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All 30 Billion-Dollar Movies Ranked From Worst To Best

25 July 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Jethro Colmer

As F. Gary Gray’s Fast and Furious 8 passed the billion-dollar mark at the global box office, it became the thirtieth film to do so. This represents an opportunity to revisit the films that have reached this financial landmark, and question how many of them are deserving of such staggering takings.

A quick look at the titles will show that only two of the films are original features, all others are prequels, sequels or adaptations of some sort, whether that be of books, historical events, toys or theme park rides. In the eyes of the money men, this is reason enough for Hollywood to continue to churn out sequels and neglect original properties, as they are not as bankable and are deemed too risky.

Box office takings are accurate as of July 2017.

All film titles are UK release titles and therefore some films will be titled differently across the world.

 

30. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011)
Worldwide box office: $1.124bn

Sitting through one of Michael Bay’s Transformers films would, to many, sound as appealing as experiencing A Clockwork Orange’s Ludovico Treatment, and that would not be an exaggeration. His work with on franchise has been likened to an attempt to suck the soul out of cinema, and while it is true that the Transformers films are reprehensible orgies of mechanical sounds, horrific objectification and incomprehensible fights, the films take a staggering amount of money.

Ultimately, Hollywood relies on the takings of its biggest blockbusters, and so long as people flock to the cinema to see films such as these, they will only continue to be made.

 

29. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014)
Worldwide box office: $1.104bn

Transformers Age of Extinction (2014)

It would appear that Michael Bay’s idea of rejuvenating a franchise would be to replace the two lead stars, and add robot dinosaurs. Astonishingly, this worked to great financial success, the third act of the film relocating to China, either to appeal to the increasingly large revenue made from the region, or as a vital plot point- that decision can be left to the reader.

 

28. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006)
Worldwide box office: $1.066bn

davy-jones-in-pirates-of-the-caribbean-dead-mans-chest-2006

The reason that Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was such an enjoyable yarn was because the narrative was stripped down, the characters were entertaining despite the quality of the cast and the set pieces were, for the most part, highly commendable.

Dead Man’s Chest brought in more acting heft (Bill Nighy and Naomi Harris do what they can with the material at hand) and far too many plot strings that range from boring to ludicrous. The selling point of the first instalment was that it was ultimately fun, and here director Gore Verbinski brings a darker tone that makes Dead Man’s Chest a glum challenge to sit through.

 

27. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)
Worldwide box office: $1.027bn

Jar Jar Binks - Star Wars I The Phantom Menace

The reason that The Phantom Menace broke the billion-dollar barrier can be condensed to one simple thing: anticipation. Sixteen years after The Return of the Jedi, George Lucas announced that his beloved franchise would be making a return to the big screen. Surely the man who masterminded the original trilogy, who knew Star Wars better than anyone, would be able to pull it out of the bag again and deliver an engaging film about the relationship between Anakin Skywalker and his mentor-to-be Obi Wan Kenobi.

Alas, this was not the case. Star Wars Episode I is a yawn inducing mess of painfully irritating characters, a film that truly let down the legions of fans that were expecting the same buoyant spirit of the original trilogy.

 

26. Alice In Wonderland (2010)
Worldwide box office: $1.025bn

alice-in-wonderland-2010

Tim Burton’s imagining of a 19-year-old Alice’s return to Wonderland has many of his trademarks: Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham-Carter, a gothic visual style and a bizarre array of characters.

Much like Burton’s weaker films, Alice in Wonderland is a classic example of style over substance, where so much care and attention has gone into what you see on screen, which makes the film a visual treat that lacks any sense of depth. However Tim Burton can be credited with bringing Mia Wasikowska to the attention of the mainstream cinema audience.

 

25. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
Worldwide box office: $1.045bn

The fourth instalment of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise ditched the high number of plot strands for a narrative that can be summed up very simply: four groups of people are looking for something.

Despite the fact that this is a film running on fumes- even Hans Zimmer’s score sounds like the previous soundtrack had been copied and pasted- the early opening act in London has a spark of promise (cameos from Judi Dench and Richard Griffiths are well used) and harks back to the silliness and japery of the first film.

However, the second and third acts meander and drag before dumping the audience at an underwhelming climax, while Ian McShane is criminally underused as Captain Jack’s nemesis, Blackbeard.

 

24. Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Worldwide box office: $1.261bn

Disney’s live action remake of their beloved 1991 classic places technological advancement ahead of character. Perhaps this was inevitable, although more should have been expected of the film, given the success the studio had with remaking The Jungle Book. Jon Favreau’s film took the technology on offer and used it to create a menagerie of beautiful and layered characters to populate a world that was entirely created on a computer.

Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast uses similar digital techniques to add spectacle but very little else. The most commendable feature about the Beast in the film is the voice talents of Dan Stevens, while Emma Watson’s Belle is drowned out by the enchanted ornaments that squabble around her.

Beauty and the Beast also featured the introduction of a gay character and yet Josh Gad’s LeFou becomes merely a prancing sidekick rather than a fully formed character in his own right.

 

23. Fast and Furious 8 (2017)
Worldwide box office: $1.238bn

It is extraordinary to think that any film series can run strongly through eight films, and a refreshing of the cast and director certainly helps Fast and Furious 8. While it is the same-old-same-old boys and their toys stunts and mindless hokum, the addition of Helen Mirren and Kurt Russell is undeniably enjoyable and the box office performance shows that there is more than a little fuel left in the tank.

 

22. Frozen (2013)
Worldwide box office: $1.276bn

Frozen (2013)

Four short years have passed since the release of Frozen and still the primary recollection of the film is the song “Let it Go”, swiftly followed by a hapless snowman called Olaf. The song itself became somewhat of a cultural phenomenon, and thus impacting upon the strong takings at the box office.

