The Best 25 of the Top 100 Money Makers

Unfortunately the movies that make the most money are rarely the best in cinema history. A few days ago I found myself looking at the 100 highest grossing movies of all time. I was surprised at how many good movies actually made a lot of money. So in honor of the best of the best, I decided to make a list of the top 25 best highest grossing movies. 


25. E.T.

Becoming Amblin Entertainment's logo isn't the only iconic imagery this movie created. Also, who better to start this list than the legendary Steven Spielberg? The man who created the concept of a summer blockbuster brought an adorable alien to life and made most of us dream of helping the little guy "phone home."

24. The Avengers

Some might be upset that this incredible action movie is so far down on the list. With a few unanswered questions this movie can't seem to break the top twenty. Despite the occasional question mark, this movie couldn't be more fun and entertaining. With the promise of the action, witty sarcasm, and a sexy thunder god - this movie did not disappoint. 

23. Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Don't worry Star Wars fans, one from the original trilogy is much higher on this list. J.J. Abrams does an amazing job at pleasing everyone at least half way with this nostalgic eye candy. With throw backs to the ground breaking trilogy, attractive and talented new leads, and a shocking twist involving a crowd favorite, the audience leaves happy.   

22. Titanic

Although this epic gets a lot of hate for the somewhat cheesy romantic story, this movie is great. Effects that hold up decades later, acting from some of the greatest, and a gigantic scope; sign me up. Hate as much as you want, this movie is about as good as a romantic/epic gets. 

21. Up

Go ahead and try to watch the first 15 minutes of this movie without crying. Do it. I dare you. I'm sure some people out there can sit through it without tears, but I am not one of them. Pixar creates one of the greatest love stories film has ever seen and they do it in less than 20 minutes. 

20. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

From one of our favorite super hero directors, Brad Bird helps bring this suspense action movie to the big screen. One of the biggest movie franchises ever mixed with one of the biggest movie stars ever creates one of the best highest grossing movies of all time. 

19. The Martian

Yet again, a couple of Hollywood's greats come together to create one of the best novel to film adaptations. Ridley Scott, one of the best directors, and Matt Damon, one of the best actors, help take the audience on a fun adventure that's out of this world. Unconventional humor, amazing special effects, and superb acting make this space adventure one of the best of 2015. If you think I'm wrong, don't forget the Academy agrees with me. 

18. Finding Nemo

Although the sequel doesn't stack up to the original, this underwater adventure is breathtaking! Animation that is absolutely mind blowing and an adorable story of a father's love made the audience fall in love instantly. The chances you haven't seen this movie are low, but if you haven't, do treat yourself.

17. Jurassic Park

This is about as classic as a dinosaur movie can get. I recently re-watched this movie and was on the edge of my seat as much as I was the first time. Somehow, in 1993, Spielberg helped bring to life real dinosaurs! At least, that's how it feels watching this, even 23 years after it's release. 

16. Avatar

James Cameron makes this list yet again with his alien adventure movie. Yes, it's Fern Gully in story and there are cheesy plot points like "unobtainium", but this movie is beautiful. I judge the success of a movie based on it's ability to make you forget you're in a movie theater. No movie does that better than Avatar. I'm sorry, but it's true.

15. Guardians of the Galaxy

Hopefully the surprise of seeing this movie on this list isn't as much of a shock as how good this movie was. This movie came out of left field! Nobody "knowhere" expected this movie to be as good as it was. It solidified Chris Pratt as a blockbuster movie star, not to mention helping the world realize Marvel's got the system down!

14. Deadpool

This movie is crude, mean, inappropriate, and sometimes just gross. Oh yeah! This movie is also amazing! Funny and action packed, Ryan Reynolds finally put the stamp on the superhero movie he had been trying to do since getting his head chopped off by an Australian with razor blade knuckles. If you haven't heard the term "meta" look it up and watch this movie. You should have a firm understanding of the word after that. 

13. Harry Potter: Deathly Hallows Part 2

The conclusion to the pop culture phenomenon did not disappoint, despite all the hype. Maybe it seems better after following the worst of the series. Either way, this movie is not only entertaining, but takes you on a wizardy ride that's fun for even the most casual of fans. Death, resurrection, magic and unexpected heroes make this movie one of the best conclusions to a long journey. 

