(Photo by Warner Bros./ courtesy Everett Collection)

All 49 Billion-Dollar Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

We heard it in a Hollywood movie once: “A million dollars isn’t cool. You know what’s cool? A billion dollars.”

And in this town, it’s true. A movie making that minimum seven figures isn’t cool, it’s a box office bomb. But 10 figures? Now we’re talking. Cracking a billion dollars globally requires a mighty recipe of the hottest stars, the shiniest filmmaking technology, and an engaging plot with twists and turns that never becomes super-duper complicated. And, of course, you’ll need an audience willing to turn out in droves the world over, from America to Lebanon to Zambia.

Now we’ve compiled all of the movies that have achieved just that and ranked them by Tomatometer. It’s a compelling window into our era of blockbusters and inflation. The Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean series each have multiple entries, in the years before the franchises were run into the ground. Alice in Wonderland showed the way for Disney and these newfangled live-action remakes. The last Lord of the Rings was rewarded by fans with the highest gross of the trilogy, goodwill that transferred into The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and then evaporated after that. The presence of the Jurassic and Star Wars movies, along with Skyfall, shows you can still wring plenty of money out of long-in-the-tooth franchise.

Then there’s the superheroes. The Dark Knight movies officially ushered in the era of big business for those who take their comic-book moviemaking seriously. Marvel took a lighter step, focusing on interconnected stories that create serious FOMO for those who skip the multiplex line, in movies like Avengers, Spider-Man, Captain Marvel, and Black Panther.

Re-releases of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone was enough to get it over the edge, while Spider-Man: No Way Home had no problem swinging over the line! And now, Top Gun: Maverick is the latest to land in the billion zone.

And if you want to go more in-depth, check out our article on The 50 Highest-Grossing Movies Ever, which includes some of those lesser specimens that couldn’t quite break a billion. Alex Vo

#1

Toy Story 3 (2010)
98%

#1
Adjusted Score: 110950%
Critics Consensus: Deftly blending comedy, adventure, and honest emotion, Toy Story 3 is a rare second sequel that really works.
Synopsis: With their beloved Andy preparing to leave for college, Woody (Tom Hanks), Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen), Jessie (Joan Cusack), and... [More]
Directed By: Lee Unkrich

#2

Zootopia (2016)
98%

#2
Adjusted Score: 116357%
Critics Consensus: The brilliantly well-rounded Zootopia offers a thoughtful, inclusive message that's as rich and timely as its sumptuously state-of-the-art animation -- all while remaining fast and funny enough to keep younger viewers entertained.
Synopsis: From the largest elephant to the smallest shrew, the city of Zootopia is a mammal metropolis where various animals live... [More]
Directed By: Byron Howard, Rich Moore

#3

Toy Story 4 (2019)
97%

#3
Adjusted Score: 125278%
Critics Consensus: Heartwarming, funny, and beautifully animated, Toy Story 4 manages the unlikely feat of extending -- and perhaps concluding -- a practically perfect animated saga.
Synopsis: Woody, Buzz Lightyear and the rest of the gang embark on a road trip with Bonnie and a new toy... [More]
Directed By: Josh Cooley

#4
#4
Adjusted Score: 120141%
Critics Consensus: Top Gun: Maverick pulls off a feat even trickier than a 4G inverted dive, delivering a long-belated sequel that surpasses its predecessor in wildly entertaining style.
Synopsis: After more than thirty years of service as one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell (Tom Cruise) is... [More]
Directed By: Joseph Kosinski

#5

Black Panther (2018)
96%

#5
Adjusted Score: 129328%
Critics Consensus: Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU's most absorbing stories -- and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.
Synopsis: After the death of his father, T'Challa returns home to the African nation of Wakanda to take his rightful place... [More]
Directed By: Ryan Coogler

#6
Adjusted Score: 110098%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: A clash between good and evil awaits as young Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) prepare... [More]
Directed By: David Yates

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 128441%
Critics Consensus: Exciting, entertaining, and emotionally impactful, Avengers: Endgame does whatever it takes to deliver a satisfying finale to Marvel's epic Infinity Saga.
Synopsis: Adrift in space with no food or water, Tony Stark sends a message to Pepper Potts as his oxygen supply... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#8

The Dark Knight (2008)
94%

#8
Adjusted Score: 108252%
Critics Consensus: Dark, complex, and unforgettable, The Dark Knight succeeds not just as an entertaining comic book film, but as a richly thrilling crime saga.
Synopsis: With the help of allies Lt. Jim Gordon (Gary Oldman) and DA Harvey Dent (Aaron Eckhart), Batman (Christian Bale) has... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#9

Finding Dory (2016)
94%

#9
Adjusted Score: 116227%
Critics Consensus: Funny, poignant, and thought-provoking, Finding Dory delivers a beautifully animated adventure that adds another entertaining chapter to its predecessor's classic story.
Synopsis: Dory (Ellen DeGeneres) is a wide-eyed, blue tang fish who suffers from memory loss every 10 seconds or so. The... [More]
Directed By: Andrew Stanton

#10
Adjusted Score: 111489%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action and populated by both familiar faces and fresh blood, The Force Awakens successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy.
Synopsis: Thirty years after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, the galaxy faces a new threat from the evil Kylo Ren... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 115054%
Critics Consensus: A bigger, bolder Spider-Man sequel, No Way Home expands the franchise's scope and stakes without losing sight of its humor and heart.
Synopsis: For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero's identity is revealed, bringing his Super... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#12

Incredibles 2 (2018)
93%

#12
Adjusted Score: 117289%
Critics Consensus: Incredibles 2 reunites Pixar's family crimefighting team for a long-awaited follow-up that may not quite live up to the original, but comes close enough to earn its name.
Synopsis: Telecommunications guru Winston Deavor enlists Elastigirl to fight crime and make the public fall in love with superheroes once again.... [More]
Directed By: Brad Bird

#13
Adjusted Score: 103517%
Critics Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.
Synopsis: The culmination of nearly 10 years' work and conclusion to Peter Jackson's epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#14

Skyfall (2012)
92%

#14
Adjusted Score: 108828%
Critics Consensus: Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.
Synopsis: When James Bond's (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#15

Jurassic Park (1993)
92%

#15
Adjusted Score: 102573%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic Park is a spectacle of special effects and life-like animatronics, with some of Spielberg's best sequences of sustained awe and sheer terror since Jaws.
Synopsis: In Steven Spielberg's massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 127968%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Last Jedi honors the saga's rich legacy while adding some surprising twists -- and delivering all the emotion-rich action fans could hope for.
Synopsis: Luke Skywalker's peaceful and solitary existence gets upended when he encounters Rey, a young woman who shows strong signs of... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 106746%
Critics Consensus: Thanks to a script that emphasizes its heroes' humanity and a wealth of superpowered set pieces, The Avengers lives up to its hype and raises the bar for Marvel at the movies.
Synopsis: When Thor's evil brother, Loki (Tom Hiddleston), gains access to the unlimited power of the energy cube called the Tesseract,... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 119085%
Critics Consensus: A breezily unpredictable blend of teen romance and superhero action, Spider-Man: Far from Home stylishly sets the stage for the next era of the MCU.
Synopsis: Peter Parker's relaxing European vacation takes an unexpected turn when Nick Fury shows up in his hotel room to recruit... [More]
Directed By: Jon Watts

#19
Adjusted Score: 118242%
Critics Consensus: Captain America: Civil War begins the next wave of Marvel movies with an action-packed superhero blockbuster boasting a decidedly non-cartoonish plot and the courage to explore thought-provoking themes.
Synopsis: Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#20

Frozen (2013)
90%

#20
Adjusted Score: 100598%
Critics Consensus: Beautifully animated, smartly written, and stocked with singalong songs, Frozen adds another worthy entry to the Disney canon.
Synopsis: When their kingdom becomes trapped in perpetual winter, fearless Anna (Kristen Bell) joins forces with mountaineer Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

#21
#21
Adjusted Score: 104237%
Critics Consensus: The Dark Knight Rises is an ambitious, thoughtful, and potent action film that concludes Christopher Nolan's franchise in spectacular fashion.
Synopsis: It has been eight years since Batman (Christian Bale), in collusion with Commissioner Gordon (Gary Oldman), vanished into the night.... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#22

Titanic (1997)
87%

#22
Adjusted Score: 102629%
Critics Consensus: A mostly unqualified triumph for James Cameron, who offers a dizzying blend of spectacular visuals and old-fashioned melodrama.
Synopsis: James Cameron's "Titanic" is an epic, action-packed romance set against the ill-fated maiden voyage of the R.M.S. Titanic; the pride... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 115736%
Critics Consensus: Avengers: Infinity War ably juggles a dizzying array of MCU heroes in the fight against their gravest threat yet, and the result is a thrilling, emotionally resonant blockbuster that (mostly) realizes its gargantuan ambitions.
Synopsis: Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and the rest of the Avengers unite to battle their most powerful enemy yet --... [More]
Directed By: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

#24
Adjusted Score: 114497%
Critics Consensus: Rogue One draws deep on Star Wars mythology while breaking new narrative and aesthetic ground -- and suggesting a bright blockbuster future for the franchise.
Synopsis: Former scientist Galen Erso lives on a farm with his wife and young daughter, Jyn. His peaceful existence comes crashing... [More]
Directed By: Gareth Edwards

#25

Avatar (2009)
82%

#25
Adjusted Score: 95177%
Critics Consensus: It might be more impressive on a technical level than as a piece of storytelling, but Avatar reaffirms James Cameron's singular gift for imaginative, absorbing filmmaking.
Synopsis: On the lush alien world of Pandora live the Na'vi, beings who appear primitive but are highly evolved. Because the... [More]
Directed By: James Cameron

#26

Furious 7 (2015)
81%

#26
Adjusted Score: 92717%
Critics Consensus: Serving up a fresh round of over-the-top thrills while adding unexpected dramatic heft, Furious 7 keeps the franchise moving in more ways than one.
Synopsis: After defeating international terrorist Owen Shaw, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O'Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#27
Adjusted Score: 89180%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: Adaptation of the first of J.K. Rowling's popular children's novels about Harry Potter, a boy who learns on his eleventh... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#28

Captain Marvel (2019)
79%

#28
Adjusted Score: 113039%
Critics Consensus: Packed with action, humor, and visual thrills, Captain Marvel introduces the MCU's latest hero with an origin story that makes effective use of the franchise's signature formula.
Synopsis: Captain Marvel is an extraterrestrial Kree warrior who finds herself caught in the middle of an intergalactic battle between her... [More]
Directed By: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck

#29

Iron Man 3 (2013)
79%

#29
Adjusted Score: 93270%
Critics Consensus: With the help of its charismatic lead, some impressive action sequences, and even a few surprises, Iron Man 3 is a witty, entertaining adventure and a strong addition to the Marvel canon.
Synopsis: Plagued with worry and insomnia since saving New York from destruction, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), now, is more dependent... [More]
Directed By: Shane Black

#30

Frozen II (2019)
77%

#30
Adjusted Score: 98264%
Critics Consensus: Frozen II can't quite recapture the showstopping feel of its predecessor, but it remains a dazzling adventure into the unknown.
Synopsis: Elsa the Snow Queen has an extraordinary gift -- the power to create ice and snow. But no matter how... [More]
Directed By: Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee

#31
#31
Adjusted Score: 91241%
Critics Consensus: Exuberant and eye-popping, Avengers: Age of Ultron serves as an overstuffed but mostly satisfying sequel, reuniting its predecessor's unwieldy cast with a few new additions and a worthy foe.
Synopsis: When Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) jump-starts a dormant peacekeeping program, things go terribly awry, forcing him, Thor (Chris Hemsworth),... [More]
Directed By: Joss Whedon

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: 99693%
Critics Consensus: With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.
Synopsis: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its... [More]
Directed By: Bill Condon

#33

Jurassic World (2015)
71%

#33
Adjusted Score: 86327%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic World can't match the original for sheer inventiveness and impact, but it works in its own right as an entertaining -- and visually dazzling -- popcorn thriller.
Synopsis: Located off the coast of Costa Rica, the Jurassic World luxury resort provides a habitat for an array of genetically... [More]
Directed By: Colin Trevorrow

#34

Joker (2019)
68%

#34
Adjusted Score: 106219%
Critics Consensus: Joker gives its infamous central character a chillingly plausible origin story that serves as a brilliant showcase for its star -- and a dark evolution for comics-inspired cinema.
Synopsis: Forever alone in a crowd, failed comedian Arthur Fleck seeks connection as he walks the streets of Gotham City. Arthur... [More]
Directed By: Todd Phillips

#35
#35
Adjusted Score: 90149%
Critics Consensus: The Fate of the Furious opens a new chapter in the franchise, fueled by the same infectious cast chemistry and over-the-top action fans have come to expect.
Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has... [More]
Directed By: F. Gary Gray

