When we think of movies, we think of our personal favorites. Movies that made us laugh or cry. When Hollywood thinks of movies, they think of gross earnings. So, it’s no surprise that studios flock to develop franchises, money-making juggernauts with almost unlimited sequel potential.
Warner Bros. reports that “The Dark Knight Rises” earned $160,887,295 in its opening weekend — making it the biggest 2D opener in history! The film beat its predecessor “The Dark Knight”’s opening weekend by over $2 million.
“The Dark Knight Rises” earnings speak volumes to the public excitement generated by a single “Batman” movie. But despite “Batman”’s singular popularity, it ranks at a modest ninth place in the highest grossing movie franchises all-time list.
The “Harry Potter” franchise sits in the top spot with a total worldwide box office of $7,706,147,978, which is very impressive considering it produced just as many films as the Batman franchise — eight. “James Bond” comes in second on the all-time list with $2 billion less than “Harry” while producing 16 more films.
There is not one franchise that produced less than four films that ranks in the top ten. The highest grossing three-film franchise is “Toy Story,” ranking in at 15th place — grossing $1,948,143,626, followed by “Jurassic Park.”
Fun Franchise Factoids:
- “Madagascar” (three total films) ranks at 20th, while “Star Trek” (11 total films) ranks at 23rd.
- Prior to 2000, only seven franchises had grossed over $1 billion at the box office: “James Bond,” “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “Rocky,” “Batman,” “Jurassic Park” and “Star Trek.” Since the turn of the century that number has increased to over thirty franchises.
- “Toy Story” is the highest grossing three-film franchise.
- The highest grossing single film from the franchise list is “The Avengers” at $1,459,658,425, but the six Marvel movies that comprise its franchise reach only fourth on the all-time list.
- Each franchises that ranks on the top-25 earnings list includes at least one film that was made after 2000.