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32. Bourne (2002–2012)
31. Rambo (1982–2008)
30. Planet Of The Apes (1968–2011)
29. Lethal Weapon (1987–1998)
28. The Chronicles of Narnia (2005–2010)
27. The Mummy (1999–2008)
26. Godfather (1972–1990)
Francis Coppola’s masterpiece Part I ($1.5B) from 1972 is the most successful of the franchise and arguably one of the greatest films of all time. It was based on Mario Puzo’s book of the same name.
25. Back To The Future (1985–1990)
24. Die Hard (1988–2013)
23. Terminator (1984-2009)
22. Men In Black (1997–2012)
21. The Matrix (1999–2003)
20. X-Men (2000–2011)
The second two of the primary trilogy are the most succesful: The Last Stand ($530M) from 2006 and X2 ($520M) from 2003. The Origins backstories have done swell too, and there’s still more to come with The Wolverine due on the big screen on July 26.
19. Superman (1978–2013)
18. The Fast And The Furious (2001–2013)
17. Mission Impossible (1996–2011)
16. Alien/Predator (1979–2012)
15. Transformers (2007–2011)
14. Jurassic Park (1993–2001)
13. Star Trek (1979–2013)
12. Rocky (1976–2006)
11. Jaws (1975-1987)
10. Twilight (2008–2012)
The best part of the vampire-werewolf-girl love triangle was the end. No really, Breaking Dawn Part 2 ($840M) is the highest grossing film in this franchise.
9. Indiana Jones (1981–2008)
Harrison Ford’s biggest find was in his first adventure, Raiders of the Lost Ark ($1.0B).
8. Spider-Man (2002–2012)
The first Spider-Man ($1.0B) with Tobey Maguire is the best so far. Andrew Garfield’s sequel to The Amazing Spider-Man will have its chance at the top next year.
7. Pirates of the Caribbean (2003–2011)
The second film in the franchise, Dead Man’s Chest ($1.2B), is the best of the fleet. A fifth voyage for Captain Jack Sparrow is in the works as well.
6. Batman (1989-2012)
The Dark Knight Rises ($1.1B) is the Caped Crusader’s best showing. It narrowly beat The Dark Knight ($1.1B), even with four years of hype.
5. Tolkien Saga (1978–2012)
The most successful adaptation of Tolkien’s epics is The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.4B). There are two more Hobbit movies to go, including The Desolation of Smaug this December.
Going Deeper: The small sliver on the left is the 1978 animated Lord of the Rings.
4. Marvel Cinematic Universe (2008–2013)
Marvel’s hodgepodge of super heroes knows how to draw a crowd. They’ve done best together in 2012’s Avengers ($1.5B). If you can’t wait for the sequel in 2015, you’re in luck — you don’t have to. Three more features are hitting screens first: Thor: The Dark World, Captian America: The Winter Soldier, and Guardians of the Galaxy.
3. Harry Potter (2001–2011)
Hogwarts’ valedictorian is the final installment, The Deathly Hallows Part II ($1.4B). All but the third film cracked $1B, but only having seven hit that mark seems to fit within JK Rowling’s universe.
2. Star Wars (1977–2008)
The top Star Wars movie is oldest but the fourth chronologically in Lucas’ universe. A New Hope ($3.0B) is not only the top earner in this franchise, but the biggest of the whole data set to boot. There are also plans for Episodes VII through IX and spin-off movies beginning in 2015!
Going Deeper: The small sliver on the right is The Clone Wars, a 2008 theatrical release for the pilot of the ongoing animated series of the same name.
1. James Bond (1962–2012)
Daniel Craig’s Skyfall ($1.1B grossed globally, adjusted for inflation) is the Bond saga’s best, but Connery’s Thunderball ($1.0B) is a close second.
Going Deeper: The left grey sliver is the original Casino Royale from 1967 with David Niven as 007. The right one is 1983’s Never Say Never Again, which did actually feature Sean Connery, but was not produced by Eon Productions and consequently is considered as a stand alone film based on Thunderball, the Ian Fleming novel.
What's your favorite franchise of all time, ONTD?