#36

Aquaman (2018)
65%

#36
Adjusted Score: 90721%
Critics Consensus: Aquaman swims with its entertainingly ludicrous tide, offering up CGI superhero spectacle that delivers energetic action with an emphasis on good old-fashioned fun.
Synopsis: Once home to the most advanced civilization on Earth, the city of Atlantis is now an underwater kingdom ruled by... [More]
Directed By: James Wan

#37
Adjusted Score: 77904%
Critics Consensus: Peter Jackson's return to Middle-earth is an earnest, visually resplendent trip, but the film's deliberate pace robs the material of some of its majesty.
Synopsis: Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) lives a simple life with his fellow hobbits in the shire, until the wizard Gandalf (Ian... [More]
Directed By: Peter Jackson

#38

Despicable Me 3 (2017)
59%

#38
Adjusted Score: 70524%
Critics Consensus: Despicable Me 3 should keep fans of the franchise consistently entertained with another round of colorful animation and zany -- albeit somewhat scattershot -- humor.
Synopsis: The mischievous Minions hope that Gru will return to a life of crime after the new boss of the Anti-Villain... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

#39

Aladdin (2019)
57%

#39
Adjusted Score: 80380%
Critics Consensus: Aladdin retells its classic source material's story with sufficient spectacle and skill, even if it never approaches the dazzling splendor of the animated original.
Synopsis: Aladdin is a lovable street urchin who meets Princess Jasmine, the beautiful daughter of the sultan of Agrabah. While visiting... [More]
Directed By: Guy Ritchie

#40

Minions (2015)
55%

#40
Adjusted Score: 63244%
Critics Consensus: The Minions' brightly colored brand of gibberish-fueled insanity stretches to feature length in their self-titled Despicable Me spinoff, with uneven but often hilarious results.
Synopsis: Evolving from single-celled yellow organisms at the dawn of time, Minions live to serve, but find themselves working for a... [More]
Directed By: Pierre Coffin, Kyle Balda

#41
Adjusted Score: 62182%
Critics Consensus: Gone is Depp's unpredictability and much of the humor and originality of the first movie.
Synopsis: When ghostly pirate Davy Jones (Bill Nighy) comes to collect a blood debt, Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) must find... [More]
Directed By: Gore Verbinski

#42
Adjusted Score: 84254%
Critics Consensus: Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker suffers from a frustrating lack of imagination, but concludes this beloved saga with fan-focused devotion.
Synopsis: When it's discovered that the evil Emperor Palpatine did not die at the hands of Darth Vader, the rebels must... [More]
Directed By: J.J. Abrams

#43

The Lion King (2019)
52%

#43
Adjusted Score: 78619%
Critics Consensus: While it can take pride in its visual achievements,The Lion King is a by-the-numbers retelling that lacks the energy and heart that made the original so beloved--though for some fans that may just be enough.
Synopsis: Simba idolizes his father, King Mufasa, and takes to heart his own royal destiny on the plains of Africa. But... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#44
#44
Adjusted Score: 62475%
Critics Consensus: Tim Burton's Alice sacrifices the book's minimal narrative coherence -- and much of its heart -- but it's an undeniable visual treat.
Synopsis: A young girl when she first visited magical Underland, Alice Kingsleigh (Mia Wasikowska) is now a teenager with no memory... [More]
Directed By: Tim Burton

#45
Adjusted Score: 61781%
Critics Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.
Synopsis: Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) is a young apprentice Jedi knight under the tutelage of Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) ; Anakin... [More]
Directed By: George Lucas

#46
Adjusted Score: 73084%
Critics Consensus: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom adds another set piece-packed entry to the blockbuster franchise, although genuinely thrilling moments are in increasingly short supply.
Synopsis: Three years after the destruction of the Jurassic World theme park, Owen Grady and Claire Dearing return to the island... [More]
Directed By: J.A. Bayona

#47
Adjusted Score: 45959%
Critics Consensus: Its special effects -- and 3D shots -- are undeniably impressive, but they aren't enough to fill up its loud, bloated running time, or mask its thin, indifferent script.
Synopsis: Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) and his new girlfriend, Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), join the fray when the evil Decepticons renew their... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

#48
Adjusted Score: 43642%
Critics Consensus: It's shorter and leaner than the previous sequel, but this Pirates runs aground on a disjointed plot and a non-stop barrage of noisy action sequences.
Synopsis: The checkered past of Capt. Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp) catches up to him when he encounters Angelica (Penélope Cruz), a... [More]
Directed By: Rob Marshall

#49
Adjusted Score: 26321%
Critics Consensus: With the fourth installment in Michael Bay's blockbuster Transformers franchise, nothing is in disguise: Fans of loud, effects-driven action will find satisfaction, and all others need not apply.
Synopsis: After an epic battle, a great city lies in ruins, but the Earth itself is saved. As humanity begins to... [More]
Directed By: Michael Bay

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Sony Pictures

(Photo by Sony/courtesy Everett Collection)

Daniel Craig Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

Before he would get to utter the words “Bond, James Bond” to the delight of millions, Daniel Craig built up a durable if not spectacular resume, showing up in a range of films from the first Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider to A Kid In King Arthur’s Court. As the sniveling son of mob boss Paul Newman in Road to Perdition, Craig was able to make an impact with a broad audience in a film that already had plenty for us to look at, including Conrad L. Hall’s rain-drenched cinematography and a rare anti-hero turn from Tom Hanks.

By 2005, Craig was on the cusp of a major breakthrough with a co-starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Munich, and crime flick Layer Cake, essentially a stylish and gritty feature-length audition tape to play Agent 007. The following year, he and GoldenEye director Martin Campbell launched Casino Royale, a rousing and hard-nosed crowdpleaser revealing a James Bond for a new cynical generation. He’s since reprised the role three more times with Quantum of Solace, Skyfall, and Spectre, and when he returns in 2020 with No Time to Die, Craig will have the longest consecutively tenured Bond in film history.

Of course, when you’re James Bond, every non-Bond role you take becomes something of an automatic sensation. Some roles, like Logan Lucky or David Fincher’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo really demonstrate Craig’s range. Other films, like Dream House or The Invasion, are spectacular bombs. And the rest, along the lines of Cowboys & Aliens and The Golden Compass, are right in the mushy middle.

We know on which end of the spectrum Craig’s latest film, the Rian Johnson whodunit Knives Out, lands. (Hint: It’s his best-reviewed movie ever.) With No Time To Die‘s April 2020 November 2020 April 2021 October 2021 release now behind us, take a look back as we rank all Daniel Craig movies by Tomatometer! Alex Vo

#1

Knives Out (2019)
97%

#1
Adjusted Score: 126410%
Critics Consensus: Knives Out sharpens old murder-mystery tropes with a keenly assembled suspense outing that makes brilliant use of writer-director Rian Johnson's stellar ensemble.
Synopsis: The circumstances surrounding the death of crime novelist Harlan Thrombey are mysterious, but there's one thing that renowned Detective Benoit... [More]
Directed By: Rian Johnson

#2

Casino Royale (2006)
94%

#2
Adjusted Score: 105847%
Critics Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
Synopsis: After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#3

Skyfall (2012)
92%

#3
Adjusted Score: 108828%
Critics Consensus: Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.
Synopsis: When James Bond's (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#4

Logan Lucky (2017)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 114221%
Critics Consensus: High-octane fun that's smartly assembled without putting on airs, Logan Lucky marks a welcome end to Steven Soderbergh's retirement -- and proves he hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Synopsis: West Virginia family man Jimmy Logan teams up with his one-armed brother Clyde and sister Mellie to steal money from... [More]
Directed By: Steven Soderbergh

#5
Adjusted Score: 96531%
Critics Consensus: Brutal yet captivating, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is the result of David Fincher working at his lurid best with total role commitment from star Rooney Mara.
Synopsis: Disgraced financial reporter Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig) finds a chance to redeem his honor after being hired by wealthy Swedish... [More]
Directed By: David Fincher

#6

No Time to Die (2021)
83%

#6
Adjusted Score: 106166%
Critics Consensus: It isn't the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig's franchise tenure in satisfying style.
Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace... [More]
Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

#7
#7
Adjusted Score: 88468%
Critics Consensus: Somber, stately, and beautifully mounted, Sam Mendes' Road to Perdition is a well-crafted mob movie that explores the ties between fathers and sons.
Synopsis: Mike Sullivan (Tom Hanks) is an enforcer for powerful Depression-era Midwestern mobster John Rooney (Paul Newman). Rooney's son, Connor (Daniel... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#8

Layer Cake (2004)
80%

#8
Adjusted Score: 85864%
Critics Consensus: A stylized, electric British crime thriller.
Synopsis: An unnamed mid-level cocaine dealer (Daniel Craig) in London makes plans to step away from the criminal life. Before he... [More]
Directed By: Matthew Vaughn

#9

Munich (2005)
78%

#9
Adjusted Score: 86113%
Critics Consensus: Munich can't quite achieve its lofty goals, but this thrilling, politically even-handed look at the fallout from an intractable political conflict is still well worth watching.
Synopsis: After the murder of 11 Israeli athletes and their coach at the 1972 Olympics, the Israeli government secretly assigns Avner... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#10

The Mother (2003)
78%

#10
Adjusted Score: 80824%
Critics Consensus: Reid gives a fearless, realistic performance in depicting an older woman's sexual blossoming.
Synopsis: May (Anne Reid) is a middle-aged grandmother who lives in Northern England with her husband, Toots (Peter Vaughan). When Toots... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#11
#11
Adjusted Score: 83689%
Critics Consensus: Drawing deep from the classic Raiders of the Lost Ark playbook, Steven Spielberg has crafted another spirited, thrilling adventure in the form of Tintin.
Synopsis: While shopping at an outdoor market, young reporter Tintin (Jamie Bell), accompanied by his faithful dog, Snowy, buys a model... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#12

Infamous (2006)
74%

#12
Adjusted Score: 79712%
Critics Consensus: Though comparisons with last year's Capote may be inevitable, Infamous takes a different angle in its depiction of the author, and stands up well enough on its own.
Synopsis: In Kansas, with childhood friend Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock), author Truman Capote (Toby Jones) developed an intense and complex relationship... [More]
Directed By: Douglas McGrath

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 76036%
Critics Consensus: Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action, but coming on the heels of Casino Royale, it's still a bit of a disappointment.
Synopsis: Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#14

Spectre (2015)
63%

#14
Adjusted Score: 77784%
Critics Consensus: Spectre nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.
Synopsis: A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#15

Defiance (2008)
59%

#15
Adjusted Score: 65921%
Critics Consensus: Professionally made but artistically uninspired, Ed Zwick's story of Jews surviving WWII in the Belarus forest lacks the emotional punch of the actual history.
Synopsis: In 1941, Nazi soldiers are slaughtering Eastern European Jews by the thousands. Three brothers, Tuvia (Daniel Craig), Zus (Liev Schreiber)... [More]
Directed By: Edward Zwick

#16

Enduring Love (2004)
59%

#16
Adjusted Score: 61549%
Critics Consensus: While it strains credibility and isn't ultimately as profound as it might first appear, Enduring Love is still an intriguing thriller fueled by strong performances from Rhys Ifans and Daniel Craig.
Synopsis: A man (Rhys Ifans) obsesses over a science professor (Daniel Craig) who helped him save a boy in a runaway... [More]
Directed By: Roger Michell

#17

Renaissance (2006)
49%

#17
Adjusted Score: 51760%
Critics Consensus: Renaissance attempts to blend sci-fi wonder with stark noir animation, but is often more fun to look at than to watch.
Synopsis: Avalon Corp., a purveyor of eternal youth and beauty, worms its way into every facet of life in 2054 Paris,... [More]
Directed By: Christian Volckman

#18

Cowboys & Aliens (2011)
44%

#18
Adjusted Score: 53687%
Critics Consensus: Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford are as dependably appealing as ever, but they're let down by director Jon Favreau's inability to smooth Cowboys & Aliens' jarring tonal shifts.
Synopsis: Bearing a mysterious metal shackle on his wrist, an amnesiac gunslinger (Daniel Craig) wanders into a frontier town called Absolution.... [More]
Directed By: Jon Favreau

#19

The Jacket (2005)
44%

#19
Adjusted Score: 50832%
Critics Consensus: The Jacket is a case of creepy style over substance.
Synopsis: Amnesiac Gulf War veteran Jack Starks (Adrien Brody) can't explain why he's been found at the scene of a murder.... [More]
Directed By: John Maybury

#20
#20
Adjusted Score: 50796%
Critics Consensus: Without the bite or the controversy of the source material, The Golden Compass is reduced to impressive visuals overcompensating for lax storytelling.
Synopsis: Lyra Belacqua (Dakota Blue Richards) lives in a parallel world in which human souls take the form of lifelong animal... [More]
Directed By: Chris Weitz

#21

Some Voices (2000)
40%

#21
Adjusted Score: 16069%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A restaurant owner (David Morrissey) cares for a brother (Daniel Craig) whose mental stability continues to decline.... [More]
Directed By: Simon Cellan Jones