12. Lion King

Here is a fun fact; the Lion King was supposed to be a B movie made by Disney's B animation team. Well, this Hamlet remake "of sorts" is one of the best classic animated movies of all time. With music from one of the best and a redemption story of the ages makes this movie a family friendly adventures that will forever last the test of time. 

11. Captain America: Winter Soldier

If there is a superhero movie that gives us the hope that these silly action movies could transcend genres, this is it. Mission Impossible mixed with a campy comic book movie, this adventure becomes a spy film for the ages. Chris Evans brings red, white and blue to life as he portrays one of the most noble superheroes of all time. 

10. Star Wars: A New Hope

Yup! Here is the only original Star Wars movie to reach the top 100 highest grossing movies of all time. In regular CGI fashion it seems all the prequels made it, but the practical genius of the original trilogy didnt have the same financial legs. Launching probably the most culturally significant and influential movie franchises of all time, helped launch this movie to the top ten. 

9. Inside Out

If there has ever been a clever story brought to the big screen, this is it. Somehow Pixar does it again with taking an extremely complex subject matter and making into a comprehensible story for kids of all ages. Yes, this idea had been brought up before in television, but no studio did it better than the Pixar/Disney duo. 

8. Skyfall

My personal favorite of all the James Bond films and the highest grossing of the iconic franchise, this movie hits all the right notes. Solidifying the new, dark and gritty version of the ladies man and suave spy. Skyfall shrinks the scope while making the action bigger and better. It breaks down Mr. Bond to his roots and puts everything on the line. 

7. Jungle Book (2016)

The new Jungle Book directed by Jon Favreau should be finishing up its run in the theaters about now. If you haven't seen it on the big screen, stop reading this and find one of the last showings. The fact this movie was nearly entirely filmed in Los Angeles is mind blowing considering how convincing the scenery is. The only thing unrealistic about these animals is... well... they talk, but they look amazing. It's an adventure for the whole family with stakes that feel as real as the CGI looks.  

6. Forrest Gump

Clever. Heartwarming. Entertaining. Those are the three words I would choose to describe this Oscar winner. Following the life of a mentally handicapped young man as he stumbles and influences some of the most historically important events in U.S. history, this movie feels like you're right there with him. 

5. Captain America: Civil War

I went into this movie with some of the highest expectations I have ever experienced going into a film. I dont think I was alone in that either. Well, this movie didn't disappoint. In fact, it out did about every hope and dream I could have thought of. A beautiful lack of plot holes and action that makes you smile at every turn help make this movie the best of the Marvel canon (my opinion but I'm not alone). 

4. Toy Story 3

Yup! Pixar does it again. This intense and emotional conclusion of Andy and his toys was a perfect cherry on top of this computer animated cake. Woody, Buzz, and the whole team fight to get back to their wonderful owner. Discussing the themes of adulthood, friendship, and letting go of the past without forgetting it helped make this movie a tearful and heartwarming story that everyone can relate to one way or another. 

3. Inception

A concept every horror movie had explored but not capitalized on, waking up from a dream multiple times made Inception a mind bender. Leo, Levitt and Hardy team up to delve into the subconscious of a troubled man and make a little money in the process. Christopher Nolan does a brilliant job at challenging the audience in a fun and entertaining science fiction/heist/adventure movie. 

2. The Dark Knight

Christopher Nolan does it again! This movie is dark, serious and one of the best superhero rides we have ever boarded. Considered one of the best sequels and one of the best movies of all time. I obviously don't disagree. Heath Ledger provides one of the best performances put on screen! For those who disagree, I ask you — Why so serious?

1. The Lord of the Rings (Any of the Movies)

Let's face it; it's like they are all one 12 hour movie. One. Big. Beautiful. 12 hour movie. It doesn't matter if you hate the fantasy genre, Lord of the Rings is one of the best and biggest feats cinema has ever seen. Being filmed back to back in a beautiful landscape and using minimal CGI, Peter Jackson brings to life a whole fantasy world for all to enjoy! 

Thanks for reading!