5 HIGHEST Earning Movies Of 2023 | [None in the Billion Dollar Profit Club]
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5.) Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever had a lot to live up to after the 2018 blockbuster shattered records and made a cultural impact on Hollywood. Marvel Studios had the tough task of doing this in the absence of original star Chadwick Boseman, who passed away in 2020, with this movie now serving as a tribute to him.
Despite having to fill in the leading role, with Letitia Wright’s Shuri taking the reins, Wakanda Forever was massively successful, grossing $859 million, which albeit does mark a major drop from the $1.34 billion of Black Panther.
Box Office: $859 million
Revenue: $750 million
Expenses: $491 million
Profit: $259 million
4.) Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Marvel Studios went all-in on marketing Doctor Strange 2 as a huge event, loaded with cameos and integral to the Multiverse Saga. With how popular the MCU has become and Multiverse of Madness being a key piece of the next era of storytelling, it’s no surprise it was one of 2022’s biggest movies and Marvel’s most successful of the last year.
Despite its massive magical scale, the expenses came in just short of $500 million, fairly standard for Marvel Studios, with its almost $1 billion box office, the Doctor Strange sequel improved greatly on its predecessor to turn a $284 million profit.
Box Office: $955.7 million
Revenue: $780 million
Expenses: $496 million
Profit: $284 million
3.) Minions: The Rise of Gru
Minions: The Rise of Gru was successful enough for Illumination to quickly set a 2024 release date for Despicable Me 4. It marked yet another successful instalment in the iconic animation franchise, the last two entries in which – Minions and Despicable Me 3 – both grossed over $1 billion.
The Rise of Gru even turned into a viral sensation as the Despicable Me prequel spurred a TikTok trend of large groups attending screenings in suits, something which undoubtedly helped its box office greatly.
Having been made on total expenses of $368 million, the costs are fairly standard for animation, with the Toy Story spin-off Lightyear having cost Disney $373 million to make last year, but that one resulted in an unfortunate $106 million loss.
Box Office: $939.6 million
Revenue: $750 million
Expenses: $368 million
Profit: $382 million
2.) Top Gun: Maverick
1986’s Top Gun has truly stood the test of time and has gone on to be watched by many over the years since its release. The legacy sequel Top Gun: Maverick arrived to storm the box office in 2022, smashing a huge post-pandemic record set by Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Now standing as Tom Cruise’s highest-grossing movie ever, the insanely positive word-of-mouth reactions and limited competition definitely helped Maverick dominate the box office all summer long in 2022.
The movie managed to bring $391.1 million in profit for Paramount, even with a huge $753.9 million in expenses, largely due to an above-average $280 million in participations (cuts of profits paid to certain actors and crew) – for comparison, Doctor Strange 2 had $40 million.
Box Office: $1.49 billion
Revenue: $1.15 billion
Profit: $391.1 million
1.) Avatar: The Way of Water
Following up on the massive success and the biggest movie of all time, Avatar: The Way of Water was always expected to be a huge hit, although many questioned whether the James Cameron sequel could attain the same success 13 years after the 2009 blockbuster.
Avatar 2 defied already-high expectations to become the most successful movie of 2022, and the third-highest-grossing of all time, raking in $531.7 million profit on a $2.32 billion box office haul. This figure could even be far higher, but according to Cameron himself, the sequel was “the worst business case in movie history” and racked up an insane $1.09 billion in expenses.
Box Office: $2.32 billion
Revenue: $1.62 billion
Expenses: $1.09 billion
Profit: $531.7 million