#22

The Power of One (1992)
39%

#22
Adjusted Score: 34280%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: It's the 1930s, and as the people he cares for die or leave his village, young South African P.K. bonds... [More]
Directed By: John G. Avildsen

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 37590%
Critics Consensus: Despite Daniel Craig's earnest efforts, Flashbacks of a Fool suffers from an ambitious but underdeveloped script.
Synopsis: When washed-up British actor and drug addict Joe Scott (Daniel Craig) learns that his best friend, Boots (Max Deacon), has... [More]
Directed By: Baillie Walsh

#24

Sylvia (2003)
36%

#24
Adjusted Score: 40552%
Critics Consensus: This biopic about Sylvia Plath doesn't rise above the level of highbrow melodrama.
Synopsis: Young Sylvia Plath (Gwyneth Paltrow) dreams of becoming an important writer. Her childhood is scarred by the unexpected loss of... [More]
Directed By: Christine Jeffs

#25
#25
Adjusted Score: 26441%
Critics Consensus: Angelina Jolie is perfect for the role of Lara Croft, but even she can't save the movie from a senseless plot and action sequences with no emotional impact.
Synopsis: This live action feature is inspired by the most successful interactive video-game character in history -- Lara Croft. Beautiful and... [More]
Directed By: Simon West

#26

The Invasion (2007)
20%

#26
Adjusted Score: 26158%
Critics Consensus: The Invasion is slickly made, but it lacks psychological insight and thrills.
Synopsis: Washington, D.C. psychologist Carol Bennell (Nicole Kidman) and her colleague Dr. Ben Driscoll (Daniel Craig) are the only two people... [More]
Directed By: Oliver Hirschbiegel

#27

Kings (2017)
13%

#27
Adjusted Score: 13536%
Critics Consensus: Kings has good intentions, a talented cast, and the basis for an incredible fact-based story; unfortunately, they don't amount to much more than a missed opportunity.
Synopsis: Millie is a hardworking, tough and protective Los Angeles single mother with an affection for homeless children. Her neighbor Obie... [More]
Directed By: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

#28
#28
Adjusted Score: 12328%
Critics Consensus: The straightforward retelling of Kuki Gallman's life in Africa neither moves or entertains the viewer.
Synopsis: Inspired by the true story of indomitable Kuki Gallmann, the film tells of a beautiful and inquisitive woman who had... [More]
Directed By: Hugh Hudson

#29

Dream House (2011)
6%

#29
Adjusted Score: 8002%
Critics Consensus: Dream House is punishingly slow, stuffy, and way too obvious to be scary.
Synopsis: Publisher Will Atenton (Daniel Craig) quits a lucrative job in New York to relocate his wife, Libby (Rachel Weisz), and... [More]
Directed By: Jim Sheridan

#30
Adjusted Score: 4693%
Critics Consensus: Disappointing even by the relaxed standards of live-action children's entertainment, A Kid in King Arthur's Court stands as a rare near-total misfire from Disney.
Synopsis: When a violent earthquake rocks Southern California, hapless teenager Calvin Fuller (Thomas Ian Nicholas) finds himself careening through a hole... [More]
Directed By: Michael Gottlieb

IMAX Poster for Spider-Man: No Way Home

(Photo by ©Sony Pictures Releasing/©Marvel Entertainment)

[Updated: 2/24/2022] 

While Avengers: Endgame and Avatar spent the last couple of years duking it out for bragging rights as the all-time highest-grossing movie, 2021 surprised everyone — to an extent — with the success of a certain friendly neighborhood wall-crawler. Despite continued audience ambivalence about returning to theaters, Spider-Man: No Way Home blew everyone away, setting new records and entertaining fans all over the world even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to wreak havoc on the industry. It’s a far cry from 2019, when a total of nine films — including No Way Home’s predecessor, Spider-Man: Far From Home — cracked the top 50 and a whopping three movies — The Lion KingFrozen II, and the aforementioned Endgame — made it into the top 10. But it offered a glimmer of hope that things might actually eventually return to normal sooner rather than later.

With No Way Home landing at No. 6 and Disney’s absorption of what used to be 21st Century Fox, Disney now occupies seven of the 10 top box office rankings of all time worldwide (eight, if you count its joint ownership of Titanic with Paramount). But what does the future have in store? Both Marvel and DC/Warner Bros. have several films scheduled for release, including Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which is likely a can’t-miss especially after the events of No Way Home, and Matt Reeves’ hotly anticipated The Batman. Then Universal is delivering the final chapter of its Jurassic World trilogy, which unites the new crew with the old, and Sony looks to follow up its Oscar-winning Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse – Part One. If any of them makes it onto this list, and we’re sure some of them will, we will update accordingly.

For the list below, we’ve included global box office performance, as well as domestic, and release date. We included dollars earned in re-releases, and in each of our descriptions, we look at where the film stood record-wise at the time of its run, and dive into things like critical and audience reception. We’ll be here to track the progress of new blockbusters and regularly update this list of top box office performers. So keep your eyes here, and check in with our weekly weekend box office wrap-ups.  


1. $2.847 Billion

Avatar (2009)

82%


Domestic: $760.5 million (including re-releases)
Release date: December 18, 2009

The world had to wait some 12 years for James Cameron to follow up the biggest film of all time with what would become the new biggest film of all time. Nobody believed he was going to surpass Titanic’s numbers with this tale of an alien planet and the paraplegic Marine who teams up with its inhabitants in the battle for Unobtanium. But he did. At the peak of a 3-D reemergence, aided by the filmmaker’s usual technological gamesmanship (and higher ticket prices), Avatar‘s seven straight weekends at number 1 led to over $595 million at the North American box office. Then, two days later on Feb. 2, 2010, its 47th day of release, the movie became the highest domestic earner ever. Avatar held that record for five years and eleven months and went on to become the only film ever to earn $2 billion outside of the U.S. and Canada, making it the world’s highest grosser at the time. It held onto its impressive global record for nearly 10 years, until Avengers: Endgame came along and snatched the crown. But with Avatar 2 coming soon, the now Disney-owned-and-rebranded 20th Century Studios decided to remind everybody the franchise existed, re-releasing the film in China in March of 2021 and, whether intentional or not, pushing it back into pole position.


2. $2.798 Billion

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

94%


Domestic: $858.4 million (including re-releases)
Release date: April 26, 2019

The journey that began in 2008 with Iron Man was coming to an end – at least for some of the characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Audiences that had been holding their breath for an entire year after perhaps the biggest cliffhanger since Empire Strikes Back could not wait to buy their tickets – and did they ever buy those tickets when they finally could. Opening weekend for Avengers: Endgame in April 2019 surpassed Infinity War’s year-long record by nearly $100 million. In just eight days, the film had grossed a half-billion domestically. On day 10 it was over $621 million. One by one the records fell, leading many to ignore the words “if” and “can” and focus instead on “when” Avatar’s previous record ($2.787 billion) as the highest-grossing movie would fall. But Endgame began to show signs early in its run that its impressive sprinting start might not be enough for it to ultimately come out ahead of James Cameron’s epic; it only had the second-biggest second weekend ever and the fourth-best third weekend. In the era of the modern blockbuster, even a record-breaker can be front-loaded and only spend three weeks atop the charts. It really all came down to a final dash near the finish line. After just six weeks of release, Endgame was about $73 million away from dethroning Avatar – substantial ground to make up. But then Marvel and Disney re-released the film on June 28 with new goodies over its end credits. And then, over the weekend of July 19, 2019 – its 13th week of release – when another Disney release would begin its run for the top 10 all-time earners (hello, Lion King), Endgame squeaked ahead. It may not have been able to catch The Force Awakens for the all-time domestic leader, but by the time summer was over, it would pull in front of Avatar and become the king of the world… at least for a while. With a 2021 re-release in China, Avatar did ultimately take back the crown, but it doesn’t diminish the incredible achievement of Endgame.


3. $2.201 Billion

Titanic (1997)

87%


Domestic: $659.4 million (including re-releases)
Release date: December 19, 1997

James Cameron makes expensive movies. The Abyss, Terminator 2, and True Lies were all the most expensive movies of their time upon release. In 1997, Cameron blew out the budget again and this time there was worry he may have gone too far. Though delayed from July until December, Titanic nevertheless became a global phenomenon the likes of which the box office had never seen at the time. After 15 straight weeks at number 1, 14 Oscar nominations and 11 statuettes, Titanic, its stars and its song were ingrained in the hearts and tear ducts of the world, and the movie would hold the all-time box office record for 12 years – until Cameron would eclipse himself once again with Avatar.



4. $2.070 Billion


Domestic: $936.7 million
Release date: December 18, 2015

Twelve years after the completion of the Star Wars prequel trilogy, J.J. Abrams was tasked with making Episode VII – a monumental undertaking, and a risky one. Were people still interested after the prequels? Were they burnt out? The approach was to mix the old and the new, and it worked. Abrams gave a brand-new cast of characters the chance to interact with the original trio of Luke, Han, and Leia, and generations of fans were so ready for the adventure that they gave the film the highest opening weekend in history ($247.9 million). In just under three weeks, The Force Awakens became the all-time domestic champion, passing Avatar and joining the $2 billion club within 54 days. It still remains the highest-grossing domestic release of all time.


5. $2.048 Billion


Domestic: $678.8 million
Release date: April 27, 2018

Just shy of 10 years since it began, the Marvel Cinematic Universe gathered nearly every one of its characters for a galaxy-wide showdown with the series’ Big Bad, Thanos. The movie featured one of the gutsiest cliffhangers in any franchise’s history, leaving audiences to wait in shock for an entire year to discover how Phase 3 of the epic series would end. The film bested The Force Awakens’ three-day opening weekend record with $257.6 million, and hit the $2 billion mark in 48 days. Domestically, it would ultimately come up just short of Black Panther, which was released two months prior.



6. $1.833 Billion


Domestic: $773 million
Release date: June 12, 2015

Speaking of gathering Marvel characters for an epic showdown, 2021 provided an unexpected box office champion that would swing triumphantly into the top 10. That is to say, the success of 
Spider-Man: No Way Home
wasn’t unexpected because of the film itself, which was an ambitious, multiverse-expanding entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe that brought together some of the most beloved characters in the web-slinger’s big-screen history in a funny, heartbreaking, thrilling spectacle. No, it was unexpected because it managed this herculean feat even as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to keep audiences largely at home. If there was one movie in all of 2021 — or, hell, even going back as far as 2020 — that moviegoers were willing to risk going to the theater for, it was absolutely No Way Home, and boy did they ever show up. The film became not only the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie ever made, but also the most successful movie ever released by Sony Pictures en route to dominating 2021 and settling into the top 10 here. The future of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is still up in the air, but he has earned himself a rather secure spot on the all-time box office list.


7. $1.671 Billion

Jurassic World (2015)

71%


Domestic: $652.4 million
Release date: June 12, 2015

Twenty-two years after Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park became the Jaws for a new generation, it was time for that generation’s kids to have their own version of dinosaur mayhem. The second-best–reviewed film in the Jurassic series (72% on the Tomatometer vs. the original’s 91%), Jurassic World trampled a competitive summer full of Avengers, Minions, and inner feelings, and became just the third film since Titanic in 1998 to pass $600 million in domestic box office.


8. $1.663 Billion

The Lion King (2019)

52%


Domestic: $543.6 million
Release date: July 19, 2019

Having found success with its live-action re-imaginings of The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast, Disney tripled down in 2019 with three “new” remakes. Dumbo was a bit of a bust, Aladdin was a success, but The Lion King truly roared. That made sense given that the 1994 original, at the time, was one of the studio’s most successful films in the middle of its rebirth, and director Jon Favreau’s CGI-fueled version traced it for a new generation. The result is the highest-grossing domestic release to receive a Rotten score on the Tomatometer, at 53%. But its $191 million opening was the eighth highest of all time and it became the 14th film to pass a half-billion domestically and just the ninth film to rack up $1 billion overseas.



9. $1.519 Billion


Domestic: $623.4 million
Release date: May 4, 2012

Want proof that Avengers work best together? Consider that the first combined outing for Iron Man, Thor, and Captain America bested the $1.4 billion that their origin stories had made combined. Five films into the MCU (including Edward Norton’s The Incredible Hulk), the team was finally assembled for a singular battle against Loki and his inherited army. Joss Whedon’s movie became the first ever to make over $200 million in a single weekend and was Marvel’s first entry into the Billion Dollar Club, which had just 12 members at the time.


