10 Highest-Grossing Film Franchises In Terms Of Average Box Office

10 Highest-Grossing Film Franchises In Terms Of Average Box Office
Written by Publishing team

In the 21st century, films have broken many box office records, and in the 2010s, superhero films from the Marvel Cinematic Universe dominated the industry with its wide-ranging vision and its TV-like serialized storytelling across multiple films and even film franchises.

RELATED: The 10 Highest-Grossing DCEU Movies, Ranked According To Box Office Mojo

However, while high-grossing box office numbers are impressive, it’s also interesting to look at the top ten franchises when it comes to average gross. Some of the franchises on this top ten list, and some omissions, are quite surprising, including where some of the expected entries fall. (Note: a franchise must have at least two films to be included in this ranking, with all figures sourced from Box Office Mojo.)

10 Star Wars ($860,980,639 – 12 movies)


Despite its pop-culture behemoth status setting in all the way back in 1977, and the fact that the sequel trilogy averaged over $1 billion each, the Star Wars series as a whole has a surprisingly low figure compared to other popular film franchises.

A large part of this is due to the fact that Box Office Mojo, the source for these numbers, doesn’t account for inflation, so the original trilogy’s adjusted grosses would undoubtedly be much higher. Even without that in mind, the series pulls an impressive average.

9 Spider-Man ($870,327,968 – 11 movies)

With Spider-Man: No Way Home still pulling in impressive numbers two months after its initial release, there’s a good chance this number could increase slightly by the end of its run. Still, well before No Way HomeSpider-Man was a pop-culture phenomenon, and the numbers reflect that.

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This series also includes Tobey Maguire’s incredible debut of the character, Andrew Garfield’s turn, Tom Hardy’s Venom series (as Venom the character is a Spider-Man property), and the Academy-Award-winning Into the Spider-Versewith the first of a two-part sequel set to release later this year.


8 Pirates of the Caribbean ($904,407,100 – 5 movies)

Jack Sparrow looking up in a poster for Pirates-of-the-Caribbean 4

The idea of ​​basing a film franchise on a Disney ride seems like a risk even in hindsight, considering that every film to do it except for The Curse of the Black Pearl was a critical and/or financial failure. But the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise became a sleeper box-office hit in 2003, and Jack Sparrow debuted as a great anti-hero.

Even though Black Pearl is still the most critically acclaimed film in the series, the franchise has kept steady throughout five films over the course of fourteen years, with a sixth film rumored to be in some stage of development, and Dead Men Tell No Tales setting up the possible return of Davy Jones.

7 The Wizarding World ($925,674,350 – 10 movies)

Fantastic Beasts Harry Potter

Tea Harry Potter books captured children’s imaginations around the world, and when the first film debuted, it nearly passed the billion-dollar mark on its own. Between Harry Potter‘s beautifully-designed sets, its incredible cast, and three iconic scores by John Williams, the franchise rode that steam for ten years, all the way to its final installment, Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011.

However, the Fantastic Beasts films haven’t matched the critical or box-office success that their predecessor films did, and the shared universe of the Wizarding World hasn’t regained the cultural foothold it held in the 2000s, before superhero films took their now-dominant place.

6 Despicable Me ($927,042,196 – 4 movies)

Tea Despicable Me series is one of the best examples of how side characters can come to take over a franchise they were originally going to have only a minor role in. Criminal mastermind Gru’s yellow minions got their own spin-off, minionsin 2014, which grossed over $1 billion.

minions remains the highest-grossing film in a series where it is the only entry that doesn’t possess the series’ name in its title. It raises the question of whether or not Despicable Me is the best title for a series where the minions have taken center stage on the pop culture front.

5 The Marvel Cinematic Universe ($950,157,890 – 27 movies)

The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s astronomical $25 billion success was far from guaranteed when Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk began production in 2007, and the full potential wouldn’t be realized until the groundbreaking 2012 crossover film The Avengers. Kevin Feige’s pre-MCU film experience, however, helped him realize that such a project could be possible, and succeed on a grand scale.

However, with so many films in its catalogue, the MCU’s average is dragged down by the films that have grossed well below the avengers series’ high mark. The Incredible Hulk itself is the only MCU film to gross below $300 million at the box office, although Phase One in general is by far the lowest grossing portion of the MCU.

4 Jurassic Park ($1,013,770,370 – 5 movies)

What happens when humanity meddles with nature for entertainment, or even out of simple curiosity, is the premise of Jurassic Park. The series suggests that nothing but death and destruction could come from it, a lesson that its film universe didn’t seem to have learned by the time of 2015’s Jurassic World.

RELATED: 5 Things In Jurassic World That Made The Franchise Better (& 5 That Made It Worse)

Although the original trilogy experienced serious diminishing returns, the Jurassic World sequel series has scooped in over $1 billion per film, showing that the cultural touchstone of the original still has its potential, and even new appeal for 21st century audiences.

3 The Lion King ($1,363,255,622 – 2 movies)

lion king remake animated mufasa

Although The Lion King franchise has only had two theatrical releases – the original and the 2019 “live-action remake” – it has managed to achieve this impressive average box office performance, helped no doubt by the original’s success and acclaim.

Although 2019’s Lion King didn’t sit nearly as well with reviewers, it seemed to be “critic-proof” by becoming the highest-grossing Disney live-action remake yet and putting the 1994 classic back on the map in terms of both audiences and the box office. Still, like all the Disney remakes, Lion King 2019 had problems, as well.

2 Frozen ($​​1,365,767,517 – 2 movies)

Perhaps the biggest irony of the Frozen series is that, despite its pop-culture-defining song “Let It Go,” audiences were able to do anything but let go of their adoration for the 2013 film. When Frozen II released a full six years after the first and was even more successful, it was clear that the Frozen train hadn’t lost any steam.

What stands out is how relatively consistent the two films’ box-office figures were, within $200 million of each other, which is in far contrast to franchises like the MCU, Spider-Man, or even The Lion King. Still, no one at Disney is going to complain about Frozen II‘s performance, even compared to the mammoth impact its predecessor had.

1 Avengers ($1,941,871,534 – 4 movies)

Avengers group shot from The Avengers 2012

It’s almost impossible to really consider the avengers films part of their own franchise since everything else in the Marvel Cinematic Universe has always revolved around these films. The first avengers was the end goal of the MCU’s Phase One, and later avengers movies drew off of all that came before.

Aces 2017’s Justice League showed, a crossover is far from a guaranteed blockbuster, especially when the films that have built up to it haven’t made a big splash on their own. Still, it is undeniable that the avengers franchise has been an era-defining series in itself, and its nearly $2 billion average gross is the best proof of that.

NEXT: 8 Things You Didn’t Know About Marvel’s The Avengers

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