Over the years, the film industry has witnessed several changes in production and marketing, aspects that have largely contributed to significant revenues. Consequently, several movie titles have stood out to gross more globally.
Data presented by Buy Shares indicates that the top highest-grossing movies in history have hit $18.5 billion as of December 2020. The data represent movies released from 1915.
The Avengers Endgame, released in 2019, is the highest-grossing movie at $2.73 billion. Captain America, released in 2016, ranks as the tenth highest-grossing movie with $1.15 billion. The research highlights that the pre-1975 data is based on box-office income and not rental fees paid by distributors and theaters.
Pandemic impacts 2020 movie revenues
Like most sectors, there was a major drop in movie revenues in 2020, mainly due to the coronavirus pandemic. Thousands of movie theatres were closed globally as authorities imposed lockdowns as preventive measures to curb the virus’s spread.
As a result, major Hollywood movies were delayed until further notice. Simultaneously, movies scheduled for theatrical release were canceled and were instead released via online streaming services. However, at this moment, it is unclear what the full impact of the pandemic will be on movie theatres.
Highest-grossing movie titles
From the data, titles released under Disney have dominated the list of highest-grossing movies. The company has leveraged its popularity globally to release some of the best international box office movies, especially over the last decade.
Movie franchises are also dominating the list, and they offer a lucrative financial opportunity for creators. Normally, film franchises usually drive billions of dollars of box office revenue and billions more in merchandise sales. Notably, when a franchise attains financial success, it benefits its creators for decades. In this case, Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe has emerged as the lucrative movie franchise.
Traditionally, movies centered around war, musicals, and historical dramas have been the most popular titles besides franchise films. There is also strong interest in the superhero genre, popular with the Marvel Cinematic Universe emerging as top-earners. Unsurprisingly, the most successful superhero film, Avengers: Endgame, is also the highest-grossing film overall, and there are four films in total based on the Avengers comic books.
In general, the movie industry is in flux, and ticket sales alone don’t drive revenue. There’s merchandising, streaming video, foreign sales, and other distribution channels that help filmmakers, producers, and studios make profits.