Box Office

by John Robert Marlow

Post image for Box Office

Adaptation madness continues unabated as we move into 2016. These are the top 100 highest-grossing film adaptations of all time. As of year-end, 2015, eight of the top ten, 16 of the top 20, and well over 50 of the top 100 highest-grossing films are adaptations. Figures shown are worldwide theatrical (box office) receipts, rounded to the nearest million. (This list was compiled while Star Wars: The Force Awakens was still in release; it’s now in the #3 spot overall.)

Note that many successful films earn as much or more from other revenue streams (merchandising, licensing, etc.) than they do from ticket sales. Rank indicates the film’s box office standing among all films (including non-adaptations), followed by its rank among adaptations (A). Updated December 23, 2015. Next update: April 2016.

MOVIE  CODE  RANK  BOX OFFICE  SOURCE MATERIAL 
Titanic  HIS  2 / 1A  $2,186,000,000  The sinking of the Titanic 
Jurassic World  NOV  3 / 2A  $1,669,000,000  Jurassic Park & The Lost World 
Marvel’s The Avengers  COM  4 / 3A  $1,520,000,000  Various Marvel comics 
Furious 7  ART  5 / 4A  $1,515,000,000  Racer X 
Avengers: Age of Ultron  COM  6 / 5A  $1,405,000,000  Various Marvel comics 
Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows, Part 2 
NOV  7 / 6A  $1,342,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows 
Frozen  MLF  8 / 7A  $1,277,000,000  The Snow Queen 
Iron Man 3  COM  9 / 8A  $1,215,000,000  Iron Man series 
Transformers:
Dark of the Moon 
GAM  11 / 9A  $1,124,000,000  Transformers toys 
The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King 
NOV  12 / 10A  $1,120,000,000  The Lord of the Rings:
The Return of the King 
Skyfall  NOV  13 / 11A  $1,109,000,000  James Bond series 
Transformers:
Age of Extinction 
GAM  14 / 12A  $1,124,000,000  Transformers toys 
The Dark Knight Rises  COM  15 / 13A  $1,085,000,000  Batman comics 
Pirates of the Caribbean:
Dead Man’s Chest 
THM  16 / 14A  $1,066,000,000  POTC theme park ride 
Pirates of the Caribbean:
On Stranger Tides 
THM  18 / 15A  $1,046,000,000  POTC theme park ride
Jurassic Park  NOV  19 / 16A  $1,029,000,000  Jurassic Park 
Alice in Wonderland (2010)  NOV  21 / 17A  $1,026,000,000  Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and
Through the Looking Glass 
The Hobbit:
An Unexpected Journey 
NOV  22 / 18A  $1,021,000,000  The Hobbit 
The Dark Knight  COM  23 / 19A  $1,005,000,000  Batman comics 
Harry Potter and the
Sorceror’s Stone 
NOV  25 / 20A  $975,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Sorceror’s Stone 
Pirates of the Caribbean
At World’s End 
THM  27 / 21A  $963,000,000  POTC theme park ride 
Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows Part 1 
NOV  28 / 22A  $960,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Deathly Hallows, Part 1 
The Hobbit:
The Desolation of Smaug 
NOV  29 / 23A  $958,000,000  The Hobbit 
The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies 
NOV  30 / 24A  $956,000,000  The Hobbit 
Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix 
NOV  31 / 25A  $940,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Order of the Phoenix 
Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince 
NOV  33 / 26A  $934,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Half-Blood Prince 
The Lord of the Rings:
The Two Towers 
NOV  34 / 27A  $926,000,000  The Lord of the Rings:
The Two Towers 
Shrek 2  NOV  25 / 28A  $920,000,000  Shrek! 
Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire 
NOV  36 / 29A  $897,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Goblet of Fire 
Spider-Man 3  COM  37 / 30A  $891,000,000  Spider-Man series 
Harry Potter and the
Chamber of Secrets 
NOV  39 / 31A  $879,000,000  Harry Potter and the
Chamber of Secrets 
The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring 
NOV  41 / 32A  $872,000,000  The Lord of the Rings:
The Fellowship of the Ring 
The Hunger Games: Catching Fire  NOV  42 / 33A  $865,000,000  Catching Fire 
Spectre  NOV  45 / 34A  $837,000,000  James Bond series 
Transformers:
Revenge of the Fallen 
GAM  46 / 35A  $836,000,000  Transformers toys 
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2  NOV  47 / 36A  $830,000,000  The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn 
Spider-Man  COM  49 / 37A  $822,000,000  Spider-Man series 
Shrek the Third  NOV  51 / 38A  $799,000,000  Shrek!
Harry Potter and the 
Prisoner of Azkaban
NOV  52 / 39A  $797,000,000  Harry Potter and the 
Prisoner of Azkaban
Fast & Furious 6  ART  54 / 40A  $789,000,000  Racer X 
Spider-Man 2  COM  56 / 41A  $784,000,000  Spider-Man series 
Guardians of the Galaxy  COM  58 / 42A  $773,000,000  Various Marvel comics 
Maleficent  MLF  60 / 43A  $759,000,000  La Belle au bois dormant 
The Da Vinci Code  NOV  61 / 44A  $758,000,000  The Da Vinci Code 
The Amazing Spider-Man  COM  62 / 45A  $758,000,000  Spider-Man comics 
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1  NOV  63 / 46A  $755,000,000  Mockingjay 
Shrek Forever After  NOV  64 / 47A  $753,000,000  Shrek! 
X-Men: Days of Future Past  COM  65 / 48A  $748,000,000  The X-Men comics 
