The Highest Grossing Movies of the Century So Far

With new movie releases consistently breaking box office records, Hollywood hitmakers have rewritten the economics of cinema.

This may surprise some observers, given the apparent rise of illegal streaming and increased competition from computers games and high-quality TV.

However, with fewer films doing better business, the rise of the movie mega-franchise and a growing reliance on remakes, a clear trend has emerged.

Most of the all-time highest-grossing movies were released this century, even when cinema ticket price inflation is factored in.

Below, Newsweek counts down to the best-selling movies released in cinemas this century, according to Box Office Mojo.

18. Iron Man 3 (2013)

$1,214,811,252

Iron Man 3 is every bit the superhero blockbuster Marvel movie fans expected.

The movie, starring Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark and Gwyneth Paltrow, eventually grossed both of its predecessors combined.

Iron Man 3
Iron Man 3 is every bit the superhero blockbuster Marvel movie fans expected—and a box office smash hit Marvel Studios, DMG Entertainment, Paramount Pictures

17. The Fate of the Furious (2017 )

$1,236,005,118

The Fate of the Furious begins a new phase for the high-adrenaline four-wheeled film franchise.

The movie received mixed reviews ,with review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes giving the sequel an approval rating of 67 percent.

The Fate of the Furious
The Fate of the Furious begins a new phase for the high-adrenaline action film franchise Universal Pictures, One Race Films, Original Film

16. Incredibles 2 (2018)

$1,243,089,244

Pixar's animation features the return of the crime-fighting superhero family.

Incredibles 2 is believed to be the third-most-profitable release of 2018.

Incredibles 2
Pixar's Incredibles 2 sees a return of the crime-fighting superhero family. Pixar, Walt Disney Pictures

15. Beauty and the Beast (2017)

$1,264,434,525

A prince is cursed to become a monster forever, unless he learns to fall in love with a stunning maiden.

This is a live-action remake of Disney's classic love story, starring Emma Watson.

Beauty and the Beast
2017's Beauty and the Beast is a live-action remake of Disney’s classic love story Walt Disney Pictures, Mandeville Films

14. Frozen (2013)

$1,281,019,275

This Disney children's animation introduces Anna as she embarks on a journey to find her sister.

The movie received generally positive critical response and became the third highest-grossing film of 2019.

Frozen
Frozen introduces Anna as she embarks on a journey to find her sister Walt Disney Animation Studios, Walt Disney Pictures

13. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

$1,310,464,680

The fifth installment of the Jurassic Park franchise sees Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) and Owen (Chris Pratt) race to save the dinosaurs from another extinction event.

However, despite performing well at the box, the critical response was decidedly muted.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is the fifth installment of the movie franchise Amblin Entertainment · Legendary Pictures · Perfect World Pictures

12. Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017)

$11,072,815,067

Director Rian Johnson delivers a plot where Rey (Daisy Ridley) learns the ways of the Jedi under Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill).

Experts estimated the movie would need to gross $800 million worldwide to break even, but the film went on to become the most profitable release of 2017.

Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last
Rey learns the ways of the Jedi in Star Wars: Episode VIII Lucasfilm, Ram Bergman Productions, Walt Disney Pictures

11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)

$1,342,223,936

The eighth and final installment of the Harry Potter movie franchise finds Harry, Ron and Hermione race to destroy the remaining Horcruxes.

The movie was a box office smash-hit and became the second in 2011 to surpass the $1-billion mark.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is the eighth and final installment of the J.K Rowling movie franchise Warner Bros. Pictures, Heyday Films

10. Black Panther (2018)

$1,402,809,540

King T'Challa (Chadwick Boseman) fights to save the sanctity of his technologically advanced kingdom of Wakanda.

The Marvel movie has grossed more than $1.3 billion worldwide and smashed numerous box office records in the process.

Black Panther
Marvel broke new ground with 2018's Black Panther Marvel Studios

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015 ) $1,402,809,540

This movie introduces is notable for introducing characters Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen) and Quicksilver (Aaron Taylor-Johnson), as the Marvel heroes fight yet more galactic battles.

Age of Ultron became the third Marvel Studios film, and the eighth film distributed by Disney to cross the $1 billion threshold at the box office.

Avengers: Age of Ultron
Avengers: Age of Ultron introduces Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver to the Marvel movie franchise Marvel Studios

8. Frozen II (2019)

$1,450,026,933

This follow up to the original Disney animated musical fantasy movie finds Elsa and Anna on a magical quest.

On its opening weekend in 2019, Frozen II grossed $127 million domestically, and $350 million worldwide, making the movie the highest-opening of all time for an animated film.

Frozen II
Frozen II finds Elsa and Anna embarking on a magical quest Walt Disney Pictures, Walt Disney Animation Studios

7. Furious 7 (2015)

$1,515,255,622

Appropriately positioned in the rundown, the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise sees the speed demons take on international terrorists.

The movie's scheduled release was put on hold following star's Paul Walker's death in November 2013.

Furious 7
2015's offering is the seventh installment of the Fast & Furious franchise Universal Pictures, One Race Films, Original Film, Relativity Media

6. The Avengers (2012)

$1,518,815,515

The Marvel universe begins in earnest when Nick Fury launches the Avengers Initiative.

The movie set a high watermark and was the first Marvel production to generate $1 billion in ticket sales.

The Avengers (2012)
The Marvel universe begins in earnest with 2012's The Avengers Marvel Studios

5. Jurassic World (2015)

$1,670,516,444

Another theme park, built on Jurassic Park's original site, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur.

When it was later released on Blu-ray and DVD, Jurassic World sold nearly 3 million units in its first week alone, making it the year's highest-selling home entertainment live-action movie.

Jurassic World
A genetically modified hybrid dinosaur is created on Jurassic Park Amblin Entertainment 

4. Avengers: Infinity War

$2,048,359,754

Two score of superpose must stop intergalactic warlord Thanos from obtaining all the infinity stones.

YouTube personality Tony 'Nem' Mitchell watched the movie 103 times in cinemas, setting a world record in the process and earning an invite to the Endgame film premiere.

Avengers: Infinity War
Avengers: Infinity War finds intergalactic warlord Thanos sowing chaos Marvel Studios

3. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)

$2,068,455,661

This sequel by JJ Abrams finds the New Republic threatened by a new order.

In addition to be being nominated for five Oscars, the movie was the most profitable film of 2015.

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force
JJ Abrams directs Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Lucasfilm, Bad Robot Productions

2. Avengers: Endgame (2019)

$2,797,501,328

This epic finale sees Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America and other Marvel stars attempt to settle scores.

This three-hour follow-up to Infinity War was a critical and commercial smash-hit for Marvel Studios.

Avengers: Endgame
Marvel's epic movie finale sees The Avengers attempt to settle scores Marvel Studios

1. Avatar (2010)

$2,844,313,842

Visionary director James Cameron's animated Avatar was 15 years in the making and the biggest box office smash of them all.

Jake (Sam Worthington) replaces his twin on the Na'vi inhabited Pandora for a corporate mission.

Avatar
Avatar has retaken the all-time highest-grossing movie spot, reportedly thanks to its re-release in China 20th Century Studios, Lightstorm Entertainment, Ingenious Media, RatPac Entertainment
highest grossing movies of the century
The 21st century has produced some of the most commercially successful movies of all time istockphoto/Getty Images