Top 10 Highest-Grossing Action Movie Franchises

Since the dawn of cinema, action movies have been big business, where daring stunts and intense combat scenes became a hallmark of entertainment. From the swashbuckling adventures of silent film stars to the explosive blockbusters of today, action movies have consistently drawn big crowds seeking thrills and excitement. It makes perfect sense, then, that a huge percentage of the most successful and enduring movie franchises in the world fall under the action genre.


From the relentless energy of the Fast and Furious series to superhero sagas like the Avengers series, these franchises have smashed records and sped past milestones to land themselves as the highest earning of all time, based on worldwide gross figures at the box office.

NB: Whilst still technically a franchise, the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as a whole, has been left off the list. As it is so broad, expansive and complex, we’ve taken individual film franchises within it (such as Iron Man, Guardians of the Galaxy or The Avengers), and considered those for inclusion on the list instead. However, if we were to include the entire MCU, it’s estimated that its cumulative gross earnings stand at an astronomical $29.62 billion, which would put it lightyears ahead of the competition.

Here are the top 10 highest-grossing action movie franchises ever made.


10 Avatar (2009-Present) — $5.24 Billion

Avatar movie with main characters
20th Century Studios

Directed by James Cameron and released in 2009, the first Avatar is a groundbreaking science fiction action film set on the alien moon Pandora. Known for its stunning visual effects and immersive 3D experience, the movie became the most popular movie of all time and prompted plans for a franchise, with multiple sequels announced.

After more than a decade, Avatar: The Way of Water was finally released in 2022, and took viewers to new and exciting regions of Pandora. Cameron has ambitious plans for the franchise, with multiple sequels in the works that aim to push technological boundaries and bring audiences cutting edge immersive narrative-driven experiences.

How It Performed at the Box Office

Avatar is a cinematic juggernaut that set unparalleled box office records and milestones. With a staggering worldwide box office gross surpassing $2.9 billion, the 2009 film became the highest-grossing movie of its time, a title it held until Avengers: Endgame knocked it off the top spot in 2019. It has since been re-released for short theatrical runs, allowing it to reclaim its throne.

Concerns began to arise that interest in the property was waning due to the amount of time it was taking to make The Way of Water. After facing multiple delays and set-backs, Avatar 2 was finally released, and all concerns were swiftly buried as it became the fastest movie ever to gross over $2 billion dollars, finally reaching $2.32 billion. With only two movies, Avatar’s gross earnings stand at $5.24 billion, a number that will increase significantly if Cameron’s plans for the franchise are met.

9 Transformers (2007-Present) — $5.29 Billion

Bumblebee in Transformers 2007
DreamWorks Pictures

The Transformers movie franchise, based on the iconic Hasbro toy line, burst onto the big screen with its first installment, Transformers, directed by Michael Bay, in 2007. This action-packed film combined cutting-edge visual effects with a gripping storyline, introducing audiences to the battle between the Autobots and Decepticons.

The success of the movie paved the way for a series of sequels, including Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009), Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014), and Transformers: The Last Knight (2017). The franchise also expanded with the spin-off Bumblebee (2018), offering a fresh perspective and nostalgic touch and the recently released Transformers: Rise of the Beasts, based on the Beast Wars sub-franchise.

How It Performed at the Box Office

Transformers set the tone with a worldwide gross of over $709 million. Subsequent entries saw Revenge of the Fallen at over $836 million, Dark of the Moon at the billion-dollar mark with $1.124 billion, Age of Extinction contributing over $1.1 billion, The Last Knight accumulating more than $605 million. All this showcased the series’ consistent box office prowess and steady increase in interest.

The spin-off, Bumblebee, while having a comparatively modest box office performance at around $468 million, received critical acclaim for its fresh take on the Transformers narrative. Rise of the Beasts, performed similarly at the box office, grossing just under $440 million, bringing the cumulative total for the series up to $5.29 billion.

