Top Ten Blockbuster Movies of All Time

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Posted on January 10th, 2008

Whether you’re planning to start a media library or simply looking for movies to watch over and over again, it is a good idea to refer to the list of top-grossing films of all time. After all, these movies did not earn billions of US dollars for nothing. Here is a list of the biggest blockbuster movies based on their initial earnings when they were released in theaters.

10. Jurassic Park

Steven Spielberg is known throughout the world as one of the best directors of our generation. Jurassic Park’s $914,691,118 earnings in the box office is nothing short of a testament to that fact. Spielberg is also known for spending a little too much when producing films, or at least compared to the majority of filmmakers whose works also made a lot of money. But his movies deliver, and how. “Jurassic Park” is a science fiction set in an isolated amusement park where cloned dinosaurs are living. Expectedly, what’s supposed to be entertaining develops into trouble for the characters of this movie and its sequels.


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9. Shrek 2

Dreamworks Pictures found gold in an ogre when they produced “Shrek” in 2001. The 2004 sequel proved to be even bigger as it held a box-office record of $920,665,658, and made “Shrek 2” 2004’s most successful film. The entertaining ogre voiced by Mike Myers is enough to keep you on your seat, but his dynamics with the other characters such as Fiona (Cameron Diaz), Donkey (Eddie Murphy), and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas), make the movie experience even more memorable for both kids and adults.


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8. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The $924,300,000 earned by “Star Wars Episode I” can be justified by many reasons. For one thing, it is the comeback of a well-loved saga that had taken off with a climactic and conclusive trilogy in the past. The director of this film is another living legend in the movie-making industry, George Lucas. The epic film is also one of the reasons for the boom of space opera - a sub-genre of fiction that features futuristic settings and technology.


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7. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The “Lord of the Rings” is perhaps the only trilogy where the most recent installment has consistently been able to one-up its predecessors in the box-office. It brought in $926,287,400 in earnings with it’s part two, “The Two Towers”, and the finale eventually made even more money than the second. If this list were to be stretched any further, you’ll see the first installment of this trilogy on the 14th spot. As for the movie, Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the J. R. R. Tolkien’s epic was able to intercut between two story lines, namely the journey of Frodo and Sam, and the Battle in Helm’s Deep. As a result, you won’t feel bored despite the prolonged running time of 179 minutes.


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6. Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

J. K. Rowling, the author of the bestselling Harry Potter books, once said that this film adaptation is “the best one yet”. Order of the Phoenix is the fifth in the book and film series and had earned a total of $938,464,961 in the box office. The movie is also the biggest project to date for director David Yates, who is also set to direct the sixth film. Steve Kloves wrote the first four films, but the screenplay adaptation for the Order of Phoenix was written by Michael Goldenberg.


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5. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

Earning as much as $961,001,304, this third installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy was the most successful film of 2007 in terms of box-office returns. Gore Verbinski directed all three films, and there are rumors that Walt Disney Pictures will soon be producing a fourth movie. Curiously, parts of “At World’s End” were already shot simultaneously with the prequel in 2005. The production for this third film then resumed and concluded in 2006.


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4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

The Harry Potter series stands proof that the original is still the best. The latter movies have yet to top the first movie’s box-office earnings of $976,475,550. The book and film are also known as “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” in the United States and in some other countries. This first installment and the succeeding “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” have the same director, Chris Columbus.


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3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

The worldwide gross of the films on our list turns 10 figures in the second installment of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” series. With good visual effects but a lengthy and complex story, “Dead Man’s Chest” was met with mixed reviews. Still the total theatrical earnings of the movie amounted to $1,066,179,725 – a more than enough “good review” for Buena Vista and Disney. In fact, the $136 million income of the movie during its first weekend in US theaters alone surpassed previous records held by other movies.


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2. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

The “Return of the King” is the second movie ever to reach over a billion dollars in worldwide theatrical gross. Instead of basing the film on the third volume of the book, Peter Jackson and his screenwriters injected parts of "Two Towers" in this film. Some of its scenes were also shot simultaneously with the two preceding films. Aside from the movie’s $1,118,888,979 box-office rake-in, it also won each and every one of the 11 Academy Awards it was nominated for. There are only two other movies in history with as many Academy Awards as “Return of the King”: “Ben-Hur” and the top-ranking movie in this list.


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1. Titanic

All hail the King of the World… of Movies! No other film comes close to the box-office success of “Titanic”, raking in the titanic amount of $1,845,034,188 for Paramount Pictures and 20th Century Fox . The movie is the product of the creative genius of James Cameron, who directed, produced, written, and edited the film.

Titanic is one of the most expensive films ever made. All expenses were well worth it though with the movie’s huge commercial and critical success. Aside from the realistic visual effects and the romantic twist in the tragic plot, the film’s soundtrack also contributed a lot to the mix. The album included Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” – an addition Cameron was initially hesitant to make.


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You may have noticed that all the films in the list, with the exception of Titanic, are either of the fantasy or science fiction genre. Even so, Titanic had required an extensive use of visual effects to realistically portray the sinking of the great ship. This is a trend we might observe in the films to be produced in the coming years, particularly in the ones that set box-office records.


You’ve seen the Top Ten blockbuster Movies of all time and on the top of the list was the movie Titanic, a romantic movie in the tragic plot. Now, anyone wants a horror film? or a comedy or a gangster film? or you want some Sci-Fi, Extra Terrestrial movie?  well, check out the Top Ten Most Terrifying Horror Movie Characters, the Top Ten Funniest Chinese Movies Translated to English, the Top Ten Most Interesting Gangster Films of all times and the Top 10 Alien Movies.

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