What do the biggest box office movies tell us about the future of Hollywood?

Avengers: Endgame dir. Joe and Anthony Russo 2019

Looking over the biggest box office movies ever made, a clear trend appears to have formed.

Avengers: Endgame has quickly become one of the biggest box office movies ever made; are you surprised? The MCU has dominated the multiplex from the beginning, but even after the success of 2008's Iron Man, it would have been hard to envision just how ambitious Marvel Studios' efforts would become. 

Currently, the Russo brothers' latest opus sits at number two on Box Office Mojo's All-Time Worldwide ox office list, just behind James Cameron's Avatar.

The film demands multiple viewings, marking the end of an era for the MCU while also teasing many future endeavours. It's really interesting to see how well comic book movies have fared at the box office over the last decade, so let's take a look at the top twenty highest grossing movies ever made. How many feature?

20. Captain America: Civil War (2016) $1,153.3

19. Minions (2015) $1,159.4

18. Iron Man 3 (2013) $1,214.8

17. The Fate of the Furious (2017) $1,236.0

16. Incredibles 2 (2018) $1,242.8

15. Beauty and the Beast (2017) $1,263.5

14. Frozen (2013) $1,276.5

13. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018) $1,309.5

12. Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) $1,332.5

11. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) $1,341.7

10. Black Panther (2018) $1,346.9

9. Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) $1,405.4

8. Furious 7 (2015) $1,516.0

7. The Avengers (2012) $1,518.8

6. Jurassic World (2015) $1,671.7

5. Avengers: Infinity War (2018) $2,048.4

4. Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) $2,068.2

3. Titanic (1997) $2,187.5

2. Avengers: Endgame (2019) $2,272.7

1. Avatar (2009) $2,788.0

It really is incredible just how quickly Endgame has shot up the list. By the time it's concluded its theatrical run, many believe it will have taken Avatar's place; it's difficult to disagree. So, let's take a look at what this assembly of cinema tells us. 

Nineteen of the twenty films are apart of a franchise, whether it's existing or proposed. The only one that isn't is Titanic, singling it out as a true triumph of blockbuster cinema. Even James Cameron - the director - himself has taken the time to congratulate Marvel Studios for finally knocking it out of the top two. 

Now, the success of franchises in cinema isn't exactly anything new. By following up a previous film, you account for existing fanbases, and through the method of serialisation - sequential output - you are telling your audience one sweeping narrative across numerous features; if you miss one, you're missing out.

MCU instalments have felt imperative ever since The Avengers released back in 2012, and it's no surprise that seven entries of the saga feature in the top twenty highest grossing list. 

It's clear to see that the superhero craze is further from fizzling out than ever before; Endgame has made certain of that. However, with Disney's increased monopolisation of the film industry in general, it's actually pretty overwhelming to realise just how much they've dominated the box office. Of the entire top twenty, thirteen titles are associated under the Disney banner in some way.

Considering the company continue to broaden their assets, we expect there'll be more than a few Disney titles entering the top twenty in the next couple of years. In terms of box office, Disney is king and as they continue to cater to more demographics than ever before, it's no strain to see why. 

In other news, It: Chapter Two will unveil a changed Pennywise.

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