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Highest Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time - LOTR is Fifth

News from Bree

Nov 19 2010, 10:11am

Post #1 of 19 (984 views)
Highest Grossing Movie Franchises of All Time - LOTR is Fifth Can't Post

With the release of the latest Harry Potter film, CNBC has a slide show featuring the highest grossing movie franchises of all time. Here are the top five...

  1. Star Wars (6 Films, $5.49 Billion)

  2. Harry Potter (6 Films, $5.42 Billion)

  3. James Bond (23 Films, $3.55 Billion)

  4. Shrek (4 Films, $2.94 Billion)

  5. The Lord of the Rings  (3 Films, $2.91 Billion)

As you can see The Lord of the Rings makes the top five, but, just as a point of observation, if you average the number of films to the dollar total, you'll see that The Lord of the Rings has the highest per film average - around $970,000,000 per film. [See the full list]

(This post was edited by calisuri on Nov 19 2010, 4:45pm)

The Shire

Nov 19 2010, 4:32pm

Post #2 of 19 (566 views)
Hello [In reply to] Can't Post

You mean $970,000,000 right?



Nov 19 2010, 4:44pm

Post #3 of 19 (571 views)
Ha! Of Course - will edit [In reply to] Can't Post


The Mysterious Calisuri

Tol Eressea

Nov 19 2010, 5:24pm

Post #4 of 19 (569 views)
The Hobbit [In reply to] Can't Post

will almost certainly catapult the franchise up to about the #3 spot. I wonder if there's a chance it might reach #2, or, dare I say it, #1... Smile

(This is assuming The Hobbit and LotR are considered part of the same franchise, which they probably are.)

The Shire

Nov 19 2010, 6:07pm

Post #5 of 19 (573 views)
We should get the numbers straight .... [In reply to] Can't Post

Let's crunch the numbers:

StarWars (6 Films, $5.49 Billion) => 0.915 Billon per movie

Harry Potter (6 Films, $5.42 Billion) => 0.903 Billion per movie

James Bond (23 Films, $3.55 Billion) => 0.154 Billion per movie (how pitiful) Wink

Shrek (4 Films, $2.94 Billion) => 0.735 Billion per movie

The Lord of the Rings (3 Films, $2.91 Billion) => 0.97 Billion per movie

Meaning that LOTR is actually leading the list as most profitable movie franchise ever when put into perspective of how many movies it took to earn that revenue.

Not sure if this means anything, but even when calculated against minutes of screen time, I'm confident that it should still hold up against StarWars and Harry Potter ... (they are pretty long movies too ...) Pirate

someone please whip the Whipp!

N.E. Brigand

Nov 19 2010, 6:33pm

Post #6 of 19 (528 views)
"Numbers are not adjusted for inflation." // [In reply to] Can't Post


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Nov 19 2010, 6:55pm

Post #7 of 19 (528 views)
Well, kid movies will always have the numbers [In reply to] Can't Post

Not sure about the James Bond thing. I suppose it just appeals to a wider audience. The Potters and especially the Shreks will of course have large numbers. The kiddies will go to them in the theater without even knowing the story. Hey, lots of colorful, funny things on the screen there. And the parents love the DVDs of such films because they make great babysitters! Throw in one of those movies and your pretty much guaranteed not to have to deal with the rug rats for about an hour and a half.

Gives it to us in glorious 2D!


Nov 19 2010, 6:55pm

Post #8 of 19 (533 views)
Awards [In reply to] Can't Post

With the increased price of movies and the added revenue 3-D pictures bring, the Harry Potter franchise may challenge the average amount per film. Until The Hobbit movies come out, that is. Just nice to think that along with being the highest grossing franchise (average per movie) it is also the most honored franchise when considering Academy Awards.

Wow. A movie/franchise that changes how fantasy movies are made. Treats the story seriously and doesn't pander to the base needs of an audience. Becomes a critical hit, earning the highest awards possible and makes a boatload of money in the process. What a concept ...

"Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey"


Nov 19 2010, 8:22pm

Post #9 of 19 (556 views)
The Potters have a problem [In reply to] Can't Post

...in that after the first few they no longer bothered being comprehensible to folks who hadn't read the books. Sure, some kids like them for the "colorful, funny things" (not to mention explosions, etc.), but still...

Of course, many millions of people of all ages have read the books, so it isn't all that limiting. This is different from LotR, in that even though the books were popular, the vast majority of movie goers hadn't read them. So, I think this justifies some of Jackson's "pandering", but not all.

Sign up now in the Reading Room to lead a chapter discussion of LotR Book II!

Elizabeth is the TORnsib formerly known as 'erather'


Nov 19 2010, 8:54pm

Post #10 of 19 (581 views)
Here [In reply to] Can't Post


I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.

(This post was edited by Darkstone on Nov 19 2010, 8:58pm)


Nov 19 2010, 9:44pm

Post #11 of 19 (537 views)
To explain [In reply to] Can't Post

In Reply To
So, I think this justifies some of Jackson's "pandering", but not all.

Hey Elizabeth! Sorry if that was a response to my comment. If so, I was actually pointing out that Lord Of The Rings and Peter Jackson generally did not pander to the audience. Well, maybe a little bit in parts.

