The 2010s were a big decade for movies. As Hollywood leans more and more into big, bombastic productions, box office revenue seemingly continues to climb. Blockbusters today are making far more than they were just ten years ago thanks to a collective public interest, some great film-making, and the presence of China as a major box office market. It’s also interesting to see what kinds of movies became popular. By doing so, one may see the cultural trends of the time and how they stand out from past generations.
10 – Black Panther (2018) – $1.34 Billion
Black Panther was one of the greatest late additions to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It was also an enormous success at the box office, proving the highest-grossing non-sequel (even though it’s part of the MCU) or remake of the decade. It was a huge domestic hit, holding the top spot for five consecutive weekends and accumulating over $600 million in that time. It would go on to gross $700 million in the domestic market and $646 million internationally, resulting in a stellar worldwide gross of $1.34 billion.
9 – Avengers: Age Of Ultron (2015) – $1.4 Billion
The anticipated follow-up to The Avengers, Age of Ultron proved another (hulk) smash success. Despite coming in with a massive budget of $250 million, Age of Ultron made the production money back in spades. The movie spent just two weeks at #1 before it was dethroned by both Pitch Perfect 2 and Mad Max: Fury Road. It accumulated $313 million in those two weeks. It went on to gross “just” $459 million domestically, but it proved a huge success in international markets, grossing $943 million. All told, Age of Ultron made $1.4 billion at the worldwide box office.
8 – Frozen II (2019) – $1.45 Billion
Frozen proved such a monumental success that Disney did something they almost never do – they made an official, theatrically-released sequel. And it’s good that they did (for them) because Frozen II proved an unbelievable success. It spent three weeks at #1 (including the Thanksgiving five-day weekend), accumulating $338 million in that time. It went on to gross $477 million in the domestic market and $972 million internationally, resulting in a worldwide total of $1.45 billion.
7 – Furious 7 (2015) – $1.51 Billion
Furious 7 is one of those movies that are far bigger and more popular than they may appear thanks to a massive international fanbase. It performed quite well in the domestic market, spending four straight weeks at the top spot (including the Easter weekend) and grossing $350 million.
However, most of this franchise’s money is found in the international market, where Furious 7 grossed an astounding $1.16 billion. All told, Furious 7 took home a very respectable $1.51 billion.
6 – The Avengers (2012) – $1.51 Billion
The Avengers was hotly anticipated thanks to a stellar preceding lineup that included many fantastic superhero movies. The movie was released in May of 2012 and spent three weeks at #1. It was eventually dethroned by Men in Black 3, which premiered during the Memorial Day weekend. Following that long weekend, The Avengers had grossed $523 million. It would eventually finish with $623 million in the domestic market and $895 million internationally for a worldwide total of $1.51 billion – making it the third highest-grossing movie in history at the time.
5 – The Lion King (2019) – $1.65 Billion
Many people bemoaned the existence of a Lion King remake, but even more went to see it. The movie cost upwards of $260 million to produce thanks to its intricate visual effects, but the money proved a worthy investment. The movie spent just two weeks at #1, accumulating $350 million. However, the movie had some incredible legs and wound up grossing $543 million at the domestic market. It proved an enormous hit in international markets, grossing $1.11 billion for a worldwide total of $1.65 billion – making it the highest-grossing animated film of all time.
4 – Jurassic World (2015) – $1.67 Billion
The hype was quite high for Jurassic World, considering the monumental status of its franchise. Released in June 2015, Jurassic World spent three weeks at #1 and accumulated an amazing $500 million. It would spend another five weeks in the top ten and finish with a domestic gross of $652 million. It proved an even bigger success in international markets, where it grossed just over $1 billion. It took home a worldwide gross of $1.67 billion, making it the third highest-grossing movie in history at the time.
3 – Avengers: Infinity War (2018) – $2.04 Billion
It seems like everyone went to see Avengers: Infinity War. Released at the end of April 2018, the movie spent three weeks at #1 and accumulated nearly $550 million in that time. It spent another six weeks in the top ten and ended up grossing $678 million in the domestic market.
As is often the case with the MCU, Infinity War performed far better in international markets, grossing a brilliant $1.36 billion. Its worldwide accumulation stood at $2.04 billion, making it the first superhero movie to gross over $2 billion.
2 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) – $2.06 Billion
The hype for Infinity War was high, but the hype for The Force Awakens was astronomical. Released just in time for Christmas, The Force Awakens spent four weeks at #1 – including the Christmas weekend. It was eventually dethroned the week of January 15-17, when Ride Along 2 took its place at the top. By that point, the movie had already made well over $800 million. The Force Awakens grossed an astounding $936 million at the domestic box office and $1.13 billion internationally for a worldwide total of $2.06 billion. And while it wouldn’t be the top-grossing movie of the 2010s, it still holds the record for highest-grossing movie in domestic box office history (when not adjusted for inflation).
1 – Avengers: Endgame (2019) – $2.79 Billion
Was there really ever any doubt? Serving as the culmination of the modern MCU – and the decade’s movie landscape – it was only natural that Avengers: Endgame became the highest-grossing movie of the 2010s. It wasn’t able to beat The Force Awakens at the domestic box office, spending three weeks at #1 and grossing $858 million. However, the international market more than made up for its floundering. Endgame grossed $1.93 billion in international markets for a worldwide total of $2.79 billion, making it the highest-grossing movie of all time (unadjusted for inflation).
Were you surprised by any of these entries? Do you think forthcoming titles will be able to break these records? Let us know in the comments below.