Streaming was supposed to have killed the movie theater experience; why go out when you can watch the latest movie from home? But despite dire predictions, movies continue to shatter box office records worldwide. To wit: On the list of the 20 highest-grossing movies in history, all of them have brought in at least $1.2 billion dollars at the worldwide box office.
These movies aren’t cheap. Modern blockbusters demand that producers spend millions of dollars to make a billion dollars. It’s a high rollers gamble, but it pays dividends. Just in the last four years, we’ve added seven new entries to this list. And it’s only going to get crazier. Nearly every movie on this list is part of a successful franchise (Harry Potter, Star Wars, Avatar, Frozen), which means that all it takes is another sequel or re-release to upend the ordering.
We used the cumulative worldwide box office as measured by Box Office Mojo. Here are the top 20 grossing movies of all time.