaving) Ronald Siemoneit/Sygma/Getty Images

This science fiction action film trilogy is a dystopian cyberpunk story incorporating loaded references to philosophical and religious ideas.

47. How to Train Your Dragon ($1,632,044,397)

How to Train Your Dragon
This animated franchise from DreamWorks animation revolves around a young Viking boy who forms an unlikely friendship with a deadly dragon DreamWorks Animation, Vertigo Entertainment

This animated franchise from DreamWorks animation revolves around a young Viking boy who forms an unlikely friendship with a deadly dragon.

46. King Kong ($1,639,065,731)

King Kong
King Kong has appeared in numerous movies since its 1933 inception FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives/Getty Images

King Kong is a fictional monster, resembling an enormous ape, that has appeared in numerous movies since its 1933 inception.

45. Guardians of the Galaxy ($1,639,995,496)

Guardians of the Galaxy
Zoe Saldana, Chris Pratt, Karen Gillan and David Bautista attends the "Guardians of the Galaxy" photocall on July 25, 2014 in London, England Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Marvel's space-set superhero film franchise finds a charismatic human forming a group with unwilling and eccentric alien characters.

44. Bourne ($1,665,926,127)

Bourne
Matt Damon in a scene from the film The Bourne Identity, 2001 Universal Pictures/Getty Images

These movies are a series of action thriller films based on a CIA assassin suffering from amnesia Jason Bourne.

43. Godzilla ($1,639,065,731)

Godzilla
A poster for Ishirô Honda's 1954 horror 'Gojira' (AKA 'Godzilla') starring Takashi Shimura Movie Poster Image Art/Getty Images

Centered on the fictional kaiju monster Godzilla, this is one of the oldest film franchises on this list, with the first movie arriving in 1954.

42. Kung Fu Panda ($1,817,918,903)

Kung Fu Panda
This DreamWorks animation consisting of three films is set in ancient China following the bumbling panda and kung fu enthusiast called Po DreamWorks Animation, Universal Pictures, Paramount Pictures

This DreamWorks animation consisting of three films is set in ancient China following the bumbling panda and kung fu enthusiast called Po.

41. The Incredibles ($1,874,246,451)

The Incredibles
The animated Incredibles franchise occurs in a universe where a family of superheroes are periodically forced into action despite a ban issued on them by the Government Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures

The animated Incredibles franchise occurs in a universe where a family of superheroes are periodically forced into action despite a ban issued on them by the Government.

40. MonsterVerse ($1,895,598,043)

MonsterVerse
King Kong Vs Gegen Godzilla in 1974 FilmPublicityArchive/United Archives/Getty Images

The MonsterVerse film franchise revolves around a series of oversized monster movies featuring Godzilla and King Kong.

39. The Conjuring ($1,904,011,496)

The Conjuring
Actors Ron Livingston, Shanley Caswell, Hayley McFarland and director James Wan attend "The Conjuring" premiere during the 2013 Los Angeles Film Festival at American Airlines Theater on June 21, 2013 in Los Angeles, California Joe Scarnici/WireImage/Getty Images

The Conjuring Universe spans four decades and focuses on a series of supernatural horror films

38. Men in Black ($1,940,844,428)

Men in Black
Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones aiming their weapons towards the sky in a scene from the film Men In Black, 1997 Columbia Pictures/Getty Images

The science-fiction franchise focuses on the Men in Black organization entrusted to monitor and regulate the planet's paranormal and alien activity.

37. Thor ($1,944,411,912)

Thor
Chris Hemsworth and Jaimie Alexander filming the new Thor movie sequel on September 11, 2012 in London, England. Alex Moss/FilmMagic/Getty Images

The three-film Marvel superhero franchise finds the god Thor cast out of the fantastic realm of Asgard by his father Odin to live among humans.

36. Finding Nemo ($1,961,100,977)

Finding Nemo
Pixar's two CGI animated adventure films are about friendly creatures swimming about their daily lives under the ocean Pixar, Disney Enterprises

Pixar's two CGI animated adventure films are about friendly creatures swimming about their daily lives under the ocean.

