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The 9 highest all-time grossing films in the U.S.

The landscape of cinema has seen monumental shifts over the years, and with it, the box office records have continuously been broken. As of 2024, the following films have secured their places as the highest-grossing films in the U.S. market, each marking significant milestones in cinematic history.

1. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens

Released in December 2015, Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens reignited the iconic Star Wars franchise with a fresh yet nostalgic take that captivated audiences old and new. Directed by J.J. Abrams, this installment grossed approximately $936 million domestically. The film’s success can be attributed to its compelling blend of original trilogy elements with new characters and narratives, creating a bridge between generations of Star Wars fans. The anticipation and marketing leading up to its release were unprecedented, leveraging nostalgia and the promise of a new beginning for the saga.

2. Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame, released in April 2019, stands as a cinematic juggernaut, grossing around $858 million in the U.S. Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo, this film served as the climactic conclusion to over a decade of storytelling within the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Its success was fueled by an enormous fan base and the culmination of plotlines from 21 preceding films. The ensemble cast, emotional stakes, and epic battles provided a fitting end to what was dubbed the Infinity Saga, making it a cultural event rather than just a film.

3. Spider-Man: No Way Home

This December 2021 release quickly climbed the charts, grossing over $814 million domestically. Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home brought together various generations of Spider-Man films by incorporating characters from previous franchises into the MCU. This unprecedented crossover generated massive hype and interest, with fans eager to see Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland sharing the screen. The film’s blend of nostalgia, innovative storytelling, and spectacular action sequences contributed significantly to its massive box office performance.

4. Avatar

James Cameron’s Avatar, released in December 2009, was a groundbreaking film that redefined the use of 3D technology in cinema. It grossed approximately $760 million in the U.S. Set on the alien world of Pandora, Avatar mesmerized audiences with its stunning visual effects and immersive world-building. The film’s environmental message and pioneering CGI work set new standards for visual storytelling and pushed the boundaries of what was possible in filmmaking, leading to its monumental success.

5. Top Gun: Maverick

A sequel 36 years in the making, Top Gun: Maverick soared to box office success when it was released in May 2022, grossing around $719 million domestically. Directed by Joseph Kosinski, this film saw Tom Cruise reprise his role as Maverick, delivering high-octane action and emotional depth that resonated with audiences. The combination of practical effects, thrilling aerial sequences, and a nostalgic nod to the original 1986 classic made it a hit among both older fans and new viewers.

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6. Black Panther

Released in February 2018, Black Panther became a cultural phenomenon, grossing approximately $700 million in the U.S. Directed by Ryan Coogler, this MCU film was celebrated for its groundbreaking representation of African culture and its predominantly Black cast. The story of T’Challa, the king and protector of the fictional African nation of Wakanda, resonated deeply with audiences. Its themes of identity, heritage, and social justice, combined with stellar performances and visually stunning settings, cemented its place in cinematic history.

7. Avengers: Infinity War

Another blockbuster from the Marvel franchise, Avengers: Infinity War was released in April 2018 and grossed about $679 million domestically. Also directed by the Russo brothers, this film set the stage for Avengers: Endgame, with its intense narrative and high stakes. The film’s complex plot, bringing together numerous characters from across the MCU, and its shocking cliffhanger ending, captivated audiences and drove massive box office numbers. Its success was a testament to Marvel’s ability to build a cohesive and compelling cinematic universe.

8. Titanic

James Cameron’s Titanic, released in December 1997, remains one of the most iconic films in history. Grossing approximately $659 million in the U.S., it held the record for the highest-grossing film for over a decade. This epic romance, set against the backdrop of the infamous 1912 maritime disaster, captivated audiences with its compelling love story and groundbreaking special effects. The chemistry between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, coupled with the film’s dramatic and emotional storytelling, made it a timeless classic.

9. Jurassic World

Released in June 2015, Jurassic World revived the beloved Jurassic Park franchise, grossing around $653 million domestically. Directed by Colin Trevorrow, this film brought audiences back to the dinosaur-filled theme park with modern CGI and new thrilling adventures. Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard led the cast in this action-packed sequel that combined nostalgia for the original films with new, innovative dinosaur sequences. Its success highlighted the enduring popularity of dinosaurs and the appeal of high-quality visual effects and storytelling.


These films not only achieved remarkable financial success but also left an indelible impact on popular culture. They represent a mix of groundbreaking technology, compelling storytelling, and strategic marketing. From the nostalgic return of beloved franchises to the innovative visuals of new cinematic adventures, each of these films has earned its place in the pantheon of box office legends. As the film industry continues to evolve, these movies stand as benchmarks for future filmmakers aiming to capture the hearts and wallets of audiences worldwide.

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