By pandering, I mean the feeling that Jackson is making a movie simply to entertain the masses, with lots of 'splosions, sexy shots, the sly comment from the action hero who barrels fearlessly without worry and with a wink into any and every dangerous impossible situation, terribly realized characters (but who cares, there's 'splosions!"), weak story (there's 'splosions again!), etc. You know, like most of the trype Hollywood tends to feed us every year.

There were parts of LOTR that had some of that - but overall the movie was taken seriously. I loved he decided to make it feel historical, to make us care about the story, the characters and what happens. In a fantasy movie. Was unheard of before LOTR's. Now many movies and franchises strive to do exactly that. Some have success at it and some do not. But there's no denying the influence.

"Do not come between the Nazgul and his prey"


Nov 19 2010, 11:45pm

Post #12 of 19 (548 views)
That makes RotK #47 top grossing film of all time! [In reply to] Can't Post

And TTT is #59, with FotR bringing up the rear at #67. Not too shabby!

You HAVE to adjust for inflation. Not to do so is the kind of dastardly lie that only studio publicists can live with.

squire online:
RR Discussions: The Valaquenta, A Shortcut to Mushrooms, and Of Herbs and Stewed Rabbit
Lights! Action! Discuss on the Movie board!: 'A Journey in the Dark'. and 'Designing The Two Towers'.
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Nov 20 2010, 1:16am

Post #13 of 19 (489 views)
I would also say... [In reply to] Can't Post

that somehow you have to adjust for the fact that when, say for example Titanic came out, DVDs weren't available, or only just. Not at all with Gone With the Wind. My point is, for those who loved Titanic, seeing it in the theater, and paying to do so was your best choice (bar VHS's awful picture) if you wanted to see the movie repeatedly. I'm surprised any movie makes a billion anymore when you know you can hang out 3 months and then have it in your hot little hands forever.

Permanent address: Into the West

Must. Have. The Precious! Give us the LotR EE Blu-ray Ultimate Box Set!


Nov 20 2010, 1:35am

Post #14 of 19 (482 views)
Also... [In reply to] Can't Post

...until the 1970s theaters weren't such sticklers about people staying and watching the movie a few more times on just the one ticket. Today they clear the theater and you have to buy a new ticket to see a film a second time.

I met a Balrog on the stair.
He had some wings that weren't there.
They weren't there again today.
I wish he would just fly away.


Nov 20 2010, 10:47am

Post #15 of 19 (468 views)
And also... [In reply to] Can't Post

Gone With The Wind and movies of its generation didn't have to compete even with TV, let alone all the other entertainment options of the 21st century. People used to go to the cinema much more back then because it was the only game in town. And you got a newsreel, cartoon and maybe a B feature for the price of your ticket. How all that gets factored in to the profit of the feature film, I've no idea.

(Also, I see that your stats are only for the US. Do you know if there's been any substantial rebalancing between US and the rest of the world in terms of profits over the decades?)

They went in, and Sam shut the door.
But even as he did so, he heard suddenly,
deep and unstilled,
the sigh and murmur of the Sea upon the shores of Middle-earth.
From the unpublished Epilogue to the Lord of the Rings


Nov 20 2010, 11:10am

Post #16 of 19 (461 views)
Darkstone [In reply to] Can't Post

That adjusted box office list, if I got it right, is only for the US list, which is an inaccurate picture since ROTK is placed 3# in worldwide box office and only placed 13# on USA all-time... If I now understood this correctly Crazy

The greatest adventure is what lies ahead.

Tol Eressea

Nov 20 2010, 7:18pm

Post #17 of 19 (448 views)
I don't think it's possible [In reply to] Can't Post

to adjust a film's profits to match the availability of videos or DVDs. If Titanic had been released while the DVD was in its prime (say, five years ago), we just don't know how well it would have sold. All sorts of factors influence home video sales, like word of mouth and the film's general level of rewatchability. Any attempt to calculate how many DVDs Titanic might have sold would be no more than guesswork...


Nov 20 2010, 7:33pm

Post #18 of 19 (465 views)
That's true, it would be guesswork. But all I'm saying is... [In reply to] Can't Post

I don't get too hyped up at the "numbers" when talking boxoffice. There are really too many other societal variables going on there for them to be meaningful.

Permanent address: Into the West

Must. Have. The Precious! Give us the LotR EE Blu-ray Ultimate Box Set!

film fanNo.7

Nov 21 2010, 1:41am

Post #19 of 19 (473 views)
Really quite impressive.. [In reply to] Can't Post

especially considering that it has only 3 films and the James Bond franchise has 23 films (!) and only got to third.

P.S. I think that Harry Potter has a really good chance to take first place after the 2nd part of Deathly Hallows comes out!!!!

You know you're cool when...
-You have a nerd-spasm just because you walk by your Lord of the Rings Extended Edition DVDs.
-You cry at the end of return of the king even though you've seen it about 13 times.
-You check TOR.n for updates when you should be doing your geography project.
-You would rather have Richard Taylor's autograph than Merryl Streep's.
-You doodle Treebeard in the margins of your math homework.
-"Everything you say, or anyone else for that matter, relates to LotR even if it only makes sense to you."-by Gimli'sBox
But if that's what I'm like... well than too bad for normal people!

(This post was edited by film fanNo.7 on Nov 21 2010, 1:41am)


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