The Top 5 All Time Highest Grossing Movies Worldwide – Unadjusted Figures

As explained in this ‘real terms’ list of the top 5 highest grossing movies -due to inflation, recent movies have an unfair advantage when it comes to this chart. But, as requested, here is the unaltered top 5 (correct as of early 2013)!


1. Avatar (2009) – $2,782 Billion

James Cameron gets a bad rap. From his failed marriage to fellow A-list director Kathryn Bigelow, to jokes that Avatar ripped of stories from Pocahontas to Fern Gully, Cameron the man is none too liked amongst his peers. But is it really any surprise that the man responsible for the highest grossing film of all time might have his detractors?

Say what you will, there’s little denying the unique experience of seeing Avatar for the first time. A visual masterpiece with remarkable innovation in the realm of 3D, there’s a reason that people went in droves to catch this one in theatres in an age when theatre attendance has been on the decline.

Avatar has two planned sequels. The first of which is set underwater and expected to make use of similar technological advancements. The kind for which Cameron recently felt it necessary to take a casual trip to the deepest recesses of the ocean. You know, for research.


2.  Titanic (1997) – $2,185 Billion

Everything about Titanic is huge. From box office to length to budget, it remains one of the largest films ever made. James Cameron’s epic historical romance made him king of the world, a title that he still clings to despite being dethroned…by himself. The first film to cross the two billion mark, the film’s impressive run (and running time) was noted for drawing in wide audiences with its mix of action, spectacle, and romance.

Making stars out of Leonardo Dicrapio and Kate Winslet, the film’s contributions even extend to the cultural icon of love-to-hate-it masterpiece “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion.

The first film to win eleven academy awards since Ben Hur in 1959, this particular accomplishment has since been matched by only Return of the King in 2003.


3.  Marvel’s The Avengers (2012) – $1,512 Billion

There are film franchises and then there’s The Avengers. Extending the idea of a film series beyond a single title or hero to an entire universe, Joss Whedon’s experience in serialized television translated perfectly to the capstone in a series of films connecting marvel heroes Black Widow, Hawkeye, Thor, the Hulk, Captain America, and Iron Man.

The result may have been the veritable end of the superhero film but that doesn’t mean that the studios won’t keep it going and drain it for every drop that it’s worth. In addition to another planned Avengers film, production is currently underway for Thor 2 and Captain America 2: Winter Soldier while (everyone’s favorite) Iron Man 3 is currently showing.


4.  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 (2011) – $1,328 Billion

Harry and the gang are no stranger to success. From the best selling book series of all time to one of the most successful film franchises, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2 is the pinnacle of that success.

The climactic resolution to the series represented not just the end of the series but the end of an era for countless hordes of fans that had literally grown up along with the series.

So is this really the end? While Rowling may not have any plans to revisit the world of Hogwarts any time soon, super fans can expect some new footage to be unveiled at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Theme Park, located in the very un-England-esque Orlando Florida.


5.  Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – $1,124 Billion

Most of the movies on this list have obvious appeal: superheroes, beloved books, epic love stories. But toys from the 80s? Apparently that’s what it takes to become the fifth highest grossing film of all time. Though to be fair, no is really going to see Michael Bay’s whirlwind pastiche of explosions, decopticons, and fighting for the complicated plot. The final instalment in the Transformers trilogy, Dark of the Moon reduced the series to its most basic elements and the result paid off. Clearly.

For fans that just can’t get enough of Bay’s action-packed style, Pain and Gain is his most recent endeavour. Though there are far fewer robots.



The era of the summer blockbuster is bigger and better than ever-as evidenced by these five films that have raked in unprecedented amounts of dough. Think that bigger is better? Let us know in the comments.



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