The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, The Witch,
and the Wardrobe 
NOV  67 / 49A  $745,000,000  The Chronicles of Narnia:
The Lion, The Witch,
and the Wardrobe 
Captain America: The Winter Soldier  COM  72 / 50A  $714,000,000  Captain America comics 
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1  NOV  73 / 51A  $712,000,000  The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn 
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes  NOV  74 / 52A  $711,000,000  La Planète des Singes 
The Twilight Saga:
New Moon 
NOV  75 / 53A  $708,000,000  The Twilight Saga:
New Moon 
Transformers  GAM  76 / 54A  $710,000,000  Transformers toys 
The Amazing Spider-Man 2  COM  77 / 55A  $709,000,000  Spider-Man comics 
The Twilight Saga:
Eclipse 
NOV  78 / 56A  $699,000,000  The Twilight Saga:
Eclipse 
Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol  TVS  79 / 57A  $695,000,000  Mission: Impossible 
The Hunger Games  NOV  80 / 58A  $694,000,000  The Hunger Games 
Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation  TVS  81 / 59A  $682,000,000  Mission: Impossible 
Forrest Gump  NOV  82 / 60A  $678,000,000  Forrest Gump 
Man of Steel  COM  85 / 61A  $668,000,000  Superman comics 
Pirates of the Caribbean:
The Curse of the Black Pearl 
THM  89 / 62A  $654,000,000  POTC theme park ride 
Thor: The Dark World  COM  91 / 63A  $645,000,000  Thor comics 
Fast Five  ART  94 / 64A  $626,000,000  Racer X 
Men in Black 3  COM  73 / 65A  $624,000,000  Men in Black comics 
Iron Man 2  COM  97 / 66A  $624,000,000  Iron Man series 
How to Train Your Dragon 2  NOV  99 / 67A  $622,000,000  How to Train Your Dragon series 
Jurassic Park: The Lost World  NOV  100 / 68A  $619,000,000  The Lost World 
The Passion of the Christ  REL  101 / 69A  $612,000,000  The Bible (New Testament) 
Star Wars: The Force Awakens  MOV  102 / 70A  $611,000,000  Star Wars movies 
Mama Mia!  SNG  103 / 71A  $610,000,000  Mama Mia! 
Life of Pi  NOV  104 / 72A  $609,000,000  Life of Pi 
Casino Royale  NOV/MOV  106 / 73A  $599,000,000  Casino Royale 
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2  NOV  107 / 74A  $597,000,000  Mockingjay 
The Martian  NOV  108 / 75A  $594,000,000  The Martian 
Tangled  MLF  109 / 76A  $592,000,000  Rapunzel 
War of the Worlds  NOV  110 / 77A  $592,000,000  The War of the Worlds 
Men In Black  COM  111 / 78A  $589,000,000  Men in Black comics 
Quantum of Solace  NOV  114 / 79A  $586,000,000  James Bond series 
I Am Legend  NOV/MOV  115 / 80A  $585,000,000  I Am Legend/Omega Man 
Iron Man  COM  116 / 81A  $585,000,000  Iron Man series 
Night at the Museum  NOV  117 / 82A  $575,000,000  The Night at the Museum 
The Smurfs  COM/TVS  119 / 83A  $564,000,000  The Smurfs comics 
Puss in Boots  MLF  122 / 84A  $555,000,000  Puss in Boots 
King Kong (2005)  MOV  124 / 85A  $551,000,000  King Kong (1933) 
Mission Impossible II  TVS  127 / 86A  $546,000,000  Mission: Impossible 
Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows  NOV/STO  128 / 87A  $545,000,000  Sherlock Homes novels
and short stories 
Cinderella  MLF  131 / 88A  $543,000,000  Cinderella 
World War Z  POEM  132 / 89A  $540,000,000  World War Z 
Godzilla  MOV  136 / 90A  $529,000,000  Godzilla 
The Simpsons Movie  TVS  137 / 91A  $527,000,000  The Simpsons 
Sherlock Holmes NOV/STO  138 / 92A  $524,000,000  Sherlock Homes novels
and short stories 
Ant-Man  COM  141 / 93A  $527,000,000  Various Marvel comics 
Aladdin MLF  144 / 94A  $504,000,000  Aladdin and the Magic Lamp
(from One Thousand and One Nights) 
Troy  POEM  146 / 95A  $497,000,000  The Iliad 
How to Train Your Dragon  NOV  147 / 96A  $495,000,000  How to Train Your Dragon 
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  COM  149 / 97A  $493,000,000  TMNT comics 
Oz the Great and Powerful  NOV  150 / 98A  $493,000,000  Oz novels 
Clash of the Titans  MLF / MOV  151 / 99A  $493,000,000  Mixed mythologies and Clash of the Titans (1981) 
Angels & Demons  MLF / NOV  152 / 100A  $486,000,000  Angels & Demons 
Shrek  NOV  156 / 101A  $484,000,000  Shrek! 

CODES indicate the type of source material on which the films were based: ART (article in magazine, newspaper, etc.); BLG (blog); COM (comic book / graphic novel); HIS (historic event); MLF (myth / legend / faery tale); MOV (movie remake / spinoff); MOVs (movie short); NFB (nonfiction book); NOV (novel or children’s book); POEM (poem); RAD (radio show); SNG (song); STO (short story); GAM (game / toy); THM (theme park / theme park ride); TRU (true-life story); TVS (television series).

As used on this site, “adaptation” includes screen stories / screenplays based on books (fiction and nonfiction), short stories, plays, comic books, magazine articles, true-life stories, historical events, myths and legends, faery tales, previous films and film shorts, tv series, theme park rides, games, toys, blogs, songs—pretty much anything adaptable. Sequels, prequels and spinoffs are not considered adaptations of the preceding film, unless the first film in the series was an adaptation. Remakes of earlier films are considered adaptations.