These are the highest-grossing movies of all time

*Takes a long, slow puff from a cigar and blows it in your face*

Listen, kid, if there’s one thing I know about art, it’s that it doesn’t matter unless it makes you completely rich. Art is not about moving people, or “holding up a mirror” to the “human condition” (what high school drama teacher told you that?). The art is to make MONEY. And A LOT OF IT. Action figures you can pay to put your face on? It’s art. This bullshit? Not art because it didn’t make money.

These movies I’m going to tell you about? They had the right idea. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to put cigarette butts in the seats. And those movies? Listen, child, these movies set a lot cigarette butts in a lot of seats. You have never seen so many butts. Nobody did. That’s almost too many butts. But all these butts bought tickets so they wouldn’t get kicked out of bed for eating crackers, you know what I mean?

We’ll only talk about the 5 highest-grossing movies of all time, so Top Gun: Maverick does not count. Yeah, I know it just passed avengers as the ninth highest-grossing film of all time. Well, I just had a kidney stone the size of a golf ball. Big phew.

5. Avengers: Endgame

Avengers' Tony Stark with the Infinity Stones
Image credit: Marvel Studios

What were you waiting for? Effing casablanca? You couldn’t pay me to wipe my ass with it casablanca. No, THIS movie. THIS movie here made me and the guys a lot of money. Want to know how much? Make a wild guess. A hundred million dollars? How about two? Not even close. This movie made 2.8 billion dollars. It’s “billion” with a “b”, but you probably can’t even count that high, can you? Don’t be too hard on yourself, kid. Nobody can. That’s the point. You know you made great art when the critics can’t even count how much money you made.

4. Star Wars

carrie fisher as princess leia in star wars
Via Disney/Lucasfilm, art by Jason Palmer

Okay, caveat here. We adjust for inflation on this list. You know, inflation? The thing that makes me richer and you poorer? Exactly, that’s what I’m talking about. When this space opera for virgins came out in 1977, I didn’t think we would earn a penny. I mean come on? Strength? Lightsabers? Do people turn out to be other people’s fathers all the time? I thought “Nuh-uh. Definitely not. Bad investment. But man I was wrong. Like this little funny-talking green guy (Yogi or whatever) says: this movie made me money, it did. I don’t know if he really said that, I didn’t watch the movie myself, I was too busy looking at my bank account, you know what I mean? Anyway, wanna know how much this movie made? Adjusted for inflation, this movie would have made $3.05 billion today. It’s like more stars than there are in the fucking sky. More light years than there are in the universe or whatever. I don’t know, science is for the poor.


leonardo dicaprio, kate winslet
image credit: Paramount Pictures

And what titanic hit it was. He had young Leo to shout out loud. This kid might seduce the habit of a religious. When they go there in that car, my God, the temperature in the theater has gone up 10 degrees. I was there that night, especially for the end of the film. I like watching bullshit happen to people who can’t afford to buy stuff. Sue me. Oh wait, you can not! My lawyers would destroy you faster than an iceberg hitting an unsinkable ship. Which, in the film, admittedly, takes quite a long time. This movie made so much money it would have sunk the Titanic without an iceberg. Want to know how much? Well, after adjusting for inflation, that movie made $3.09 billion. You pile it on the boat, it sinks to the bottom of the sea. Throw all the necklaces you want, old Rose. I prefer cold, ringing silver.


james cameron
Photo credit: 20th Century Fox

Good old James Cameron. I never would have guessed he had that in him. A billion dollar movie is one thing but of them? Oh Jimmy, you never let us down! And you didn’t even have to do anything original to do it! All you had to do was take the plot from that Disney trash, Pocahontas, slather on all the CGI the studio could afford, and BAM! BOX OFFICE SUCCESS. I can’t, hang on, hang on, I’m laughing so hard I’m crying in my champagne! Want to know how much we won? All right, so get this, without inflation, it’s the highest-grossing movie of all time. With inflation, we earned $3.27 billion. What a cry, right? And guess what? There’s going to be a after. We are aiming for 6 billion this time! I laughed thinking of a title. What would you say Avatar 2: Give us your money. Very good joke, right? And the punchline is: they will!

carried away by the wind

carried away by the wind
Image credit: MGM

Listen, I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know if this movie is actually good, I haven’t seen it (it looked boring) but apparently it’s one of the “greatest movies of all the time”, and also really racist and incredibly problematic (wow, that sounds familiar, it’s like they were listening to my last conversation with HR! Hah!). This movie never seemed to be my thing, but hey, to each his own right? And I own a lot. In fact, my grandfather was an investor in film, which launched me into this profession. Not that he ever helped me. No, he believed in hard work, and by God, I put in the work. I rose through the ranks on my own, in a business he owned, with only a small multi-million dollar loan, a modest townhouse in Manhattan, and a generous allowance. It’s like, kids these days, they don’t even understand what a self-made man is, you know? No work ethic at all.

Anyway, wanna know how much this movie made? You really want to know ? Okay, with inflation, this movie made $3.72 billion. Everyone and their mother must have seen this movie three times. I don’t know how they could stand it, it’s like seven o’clock, isn’t it? There is a fucking intermission to weep bitterly. No matter. He made money. Put him in the hall of fame.

Now get the hell out. I have more art to do. I hear someone has an idea for a new one Hangover Film that intersects with The Smurfs. How will this work? Shit, if I know, but it sounds like gold! Always this Smurfette has been a hot little number.

(Feature image credit: 20th Century Fox/Nickelodeon)

—The Mary Sue has a strict commenting policy that prohibits, but is not limited to, personal insults towards somebodyhate speech and trolling.—

Do you have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Comments are closed.