Franchises are all the rage nowadays, and it’s easy to see why. As audiences consume more and more television content filmed in spectacular quality (I’m looking at you Game Of Thrones), their hunger for films to become chapters of a larger universe expands. In a time where it’s becoming more and more difficult for films to recoup their budgets, let alone see a profit, I wanted to know, if you do hit it big (studio style) just how big does that mean?
So here are the top five most lucrative franchises in movie history, by their Worldwide Box office numbers. In reverse order we have…
Peter Jackson’s Lord Of The Rings
A no brainer in my opinion. The initial trilogy, having expanded into a second trilogy (we all remember “The Hobbit” movies), is classified as a defining point in VFX cinema. Based off of the J. R. R. Tolkien novels, and distributed by New Line Cinema (now apart of Warner Bros.), this mega hit has taken in a worldwide box office of over $5.89b+. We’re sure Peter Jackson is sleeping comfortably from here on out.
Based on the Ian Fleming Novels originally published in the 1950’s, Bond is one of the longest running movie franchises out there today. It’s first film (remember I said film – not TV) was released in 1962, titled “Dr. No” starring the iconic Sean Connery. Since then multiple movies, and bonds, have flashed onto our screens which leaves you wondering, with inflation adjusted, how many macaroons has “007” collected in his time? The answer would be a worldwide box office off $7b+. Keep doing what you’re doing James!
You didn’t think Star Wars would miss out on this piece of the pie, now did you? Spanning since 1977, it’s the franchise that put George Lucas on the map. This franchise not only has its “main trilogy”, but it’s “Prequel Trilogy” and currently it’s “Sequel Trilogy”. Talk about a trilogy of a trilogy! In 2012, Disney bought the Star Wars rights from LucasFilms for $4b+, which makes you want to know, thus far, how many smackeroos has the Galaxy far, far away taken in? That number would be a worldwide box office of $7.6+! The force is definitely strong with this one.
Based off the best selling children’s novels of all time, JK Rowling is a legend in my eyes. When selling the filming rights to the US owned Warner Brothers, she negotiated that the movies must not only be filmed in England, but must employ English actors to play the roles! Woop woop! I’m not going to harp on about the boy who lived, because I’m sure you all know enough, but do you know its worldwide box office? At a whopping $8.5b+, and the new prequels on their way, the Harry Potter franchise is looking to grow even more. Explode-iamus
The Marvel Cinematic Universe
At the top of the board, and with a gap of more than $1.5b dollars between the previous entry, is the mega hit sensation that is the Marvel Cinematic Universe! It’s rather spectacular if you think that the first film in this series was only released in 2009, meaning this franchise isn’t even a decade old; and the marvel universe keeps expanding every year! So how much have they taken in since that first Iron Man movie? The worldwide box office currently sits at $10.9b+ and expect that number to rise even higher! Having typically churned out 2 movie ever year, in 2017 they’re upping it to three, so don’t expect Disney to let go of the reigns anytime soon.