8 Jurassic Park / Jurassic World (1993-Present) — $6.08 Billion

Jurassic Park
Universal Pictures

The Jurassic Park/World movie franchise, born from Michael Crichton’s novel, began with Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking Jurassic Park in 1993. The film showcased revolutionary special effects, bringing all manner of dinosaurs to life as they ran amok in the eponymous park. Its success led to the sequels The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park III (2001), but neither reached the critical or commercial heights of the original.

In 2015, the franchise received a thrilling reboot with Jurassic World, directed by Colin Trevorrow, set on the original island turned dinosaur theme park. Its immense success spurred the sequels, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) and Jurassic World: Dominion (2022), which united characters from the original trilogy with the new era.

How It Performed at the Box Office

The Jurassic Park/World movie franchise has proven to be a colossal box office success, accumulating a combined worldwide gross of $6 billion. The original Jurassic Park was a record-breaking success, with a box office gross exceeding $1.1 billion globally. The next two sequels contributed a further $618 million and $368 million each to the franchise’s overall earnings.

The reboot, Jurassic World, shattered records with a staggering global box office gross of over $1.67 billion, and Fallen Kingdom continued the financial triumph, contributing over $1.3 billion to the franchise’s impressive total. Dominion finished its run with a total of around $1 billion grossed worldwide.

7 X-Men (2000-Present) — $6.08 Billion

Hugh Jackman as Wolverine in X-Men: The Last Stand
20th Century Fox

Credited for kicking off a new era for Marvel and the Superhero genre in general, the X-Men movie franchise debuted with X-Men in 2000. Directed by Bryan Singer, the film marked the beginning of a successful series that explored themes of prejudice and acceptance. The franchise expanded with sequels like X2: X-Men United (2003) and X-Men: The Last Stand (2006). In 2011, Matthew Vaughn directed X-Men: First Class, a prequel exploring the origins of Professor X and Magneto.

The franchise took a darker turn with Logan (2017), offering a poignant farewell to Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine. Other installments in the series include the prequel movies, X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) and X-Men: Apocalypse (2016). Then, the franchise underwent a soft reboot with X-Men: Dark Phoenix (2019). The highly successful Deadpool movies starring Ryan Rynolds, despite having a very different tonal feel to the rest of the franchise, is still considered to be part of the X-Men franchise.

How It Performed at the Box Office

The X-Men movie franchise has left an impressive imprint on the global box office, with its total combined worldwide gross reaching astronomical figures amassing a staggering total of more than $6 billion. Notable individual entries significantly contributed to this success, with Deadpool (2016) standing out as a surprise hit, grossing over $783 million worldwide, showcasing the potential for R-rated superhero films.

Jackman’s farewell to the iconic Wolverine character in Logan (2017) was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful, grossing over $619 million globally. Additionally, the time-bending narrative of X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) helped it secure over $746 million in box office revenue.

6 Batman (1989-Present) — $6.76 Billion

Michael Keaton as Batman in Batman Returns
Warner Bros.

The iconic DC superhero appeared in two movies in the 1940s and also one in 1966. For many of us, though, we’ll first remember him hitting the big screen with Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989, starring Michael Keaton as the Caped Crusader. This successful launch was followed by Burton’s sequel, Batman Returns. The franchise underwent a shift with Joel Schumacher’s lighter take in the late-90s, with Batman Forever and Batman & Robin. After a hiatus, Christopher Nolan revitalized the series with Batman Begins in 2005, continuing with The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises. These films, featuring Christian Bale as Batman, received huge critical acclaim.

Since then, we’ve also seen the character’s legacy continued with Robert Pattinson donning the cape in Matt Reeves’ The Batman, released in 2022, offering a darker, detective-focused interpretation. Elsewhere, the worlds of Lego and DC collided in the critically acclaimed Batman Lego Movie and viewers were treated to far more adult and more grounded-in-reality standalone movie with Joker, which serves as a backstory to Batman’s arch nemesis.

How It Performed at the Box Office

The series kicked off strongly with Burton’s Batman in 1989, amassing over $411 million worldwide. The subsequent sequels, including Batman Returns and Schumacher’s entries, maintained solid financial success. Nolan’s trilogy, starting with Batman Begins ($373 million), went on to reach new heights, culminating in The Dark Knight becoming a billion-dollar blockbuster with a remarkable $1.006 billion worldwide. The Dark Knight Rises continued this trend, grossing over $1.081 billion globally.

