Only 53 three films have been able to cross the threshold of $1 billion at the box office. Titanic was the first to cross over the line and was the highest-grossing film until 2010, as the wave of VFX-heavy superhero films became more prominent.
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These universal appeal movies have made an impact worldwide becoming hits all over the world. The larger-than-life narrative drives these films to excite audiences that want to go to the movies to see something spectacular. While some have built up revenue over time, these films were able to do it faster than people could get a ticket to go see it.
10 ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (2017)
Though some fans have been harsh critics of the new Star Wars sequel trilogy it still managed to gain the attention of old and new fans. With a $300 million budget they were able to reach a billion dollars in 19 days, eventually generating a $1.33 billion box office haul.
The harsh reception of the film mainly contributed to the unkempt story that seemed to have no real direction, even Mark Hamill had to make a response that he would later regret pertaining to the quality of his character. Nevertheless, audiences flocked to the theater to see the film still out of the hope that they would be transported into the galaxy that is far, far away.
9 ‘Barbie’ (2023)
From Mattel and Warner Bros is a movie based on an iconic doll, though all credit should be pointed to filmmaker Greta Gerwig and her cast, including Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling. In addition to painting the whole world a nice shade of pink, the movie has only been heralded by critics and took 19 days to reach a billion.
Gerwig’s movie is a bresh of fresh air. She was able to capture the humanity that the toy brings out in people as well as provide a social commentary about how society treats and values women.
8 ‘The Fate of the Furious’ (2017)
The eighth installment of the Fast & Furious franchise brought a billion to the franchise in 18 days. The franchise takes a twist with Vin Diesel betraying his family to help a cyberterrorist. With a production budget of $250 million bringing in $1.23 billion, some considered the film a domestic failure by only bringing $226 million in the American market, but the appeal for the fast action movies still got people across the globe in theaters.
The Fast movies are filled with a chaos that blends for the perfect conditions of movie theater popcorn viewing. The multitude of fast cars mixed with actions brings an exhilarating experience for audiences that allows them to escape from their everyday life. The themes of family and loyalty universally play to ensure a large audience attendance domestically as well as internationally.
7 ‘Furious 7’ (2015)
The first Fast movie to break a billion was unfortunately the last film that actor Paul Walker was able to take part in. Though they were on track to continue a storyline with him, he tragically passed right before the end of shooting: in 17 days the movie made a billion dollars and 1.51 billion total.
The goodbyes to Walker were felt in the movie and were a contribution to why so many people wanted to go see it. Walker helped establish the films and bring the culture of street cars into the movies. While this isn’t as prominent as it once was in the franchise, his influence on the films is always felt.
6 ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ (2022)
James Cameron’s first film into the world of Pandora just about shattered every record in the box office. The second movie in the Avatar series took 13 years to prepare, but it made all the difference when it came time for viewers to experience what Cameron had in store for them.
After 14 days, The Way of Water generated over a billion dollars: Cameron spent the time in between creating new technology and ways to bring the world of Pandora to life. In the end, it paid off as audiences were so curious they had to see it for themselves. As the next movies come out, it will be interesting to see if they are able to dethrone the previous films.
5 ‘Jurassic World’ (2015)
The era of the reboots helped bring already established fan bases back into the theaters to see their favorite stories, characters, and concepts re-imagined. The movie took 13 days to reach a billion, eventually making $1.67 billion in total.
The budget that neared $200 million was a breath of fresh air after other sequels had been largely failures. Though many of the practical effects were shoved to the side, audiences were able to get a better image of the giants of our past. Above all the addition of new storylines and cast such as Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard reinvigorated the plot to allow for new material to take place and not be fully stuck in the past.
4 ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ (2015)
Nothing was bigger than the hype of the third Star Wars Trilogy. Marketing was everywhere, replays of previous films were everywhere, and adults as much as children were lining up at the theaters. 12 days later it would reach a billion dollars going on to make $2.06 billion in total.
Director J.J. Abrams moved forward a sci-fi world so many have been endeared to for so long, helping to set up the next two films and characters that would take over the universe. Though some have been harsh on the franchise, it has introduced the material to a new generation that is able to take it in their own hands and allow for greater expansion.
3 ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ (2021)
The third Spider-Man movie from the MCU reached a billion in 12 days making a grand total of 1.91 billion at the box office. Taking audiences through the meta-verse of Spider-Mans the viewers are transported back to days of nostalgia.
Tom Holland has been a great version of the friendly neighborhood superhero. The story arc of him coming to terms with being a superhero means sacrifice, the ultimate hardship every superhero has to face at some point. The magnetizing performance by Holland brings depth to the action-packed film that not all movies have.
2 ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ (2018)
The juggernaut of Marvel and Disney has made the majority of the films that have grossed over a billion. The first part of the Phase Three finale was only in theaters 11 days before reaching a billion, later going on to make a box office total of $2.05 billion worldwide.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe made history in 20 films, interweaving storylines, and character arcs to bring them to the culmination in the final two Avengers movies. Something about those final puzzle pieces coming together makes audiences satisfied and hungry for more. The hype had been building for about 10 years, it was inevitable to not be one of the highest-grossing movies of all time.
1 ‘Avengers: Endgame’ (2019)
The Russo brothers were able to reach the billion-dollar mark the fastest, in five days. The final film in Phase Three brought an end to one of the best villains of all time, Thanos. Grossing $2.79 billion makes this the second highest-grossing movie of all time, unadjusted for inflation.
Rightfully so, Avengers: Endgame stands at the top when it comes to breaking the billion-dollar mark. As the sequel to Infinity War, the movie wrapped up every character arc and storyline that Marvel fans have been watching since Iron Man. It’s a beautiful end to an era of comic book movies.
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