The story pertains to two princesses in a land of eternal winter. Elsa, hiding away to protect her sister Anna, from the magical powers she possesses. Of course, Anna cannot stand for this and embarks on a journey- quirky companions included- to try and find some salvation for Elsa.

 

21. Jurassic World (2015)
Worldwide box office: $1.671bn

Jurassic World

According to director Colin Trevorrow and the writers of Jurassic World, if a woman wearing a business suit needs to be prepared for trekking through a tropical island, all she needs to do is undo the top two buttons of her shirt and she will be ready for whatever creatures and perils are out there in the jungle.

Jurassic World is a film that attempts to match Steven Spielberg’s original in tone while increasing the scale as much as possible, and this pays off with several stunning set pieces, most notably the attack of the pterodactyls on the visitors. While Chris Pratt is a likeably cheeky leading presence in the face of extraordinary danger, the real shame comes from the fact that Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire suffers from poor writing, resulting in her character being little more than a tedious sidekick.

 

 

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  • frank mango

    pretty sure number six is called zootopia……you hack

    • V3role

      It’s called zootropolis in the UK, but insulting people is easier than a 5-seconds google search isn’t it? http://m.screendaily.com/5084129.article

      • bluesborn

        what is that about the internet? casual snide insults tossed off for almost no reason.What a hateful medium.

        • x x

          medium? It’s called human where im from.

      • Rehab

        learn2’merica, you wank

  • Kimberley Merrifield

    Wow, so much garbage rated better and Titanic…seriously needs to be up there farther. All in all…plenty of garbage!

  • Arsalan Ahmad

    I would put skyfall just above the shitty transformer sequels. Dont understand how its number 2 on the list.

  • Lars Franssen

    A quote by Mark Twain comes to mind: Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

    • Alan

      so, you use this in a completely unrelated context to justify your unpopular opinions on film? nice, dude.

      • x x

        The unpopular films are the good ones. Even Mark Twain knew this. The masses converge on the smallest possible denominator.

      • Vincenzo Politi

        In case you don’t know: quotes are kind of used like that.

        • Alan

          nope. if you take quotes out of context, they can mean something entirely different, completely disrespectful to the author.

          • Vincenzo Politi

            If you are writing an academic paper, then of course you need to cite your sources correctly. But in informal speech, we all talk by quoting this or paraphrasing that. This practice is very common, especially with writers’ sentences and aphorisms.

  • Abhishek

    Please don’t make it a Hollywood page. We have too many articles already for Hollywood shite. And on top of that almost all films in this list are pile of garbage. It doesn’t matter what sort of film we are discussing but surely the revenue of movie is something about we are least bothered.

    • Jasper Sapien.

      Get on it yourself, if you have an idea-
      Write it.

      • Abhishek

        I had tried to write one. They entertained me first but later decided to stop replying. I think I will have to improve my writing skills. I will work on it.

        • Jasper Sapien.

          Good luck!

        • Vincenzo Politi

          Try to find someone to proof read your work!

          • Abhishek

            Will do. Thanks to all of you for the suggestions 🙂

  • 1. Skyfall is good but above Return of the King?
    2. The Dark Knight Rises at 9 ? You must be kidding, right?
    3. Meanwhile in other TOC list, Civil war ranked higher than Avengers .
    4. Avatar above Titanic?
    finally,
    5. I agree Dark Knight is great, but the movie has become too overrated.

    • Ricardo Correia

      Way too overrated, it started being too much when people called it the best of the decade

  • x x

    “Dark Knight” has about the worst dialogue i’ve ever heard.
    And it’s still a guy in a bat rubber suit…
    It’s better than most superhero Hollywood shite, but that doesn’t say much.
    That 9.0 on imdb is a joke. (see Nolan’s other mediocre movies)

    • Ricardo Correia

      Dude, just by reading that i can say that I love you

      • x x

        You’ll hunt me. You’ll condemn me, set the dogs on me. Because that’s what needs to happen. Because sometimes…the truth isn’t good enough…

        And is this the worst line ever in a motion picture? (if it isn’t it’s certainly close) :

        Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.

  • Hal Jordan

    Terrible post. Horrible ranking and bad reviews on the films.

    • Vincenzo Politi

      You are so awfully grumpy. I like you.

  • Hal Jordan

    A better ranking would be more or less like this:

    1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. Jurassic Park
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
    6. Zootopia
    7. Skyfall
    8. Titanic
    9. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    10. Marvel’s The Avengers
    11. The Dark Knight Rises
    12. Avatar
    13. Finding Dory
    14. Captain America: Civil War
    15. Frozen
    16. Avengers: Age of Ultron
    17. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
    18. Jurassic World
    19. Furious 7
    20. Beauty and the Beast
    21. Iron Man 3
    22. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
    23. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
    24. The Fate of the Furious
    25. Alice in Wonderland
    26. Minions
    27. Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace
    28. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
    29. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
    30. Transformers: Age of Extintion

    • feast for

      I agree with your order overall, but I like the Top 3 as it stands in the list and also Rogue One in the place of TFA

  • feast for

    Minions is no better than Frozen, the same applies for Jurassic World, Frozen might be despicable for us, but it managed to have strong female characters nuanced and a simple story about seeing and being more than what is expected.
    TFA is way too high, not having input from Lucas was a bad thing, Lucas is a lousy Director, that’s for sure, but the stories he wrote are good, even beneath the prequels there are interesting thematic ideas that fail to be executed, TFA has none of that.
    Don’t have a problem with the movies as it goes further I personally hate Return of the King but it is a good film just an awful adaptation.

  • Jinz

    Its ironic that #1 and #2 are essentially the same movie.

  • DeathCom

    This list is so utterly wrong. Skyfall is crap, The Dark Knight is just as overrated as Avatar.