10 January 2011

Cinema Trivia: Highest Grossing Film Franchises of all Time as of 2010

Highest Grossing Film Franchises

1. Harry Potter
Total Worldwide Gross: $5.57 billion
Number of Films: 7
Highest Grossing Film: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ($975 million)

The Harry Potter series is based on the seven highly successful books by author J.K. Rowling, and with the most series' most recent film, it has become the highest grossing film franchise of all time. "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" is estimated to have raked in over $125 million in its first weekend at the box office, leapfrogging Star Wars virtually overnight.
The first Harry Potter film debuted in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and in the decade since, the series has gone from strength to strength, smashing box office records in the process.
The current installment, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, is being released as two separate films -- part one in November 2010 and part two in the summer of 2011. The second part will mark the eighth and final film overall in the franchise.
Watch out for the screening of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at SM Cinema Marilao on July 2011.
2. Star Wars
Total Worldwide Gross: $5.49 billion
Number of Films: 6
Highest Grossing Film: The Phantom Menace ($924 million)

It should come as no surprise that the Star Wars saga is one of the most successful film franchises of all time, since it's partially responsible for the culture of film sequels that we have today. Before Star Wars, it was not automatically assumed that any successful film would get the multi-part epic treatment, but the unprecedented success of the first film demanded it.
The reputation of the series suffered after 1999 when the series' creator, George Lucas, made the prequel trilogy, three films that take place prior to the events of the original that were hated by many early fans. However, these same fans were still on hand to make the third film, Revenge of the Sith, the highest grossing film of 2005. After the prequel trilogy was completed, Lucas was adamant that there would be no further films. However, the rumor tree has been saying otherwise, so stay tuned.
3. James Bond
Total Worldwide Gross: $3.55 billion
Number of Films: 23
Highest Grossing Film: Casino Royale ($594 million)
The James Bond franchise has reliably provided thrills, intrigue and neat gadgets for almost fifty years. With over twenty movies to its credit, the franchise has employed no fewer than six actors to portray the British spy, although the first actor to play the character, Sean Connery, is still considered by many to be the ultimate Bond.
The character is currently portrayed by Daniel Craig, whose two films for the series have been the highest grossing in the franchise's history.
4. Shrek
Total Worldwide Gross: $2.94 billion
Number of Films: 4
Highest Grossing Film: Shrek 2 ($919 million)

The Shrek series of films is the most successful animated movie franchise of all time. Featuring the voices of Cameron Diaz, Mike Myers and Eddie Murphy, it follows the adventures of a solitude-loving ogre, who must overcome his personality deficiencies and marry a princess.
This unlikely story did a huge business and became the first movie to win the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. There have been three sequels, the last of which, Shrek Forever After, was released in 2010 in 3D.
5. Lord of the Rings
Total Worldwide Gross: $2.91 billion
Number of Films: 3
Highest Grossing Film: Return of the King ($1.12 billion)

The Lord of the Rings series of books by J.R.R. Tolkien was considered one of the great unfilmable epics. Several directors made attempts over the years and all of them gave up in the face of budget constraints.
Finally, New Zealand director Peter Jackson took a crack at it, releasing the three films in consecutive years (2001 – 2003). All three movies were hugely successful. There are plans to bring Gollum and Bilbo Baggins back to the screen with an adaptation of Tolkien's The Hobbit.
Watch out for the screening of The Hobbit at SM Cinema Marilao.
6. Pirates of the Caribbean
Total Worldwide Gross: $2.68 billion
Number of Films: 3
Highest Grossing Film: Dead Man's Chest ($1.07 billion)
While most spin-off products, such as toys and theme-park rides, are inspired by movies, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise is unique for being a movie franchise inspired by a theme park ride.
Based on the attraction of the same name at Walt Disney World, the movies star Johnny Depp as the pirate Jack Sparrow in a performance he claimed was based on Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. There have been four films in the series so far and the fifth is scheduled for release in 2011 in IMAX and 3D.
Watch out for the screening of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides at SM Cinema Marilao on May 2011.
7. Batman
Total Worldwide Gross: $2.63 billion
Number of Films: 6
Highest Grossing Film: The Dark Knight ($1 billion)

