At the end of the day, movie making is about making money. Quite apart from the stars and awards, what matters is the bottom line and the results of the box office in terms of how much money the movie grosses. Let's look at this list of highest grossing films in history.
1. Avatar (2009)
Avatar, an American science fiction film, is undoubtedly the highest grossing film in history. It is the first film in the world to gross over $2 billion. It broke the record for opening sales and also became the top selling Blu-Ray release. It enjoyed the highest number of #1 weekends - 15 in the US and 11 worldwide. Its total worldwide gross is $2,783,165,628.
2. Titanic (1997)
Titanic made history as one of the highest grossing films in history by keeping the record for 12 years until the release of Avatar. It is an epic romance and tragedy film based on the Titanic disaster. The total worldwide gross of Titanic stands at $1,843,201,268.
3. The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King (2003)
This epic fantasy drama film based on the novel of the same name by J. R. R. Tolkien is directed by Peter Jackson. It is the third and the final installment of a gripping trilogy, following The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) and The Two Towers (2002). Its total worldwide gross is $1,119,110,941.
4. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
This is an adventure fantasy film directed by Gore Verbinski. It is the second installment in the Pirates series. It comes after The Curse of the Black Pearl and before At World's End. It is the highest grossing films from Walt Disney Pictures. Its worldwide gross is $1,066,179,725.
5. Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 is a 3D CGI comedy adventure film. It is one of two animated film amongst the highest grossing films in history. It is also the first film to be released in 7.1 surround sound. It gave Pixar its highest grossing opening weekend ever. Its worldwide gross is $1,063,165,731.
6. Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Alice in Wonderland is the second animated movie in the highest grossing films of all time, although it doesn't make it to the Top 5. It is a computer animated as well as live action fantasy adventure film directed by Tom Burton. Its worldwide gross is $1,024,299,801.
7. The Dark Knight (2008)
The Dark Knight is the only comic-based superhero film that makes it to this list. It is one of Batman's adventures in Gotham City with arch nemesis The Joker. Its worldwide gross is $1,001,921,825.
As you can see, this list only contains the highest grossing films of recent times. It is possible to adjust the amount of money an old film grossed by adjusting the price for ticket inflation, in which case a number of classic movies like Gone with the Wind and Star Wars would have made the list. This list only concerns itself with actual grosses, not adjusted ones.
Top image source: filmofilia.com