10. $1.515 Billion

Furious 7 (2015)

81%


Domestic: $353 million
Release date: April 3, 2015

What started out as a Point Break derivative – with cars! – became one of the unlikeliest mega franchises ever. Vin Diesel’s return in the series’ fourth film is what really got the Fast and Furious franchise engines revving, and Dwayne Johnson’s addition in the fifth film added some humor and helped get the critics on board. But it was the full embrace of the series’ now-signature bombast, as well as the untimely death of Paul Walker, that brought the combo of curiosity and tribute that helped make James Wan’s Furious 7 the franchise’s most successful entry. It hit with audiences – the opening weekend haul of $147 million was almost $50 million more than any previous entry – as well as with critics (it’s the highest-rated movie in the series at 81% on the Tomatameter).


11. $1.450 Billion

Frozen II (2019)

77%


Domestic: $477.4 million
Release date: November 22, 2019

When a film becomes not just a global phenomenon but the highest-grossing film in your canon of animated entertainment, a sequel is inevitable. While not quite as well-received as the first film critically (77% vs. 90% on the Tomatometer), Frozen II virtually demanded that parents bring their children for a second adventure. It began with the third-highest opening weekend for an animated film (after Pixar sequels Incredibles 2 and Finding Dory) – $130.26 million – and then became the highest-grossing film over the five-day Thanksgiving holiday, which was all the more impressive given it had opened the prior weekend. In its fourth weekend of release, it became Disney’s sixth billion-dollar film of 2019, pushing Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle out of the Top 50 on the same weekend that its sequel The Next Level opened. Now, the movie has overtaken the original Frozen to become the highest-grossing animated film of all time.


12. $1.402 Billion


Domestic: $459 million
Release date: May 1, 2015

If any film in the top 10 could be considered both a success and a disappointment it would be Joss Whedon’s Avengers sequel. Coming up shy of the first film’s record-breaking opening weekend – note that it was still the second-best opening of all time when it was released – the movie never matched its predecessor in dollars or affection. With a 75% Tomatometer rating, it doesn’t even rank among the top 10 Tomatometer scores of the MCU – though we think there’s a case to be made for reassessing its virtues – and it lost the summer of 2015 to the dinosaurs of Jurassic World. Still, it was just the 16th film ever to cross the $400 million line domestically in its initial run.


13. $1.348 Billion

Black Panther (2018)

96%


Domestic: $700.4 million
Release date: February 16, 2018

After an introduction in Captain America: Civil War, T’Challa got his own film in February of 2019. Audiences were hungry for representation on screen and looking for a thrilling re-introduction to the character, and in Ryan Coogler’s action-packed, beautiful-looking epic, they got both. The movie became the fifth film in history to have a $200 million opening weekend, and just the third film ever to gross over $700 million in North America, outlasting even Avengers: Infinity War that summer. Why isn’t it even higher in the list? Because it remains the only post-Avengers film in the MCU to make less money internationally than domestically.



14. $1.342 Billion


Domestic: $381.4 million
Release date: July 15, 2011

Fans of J.K. Rowling’s fantasy series got to see its characters (and the actors who played them) grow up in front of their eyes. The culmination of the journey that began in 2001 also ushered in a new trend of splitting final chapters in halves. The back half of the Potter finale set the new record for an opening weekend at the time with $169.1 million, and its $960 million international haul ranked only behind Avatar and Titanic. By the end of its run, the eight Harry Potter had films grossed a combined $7.72 billion.


15. $1.333 Billion


Domestic: $620.2 million
Release date: December 15, 2017

One of the more controversial entries in the Star Wars series – don’t get anyone started on the casino planet sequence! – Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi took the standard dip that had afflicted other middle films in the franchise. The Empire Strikes Back made 31.9% less than A New HopeAttack of the Clones made 34.6% less than The Phantom Menace, and The Last Jedi fell 33.8% off The Force Awakens. Still, Johnson’s film joined Episodes IV, V, and VII in the 90%+ realm on the Tomatometer and may end up being the ultimate bridge to the next generation of Star Wars fans.


16. $1.311 Billion


Domestic: $417.8 million
Release date: June 22, 2018

J.A. Bayona’s follow-up to Colin Trevorrow’s continuation of Steven Spielberg’s series received the weakest Tomatometer score of the franchise to date (48%) and, following the path of many “second” entries in franchises (even if it’s technically the fifth), dropped 36% from Jurassic World in overall domestic box office. But it was still good enough for 23rd all-time in North America and 13th in overseas dollars. It was also the second-highest-grossing domestic film of the 2018 summer season, behind the #17 film on this list.


17. $1.282 Billion

Frozen (2013)

90%


Domestic: $401 million
Release date: November 22, 2013

The Oscar-winning song that has tortured parents for nearly a decade was just part of what made Frozen the highest-grossing animated film in history. The story of two sisters searching for happily-ever-after with each other rather than the standard gentlemen suitors also won the Oscar for Best Animated Feature and bested 2012’s Ice Age: Continental Drift for the highest international haul for an animated film ever ($875.7 million compared to $715.9 million), a record it holds to this day despite challenges from Minions and Incredibles 2. (If you consider the new Lion King animated though, this is one crown the Arendelle princesses no longer wear.)



18. $1.274 Billion


Domestic: $504.5 million
Release date: March 17, 2017

Speaking of Disney soundtracks, it was the 2017 live-action redo and not the Best Picture-nominated animated Beauty and the Beast from 1991 that really broke the bank and remains in the record books. Bill Condon’s version of the tale as old as 1991, starring Emma Watson, was not the first of Disney’s splashy re-imaginings, but it certainly was the most successful at the time, becoming the seventh film to cross a half-billion in North America and the 16th to pass three-quarters of a billion overseas.


19. $1.243 Billion

Incredibles 2 (2018)

93%


Domestic: $608.6 million
Release date: June 15, 2018

Brad Bird’s The Incredibles debuted a full four years before the MCU began, a time when the Pixar brand was as close to a guarantee of success (and quality) as the industry had. Fourteen years later and deep into the superhero cinematic explosion, Bird’s sequel more than doubled the original’s box office and became the highest-grossing animated film ever at the domestic box office. It was the ninth film to cross the $600 million mark in North America and remains in the top 10 all-time earners domestically.



20. $1.236 Billion


Domestic: $226 million
Release date: April 14, 2017

A half-billion dollars was put into the production of the seventh and eighth chapters of this franchise and they made a combined $2.75 billion globally. F. Gary Gray’s film was a bit of a comedown from the highs of James Wan’s Furious 7. It even fell behind the sixth Furious film domestically, but did incredibly well abroad: it was the sixth film ever to make a cool billion outside the U.S. and Canada alone. Though still Fresh (67% on the Tomatometer), it was the lowest-scored Fast and Furious movie among critics since the fourth film.


21. $1.215 Billion

Iron Man 3 (2013)

79%


Domestic: $409 million
Release date: May 3, 2017

The first Marvel film released following the massive success of Joss Whedon’s The Avengers was also the most successful of the individual Iron Man films. Robert Downey Jr.’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang director, Shane Black, took over for Jon Favreau and put a twist on some comic-book lore in ways that still draws out disappointment from some fans. The general moviegoing public ate it up, though. Iron Man 3 was just the 13th film to reach $400 million domestic in its initial run, and is the highest-grossing non-Avengers film in the MCU overseas with over $805 million. (And, if you are are keeping track, it is the 12th Disney property in the top 20.)



22. $1.159 Billion

Minions (2015)

55%


Domestic: $336 million
Release date: July 10, 2015

After two successful Despicable Me films it was time to give Gru’s kooky supporting yellow folk their own story. Smart move. Minions had the largest opening for Illumination Entertainment ever, earning $115.7 million on its first weekend. Though it came up shy domestically of Despicable Me 2 ($336 million vs. $368 million) it can still boast the second-best overseas return for any animated film ($823.4 million), behind only Disney’s Frozen, and stands as the company’s biggest global success to date.


23. $1.153 Billion


Domestic: $408.1 million
Release date: May 6, 2016

It was not officially an Avengers film, but Civil War may as well have been. Thor and Hulk were AWOL, sure, but Spider-Man received his welcomed introduction into the MCU, as did Black Panther. The movie’s run kicked off with the fifth-highest opening in history, earning $179.1 million on opening weekend (that’s now the 11th-highest opening). Another $745 million internationally made this the fourth MCU film to reach $1 billion. Another fun fact: Anthony and Joe Russo are one of only two filmmakers/filmmaking pairs on this list to have three films in the top 50


24. $1.148 Billion

Aquaman (2018)

65%


Domestic: $335.1 million
Release date: December 21, 2018

How could the DCEU get to $1 billion? Adding Batman into their Superman storyline couldn’t do it. Wonder Woman’s solid domestic numbers were nearly matched internationally, but even those figures came up short of Suicide Squad – and the goal. It would take Aquaman to crack the $1 billion mark for the DC Extended Universe. James Wan’s second billion-dollar film on the list may have had the second-smallest opening weekend of the Universe, but its prolonged success through the holiday season and beyond – the movie made nearly five-times its opening – was greater than any DC property since Tim Burton’s Batman in 1989.


25. $1.146 Billion


Domestic: $377.9 million
Release date: December 17, 2003

Peter Jackson’s (first) epic trilogy unfolded over three straight holiday seasons and its finale was rewarded in every fashion: Return of the King historically won all 11 Oscars that it was nominated for, including Best Picture and Best Director; it was one of the best-reviewed films of the year (Certified Fresh at 93%); and it became the fourth-highest domestic grosser of all time behind just TitanicThe Phantom Menace, and Sam Raimi’s first Spider-Man film. It was no slacker overseas, either: When Return finished its run, only Titanic had a greater number outside of the U.S. and Canada.



26. $1.132 Billion


Domestic: $390.5 million
Release date: July 2, 2019

No wonder Disney and Sony made up: 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, which might have been the end of their association had they not moved past their impasse, is Sony’s highest-grossing film of all time. Six of the studio’s eight highest-grossing films ever have involved Spider-Man (or Venom), but this was the first Sony flick to cross the $1 billion line, and the ninth film in the MCU to do it. (Spider-Man appeared in four of the MCU’s other members of the $1 Billion Club). It was also the fifth stand-alone Spider-Man film (live-action or animated) to register at 90% or higher on the Tomatometer – critics love their web-slinger.


27. $1.129 Billion

Captain Marvel (2019)

79%


Domestic: $426.8 million
Release date: March 8, 2019

After getting tag-teased at the end of Infinity War, Brie Larson’s Carol Danvers made her debut in the MCU as the universe’s first headlining female superhero in 2019’s Captain Marvel. Outgrossing DC’s Wonder Woman around the world and at home, the breakthrough film was embraced by critics (though its Certified Fresh score of 78% ranks 18th out of the MCU’s 23 films). The space epic was only one of two films in 2018-19 to spend 10 straight weeks in the top 10 (the other being Black Panther), and was the seventh MCU film to reach $1 billion at the box office globally.


28. $1.124 Billion


Domestic: $352.4 million
Release date: June 29, 2011

The only Transformers sequel under the direction of Michael Bay to rank higher than 20% on the Tomatometer (a whopping 35%!) is not the series’ biggest domestic or international earner. But combined it remains the champion overall in worldwide gross (and bonus for the studio: it had one of the series’ lowest budgets). Only the final Harry Potter chapter could beat it in the summer of 2011, when they were the only films to pass $300 million domestic.



29. $1.109 Billion

Skyfall (2012)

92%


Domestic: $304.4 million
Release date: November 9, 2012

The James Bond franchise got a boost with Pierce Brosnan and an even larger one with Daniel Craig. But there was no bigger boost to the long-running franchise than Craig’s Skyfall, the first film to cross $300 million domestically and $1 billion globally. A series that has existed for 50-plus years is going to get a little help from inflation – Goldfinger, Thunderball, and You Only Live Twice would have been $300 million grossers today – but we’re not doing inflation here. Skyfall was also a gold standard for Bond beyond the box office: It stands amongst the series’ top five scores on the Tomatometer, Certified Fresh at 92%.


30. $1.104 Billion


Domestic: $245.4 million
Release date: June 27, 2014

The Transformers series was beginning to show its age in North America in 2014, but around the world it was more popular than ever. Shia LaBeouf was replaced with Mark Wahlberg as the franchise’s central hero, and the fourth film from Michael Bay approached a near three-hour running time at 165 minutes. But even as it dipped below $300 million for the first time at home, its $858 million international haul was still the sixth-highest total for any movie outside the U.S. and Canada at the time. (It is now 16th.) Bay’s fifth film of the franchise, The Last Knight, fell 47% in overall domestic and nearly 45% internationally. At 18% on the Tomatometer, Age of Extinction has the lowest Tomatometer score of the top 50 biggest films at the worldwide box office.


31. $1.099 Billion

Jurassic Park (1993)

92%


Domestic: $402.2 million (including re-releases)
Release date: June 11, 1993

Before James Cameron owned the top two spots in all-time domestic box office (for a period), it was Steven Spielberg who had pulled off that feat. His adaptation of Michael Crichton’s novel, Jurassic Park, was a return to the revered popcorn blockbusters he made his name on and it replaced the previous year’s Batman Returns as the top opener ever with $47 million and went on to gross over $357 million that summer. That was just a couple million dollars shy of his 1982 classic, E.T., but re-releases in 2-D and 3-D over the years have put the film over $400 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide.


