The Highest Grossing Movie of Every Year Since 2000

Oscar nods and critical acclaim are all well and good, but for a lot of producers the most important metric is how much the movie earns.

Box office statistics offer insight into how a movie is appreciated in wider popular culture.

Using combined worldwide box office data from The Numbers, Newsweek presents the highest-grossing movies in each year of this century.

Mission: Impossible 2 ($13,323,140,197)

2000 ‧ Action/Thriller ‧ 2h 3m

19 Mission- Impossible II
2000: Mission: Impossible 2 starring Tom Cruise and Thandiwe Newton Paramount Pictures

Secret agent Ethan Hunt travels to Sydney to search and destroy the genetically modified Chimera virus.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Your cranium may crave more substance, but your eyes will feast on the amazing action sequences"

Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone ($15,454,624,629)

2001 ‧ Fantasy/Adventure ‧ 2h 39m

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

Young orphan Harry Potter learns he is a wizard and is invited to study at Hogwarts school, where he enters a world of magic.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving—and often downright exciting—big-screen magical caper."

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers ($16,798,024,955)

2002 ‧ Fantasy/Adventure ‧ 3h 43m

The Lord of the Rings: The Two
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers sees Saruman launch an assault New Line Cinema, Saul Zaentz Company, WingNut Films, Saul Zaentz Film Co.

Saruman launches an assault from his domain as the two hobbits edge closer to Mordor with the suspect Gollum.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "The Two Towers balances spectacular action with emotional storytelling, leaving audiences both wholly satisfied and eager for the final chapter."

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($17,829,856,828)

2003 ‧ Fantasy/Adventure ‧ 4h 11m

46 The Return of the King
Actor McKellen in action in The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King New Line Cinema

The former Fellowship lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from the two intrepid hobbits.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy."

Shrek 2 ($19,065,247,431)

2004 ‧ Family/Comedy ‧ 1h 45m

26 Shrek 2
A scene from Dreamworks' Shrek 2 Dreamworks

Fiona's parents, the rulers of Far Far Away, invite the newlyweds to visit, but the king takes an instant dislike to Shrek.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "It may not be as fresh as the original, but topical humor and colorful secondary characters make Shrek 2 a winner in its own right."

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($18,344,149,172)

2005 ‧ Fantasy/Adventure ‧ 2h 37m

25 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Warner Bros.

After Harry becomes involved in an inter-school tournament, he is unwittingly involved in a dark conspiracy.

Rotten Tomatoes'critics' consensus states: "The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films."

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ($20,140,464,794)

2006 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 31m

01- Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Mans Chest (Disney)
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest Buena Vista Pictures

Jack Sparrow searches for Davy Jones' heart to avoid being enslaved by the mythical pirate.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Gone is Depp's unpredictability and much of the humor and originality of the first movie."

Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End ($23,264,556,416)

2007 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 49m

30 Pirates of the Caribbean- At World's End
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Buena Vista

Jack Sparrow's friends form an alliance to save him the pirate and battle against the East India Company.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "POTC: AWE provides the thrilling action scenes, but mixes in too many characters with too many incomprehensible plot threads."

The Dark Knight ($24,280,559,247)

2008 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 32m

The Dark Knight Rises
Actors Christian Bale in costume as Batman and Tom Hardy as Bane are seen on the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" on location on Wall Street on November 5, 2011 in New York City Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Batman pledges to take on the psychopathic The Joker, who plans to wreak havoc and chaos on the citizens of Gotham.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Dark, complex and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga."

Avatar ($25,909,615,170)

2009 ‧ Sci-fi/Sci-fi ‧ 2h 42m

#58. Avatar
A scene from hit movie Avatar Twentieth Century Fox

Disabled Marine Jake is sent on a unique mission and is faced with a dilemma about following his orders.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking."

Toy Story 3 ($25,274,344,985)

2010 ‧ Family/Comedy ‧ 1h 48m

20 Toy Story 3
Toy Story 3: The toys are mistakenly delivered to a daycare center, where they plot their return home Pixar/Disney

When Andy departs for college, the toys are mistakenly delivered to a daycare center, where they plot their return home.

Rotten Tomatoes' crucial consensus states: "Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 ($27,423,043,647)

2011 ‧ Fantasy/Fantasy ‧ 2h 10m

08 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows- Part 2
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 Warner Bros.

The wizards race to destroy the remaining Horcruxes while their friends battle to defend the school against evil Lord Voldemort.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying—and suitably magical—conclusion."

The Avengers ($31,712,391,848)

2012 ‧ Adventure/Action ‧ 2h 24m

avengers Marvel
The Avengers, 2012 Marvel

The planet's superheroes decide to collaborate to stop mischievous Loki's extraterrestrial army from taking over the world.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies."

Frozen ($29,821,271,282)

2013 ‧ Family/Musical ‧ 1h 49m

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

Teenage girl Elsa starts an epic quest with an iceman and a reindeer to search for her sister.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon."

Transformers: Age of Extinction ($29,959,240,869)

Action/Sci-fi ‧ 2h 45m

24 Transformers- Age of Extinctio
Transformers: Age of Extinction Paramount Pictures

The Transformers race to come to the rescue when the world faces annihilation from a terrifying new threat,

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "With the fourth installment in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is in disguise: Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply."

Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens ($36,091,491,001)

2015 ‧ Sci-fi/Adventure ‧ 2h 15m

Chewbacca and Han Solo - Harrison Ford
Chewbacca and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) on the Millennium Falcon in Star Wars: The Force Awakens Lucasfilm

When a new order threatens to topple the New Republic, members of the Resistance and the Republic race to stop them.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy."

Captain America: Civil War ($37,059,805,141)

2016 ‧ Action/Adventure ‧ 2h 28m

captain america civil war marvel
Captain America: Civil War Marvel

Tension grows after a section of the Avengers supports the U.S. Government decides to control their powers, while the others opposes it.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes."

Star Wars Ep. VIII: The Last Jedi ($37,936,871,922)

2017 ‧ Sci-fi/Action ‧ 2h 32m

Mark Hamill Star Wars
(L-R) Producer Kathleen Kennedy, C-3PO and Mark Hamill attend the 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' press conference at the Ritz Carlton Tokyo on December 7, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. Christopher Jue/Getty Images for Disney

Luke Skywalker's isolated existence ends he meets he encounters Rey, who shows strong signs of the Force.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists—and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for."

Avengers: Infinity War ($38,282,395,462)

2018 ‧ Action/Sci-fi ‧ 2h 40m

avengers infinity war Marvel
Avengers: Infinity War Marvel

The superheroes team attempt to prevent cosmic criminal Thanos from obliterating the Universe.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions."

Avengers: Endgame ($38,763,440,114)

2019 ‧ Action/Sci-fi ‧ 3h 2m

avengers endgame marvel
"Avengers: Endgame," 2019 Marvel

Intergalactic enemy Thanos conquers the Universe, meaning the Avengers must assemble again for one final battle.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga."

Demon Slayer-Kimetsu no Yaiba-The Movie: Mugen Train ($8,310,419,334)

2020 ‧ Fantasy/Action ‧ 2 hours

Demon Slayer
Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba Aniplex

A feral child and a friend with magical powers embark on a strange journey with the Flame Pillar.

Rotten Tomatoes' critics' consensus states: "Demon Slayer's visually stunning animation and masterful action set pieces serve a heartfelt plot that is sure to satisfy fans."