35. Indiana Jones ($1,961,339,569)

Indiana Jones
Harrison Ford in a scene from the film Indiana Jones And The Temple Of Doom, 1984 Paramount/Getty Images

These films are based on the adventures of fictional professor of archaeology Dr Henry Walton "Indiana" Jones Jr, that began in 1981 with the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie.

34. Terminator ($2,074,483,263)

Terminator
Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger on the set of 1984's Terminator Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

This science-fiction film franchise addresses the fight between Skynet's artificially intelligent killer robots and the human Resistance movement.

33. Jumanji ($2,082,972,694)

Jumanji
Robin Williams sinks into the floor in a scene from the film Jumanji, 1995 TriStar/Getty Images

These adventure comedy movies are in part based on the 1981 children's book and find characters seemingly marooned inside a magical board game.

32. Planet of the Apes ($2,115,122,276)

Planet of the Apes
Charlton Heston kisses Kim Hunter in a publicity still issued for the film, Planet of the Apes, 1968. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

More than four decades after Charlton Heston first crash-landed on a dystopian future Earth ruled by apes, this revived CGI franchise is highly regarded by critics.

31. Captain America ($2,236,890,186)

Captain America
Actors Scarlett Johansson and Chris Evans attend the UK Film Premiere of Captain America: The Winter Soldier at Westfield London on March 20, 2014 in London, England Ian Gavan/Getty Images

Marvel's Captain America finds a frail man is transformed into a super-soldier and battle evil to save the world.

30. Star Trek ($2,266,907,732)

Star Trek
Patrick Stewart stars in the 1996 movie Star Trek: First Contact Getty Images

This science-fiction franchise follows the crew of the Starship Enterprise as they explore space—the final frontier.

29. Madagascar ($2,270,104,142)

Madagascar
This DreamWorks animation follows the adventures of a group of animals who have spent their pampered life in a New York zoo adjusting to living in the wild DreamWorks Animation, Pacific Data Images

This DreamWorks animation follows the adventures of a group of animals who have spent their pampered life in a New York zoo adjusting to living in the wild.

28. Iron Man ($2,421,720,208)

Iron Man
US actor Robert Downey Jr. poses by a life-size Iron Man model during a press conference on his latest movie Iron Man, in Tokyo, on September 3, 2008 AFP PHOTO / TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/Getty Images

This Marvels Comics franchise sees billionaire playboy philanthropist Tony Stark construct a high-tech armoured suit to fight against evil.

27. Dark Knight Trilogy ($2,440,278,890)

Dark Knight Trilogy
Film goers watch The Dark Knight featuring Heath Ledger during a public tribute outdoor movie night to the late actor at Burswood Park on February 12, 2011 in Perth, Australia Paul Kane/Getty Images

These three Christopher Nolan movies was a highly praised franchise centered around billionaire Bruce Wayne and his secret crime fighting alter-ego Batman.

26. Superman ($2,553,272,239)

Superman
American actor Christopher Reeve plays the comic-book hero as he mends a broken railway track in a scene from the film Superman Keystone/Getty Images

The franchise primarily follows the adventures of an alien superhero who also lives a secret life as a mild-mannered journalist Clark Kent.

25. The Lion King ($2,640,596,802)

The Lion King
US singer/songwriter Beyonce arrives for the world premiere of Disney's "The Lion King" at the Dolby theatre on July 9, 2019 in Hollywood ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

This Disney film franchise about a pride of lions living in the African savannah follows on from the success of the 1994 animated feature The Lion King.

24. Frozen ($2,714,890,833)

Frozen
Disney's Frozen franchise is about the animated adventures of Queen Elsa Walt Disney Pictures

Disney's Frozen franchise is about the animated adventures of Queen Elsa, her sister Princess Anna, Anna's boyfriend Kristoff who was raised by trolls and magic snowman Olaf.

