Top 100 Adaptations

by John Robert Marlow

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Adaptation madness continues unabated as we move into 2019. These are the top 100 highest-grossing film adaptations of all time. As of March 2019, 8 of the top 10, 15 of the top 20, and 71 of the top 100 highest-grossing films are adaptations. Figures shown are worldwide theatrical (box office) receipts, rounded to the nearest million. 

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 adaptations (A), followed by its rank among the top-grossing films overall (including non-adaptations). Updated February 23, 2019.

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); REL (religious text); SNG (song); STO (short story); SSC (short story collection); 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, musicals, comic books, magazine articles, true-life stories, historical events, myths-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.

Top 100 Highest-Grossing Adaptations

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