Star Wars: The Force Awakens is out, and it is killing it. The latest film in the beloved, long-running sci-fi franchise is sure to continue to set record numbers at the box office. It will be a while until the worldwide figures for Star Wars are settled, but even without a little help from a galaxy far, far away, 2015 had some monster hits at the box office.
While there were some that failed miserably, others reached record heights. This list will look at the top grossing movies worldwide.
Here are Screen Rant’s 10 Biggest Box Office Hits of 2015
10. Fifty Shades of Grey
Sure, a number of you might be rolling your eyes at this entry. It’s almost unbelievable that this movie has raked in $570.5 million worldwide, and yet it only cost Universal $40 million to make. No wonder they couldn’t wait to get the production started on the sequel Fifty Shades Darker.
As cheesy and poorly acted as Fifty Shades of Grey is, the box office numbers speak to the appeal it had for moviegoers, particularly an underserved female audience (the box office success of Magic Mike XXL also speaks to this). The movie ended up being as much as a phenomenon as the blockbuster novel it was based on.
9. The Martian
Ridley Scott is back. After the recent disappointments of The Counselor and Exodus: Gods and Kings, The Martian was well-received both critically and at the box office. It’s right up there along with Interstellar and Gravity in terms of quality. The Martian had a budget of $108 million, which is actually pretty modest for a Ridley Scott movie, but it made up for it with a career-best performance from Matt Damon and a variety of strong turns from an immensely likable supporting cast.
The Martian was visually appealing, humanizing, and funny. The worldwide totals of $594.3 million (62.1% overseas), and a potential Best Picture nomination prove that we’re in no danger of movies set in space.
8. Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation
Tom Cruise ages better than fine wine – literally. What sort of magic potion does this guy take? Whatever his secret is, the box office numbers say that the Mission: Impossible is only getting more popular as it keeps going. The movie collected an astonishing $682.3 million worldwide on a $150 million budget.
Rogue Nation was positively received by critics and touted as one of the better action movies of the year, and the best of the M:I franchise. At one point, it was suspected that Tom Cruise was ready to step away from the Mission: Impossible franchise and have Jeremy Renner take over. This could have taken a Bourne Legacy kinda dive, but instead, Rogue Nation reignited the franchise.
Spectre had the odds staked against it from the start. It was going to be tough to top Skyfall, which had the 13th highest worldwide gross of all time at $1.1 billion, and Spectre didn’t quite reach that level. With a hefty budget of $245 million, it didn’t meet the budget cost with the domestic gate of $196.9 million.
But, internationally, Bond is still a spectacle to behold, as the overseas box office of $850.8 million accounted for 76.7% of the films total earnings. Spectre might be the end of the franchise as we know it, as Daniel Craig is rumored to be leaving and the search for his replacement could begin at anytime.
6. Inside Out
It turns out that two of the top ten grossing movies this year are animated features. The first one on this list, Inside Out is actually a terrific movie, one of Pixar’s best. A touching story with a lot of heart that’s just as appealing to adults as it is kids.
The movie has been critically acclaimed and might even sneak its way into a Best Picture nomination. With a $100 million higher budget than Minions, the other film on this list, at $175 million, it grossed $856.1 million worldwide. That’s a good earning and viewer response. Audiences and critics hailed Inside Out and that was reflected in its box office earnings.
How are those little annoying yellow things such a box office juggernaut? Sure, Bob, Kevin and Stuart are cute, but how can you possibly understand what they are saying? While children certainly love the little guys, the movie is a bit more difficult to sit through as a grown up. Nevertheless, the marketing of the Minion products helped make it an event film of the summer.
These little Minions managed to collect $1,157.2 billion worldwide on a (relatively) measly $74 million dollar budget. With a profit margin like that, expect more Minion movies coming your way. Who knew these side characters from Despicable Me would venture out and make the big bucks on their own?
4. Avengers: Age of Ultron
There it is, superheroes aren’t dead, and neither is Marvel, but in 2015 they weren’t quite the top dogs at the box office. Age of Ultron made a lot of money, no question. A $250 million budget that grossed $1,405 billion worldwide is a huge profit, yet it failed to earn quite as much as its predecessor, despite the ubiquitous marketing leading up to it.
The movie itself wasn’t nearly as good as the first Avengers; the film had a lot of hype and promotion, but many fans and critics felt it disappointed. Marvel has reached a point where it’s very hard for them to exceed the inflated expectations of their films. But in 2016, you can expect to see two new Marvel films, with Captain America: Civil War and Doctor Strange both building up a lot of buzz.
3. Furious 7
The Fast and the Furious franchise has only become more popular and more action packed as the years have gone on. The box office expectations for Furious 7 were fairly high after the success of Fast & Furious 6, but this movie made over a billion and a half ($1,515.0) worldwide on a $190 million budget. This franchise won’t stop, and amazingly it keeps doing monster numbers at the box office.
Most of the revenue was due to the foreign gross it accumulated, as 76.7% of the profit came from overseas. It will be interesting to see if this series can maintain its popularity going forward without Paul Walker, but with numbers like that, you can bank on seeing a Fast & Furious 8 in the near future.
2. Jurassic World
Dinosaurs are as relevant as ever in 2015. Combine the Jurassic Park nostalgia with the box office power of Chris Pratt and you get a film that ends up with a $1,668,984,926 worldwide gross. That’s a number that’s too long to write. It’s also the highest grossing movie at the moment (though that won’t last long).
The film had a production budget of $150 million, which was between that of the failed Jupiter Ascending and Tomorrowland. But unlike those bombs, Jurassic World banked on an existing, popular franchise and raked in the big bucks. Jurassic World is also a good movie.
The special effects, a solid script, and the star power of Pratt easily makes it the best Jurassic movie since the 1993 original.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (estimated)
The Force has been mighty strong, and The Force Awakens is destroying all sorts of box office records. As of publication, the seventh Star Wars film has grossed $1.39 billion at the box office, and it’s still at the top of the charts. It had a $528.9 million opening weekend worldwide that surpassed the $524.9 million opening Jurassic World set months ago, though it wasn’t by a big margin (due to the fact that it didn’t open in as many international markets at the same time).
Either way, it doesn’t take much foresight to see that, buoyed by the lucrative holiday season, this movie will set further records that might not be caught. Star Wars has a good chance to cross the $2 billion dollar mark before it ends its theatrical run. It doesn’t hurt that it’s the best Star Wars movie since the early 1980s.
Numbers and figures used were according to Box Office Mojo.
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