When director Tim Burton made the first film in his Batman franchise, it was a dark interpretation of the character that rejected the campiness of the 1960s television series. Though some people were skeptical of Burton's decision to cast comedian Michael Keaton as the superhero, his vision paid off and the movie was the highest grossing film of 1989.
Burton directed a sequel, Batman Returns, in 1992, he then handed the reins to director Joel Schumacher for Batman Forever. It was a success, but the next film, Batman & Robin, was an atrocity. Eight years later the franchise was rebooted by Inception director Christopher Nolan. The new vision was even darker than the original Burton film, and the pitch-black sequel, The Dark Knight, earned over $1 billion.
8. Spider-Man
Total Worldwide Gross: $2.50 billion
Number of Films: 3
Highest Grossing Film: Spider-Man 3 ($890 million)
The Spider-Man franchise spent many years in development before the 2002 film that kicked it off came to be. Directed by horror filmmaker Sam Raimi, it was a spectacular take on the superhero that made an extremely unlikely action hero out of its star, Tobey Maguire.
It was the highest grossing film the year it was released, beating Attack of the Clones and becoming the first and only movie ever to beat a Star Wars movie for highest-grossing film of the year. It was followed by two equally successful sequels. Currently, the franchise is being taken over by a new director and a new cast, and is set to debut in 2012.
9. Indiana Jones
Total worldwide gross: $1.98 billion
Number of films: 4
Highest grossing film: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull ($790 million) Nearly thirty years on, 1981’s
Raiders of the Lost Ark is still considered one of the most thrilling adventure movies of all time. It was the highest grossing film the year it was released and is still one of the highest grossing movies ever made. It spawned two more 80s-era sequels, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, both of which did blockbuster business and guaranteed the franchise’s place in box office history. However, director Steven Spielberg and actor Harrison Ford couldn’t leave well enough alone, and in 2008 they released Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and rumors currently persist that a fifth film will be made.
10. Ice Age
Total worldwide gross: $1.93 billion
Number of films: 3
Highest grossing film: Ice Age 3 ($887 million)
The Ice Age series is an animated children’s saga that follows a sloth named Sid as he has various adventures during, you guessed it, the ice age. Along the way he teams up with a mammoth and a tiger, but the action never gets too intense for children—the film features the voice talents of comedians Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Ray Romano, which should indicate that everything is mostly played for laughs. Each film has earned more money than the one that came before it, so it should come as no surprise that a fourth film is currently in the works.
11. Toy Story
Total worldwide gross: $1.91 billion
Number of films: 3
Highest grossing film: Toy Story 3 ($1.06 billion)
Any parent with a child between the ages of 2 and 10 has probably taken that child to at least one of the three Toy Story movies. Fortunately, the films have been intelligent enough for Mom and Dad to enjoy while Junior thrills to the Pixar adventures of Woody and Buzz Lightyear, toys who come to life when the human characters aren’t looking. The first film was released in 1995 to overwhelmingly positive reviews, and the two sequels received the same treatment. All three films have broken box office records, and the third, Toy Story 3, has made more money than the first two combined, and currently stands as the only animated movie ever to earn over $1 billion.
12. Jurassic Park
Total worldwide gross: $1.90 billion
Number of films: 3
Highest grossing film: Jurassic Park ($914 million)
The Jurassic Park series is a rare franchise in that it’s been well reviewed by movie critics. The first movie was, anyway. Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, the original film takes place in a theme park that featured genetically manufactured dinosaurs. What could go wrong? Directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1993, it was less a movie than a cultural phenomenon, and its box office take of over $900 million guaranteed that it would get the sequel treatment. Two further films were made, and a fourth film is rumored to be in development.
13. Twilight
Total worldwide gross: $1.79 billion
Number of films: 4
Highest grossing film: New Moon ($709 million)
The Twilight saga is based on four novels by author Stephenie Meyer. The films follow the story of Bella and Edward, teenage lovers who are dealing with a common adolescent problem —one of them is a vampire. The first three films broke all kinds of box office records, as they were attended again and again by teenage girls who loved the romance between the two main characters and the brooding looks of the sulky vampire Edward. The fourth and final book in the series, Breaking Dawn, is being filmed in two parts, which will be released in 2011 and 2012.
Watch out for the screening of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 at SM Cinema Marilao on November 2011.
14. The Matrix
Total worldwide gross: $1.63 billion
Number of films: 3
Highest grossing film: The Matrix Reloaded ($742 million)
1999’s The Matrix was a groundbreaking film that merged science fiction, spirituality and martial arts, a formula that has been repeated frequently since the movie’s release. It was so successful that its creators expanded the story into a trilogy, following it up with The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolutions, both released in 2003. The sequels received mixed reviews, but the trilogy was popular enough to make it one of the most commercially successful franchises of all time.
15 . Transformers
Total worldwide gross: $1.55 billion
Number of films: 2
Highest grossing film: Revenge of the Fallen ($836 million)
Despite the fact that there are only two movies in the franchise so far, the Transformers series has been successful enough to make its way onto the list. Both movies have been critically savaged, with Roger Ebert calling 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen “a horrible experience of unbearable length." However, the filmmakers cried all the way to the bank, and a third installment in the series is scheduled for 2011.
Watch out for the screening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon at SM Cinema Marilao on July 2011.

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