32. $1.081 Billion


Domestic: $448.1 million
Release date: July 20, 2012

The conclusion of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy gave us Bane, Catwoman, and even a surprise along the way. By the end of that summer only four films had grossed more domestically in their initial runs than The Dark Knight RisesAvatar, Titanic, The Dark Knight, and Marvel’s The Avengers, which was the only film to eclipse Rises in all of 2012. When all was said and done, Nolan’s trilogy had grossed over $2.46 billion worldwide.



33. $1.0744 Billion

Joker (2019)

68%


Domestic: $335.5 million
Release date: October 3, 2019

The director of The Hangover films wanted to make an origin story out of Batman’s most infamous nemesis. The project was met with skepticism, and then it began a run on the festival circuit. Venice awarded the film its top prize in the Golden Lion; some critics were hailing it a masterpiece. Though its Tomatometer score is among the lower scores in the Top 50 (69%), Todd Phillips’ Joker had the highest-opening ever in the month of October (passing the previous years’ Venom) and ultimately became the highest-grossing film ever released in that month in North America, surpassing Alfonso Cuaron’s Gravity domestically. The film has just taken over Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesJurassic ParkFinding DoryThe Phantom MenaceAladdin, and Warner Bros’ The Dark Knight on this list, and also earns a place as one of its most profitable films of all time.


34. $1.0741 Billion


Domestic: $515.2 million
Release date: December 20, 2019

The final chapter of the Skywalker saga may have broken the trend set by the other third entries in the franchise’s trilogies (each outgrossed the middle episodes), but it will become record that we may never see broken again. During the week of January 12, 2020, it became the seventh film released by Disney in 2019 to break the $1 billion barrier – it reached that marker in 28 days, whereas The Last Jedi did it in less than three weeks. That will be remembered far longer than having the 12th-highest opening of all-time – The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi were numbers one and two until Avengers: Infinity War opened – or that it had one of the lowest Tomatometer scores among the nine films. Nevertheless, it puts a capper on a nine-episode series from 1977-2019 that grossed (with re-releases) a collective $8.71 billion.


35. $1.073 Billion

Toy Story 4 (2019)

97%


Domestic: $434 million
Release date: June 21, 2019

When the fourth entry of Pixar’s signature series opened to “only” $120 million, many labeled it “a disappointment.” Some had expected Toy Story 4 to have the studio’s biggest opening ever, and the film was then written off – by some – as part of a string of failed sequels in the summer of 2019. Well, Woody and the gang proved them all wrong. The movie went on to outgross the third film by over $12 million domestically. Even if it came up a bit short internationally, it still became the fourth billion-dollar grosser in Pixar’s history and their third-highest–grossing film overall.


36. $1.067 Billion

Toy Story 3 (2010)

98%


Domestic: $415 million
Release date: June 18, 2010

We all assumed it was the end for Woody, Buzz, and all their toy friends – that bittersweet finish was just so perfect. The series would have gone out with a box-office bang, too. The first summer release for the Toy Story franchise turned into the first $100 million opening weekend for Pixar as well as the studio’s first $400 domestic tally and first worldwide haul of $1 billion. For almost two years it was the second-highest–grossing domestic release in Disney’s history; by 2019 it was 16th.


37. $1.066 Billion


Domestic: $423.3 million
Release date: July 7, 2006

Everyone mocked the concept of Disney turning one of their classic rides into a feature-length film. Well, some $300 million and an Oscar nomination for Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Captain Jack Sparrow later, we were looking at a franchise with a modicum of respect. At least, for a little while. Critics went from disdain for the concept before the first film was released to disdain for its epic-length and earnestness in the space of just two films, with the original movie’s score of 79% dropping to 53% on the Tomatometer for the sequel. But audiences went the other direction, giving Dead Man’s Chest a 38.6% boost in domestic earnings and an 84.2% boost internationally. It was Disney’s first $100-plus million opening ($135 million to be precise), and the studio has had 20 more since then. From 2006 until Toy Story 3 was released in 2010, Dead Man’s Chest was the highest-grossing domestic release in Disney’s history.



38. $1.064 Billion

The Lion King (1994)

93%


Domestic: $422.8 million (including re-releases)
Release date: June 15, 1994

For 25 years, this film has remained relevant in pop culture through an acclaimed stage show, direct-to-video sequels, spinoffs, television series, and that mammoth re-imagination. The original Lion King was the second-highest–grossing film of 1994 behind Forrest Gump, which was – at the time – third only to the initial runs of E.T. and Jurassic Park at the all-time domestic box office. That made The Lion King the fourth highest-grossing film ever (not counting re-releases) and the number 1 domestic animated release of all time, a title it held for nine years until Finding Nemo.


39. $1.056 Billion


Domestic: $532.2 million
Release date: December 16, 2016

A year after J.J. Abrams launched the record-breaking continuation of George Lucas’ Skywalker saga, audiences were given a go-between tale to help fill in the gaps that led to the destruction of the first Death Star. The Magnificent Seven-like story was an instant favorite for some and an average side-trip for others. It became just the seventh film to clear a half-billion dollars in domestic box office. A nearly-equal international haul filled in the other half needed for Rogue One to join the $1 Billion Club, a goal that Solo: A Star Wars Story came up more than $600 million short of.


40. $1.051 Billion

Aladdin (2019)

57%


Domestic: $355.6 million
Release date: May 24, 2019

Aladdin wasn’t always a sure bet: A blue Will Smith was mocked in early reveals of his Genie character and Tim Burton’s live-action Dumbo proved to be a bust just two months before Aladdin‘s release. But Guy Ritchie’s new version of the beloved 1992 animated film took advantage of other 2019 summer under-performers like Godzilla: King of the MonstersDark Phoenix, and Men In Black Internationalgobbling them all up and staying in the top five at the box office for seven straight weeks. Its international haul was only $70 million less than 2017’s Beauty and the Beast, and was even higher than several films above it on this list including Black PantherIncredibles 2, and numbers 29-32.


41. $1.046 Billion


Domestic: $241.1 million
Release date: May 20, 2011

After Gore Verbinski’s Pirates trilogy grossed a combined $2.68 billion worldwide, Disney and Jerry Bruckheimer were not about to let the series sail into the sunset. The third film’s bloated length of 168 mins was roundly criticized (its Tomatometer score is just 45%), and this fourth film fared even worse with reviewers (33%), but it did the job at the box office. Domestic audiences showed up for the revamped outing with Jack Sparrow, just not in the expected droves, and a mammoth international total ($804.6 million) kept Stranger Tides in the record books.


42. $1.035 Billion

Despicable Me 3 (2017)

59%


Domestic: $264.6 million
Release date: June 30, 2017

Though the third film in the Despicable Me franchise made just $13 million more than the original at the domestic box office, internationally the Despicable Me films had a 164% increase from the first film ($543.1 million) to the third ($1.035 billion). Released in 4,529 theaters, Gru’s third chapter did manage to have the largest launch in film history in North America until Avengers: Endgame came along. Four other films during the summer of 2019 also exceeded its one-time-record theater count.



43. $1.029 Billion

Finding Dory (2016)

94%


Domestic: $486.3 million
Release date: June 17, 2016

Thirteen years after Finding Nemo became Pixar’s first $300 million domestic grosser and its biggest hit, the sequel focusing on Ellen Degeneres’ beloved memory-challenged sidekick reclaimed the throne, becoming again the animation house’s highest domestic grosser ever. The movie bested Toy Story 3 by over $71 million at home – even if it came up a bit short of that film internationally – and showed Pixar’s sequel business was really starting to thrive.


44. $1.027 Billion


Domestic: $474.5 million (including re-releases)
Release date: May 19, 1999

George Lucas returned to the director’s chair after more than two decades to give fans what they thought they wanted 16 years after the release of Return of the Jedi. Fans certainly turned over their money but many left with a sense of disappointment that would help taint the prequel trilogy for decades to come. Phantom Menace was the highest-grossing film domestically to earn a Rotten score 55% (until 2019’s The Lion King came along). The $431 million earned in its initial run was enough to make it second only to Titanic all-time in North America; it took re-releases to push it over $1 billion globally. In 1999, it was the first film to clear $100 million in five days, beating the previous record holder, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, which earned $98.6 million in the same amount of time.



45. $1.026 Billion

Alice in Wonderland (2010)

51%


Domestic: $334.2 million
Release date: March 5, 2010

Among the first five attempts Disney had made to bring its classic cartoons to life by 2010, Tim Burton’s Alice In Wonderland was by far the most successful. Its $116.1 million start was the sixth-largest movie opening ever at the time and the second-highest for Disney behind the second Pirates film. It was Burton’s seventh collaboration with Johnny Depp and the director has not had a film gross as much domestically in total as Alice made in its first three days since – not even with his attempt to replicate the success with Dumbo in 2019, which grossed a total of $114.7 million. But back in 2010, only Avatar, Titanic, and The Return of the King had made more money outside of North America than Alice did.


46. $1.024 Billion

Zootopia (2016)

98%


Domestic: $341.3 million
Release date: March 4, 2016

To this day, Zootopia remains the second-highest–grossing animated Disney film not connected with Pixar. Since Frozen spent 16 straight weeks in the top 10, only three films have come as close, with 13 straight weeks in that top 10: Black Panther, La La Land, and yes,  Zootopia. Its $682 million overseas is the sixth-best ever for an animated film, the second-best for any Disney animated film, Pixar or otherwise. Also, it is just one of four films on this list to receive a Tomatometer score of 97%.



47. $1.018 Billion


Domestic: $318.9 million
Release date: November 16, 2001

Four years after the publication of J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book, Chris Columbus brought it to the big screen and its legions of fans turned up in record numbers. A $90.2 million opening weekend crushed the previous title holder from four years earlier, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, by over $18 million. The Sorcerer’s Stone‘s final domestic total ranked sixth all-time behind the initial runs of Titanic, The Phantom Menace, E.T., Jurassic Park, and Forrest Gump. That total remained the highest of the series until Deathly Hallows: Part 2 in 2011.


48. $1.017 Billion


Domestic: $303 million
Release date: December 14, 2012

Almost a decade after wrapping up his landmark Lord of the Rings trilogy, Peter Jackson returned to the world of J.R.R. Tolkien to give audiences the Bilbo Baggins tale. A planned two-parter turned into a full-blown trilogy and critics were feeling the bloat: While Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films all scored over 90% on the Tomatometer, the Hobbit films never rose above 74%, with the first film right in the middle with 64%. Audiences were not tired just yet, though, even if this was the last of the Middle-earth series to hit $300 million domestic and $1 billion worldwide. On the glass-half-full side, Jackson’s first four Tolkien films grossed a combined $3.938 billion globally.



49. $1.005 Billion

The Dark Knight (2008)

94%


Domestic: $534.9 million
Release date: July 18, 2008

The untimely passing of Heath Ledger in January 2008 was a gut punch, but it made anticipation for what would become his iconic, Oscar-winning portrayal of Batman’s arch-nemesis, the Joker, even more feverish. It was the central piece of what is considered one of the greatest comic-book films ever made. The movie’s $158 million opening weekend broke the previous record-holder, Spider-Man 3, by more than $7 million, and Dark Knight held the record for nearly three years to the day until the final Harry Potter chapter was released. The opening is still 17th all-time and the movie’s domestic total haul is the 12th-highest ever.


50. $977 Million


Domestic: $296 million
Release date: November 17, 2010

If Quentin Tarantino could do it, why not Harry Potter? Warner Bros. tried to maximize their profits by splitting J.K. Rowling’s final book into two films. The first 150 minutes missed getting close to the $300 million mark, perhaps as some fans figured they could catch up on home video just before Part 2 hit theaters the following summer. Still, only five films had done better than its $125 million opening (The Dark KnightSpider-Man 3The Twilight Saga: New MoonDead Man’s ChestIron Man 2). The combined power of the Deathly Hallows resulted in $677.1 million domestic and $2.3 billion worldwide alone (but together.)


On an Apple device? Follow Rotten Tomatoes on Apple News.

Thumbnail image courtesy ©New Line Cinema, ©Sony Pictures Releasing, ©Warner Bros.

James-Bond-Countdown

All 27 James Bond Movies Ranked by Tomatometer

You know his name. You got his number. Since 1962, James Bond has been the spy whose reputation precedes him: As international man of mystery, as guru of gadgets and espionage thrills, and as the agent who never encountered a boundary – country, or personal space – he couldn’t sneak across.

The Ian Fleming adaptations started with a bang: Dr. No remains among the best-reviewed of 007’s movies, bringing forth that first legendary era of Sean Connery suited up as the debonair rogue that women crave and men aspire to be in vain. Case in point: 1967’s Casino Royale had no less than six James Bonds within its spooferifous walls, none holding a candle to the Con’. The non-comic caper is the worst-reviewed James Bond movie, and was produced outside of franchise gatekeepers Eon.