23. Avatar ($2,845,899,541)

Avatar
Canadian film director James Cameron shows 3D glasses prior to a show of his movie Avatar on the side line of the World Economic Forum annual meeting on January 28, 2010 in Davos AFP PHOTO / FABRICE COFFRINI/Getty Images

Despite only one film released so far, the eagerly-anticipated sequel to the epic animated science fiction film Avatar is scheduled to be released in December next year.

22. The Hobbit ($2,920,570,560)

The Hobbit
Martin Freeman attends The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies World Premiere at Odeon Leicester Square on December 1, 2014 in London, England Dave J Hogan/Getty Images

This trio of high fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson is based on the 1937 novel The Hobbit by J R R Tolken.

21. Hunger Games ($2,958,353,344)

Hunger Games
Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Spanish premiere of the film The Hunger Games - Catching Fire at the Callao cinema on November 13, 2013 in Madrid, Spain Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage/Getty Images

This science-fiction dystopian adventure film franchise aimed at young adults is based on The Hunger Games trilogy of novels.

20. Toy Story ($3,054,457,147)

Toy Story
ixar's Toy Story is a critically acclaimed franchise also popular witth adults. Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures

Despite these animated movies being based on the adventures of children's playthings, Pixar's Toy Story, the critically acclaimed franchise also appeals to adults.

19. Ice Age ($3,206,624,261)

Ice Age
This animated comedy-drama adventure movie depicts a group of mammals surviving the Paleolithic ice age Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Studios

This animated comedy-drama adventure movie depicts a group of mammals surviving the Paleolithic ice age.

18. Twilight ($3,317,470,739)

Twilight
Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart attend The Twilight Saga: Eclipse photocall at De Russie Jardin on June 17, 2010 in Rome, Italy Elisabetta A. Villa//Getty Images

The Twilight Saga is a series of five vampire-themed romance fantasy films aimed to appeal to tweens.

17. Shrek ($3,545,629,858)

Shrek
The Shrek film franchise is characterized by its fantastical mixed fairytale setting centered around a solitary ogre DreamWorks Pictures, Universal Pictures, Pacific Data Images

The Shrek film franchise is characterized by its fantastical mixed fairytale setting centered around a solitary ogre.

16. Mission: Impossible ($3,577,423,206)

Mission: Impossible
American actor Tom Cruise as Ethan Hunt in a scene from the film Mission: Impossible in 1996. Here he steals the NOC list from the CIA headquarters in Langley Murray Close/Getty Images

These spy films produced by and starring Tom Cruise, playing Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force.

15. Despicable Me ($3,710,909,442)

Despicable Me
These animated movies concerns reformed super-villain called Gru assisted by his charismatic yellow-colored Minions Illumination Entertainment, Universal Pictures

These animated movies concerns reformed super-villain called Gru assisted by his charismatic yellow-colored Minions.

14. Pirates of the Caribbean ($4,522,062,632

Pirates of the Caribbean
Actor Johnny Depp (R) and actress Penelope Cruz attend the Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" photocall at the Palais des Festivals during the 64th Cannes Film Festival Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Johnny Depp plays the swashbuckling anti-hero Jack Sparrow in this action film franchise set at a time when pirates ruled the high seas.

13. Transformers ($4,846,579,018)

Transformers
U.S. actor Josh Duhamel attends Transformers: Revenge Of The Fallen photocall at Hassler Hotel on June 11, 2009 in Rome, Italy Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage/Getty Images

This series of science fiction action films are based on battling alien robots which disguise themselves when they arrive on Earth.

12. Jurassic Park ($5,008,426,006)

Jurassic Park
Laura Dern and Sam Neill come to the aid of a triceratops in a scene from the 1993 film Jurassic Park Universal/Getty Images

The Jurassic Park franchise orbits around the attempt to build a theme park of cloned dinosaurs.

11. DC Extended Universe ($5,636,640,023)

DC Extended Universe
Actors Ben Affleck (L) and Henry Cavill attend the Warner Bros. Pictures panel and presentation during Comic-Con International 2014 at San Diego Convention Center on July 26, 2014, California Kevin Winter/Getty Images

The DC Universe unites Superman and Batman and introduces classic comic book characters Wonder Woman and Aquaman to cinema for the first time.

10. Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings ($5,851,235,428)

Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings
Bonhams employee holds a clapper board from 'The Lord of the Rings' movie trilogy on July 31, 2014 in London, England. The board wrapped the very last scene that Sir Christopher Lee filmed in the third and final film The Return of the King Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images

The Lord of the Rings is the critically acclaimed series of epic fantasy adventure movie directed by Peter Jackson, based on the novel by J R R. Tolkien.

9. Fast and the Furious ($5,893,731,027)

Fast and the Furious
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker looking from car in a scene from the 2001 film The Fast And The Furious Universal/Getty Images

This popular action film franchise centers on the illegal street car racing scene and audacious heists.

8. Batman ($6,040,885,610)

Batman
American actor George Clooney poses with a model of Batman during a photocall for his latest film Batman and Robin at Planet Hollywood, London Colin Davey/Getty Images

The caped superhero debuted in a comic book in 1939, and the film franchise has since received a reboot on numerous occasions.

7. X-Men ($6,075,357,352)

X-Men
American actress Jennifer Lawrence as Raven, aka Mystique in a scene from the film X-Men: First Class Murray Close/Getty Images

A team of mutant superheroes, dubbed The X-Men, battle for justice and human acceptance in the Marvel Comics universe.

6. James Bond ($7,119,554,288)

James Bond
Irish actor Pierce Brosnan stars as James Bond in the 1995 film GoldenEye Keith Hamshere/Getty Images

Seven actors in total have portrayed the debonair British secret agent and the 25th James Bond movie No Die To Die, is belatedly due to arrive in cinemas this year.

5. Spider-Man ($7,222,939,596)

Spider-Man
Spider-Man creator Stan Lee attends the premiere of the Sony film Spider-Man 2 on June 22, 2004 at the Mann Village Theater, in Westwood, California Vince Bucci/Getty Images

Considered one of the most successful superhero movies ever made, Spider-Man is a superhero movie adaptation of one of Stan Lee's most popular Marvel creations.

4. Avengers ($7,752,758,277)

Avengers
Actor Chris Hemsworth arrives for the World Premiere of the film Avengers: Infinity War in Hollywood, California on April 23, 2018 FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP/Getty Images

The four Avengers movies find superheroes learning to fight together as a team to take on an array of powerful enemies.

3. Harry Potter ($9,215,022,636)

Harry Potter
Actors Emma Watson (L), Daniel Radcliffe (C) and Rupert Grint (R) attend a press conference for the movie Harry Potter and The Philosopher's Stone in London on August 23, 2000 Dave Hogan/Getty Images

This successful movie franchise is closely based on J K Rowling's fantasy novels chronicling the adventures of the young wizard and his friends.

2. Star Wars ($10,320,080,370)

Star Wars
American actors Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford on the set of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope written, directed and produced by George Lucas Sunset Boulevard/Corbis/Getty Images

Star Wars is the space opera mythology movie franchise created by George Lucas in 1976, which has so far spawned 11 live-action films.

1. Marvel Cinematic Universe ($22,557,315,232)

Marvel Cinematic Universe
The MCU is bringing its roster of legendary comic heroes to action-packed life, with 23 films currently available in the franchise arvel Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

The MCU is bringing its roster of legendary comic heroes to action-packed life, with 23 films currently available in the franchise.

Robert McLaughlin, a film distribution expert at Birmingham City University in the U.K., noted the incredible rise of the Marvel Studio from Howard the Duck in the mid-1980s to the "cinematic franchise juggernaut" it is today.

"From a B-Lister like Iron Man to the final shots of Avengers Endgame each piece of the MCU was carefully crafted by those who loved the comics and while not every film is five star material each has a unique feel but at the same time gel together and work in the same space," he told Newsweek by email.

"It is a great...no (Fantastic, Uncanny, Incredible, Mighty and Amazing) time to be a comic book geek!" he added.