Naija Shine: Highest-grossing films of all time

With all the new movies surfacing, it can be difficult to find which are the best films in the cinematic universe. Despite having varying opinions on which movies are the best, it seems that a lot of people agree that the flicks we have on our list stand out from the rest. Whether it’s because of the hype, the cinematic significance or the well-written plot, one thing is certain and that is that these films managed to snag the highest gross in the box office. 

Discover the highest-grossing films of all time and marathon these groundbreaking flicks with your friends this weekend!


Box office: $2.85 billion 

Director: James Cameron 

Who could ever forget the best sci-fi flick to ever exist in film history? Avatar takes the cake when it comes to compelling stories and top-notch graphics. It doesn’t even matter if James Cameron decided to create the world of Pandora and its fantastical inhabitants based on every fantasy text ever made, this film established the foundations of modern mythmaking in the cinema.

As a director who is passionate about his work, Cameron believes that movies are meant to give the viewers a transformative experience. Perhaps that is the reason why every sinew of Cameron’s film always takes the Herculean effort in creating a new world. 

The whole Avatar movie centers around the idea of Jake Sully saving the Na’vi from the destructive grasp of colonialism. In a way, the film was inspired by the countless attempts of people with power to subjugate those who are living peacefully. 

Just like in the real world, war has its destructive effect on the planes of Pandora. The wonderful trees and rock formations were destroyed and the beauty of the tradition built by the Na’vi was almost eradicated. 

Avengers: Endgame 

Box office: $2.80 billion 

Director: Joe Russo and Anthony Russo 

11 years and 21 films later, we finally reached the end of the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the adventures that we had with our favourite heroes are closing. Marvel has constantly produced some of the best films in history and we are not surprised that Endgame made it on the list. After all, who doesn’t want to see all of their favourite heroes in one film? 

You might think that 3 hours is too long for a film, but for Marvel fans out there, we know that it isn’t enough. This cinematic masterpiece that Marvel and Disney pulled off stands out from the rest in terms of size, quality and consistency of casts. 

It is the cast that adds charisma to these comic heroes that we loved seeing. After 21 films, we can’t deny that these characters grew on us and had become part of our life. Perhaps this play on nostalgia is what made Endgame one of the highest-grossing films of all time. We all want to be there when the curtain closes on our favourite heroes and what a tear-jerker that was!


Box office: $2.21 billion 

Director: James Cameron 

We are seeing a lot of James Cameron here and we’re not even complaining. It’s like the guy has magic hands when it comes to creating films that would slap the box office in the face. Only James Cameron is capable of creating a film that still remains ubiquitous in the pop culture zeitgeist even after decades from its creation. We have to admit, the moment this movie came out, we all got Celine Dion’s caterwaul stuck in our heads. It’s playing on repeat and you can do nothing about it. 

The film was definitely a stunner with young Leo there to bless us with his presence, but the story itself is Romeo and Juliet redux amidst the ocean. However, the lines were definitely spectacular. You can feel every bit of emotion in the movie. 

Sometimes, the best scenes weren’t even from the main stars. We all know that the classical music band was the one who made this movie sail. Despite its many faults, Titanic still remains one of the major films in history. We guess that it would stay forever that way. Whether that’s because of the iconic tale it was based on, Leo’s and Kate’s acting or the cinematic ingenuity of it all, we’ll never know. 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens 

Box office: $2.06 billion 

Director: J.J. Abrams 

We know you’re a bit sceptical seeing this here, but hear us out. We can all agree that The Force Awakens has a near-perfect combination of practicality and special effects. Star Wars fans definitely can’t say that it is the best considering that some of the scenes put too much of a plot armour on Rey, but it was actually not so bad. We guess that the expectations were just too high considering that this is a much-awaited sequel. 

Avengers: Infinity War 

Box office: $2.05 billion 

Director: Anthony Russo and Joe Russo 

Marvel snapped and decided to create some of the highest-grossing films in history. Infinity War is a movie mashup that was epic in ways that no other film can be but still dreams to achieve. We can say that the Russo brothers took the comic book source material seriously by eschewing the unnecessary melodrama while embracing the grandeur of the film. It was simply spectacular. 

What’s amazing about Infinity War is that it still has the myriad of character interactions that build the foundation of emotional beats in the movie despite the frenetic fight scenes. The interaction between the characters is always a delight to see. The familiarity that we have with the characters is doing its magic in letting us imagine what would take place during their interactions.

Jurassic World 

Box office: $1.6 billion 

Director: Colin Trevorrow 

The Paleontological franchise is undeniably one of the movies that shaped our childhood. This new addition to the Jurassic franchise follows Chris Pratt playing a lovable doofus who trains and takes care of some of the dinosaurs in the park. Pratt’s hooking personality plus the ginormous new creatures in Jurassic World gave us a rollercoaster ride in the new film. It’s certainly entertaining to see giant Paleontological creatures on the big screen. 

The Lion King 

Box office: $1.65 billion 

Director: Jon Favreau

No, we’re not talking about the blood-less cartoon version. This film made our favourite characters real with its high graphics and technology. It’s almost like watching a clip from National Geographic. Of course, despite the realistic look of the movie, it still follows the story that we are familiar with and we can tell you, that scene with Mufasa falling didn’t hurt any less the second time around. 

The problem that we have with this movie, however, is that it drained the colourful life of Lion King and turned it into this almost ghoulish film for the purpose of making it realistic and true to life.

Furious 7 

Box office: $1.52 billion 

Director: James Wan 

The Furious 7 dumps everything we can’t imagine ever doing in a car into one film. The gravity-defying stunts were definitely fun to see albeit a bit unrealistic and there wasn’t much interaction that would put a value on the characters, but the abundance of action was certainly achieved. 

What made this film different from the other Fast and Furious films is that it is a celebration of Paul Walker’s life as one of the main characters of the film. His brother stood in for him to finish filming and the ending that they gave Paul made us shed a tear or two. It gave fans closure and that’s enough to make it thrive to the top of the box office hits. 

The Avengers 

Box office: $1.51 billion 

Director: Joss Whedon 

It seems that Marvel is acting as a buffer with every other movie on this list. No matter, it was a well-deserved achievement! The Avengers is one of the first instances where the superhero team blessed the fans with their dynamic that was emotional yet funny at the same time. They can make a movie with just them talking and we wouldn’t even mind. It was an interesting movie that laid the foundation for other Marvel films in the future and it certainly teased the fans to want to see more. 

Iron Man 3 

Box office: $1.21 billion 

Director: Shane Black 

Take off the suit, what are you? Apparently, Iron Man is a genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropist and now a box office hit. Take that Captain America! Despite spending ⅔ of the movie outside of the suit, this film did an amazing job in humanizing Tony and showing us that he too has his fears that he bravely overcame.

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