As celebrated was Connery’s reign was – the late actor’s films occupy three of the top five slots on this list – the sun sets on every empire, and thus was ushered in the age of the Lazenby. A mild administration for George, yes, with only 1969’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service released, though Certified Fresh.

Then it became time to move over for Roger Moore, who offered a lightly winking and intelligent Bond for those burned-out ’70s times. Three of his movies are Rotten, three are Fresh, and one is Certified Fresh. Not bad, and he even traveled into space.

In 1981, Connery came back for non-Eon Bond Never Say Never Again, just as HQ was hiring Timothy Dalton for the job. Dalton’s Bond: Cool and menacing, and his films The Living Daylights and License to Kill are praised by modern fans for their dark, grittier take on the spy game. It’s something Daniel Craig would pick up on in the future, but with a bigger budget and fewer a-ha theme songs.

Pierce Brosnan brought back the sophisticated sex appeal, as the best Bond in the not-so-greatest movies. GoldenEye was intoxicating Certified Fresh fun, while the three that followed are all Rotten.

After Austin Powers took the piss out of the franchise for a decade, Eon turned to resurrecting James Bond as the brooding, brutish hulk we have today. Casino Royale was a return to form, Daniel Craig’s sneer and occasional smile calibrated to the modern cynical viewer. Skyfall was likewise Certified Fresh, but there was not so much critical love for in-betweener Quantum of Solace and the most-recent Spectre of 2015.

Six years passed until No Time To Die, the longest wait between Bond movies. At 15 years, Craig holds the record for longest uninterrupted on-screen ownership of Bond, but Connery spread his appearances as Bond across 21 years. Now, we’re reaching into the classified files for every James Bond movie ever ranked by Tomatometer!

#27

Casino Royale (1967)
27%

#27
Adjusted Score: 29187%
Critics Consensus: A goofy, dated parody of spy movie clichés, Casino Royale squanders its all-star cast on a meandering, mostly laugh-free script.
Synopsis: This wacky send-up of James Bond films stars David Niven as the iconic debonair spy, now retired and living a... [More]

#26

A View to a Kill (1985)
38%

#26
Adjusted Score: 41515%
Critics Consensus: Absurd even by Bond standards, A View to a Kill is weighted down by campy jokes and a noticeable lack of energy.
Synopsis: After recovering a microchip from the body of a deceased colleague in Russia, British secret agent James Bond (Roger Moore)... [More]
Directed By: John Glen

#25
Adjusted Score: 43740%
Critics Consensus: A middling Bond film, The Man With the Golden Gun suffers from double entendre-laden dialogue, a noteworthy lack of gadgets, and a villain that overshadows 007.
Synopsis: Cool government operative James Bond (Roger Moore) searches for a stolen invention that can turn the sun's heat into a... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#24

Octopussy (1983)
43%

#24
Adjusted Score: 45781%
Critics Consensus: Despite a couple of electrifying action sequences, Octopussy is a formulaic, anachronistic Bond outing.
Synopsis: James Bond (Roger Moore) may have met his match in Octopussy (Maud Adams), an entrancing beauty involved in a devastating... [More]
Directed By: John Glen

#23
#23
Adjusted Score: 57269%
Critics Consensus: Plagued by mediocre writing, uneven acting, and a fairly by-the-numbers plot, The World Is Not Enough is partially saved by some entertaining and truly Bond-worthy action sequences.
Synopsis: Bond (Pierce Brosnan) must race to defuse an international power struggle with the world's oil supply hanging in the balance.... [More]
Directed By: Michael Apted

#22
#22
Adjusted Score: 61271%
Critics Consensus: A competent, if sometimes by-the-numbers entry to the 007 franchise, Tomorrow Never Dies may not boast the most original plot but its action sequences are genuinely thrilling.
Synopsis: Media mogul Elliot Carver (Jonathan Pryce) wants his news empire to reach every country on the globe, but the Chinese... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#21

Die Another Day (2002)
56%

#21
Adjusted Score: 62787%
Critics Consensus: Its action may be bit too over-the-top for some, but Die Another Day is lavishly crafted and succeeds in evoking classic Bond themes from the franchise's earlier installments.
Synopsis: James Bond (Pierce Brosnan) is captured by North Korean agents and must serve a grueling prison sentence. He's finally released,... [More]
Directed By: Lee Tamahori

#20

Moonraker (1979)
60%

#20
Adjusted Score: 64237%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of the series' more ludicrous plots but outfitted with primo gadgets and spectacular sets, Moonraker is both silly and entertaining.
Synopsis: Agent 007 (Roger Moore) blasts into orbit in this action-packed adventure that takes him to Venice, Rio De Janeiro and... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Gilbert

#19

Spectre (2015)
63%

#19
Adjusted Score: 77784%
Critics Consensus: Spectre nudges Daniel Craig's rebooted Bond closer to the glorious, action-driven spectacle of earlier entries, although it's admittedly reliant on established 007 formula.
Synopsis: A cryptic message from the past leads James Bond (Daniel Craig) to Mexico City and Rome, where he meets the... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#18
#18
Adjusted Score: 68814%
Critics Consensus: Diamonds are Forever is a largely derivative affair, but it's still pretty entertaining nonetheless, thanks to great stunts, witty dialogue, and the presence of Sean Connery.
Synopsis: While investigating mysterious activities in the world diamond market, 007 (Sean Connery) discovers that his evil nemesis Blofeld (Charles Gray)... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 76036%
Critics Consensus: Brutal and breathless, Quantum Of Solace delivers tender emotions along with frenetic action, but coming on the heels of Casino Royale, it's still a bit of a disappointment.
Synopsis: Following the death of Vesper Lynd, James Bond (Daniel Craig) makes his next mission personal. The hunt for those who... [More]
Directed By: Marc Forster

#16

Live and Let Die (1973)
65%

#16
Adjusted Score: 68257%
Critics Consensus: While not one of the highest-rated Bond films, Live and Let Die finds Roger Moore adding his stamp to the series with flashes of style and an improved sense of humor.
Synopsis: When Bond (Roger Moore) investigates the murders of three fellow agents, he finds himself a target, evading vicious assassins as... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

#15
#15
Adjusted Score: 71562%
Critics Consensus: While the rehashed story feels rather uninspired and unnecessary, the return of both Sean Connery and a more understated Bond make Never Say Never Again a watchable retread.
Synopsis: An aging James Bond (Sean Connery) makes an uncharacteristic mistake during a routine training mission, leading M (Edward Fox) to... [More]
Directed By: Irvin Kershner

#14
#14
Adjusted Score: 77310%
Critics Consensus: With exotic locales, impressive special effects, and a worthy central villain, You Only Live Twice overcomes a messy and implausible story to deliver another memorable early Bond flick.
Synopsis: During the Cold War, American and Russian spacecrafts go missing, leaving each superpower believing the other is to blame. As... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Gilbert

#13
#13
Adjusted Score: 73682%
Critics Consensus: For Your Eyes Only trades in some of the outlandish Bond staples for a more sober outing, and the result is a satisfying adventure, albeit without some of the bombastic thrills fans may be looking for.
Synopsis: When a British ship is sunk in foreign waters, the world's superpowers begin a feverish race to find its cargo:... [More]
Directed By: John Glen

#12
#12
Adjusted Score: 78026%
Critics Consensus: Newcomer Timothy Dalton plays James Bond with more seriousness than preceding installments, and the result is exciting and colorful but occasionally humorless.
Synopsis: British secret agent James Bond (Timothy Dalton) helps KGB officer Georgi Koskov (Jeroen Krabbé) defect during a symphony performance. During... [More]
Directed By: John Glen

#11

Licence to Kill (1989)
79%

#11
Adjusted Score: 82583%
Critics Consensus: License to Kill is darker than many of the other Bond entries, with Timothy Dalton playing the character with intensity, but it still has some solid chases and fight scenes.
Synopsis: James Bond (Timothy Dalton) takes on his most-daring adventure after he turns renegade and tracks down one of the international... [More]
Directed By: John Glen

#10

GoldenEye (1995)
80%

#10
Adjusted Score: 84384%
Critics Consensus: The first and best Pierce Brosnan Bond film, GoldenEye brings the series into a more modern context, and the result is a 007 entry that's high-tech, action-packed, and urbane.
Synopsis: When a powerful satellite system falls into the hands of Alec Trevelyan, AKA Agent 006 (Sean Bean), a former ally-turned-enemy,... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#9
#9
Adjusted Score: 86664%
Critics Consensus: Though it hints at the absurdity to come in later installments, The Spy Who Loved Me's sleek style, menacing villains, and sly wit make it the best of the Roger Moore era.
Synopsis: In a globe-trotting assignment that has him skiing off the edges of cliffs and driving a car deep underwater, British... [More]
Directed By: Lewis Gilbert

#8
Adjusted Score: 86431%
Critics Consensus: George Lazenby's only appearance as 007 is a fine entry in the series, featuring one of the most intriguing Bond girls in Tracy di Vincenzo (Diana Rigg), breathtaking visuals, and some great ski chases.
Synopsis: Agent 007 (George Lazenby) and the adventurous Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) join forces to battle the evil SPECTRE organization... [More]
Directed By: Peter R. Hunt

#7

No Time to Die (2021)
83%

#7
Adjusted Score: 106166%
Critics Consensus: It isn't the sleekest or most daring 007 adventure, but No Time to Die concludes Daniel Craig's franchise tenure in satisfying style.
Synopsis: In No Time To Die, Bond has left active service and is enjoying a tranquil life in Jamaica. His peace... [More]
Directed By: Cary Joji Fukunaga

#6

Thunderball (1965)
87%

#6
Adjusted Score: 93111%
Critics Consensus: Lavishly rendered set pieces and Sean Connery's enduring charm make Thunderball a big, fun adventure, even if it doesn't quite measure up to the series' previous heights.
Synopsis: Led by one-eyed evil mastermind Emilio Largo (Adolfo Celi), the terrorist group SPECTRE hijacks two warheads from a NATO plane... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#5

Skyfall (2012)
92%

#5
Adjusted Score: 108828%
Critics Consensus: Sam Mendes brings Bond surging back with a smart, sexy, riveting action thriller that qualifies as one of the best 007 films to date.
Synopsis: When James Bond's (Daniel Craig) latest assignment goes terribly wrong, it leads to a calamitous turn of events: Undercover agents... [More]
Directed By: Sam Mendes

#4

Casino Royale (2006)
94%

#4
Adjusted Score: 105847%
Critics Consensus: Casino Royale disposes of the silliness and gadgetry that plagued recent James Bond outings, and Daniel Craig delivers what fans and critics have been waiting for: a caustic, haunted, intense reinvention of 007.
Synopsis: After receiving a license to kill, British Secret Service agent James Bond (Daniel Craig) heads to Madagascar, where he uncovers... [More]
Directed By: Martin Campbell

#3

Dr. No (1962)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 100970%
Critics Consensus: Featuring plenty of the humor, action, and escapist thrills the series would become known for, Dr. No kicks off the Bond franchise in style.
Synopsis: In the film that launched the James Bond saga, Agent 007 (Sean Connery) battles mysterious Dr. No, a scientific genius... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#2
#2
Adjusted Score: 101947%
Critics Consensus: The second James Bond film, From Russia with Love is a razor-sharp, briskly-paced Cold War thriller that features several electrifying action scenes.
Synopsis: Agent 007 (Sean Connery) is back in the second installment of the James Bond series, this time battling a secret... [More]
Directed By: Terence Young

#1

Goldfinger (1964)
99%

#1
Adjusted Score: 104202%
Critics Consensus: Goldfinger is where James Bond as we know him comes into focus - it features one of 007's most famous lines ("A martini. Shaken, not stirred.") and a wide range of gadgets that would become the series' trademark.
Synopsis: Special agent 007 (Sean Connery) comes face to face with one of the most notorious villains of all time, and... [More]
Directed By: Guy Hamilton

As we all settle in to stay at home and socially distance ourselves, the planet has been given a unique resource not often afforded in the modern world: time. With no place to go, what shall we do with this new abundance of free hours? Time to finish that book you have had on your bedside table? Maybe take an online French class or learn to play an instrument? Time to binge every series that ever was? Or perhaps, like us, you’re thinking of all the films you wished you’d seen but never had the time to before.

Maybe one of those epic movie franchises that seemed too daunting to jump into late in the game – don’t ever admit you’ve never seen an MCU movie, ever – or a series of which you’ve caught a few entries but want to fill in the gaps. Fear not  we have you covered with our Epic Franchise Movie Binge Guide. Read below as we break down some of the most beloved long-running movie franchises – like The Lord of the Rings, Mission Impossible, or the granddaddy of them all, the Marvel Cinematic Universe – and tell you the best way to approach watching them, how long the binge will take, and which titles you can skip. Because hey, even all the time in the world may not be enough time to make you sit through A Good Day to Die Hard.