Ben Affleck’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice accrued over $873 million, further solidifying the character’s box office power, and The Batman starring Robert Pattinson, wasn’t far off, with $770 million. The biggest surprise in the series was most likely the Joker spinoff that, despite changing the tone and formula, became the highest-grossing R-rated movie of all time, with over $1 billion worldwide, substantially increasing the Batman franchise’s cumulative total.

5 Fast & Furious (2001-Present) — $7.47 billion

The Fast and the Furious
Universal Pictures

Headed by the charismatic Vin Diesel as Dom Toretto, the Fast & Furious franchise has become a cultural phenomenon the world over. While the first few entries focused more on the gritty allure of underground racing, culminating in the explosive Fast & Furious in 2009, a strategic pivot then propelled the narrative toward high-stakes heists and espionage.

Fast Five (2011) initiated this new era as a new varied roster of huge names have appeared in the franchise in some capacity including Dwayne Johnson, Jason Momoa, and Jason Statham. Fast forward to the present, the franchise now boasts 10 main movies and the 2019 spin-off, Hobbs & Shaw.

How It Performed at the Box Office

The Fast & Furious series has revved up a staggering total combined worldwide gross of $7.47 billion, with the individual entries in the saga consistently accelerating to impressive financial heights. The first film began the race with a box office gross of over $207 million. As the movies got bigger in size and scope, so did box office returns.

Fast Five brought in an impressive $626 million globally and momentum continued with each installment culminating with the eye watering $1.51 billion grossed worldwide by Furious 7. While the last couple of entries have been losing traction slightly, they still continue to be huge draws at the box office, with the most recent entry Fast X grossing $714.5 million, effectively bringing the franchise total to over $7.47 billion.

4 The Avengers (2012-Present) — $7.77 Billion

Iron Man and Thanos staring at each other on Titan as they fight in Avengers: Infinity War.
Marvel Studios

The Avengers movie franchise saw the union of Marvel’s biggest superheroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Black Widow, and Hawkeye, to the joy of millions of fans across the world. Bursting with adrenaline-pumping action, jaw-dropping special effects, and razor-sharp humor, these films redefined the superhero genre.

Each character brings their A-game, creating an unstoppable team with chemistry that leaps off the screen. From battling sinister foes to facing the galaxy-threatening menace of Thanos, the franchise is a thrilling ride that blends heart-stopping spectacle with compelling character journeys across its four movies (so far), consisting of The Avengers (2012) Age of Ultron (2015), Infinity War (2018), Endgame (2019).

How It Performed at the Box Office

Every movie in this franchise has performed phenomenally at the box office, shattering numerous records at the times of each of their releases and grossing a cumulative total of $7.77 billion. At the forefront of this financial juggernaut is the monumental achievement of Avengers: Endgame, which became the highest-grossing movie of all time at the time of its release, crossing the $2.799 billion mark. Avengers: Infinity War, grossed over $2.052 billion, and The Avengers, a trailblazer in its own right with a box office haul surpassing $1.520 billion.

3 James Bond (1962-Present) — $7.83 Billion

sean connery as james bond in diamonds are forever
United Artists

The world’s most iconic spy, James Bond made his first onscreen appearance with the release of Dr. No in 1962. Over the years, a total of 27 official Bond films have been produced, featuring the MI6 agent’s daring missions, suave demeanor, and high-tech gadgets. Sean Connery, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig have all brought their unique flair to the role of James Bond.

Each actor contributed to the character’s evolution, showcasing different aspects of Bond’s personality. One of the reasons for the success of the franchise lies in its ability to adapt to changing times, while maintaining the essence of Ian Fleming’s original creation. Fans of Mr. Bond are eagerly waiting to see who will be announced to play the MI6 operative after Craig announced his retirement from the role.