Disagree with our picks or have a suggestion for a franchise movie binge? Let us know in the comments. 


The Lord of the Rings

What is it: The film adaptations of the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien, set in ”Middle-earth,” the fictitious medieval land where elves, men, dwarves, wizards, and hobbits co-exist, often not so peacefully. Over the course of several films, we follow hobbit Bilbo Baggins and later his young heir Frodo Baggins as they go on adventures and battle against the forces of evil. 

How many hours: Extended editions: 20 hours 30 minutes; Theatrical cuts: 17 hours and 12 minutes.

Starts with:  The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)  

Ends with: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)  

Best way to watch: Some would argue the second trilogy – though the first by story chronology – from Peter Jackson was an unnecessary and bloated cash grab that should be avoided at all costs, but we have a better suggestion. We suggest you begin with the LOTR animated film from 1978, which will give you all the events of the films in a quicker and to-the-point format. Then, if you are compelled to see the best of The Hobbit live-action series, we would say check out the standard edition of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, which is the best of the three. We would also suggest you try to watch the extended editions of the original live-action LOTR series – they are more than worth it for the extra content. This recommendation would make for a shorter, 16-hour watch, which could be broken up easily over two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. The Two Towers and The Lord of The Rings: The Return of the King standard editions are streaming on Netflix.


Marvel Cinematic Universe

What is it: The 23-film saga that chronicles the epic adventures of various superheroes, based on the comics first distributed by Marvel and its subsidiaries. 

How many hours: 50 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Iron Man (2008)  

Ends with:  Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Best way to watch: Not surprising for a franchise that grossed over $22 billion at the global box office, but Marvel Studios’ 23-film, decade-long opus is quite watchable as is. Some folks would have argued in 2010 that Avengers: The Age of Ultron is a skippable mess, but as we detail here, it is essential viewing to truly appreciate the first four phases of the saga that culminated with Avengers: Endgame. Sorry for those looking for a shortcut, but watching it all is worth it. Viewing all 23 movies straight through, without breaks, however, is not the way to do it.

Instead, we suggest you go in release order and complete each day as follows: day one after Avengers; day two after Ant-man; day three after Black Panther; and finish on day four with Spider-Man: Far From Home. If you’ve previously watched the MCU and are looking to watch it in a new way, use our guide here to watch in chronological order based on the events of each film. If the thought of 50 hours of superheroes is still too intimidating for you, but you want to understand enough to get by, watch these character introduction films (Captain America, Thor, Iron Man, Black Panther, Captain Marvel, Ant-Man, Guardians of the Galaxy) and these team-up films (Civil War, Winter Soldier, Avengers, Ultron, Infinity War, Endgame). Once you have finished that, check out our Oral Histories of the MCU, in which the directors, producer, and casting director who worked on the epic franchise break down all the behind-the-scene secrets.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. All of the films save The Incredible Hulk and the Spider-Man films are streaming on Disney+. The Avengers: Infinity War and The Avengers: Endgame are streaming on Netflix; and Captain America: The First Avenger, The Avengers, and Thor are streaming on Amazon Prime.


Die Hard Franchise

What is it: Follow John McClane, a police detective who seems to be a magnet for maniacal criminals no matter which city/structure he is in, and proves to be a tough man to kill.

How many hours: 10 hours and 14 minutes.

Starts with:  Die Hard (1988)

Ends with: A Good Day to Die Hard (2013)

Best way to watch: The original Die Hard is so beloved that many argue it’s the greatest action film ever made – or maybe the greatest Christmas movie, but that is a debate for another day. The film and its follow-ups have a loyal fanbase, and though the second and third entries pale in comparison to the first, we still say they’re worth a watch. The fourth film, Live Free or Die Hard, is a true return to form and, frankly, it’s where you should stop unless you are a true completist. The series’ most recent film, A Good Day to Die Hard, is the only PG-13 entry on the list, and without McClane’s iconic “Yippee-ki-yay, motherf–ker,” there’s really no point pushing play.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discounted Bundle), Amazon,  iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Die Hard and Die Hard with a Vengeance are streaming now on CinemaxGoLive Free or Die Hard is streaming on the Starz app.


The Fast & Furious Franchise

What is it: Follow Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) and his crew, which he calls his family, as they shift from illegal street-racing criminals to heist experts and then finally emerge as a new crime-fighting unit that tackles the world of espionage.

How many hours: 15 hours and 57 mins. 

Starts with: The Fast and the Furious (2001)

Ends with:  Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (2019)

Best way to watch: As Dom and everyone in the Fast franchise says – quite often – this is about family. So, if you’re looking for something to skip, it’s hard to imagine who you’d want to kick out one of the family – though, let’s be honest, 2 Fast 2 Furious is definitely not Dad’s favorite. Without Vin Diesel, that entry can barely call itself a Fast and Furious movie, and the 2009 series soft reboot, Fast & Furious, is not much better and an easy call to skip, as well. We would caution against skipping third entry Toyko Drift; its charms are significantly more than its 37% Tomatometer score would suggest (something we wax about in our book Rotten Movies We Love). Not to spoil anything, but when we finally get Fast 9 in 2021, you’ll need to have seen Tokyo Drift to understand everything fully – check out #JusticeForHan after you finish the series, and you will understand. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW, Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Hobbs & Shaw and Fast Five are streaming on HBOnow; Fast 6 is streaming on FXnow.


Rocky Franchise

What is it: Follow Philly underdog boxer-turned-champion, Rocky Balboa, as he battles various fighters in the ring, as well as his own issues outside of it, and later trains the next generation of champions.

How many hours: 14 hours and 55 minutes. 

Starts with: Rocky (1976)

Ends with:  Creed II (2018)

Best way to watch: This one’s real simple: trust us and skip Rocky V. Just pretend it didn’t happen; we’re pretty sure Sylvester Stallone did. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, VuduGooglePlayRocky Balboa is streaming on the Starz appCreed II is streaming on Hulu and Amazon.


Harry Potter / Wizarding World Franchise

What is it: The franchise based on JK Rowling’s phenomenally successful novels follows the adventures of Harry Potter, an orphan-turned-famed wizard, the evil He Who Must Not Be Named, and the Wizarding World they inhabit.

How many hours: 24 hours and 6 minutes. 

Starts with:   Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

Ends with:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)

Best way to watch: As this is a British series, allow us to put this as politely as possible: Fantastic Beasts is simply not quite on form. The first entry is saved by Eddie Redmayne and mesmerizing magical effects; the second entry is the first and only Rotten flick from the Wizarding World and very skippable at this stage. The original seven films are near perfect, but if you wanted to pass over The Chamber of Secrets you wouldn’t miss much – you won’t be too confused later in the series. (Though if watching as a family, this is one the kids tend to like.) If you follow that suggestion, you can finish the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlayFantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is streaming on HBONow.


X-Men Franchise

What Is It: Follow Professor Charles Xavier and his X-Men as they try to save the world and the lives of their fellow Mutants. Professor X and co. work with, and sometimes against, mutants like the powerful Magneto, Wolverine, and the wisecracking mercenary Deadpool.
How many hours: 21 hours and 43 minutes.

Starts with:   X-Men: First Class (2011)

Ends with:  Logan (2017)

How to watch: The critics will tell you that both X-Men: The Last Stand (the third of the original films) and X-Men: Apocalypse (the third of the rebooted, second-gen films) are shells of their brilliant predecessors. And with the last X-Men film to enter theaters, Dark Phoenix, disappointing on the Tomatometer and at the box office, you should essentially skip any film that has anything to do with Jean Gray’s Dark Phoenix. X-Men Origins: Wolverine is admittedly a hard watch to suffer through, but you kinda have to just to appreciate the brilliance of Deadpool and its sequel, if only for what they did differently with the character. Every film that character is in after Origins highlights why Ryan Reynolds was born to play the “Merc with a Mouth.”

Watching in the order of events is the best way to approach things if you don’t want to be confused by the time travel that happens later in the series. That order is: First Class, Days of Future Past, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix, X-Men, X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Wolverine, Deadpool, Deadpool 2, Logan. If you leave off the aforementioned weakest entries (The Last Stand, Apocalypse, Dark Phoenix) you can complete the entire series in one day.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. X-Men: Days of Future Past and Deadpool are streaming on FXNowX-Men Origins: Wolverine is available to stream on the Starz app. 


Jurassic Park Franchise

What is it: In these films, we welcome you to Jurassic Park, a theme park – and eventually various associated islands, mansions, West Coast cities – where dinosaurs have been genetically recreated to walk the Earth alongside humans. Over the course of series we watch as that combination invariably doesn’t work out well for the humans.

How many hours: 10 hours and 1 minute.

Starts with:  Jurassic Park (1993)

Ends with:  Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Best way to watch: This was a subject of contentious debate among the RT staff: some thought the Jurassic World part of the franchise is unwatchable, while others had strong takes on Jurassic Park 3 and The Lost World. As this is only a five-film series so far, we compromised: Watch them all and make your own determinations. Either way, we all agreed that the original Jurassic Park is a bona fide classic, and if you haven’t seen it, please remedy this injustice as soon as possible. It only takes a day to watch them all. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is streaming on CinemaxGo.


Mission Impossible Franchise

What is it: Watch secret agent Ethan Hunt (Tom Cruise) and his crew of talented spies as they battle the world’s most dangerous criminals along with the bureaucracy of his own organization, the IMF. The films are based on the 1960s television show.

How many hours: 13 hours and 3 minutes.

Starts with:   Mission: Impossible (1996)

Ends with:  Mission: Impossible -- Fallout (2018)

Best way to watch: It’s apparent after six films (with a seventh on the way): Tom Cruise really likes playing Ethan Hunt. And with every film, Cruise looks to top the jaw-dropping stunts from the last. Still, there is a stark contrast between the first three films and the rest, in regards to quality and scope. Many will tell you the second film, directed by John Woo, and the third, directed by J.J. Abrams, are the weakest of the set, but they’re still thoroughly enjoyable and feature some truly astonishing stunts – so we suggest you watch them all. And thankfully this is not – yes, we’re gonna say it – impossible to do in one or two days. 

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Mission Impossible: Fallout is streaming on Amazon Prime and Hulu; Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation are streaming on FXNow.


James Bond Franchise

What is it: James Bond, MI6 intelligence officer and international playboy, charms women, thwarts terrorist plots, and sips a shaken martini in well-tailored suits. Based on Ian Fleming’s iconic novels.

How many hours: 55 hours and 11 minutes.

Starts with:  Dr. No (1962)

Ends with:   Spectre (2015)

Best way to watch: For completists, we recommend you start with the Connery films on day one, then do a day of Timothy Dalton, David Niven (the satire Casino Royale from 1967), and George Lazenby’s films, adding one or two of Roger Moore’s. Finish with Moore on day three, then do a full day of Pierce Brosnan for day four, and end the series on day five with Daniel Craig. If that’s a bit too daunting, you can break up the films we suggested for one day across two days instead. If you’re looking for a few to skip, we’d suggest A View to Kill and Octopussy. We’d also suggest you skip Never Say Never Again, as it is a shadow of Connery’s older work; Moonraker is only enjoyable for how laughable it is; and there’s not enough vodka on earth to make The World is Not Enough a good time. Quantum of Solace is another one you can miss, but at least watch the opening scene – it’s fantastic.

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, Itunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Goldeneye, Tomorrow Never Dies, The World is Not Enough, and Die Another Day are streaming on NetflixQuantum of Solace and Casino Royale (1967) are streaming on HBONow.


Star Trek Franchise

What is it: These are the stories of the USS Enterprise, crafted for the silver screen. Watch Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and later Captain Picard (Patrick Stewart) as they lead their crews to the furthest reaches of the universe on a peacekeeping mission to discover new worlds. The films are based on the Star Trek television series and its subsequent spin-offs.

How many hours: 25 hours and 17 minutes.

Starts with:  Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)

Ends with:  Star Trek Beyond (2016)

Best way to watch: At the risk of angering the original series Trekkies, the first film – Star Trek: The Motion Picture – is simply not very good (it’s 42% on the Tomatometer). The same can be said of The Final Frontier. When we shift into The Next Generation part of the franchise, the series starts off strong but fizzles with Star Trek: Nemesis. We suggest you should skip those four. When you start the reboot franchise, some would advise you to skip Star Trek: Into Darkness, which was much maligned by the fandom but which we say is worth seeing for Benedict Cumberbatch, if nothing else. As far as ordering your binge, watching the series as the films were released is the way to go. Begin with the first set of films featuring the original series characters, followed by the films centering on the cast of The Next Generation, and finish with the reboot films that started in 2009. If you are skipping films following our advice, the new order is original series (The Wrath of Khan, Search for Spock, The Voyage HomeUndiscovered Country), followed by the Next Generation films (Generations, First Contact, Insurrection), and finishing with the 2009 reboot films (Star Trek, Into Darkness, Beyond).

Where to watch: FandangoNOW (Discount Bundle), Amazon, iTunes, Vudu, GooglePlay. Star Treks 1-6, First Contact, Insurrection, and Generations are streaming AmazonStar Trek: Into Darkness is streaming on FXnow; and Star Trek Nemesis, First Contact, Generations are streaming on Crackle.


Thumbnail image: yParamount, Paramount, courtesy of the Everett Collection 

Thor: Ragnarok only needed to get a 67% on the Tomatometer to improve upon The Dark World‘s score. Looks like all this franchise needed was some new zeal and New Zealand director Taika Waititi because Ragnarok is currently scoring way higher than that, which inspires this week’s gallery of 24 most improved movie sequels by Tomatometer!

(Photo by Jonathan Olley/Columbia Pictures)

 

For the last four years, Daniel Craig has been, to use his own word, “coy” about whether he’d return for another James Bond movie. Back in 2015, he even told our very own Grae Drake, “I’m not gone yet.” Rumors have gone every which way but confirmed, even with recent announcements of a release date and potential directors for the next 007 adventure. Last night, the actor finally said “yes,” he is still on board as the most famous spy character of all time.

He made the confirmation on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, admitting that he’s been discussing the possibility for the last couple months but wanted to save the news for the CBS talk show. “We’ve just been trying to figure things out,” he said. “I always wanted to. I needed a break.” He also explained his infamous quote about preferring bodily harm to doing another one.

At the end of the interview, Colbert asked if this will be Craig’s final installment as Bond. “I think this is it,” the actor answered. “I just want to go out on a high note.” Then he added, “I can’t wait.” Presumably he was referring to doing this next one, not leaving.

In response to the confirmation, many movie critics have chimed in about the news. Craig’s last outing as Bond, Spectre, received fairly positive reviews overall (64 percent on the Tomatometer) but they weren’t as glowing as his prior installment, Skyfall (93 percent) or his debut with the franchise, Casino Royale (95 percent). So there are mixed feelings:

I think we all want to see Craig go out on a high note as well. He’s left his mark on the character and has had two of the best Bond films ever made.
Matt Goldberg, Collider

It was a near-inevitability that he would return for one last ride…he waited until right before his new movie opened to drop the news.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes

Pro: Daniel Craig is a great Bond. Con: Spectre was not great, and also the end of it felt like a farewell for his 007.
Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

Daniel Craig announced on Colbert he’s back for Bond 25 — here, I genuinely believed he’d call it quits. We need more Lucky Logan-like DC.
Jason Gorber, Screen Anarchy

Happy to see Daniel Craig returning for another Bond despite his four-film tenure being a study in steadily decreasing quality.
Rob Hunter, Film School Rejects

Delighted that Daniel Craig is back as Bond, so that all the good actors floated for the role can continue to do just about anything else.
Guy Lodge, Variety

The currently untiled 25th James Bond instalment will be released in the US on November 8, 2019. See below for Craig’s appearance on The Late Show, in which he also shares a Logan Lucky clip and discusses his cameo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

 With over fifty years of Bond villains, we thought it would be fun to see who is the fan favorite. Take a look at the poll below and cast your vote. Don’t see your favorite listed? Let us know in the comments! Also, head over to Twitter to enter for a chance to win The Ultimate James Bond Collection and Spectre on Blu-ray.

[socialpoll id=”2329464″]

Bond, James Bond is back. His 26 movies over 53 years have created a long legacy of international espionage, daring escapes, stellar gadgets, and, yes, beautiful women. Celebrate the release of Spectre with our 50 favorite Bond girls throughout history.

 

 

This week’s Ketchup includes movie development news stories involving the next James Bond movie, movies based on the comic books Archie, Fables and Guardians of the Galaxy, and new roles for Jennifer Lawrence, Kristen Stewart, and Denzel Washington.


This Week’s Top Story

PENELOPE CRUZ TO BE THE OLDEST EVER BOND GIRL

When the 24th James Bond movie starts filming in the summer of 2014, the newest “Bond Girl” will be Spanish actress Penelope Cruz. And just before that, in April of 2014, Penelope Cruz will turn 40, making her one year older than Honor Blackman was when she played Pussy Galore in Goldfinger at the age of 39. Skyfall director Sam Mendes is currently in talks to return for #24, and possibly #25. It’s currently unknown if Penelope Cruz (if she signs) would also return for James Bond #25. Since so much of this story was about Penelope Cruz’s age, here’s where we mention that in the summer of 2014, Daniel Craig will be 46.

Fresh Developments This Week

#1 BENICIO DEL TORO JOINS GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (POSSIBLY AS BIG BAD THANOS?)

The ridiculously star-studded ensemble cast of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy just got a little bit more star-laden this week as Benicio Del Toro also joined the cast. The name of Del Toro’s character is being kept secret (for now), but it’s described as “significant” and someone who will appear in a number of future Marvel movies. That’s leading people to speculate that Del Toro has been cast as Thanos, the big bad who is expected to (maybe) be the villain in The Avengers 2. Another possibility that fans sometimes mention as a guess is Doctor Strange, but yeah, he’s probably Thanos. Another name that joined this week was Karen Gillan (of Doctor Who), whose role is also a secret, but she’s described as the lead female villain. This one is a bit harder to guess, and might be a matter of perspective in relation to what the movie is about (ie, her character might be more of an “anti hero”). Some possibilities could be Moondragon (Drax’s daughter), various female Shiar leaders, or maybe even an avatar of Thanos’s main squeeze, Death. Filming starts later this month, but today, director James Gunn already gave us a look at one of the newest members of the crew.

#2 ONCE UPON A TIME, THE WOULD BE TV SHOW FABLES BECAME A MOVIE INSTEAD

When the TV series Once Upon a Time first aired on ABC in October of 2011, its premiere was met with informed curiosity by certain comic book fans familiar with Bill Winningham’s Vertigo Comics series Fables. Like Once Upon a Time, Fables concerns a group of classic fairy tale characters who live in the “real world,” and at one time (circa 2008), it had actually been in development at ABC as a TV series. The network ultimately went with a show and premise with more famous, Disney-friendly characters (many of the Fables characters have never been in Disney feature films). Now that you’re familiar with some of the back story, here’s the relevant movie news this week: two of the producers of the Harry Potter franchise are now developing a Fables movie. Danish director Nikolaj Arcel (A Royal Affair) is attached to direct, working from a script by Jeremy Slater, who doesn’t yet have any produced films to his credit, but he did work on drafts of the Fox reboot of The Fantastic Four, which is expected in theaters in 2015.

#3 DENZEL WASHINGTON MIGHT GO BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH SHOVEL READY

Denzel Washington is in early talks with Warner Bros to star in an adaptation of the science fiction novel Shovel Ready by journalist Adam Sternbergh. The setting of Shovel Ready is a near future New York City comprised mostly of bombed ruins, where people escape harsh reality by spending time in a digital fantasy world. In that setting, a contract killer is hired to assassinate the daughter of a powerful evangelist, but he ends up saving the girl instead, because, you know… movies. Denzel Washington previously starred in the future-set science fiction movies Virtuosity and The Book of Eli (both of which share some loose elements with Shovel Ready).

#4 JENNIFER LAWRENCE GETS INTO THE PRODUCING BUSINESS WITH RULES OF INHERITANCE

Jennifer Lawrence, like many A list actors before her, is taking her destiny in her own hands by producing some of her own movies. The first project will be an adaptation of the memoir Rules of Inheritance by Claire Bidwell Smith. The project is being seen as very “Awards season” friendly, as it involves a young woman in her teens-to-20s dealing with the residual grief of both of her parents having cancer by throwing herself into a hedonistic lifestyle in New York and Los Angeles. Danish director Susanne Bier (In a Better World, Things We Lost in the Fire) will direct from a script by Abi Morgan (The Iron Lady; cowriter of 2011’s Shame).

#5 THE INTERNET FAILS AT CAUSALITY/CORRELATION; PEOPLE START BELIEVING ARCHIE WILL HAVE ZOMBIES

This week saw the rapid spread of stories that sort of buried the lead as people rushed to talk… SQUIRREL! Let’s start with the actual facts. Warner Bros is developing a live action movie based on the long running Archie comic book characters. The project already has director Jason Moore (Pitch Perfect) on board, and he will be working from a script by Glee and Big Love writer Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa (he also wrote the upcoming Carrie remake). And that last point is where things went wrong online, quickly. You see, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa already has some experience with the Archie characters because he’s currently writing the title Afterlife with Archie, which is sort of a “mashup” combining the characters with a zombie invasion. Which is great and funny and all, but it doesn’t mean that the movie that Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa is writing will be about zombies. The original Deadline story speculated about it, and so, instead of making the more obvious connections to Glee, people obsessed about Jughead eating brains.

#6 THIS WEEK IN INSIDE BASEBALL MOVIE DEAL NEWS: INTERSTELLAR GETS TRADED FOR SOUTH PARK AND FRIDAY THE 13TH

Let’s say this right up front: This story does not necessarily mean that new South Park or Friday the 13th movies will happen anytime soon. It does, however, open up the possibilities quite a bit, and can also read as interesting insight into how Hollywood operates sometimes. So, here’s the set up: Paramount initially developed the science fiction movie Interstellar that Christopher Nolan will soon film, but Warner Bros loves having Christopher Nolan movies all for themselves. So, a deal has been reached where Warner Bros gives up three things to Paramount Pictures in exchange for full rights to Interstellar. Those three elements are the rights to a second South Park movie (after South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut), the Friday the 13th franchise, and cofinancing of a future A-list Warner Bros property (one presumably not involving Christopher Nolan). The biggest headline here might be the possibility of another South Park movie, but the obvious remaining obstacle is whether Matt Stone and Trey Parker might actually want to make one any time soon. What seems to be their more immediate feature film priority is a movie version of The Book of Mormon.

#7 CAREY MULLIGAN TOP CHOICE TO PLAY THE FUTURE DR. MRS. THE PRESIDENT IN RODHAM

Although no deals have been made yet, Carey Mulligan (The Great Gatsby) is now the top choice to star in Rodham as the young Hillary Rodham Clinton. This news comes just one week after recent news that the wish list included actresses like Scarlett Johansson, Jessica Chastain, Emma Stone, and (the much older) Reese Witherspoon. The drama, to be directed by James Ponsoldt (The Spectacular Now), is set in the 1970s when Hillary Rodham was the youngest member of a committee involved in Richard Nixon’s impeachment, as Rodham struggles with her future (move to Arkansas to be with boyfriend Bill or not?). The screenplay was written by Young Il Kim.

#8 KRISTEN STEWART ESCHEWS HOLLYWOOD FOR INDIE FILMS CAMP X-RAY AND SILS MARIA

So, the Twilight franchise is over (well, at least the first version), and Kristen Stewart probably could get jobs from every studio. This week, we found out that at least for now, Stewart is focusing on two indie dramas as her next projects. In the political drama Camp X-Ray, Stewart will play a young soldier who gets stationed at Guantanamo Bay, where she befriends a young Muslim prisoner (and makes not-such-good-friends with many of the others). The other movie is called Sils Maria, which will star Juliette Binoche in a female-midlife-crisis drama about an older actress obsessed with a much younger actress, to be played by Chloe Moretz. Both of these movies film this summer, and then after that, there’s the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman, which Universal Pictures has scheduled for a release in 2015.

Rotten Idea of the Week

#1 HOLLYWOOD’S ON AN ORIGINAL SCI FI KICK, SURE, BUT ONE OF THEM’S A ROLAND EMMERICH PROJECT

It may not last long, but there’s currently a mini-trend in Hollywood of studios pursuing science fiction projects with original premises, arguably due to the anticipation for movies like Elysium, Gravity and Interstellar. The two big ones this week involve two of the biggest names in “tentpole blockbuster” movies, but at least one of them has so many green splotches on his RT Tomatometer page that this story is therefore a “Rotten” idea. We are speaking, of course, of Roland Emmerich, whose nine directorial efforts include the likes of Godzilla, 10,000 B.C., The Day After Tomorrow… and only two Fresh films. The new movie project Emmerich is attached to is called Emergence, and it’s described as an “alien invasion story containing hot button science elements.” Of course, one of those Fresh movies Emmerich directed was Independence Day, another alien invasion story containing hot button science elements (at the time), namely the wonderful things you can do with an iMac. The other movie this week mentioned above is a feature film version of the short film R’Ha, which will be produced by Lucasfilm veteran Rick McCallum. R’Ha will tell the story of an alien defending a cluster of solar systems from attack by an invading force. Rick McCallum is looking to get R’Ha made in Europe.

For more Weekly Ketchup columns by Greg Dean Schmitz, check out the WK archive, and you can contact GDS via Facebook.