How it Performed at the Box Office

With nearly 60 years’ worth of hit movies, it’s not surprising to see the franchise so high up on this list. When looking at the biggest and most noteworthy individual entries that have significantly contributed to this impressive figure, Skyfall (2012), directed by Sam Mendes and starring Craig, stands out as one of the highest-grossing Bond films, amassing over $1.1 billion worldwide. Additionally, Spectre (2015) continued the trend with a box office haul surpassing $880 million.

Overall, the movies have conditionally performed well at the box office across multiple generations and cinematics trends and show no signs of slowing down.

2 Spider-Man (2002-Present) — $10.2 Billion

Tom Holland's Spider-Man in a black and red suit on top of a ferris wheel in London in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Marvel

Based on the long-loved marvel superhero, the Spider-Man movie franchise has swung its way into the hearts of audiences worldwide with its unique blend of action, humor, and compelling storytelling. Kicking off in 2002 with Spider-Man, directed by Sam Raimi and starring Tobey Maguire, the franchise has seen various iterations over the years. The subsequent Raimi-directed sequels, Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Spider-Man 3 (2007), further solidified the character’s cinematic presence.

In 2012, director Marc Webb brought a fresh perspective with The Amazing Spider-Man, featuring Andrew Garfield as the web-slinger. The franchise took another turn in 2017 when Tom Holland donned the iconic suit in Spider-Man: Homecoming, marking the character’s integration into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Subsequent films, Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), and the animated Miles Morales stories, Into the Spider-Verse and Across the Spider-Verse, have also been huge commercial and critical hits.

How I Performed at the Box Office

Raimi’s Spider-Man set the tone, with a box office gross exceeding $821 million globally. Its sequel followed suit with a worldwide box office gross of over $789 million. Spider-Man 3 maintained the momentum, surpassing $894 million in global earnings. The series took a new direction with Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man, which garnered over $757 million globally.

Subsequently, Holland’s entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe with Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) and its sequels, Far From Home and No Way Home, achieved incredible success, grossing over $880 million, $1.13 billion, and $1.92 billion worldwide, respectively.

The two animated entries, Into the Spider-Verse and Across the Spider-Verse, earned a combined worldwide gross of over $1 billion dollars, bringing the grand total for the franchise up to an amazing $10.2 billion!

1 Star Wars — $10.32 billion

A scene from The Last Jedi
Lucasfilm

The original Star Wars trilogy, consisting of A New Hope (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980), and Return of the Jedi (1983), was groundbreaking in its time for revolutionizing the science fiction genre. Director George Lucas introduced audiences to an immersive galaxy far, far away, utilizing groundbreaking special effects and a compelling narrative. The success of the trilogy not only redefined the possibilities of cinematic storytelling but also set a new standard for the use of visual effects in film.

Fast-forward to the present day, and the Star Wars universe has expanded into a vast and substantial movie franchise. With multiple entries, prequels, sequels, and spin-offs, it has become a cultural phenomenon with a dedicated fan base. The franchise’s impact extends beyond the silver screen, influencing various forms of media, merchandise, and even theme park attractions, solidifying its place in the pantheon of pop culture.

How It Performed at the Box Office

With 12 movies in total, Star Wars’ cumulative gross earnings add up to an astronomical $10.32 billion. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) alone grossed over $2 billion globally, becoming one of the highest-grossing films of all time. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) continued the saga’s financial triumphs, each exceeding the $1 billion mark.

The prequel film The Phantom Menace (1999) and the anthology film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) also both surpassed the $1 billion mark. These staggering figures reflect the franchise’s lasting popularity and immensely loyal fan base, many of whom have been fans of the franchise for decades.

on bbc news
on hindi news
on the news today
on channel 7 news
ôrf news
campo grande news ônibus
ôpera news
campo grande news greve de ônibus
l1 news horário dos ônibus
l1 news ônibus
lago azul news ônibus
news österreich
news österreich heute
news österreich aktuell
news öffentlicher dienst
news österreich corona
news öl
news österreich orf
news ö3
news österreich heute aktuell
news österreich sport
ö24 news
ölpreis news
öbb news
ösv news
österreich news krone
övp news
özil news
öffentlicher dienst news 2023
österreich promi news

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *