When it comes to big franchises, Marvel, Star Wars, and Harry Potter come immediately to mind.
But are they actually the highest-grossing franchises that have captivated audiences all over the world?
We’ve broken down the data to give you these facts and figures on the ultimate benchmarks in the entertainment industry.
Highest Grossing Franchises Facts & Statistics
- Jurassic Park smashed box office records and claimed the historic title of being the first movie ever to surpass the billion-dollar mark in revenue in 1993.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe is the most successful film franchise in history and has earned over $28.5 billion at the box office.
- Released in 2015, Minions became the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film and earned over $1.15 billion at the box office. It was overthrown by The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023, which earned over $1.34 billion worldwide. Both movies are under Illumination Studios.
- Frozen II remains the highest-grossing animated film of all time and has earned over $1.45 billion at the box office. 
- The Despicable Me franchise is the most successful animated film franchise of all time and has grossed over $4.4 billion worldwide.
- Star Wars is the most successful non-superhero movie franchise today and the industry's second-most valuable film franchise.
- The Conjuring Universe is the highest-grossing horror movie franchise, making over $2.13 billion at the box office. This includes spinoffs like Annabelle and The Nun.
- The 2009 film Avatar is the highest-grossing sci-fi film ever, making over $2.92 billion at the box office. It is said that James Cameron, director of the film, had the vision for the movie as early as the 90s but had to wait for the right technology to bring his idea to fruition.
- Call of Duty currently holds the title for the highest-grossing video game franchise and has made over $30 billion in revenue as of today.
- Released in the 90s for the Game Boy console, Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow ranks 7th among the top-selling video games of all time, with 47,520,000 copies sold.
Top 15 Facts About The Highest-Grossing Franchises
1. The Marvel Cinematic Universe holds the record for the highest worldwide earnings of any film franchise, with $28.56 billion.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is a hugely successful film franchise with the record for the highest worldwide earnings ever, making an incredible $28.56 billion. 
One of the biggest hits in the MCU was "Avengers: Endgame," a movie that broke box office records and became the most successful blockbuster of all time.
People loved the emotional rollercoaster it took them on and how it was brave enough to kill off a few major characters.
The actors in the MCU have also become massive stars.
For example, Robert Downey Jr. became an iconic figure after playing Tony Stark/Iron Man, and Chris Hemsworth and Chris Evans became famous for their portrayals of Thor and Captain America.
Check out Toynk’s collection of Marvel merch here.
Top 10 Highest-Grossing Film Franchises
|Film Franchise||Revenue As of 2023||Rank|
|Marvel Cinematic Universe||$29.61B||1|
|Wizarding World (Harry Potter)||$9.66B||4|
|Fast and Furious||$7.33B||7|
2. Pokémon has generated an astounding $100 billion in revenue, making it the most valuable media franchise.
You may have heard of Pokémon, the famous world of cute pocket monsters. However, did you know that it has made a jaw-dropping $100 billion in revenue, making it one of the most valuable franchises ever? 
One of the biggest successes for Pokémon was the release of "Pokémon GO" in 2016. This awesome mobile game took the world by storm and became the franchise's biggest hit ever. 
What's truly unique about Pokémon is how it brings people together, whether that’s through trading card tournaments or conventions. It also teaches valuable lessons, like friendship, compassion, and how to see the world through a kid's eyes again.
Check out cool Pokemon merch here, courtesy of the Toynk store.
3. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, including the Multiverse Saga films, is the top-grossing movie franchise across 32 films.
The Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) is the biggest movie franchise with 32 films.
The biggest movie by far is “Avengers: Endgame,” which broke all kinds of box office records.
It is the fastest movie to reach $1 billion at the box office , set a new record for the highest-grossing domestic opening weekend in the United States and Canada , and achieved the highest opening weekend earnings in IMAX theaters. 
The MCU started with “Iron Man” in 2008 and has expanded to introduce more characters and stories. The cool part about it is, the universe is interconnected, and it’s always interesting for fans to theorize how one story fits into the other.
Read our Marvel and DC comparison here.
4. Avatar remains the highest-grossing movie ever, earning $2.92 billion and surpassing the success of films like Titanic and The World Awakens.
Before “Avengers: Endgame” came along, James Cameron’s “Avatar” was the highest-grossing movie of all time, even surpassing the numbers of Titanic and The World Awakens.
It made a whopping $2.92 billion at the box office. 
What made Avatar so special was its use of 3D technology. James Cameron's genius idea and technical skills made the movie an immersive experience and set a new standard for big-screen adventures.
However, did you know that James Cameron had the idea for “Avatar” 20 years before its release? He had a vision for the movie in the 90s but had to wait for technology to catch up. 
5. Star Wars stands as the most successful non-superhero franchise, spanning trilogies, anthology films, and an animated outlier.
Star Wars shines as the most successful non-superhero saga and has captivated audiences for years with its awesome space battles, fantastic characters, and incredible stories.
Aside from the main movies, films like "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story" and "Solo: A Star Wars Story” were also super popular because they told the never-before-seen stories within the galaxy.
Transform your space to reflect more of your love for the Star Wars franchise by checking out our Star Wars collection.
6. The original X-Men film's success led to a 13-film franchise featuring spinoffs like Deadpool and Wolverine.
The X-Men series has become one of the most loved superhero franchises, with 13 films under its belt.
Two of the biggest hits in the X-men franchise were the spinoff movies “Logan” and “Deadpool.” In fact, “Logan,” directed by James Mangold, was so good that it was the first superhero film to be nominated for an Academy Award.
Check out our collection of all DC-related merch and other goodies here.
7. Star Wars ranks as the second-most valuable film franchise, with a staggering $10.3 billion (£8.2bn) in worldwide earnings from the main trilogies and spinoff movies.
Star Wars is the second highest-grossing film franchise, making $10.3 billion at the box office. This massive amount comes from the main trilogies and cool spinoff movies that have expanded the amazing galaxy far, far away. 
One of their biggest hits was “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens,” which became the highest-grossing film worldwide in 2015.
People were so excited to see the saga back on the big screen after a long break, as its prequel, “Return of the Jedi,” was released over three decades ago in 1983.
Check out our Star Wars and Marvel comparison here.
8. Jurassic Park, released in 1993, broke box office records and became the first film to earn over a billion dollars.
When Jurassic Park hit theaters in 1993, it wowed everyone and made history as the first film to earn over a billion dollars.
The movie was heralded by Steven Spielberg, who amazed the audience with life-like dinosaurs created using never-before-seen visual effects. It earned an Oscar for Best Visual Effects.
Jurassic Park’s success paved the way for more movies like “The Lost World: Jurassic Park," "Jurassic Park III," and the newer "Jurassic World" series.
We have some of the best Jurrasic Park collection-worthy merchandise for you to check out.
9. Minions broke records as the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film, amassing $1.16 billion worldwide.
The Minions first appeared in “Despicable Me” as Gru’s uber-cute henchmen.
However, when their own movie was finally released in 2015, it became the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film, earning $1.16 billion worldwide. 
Besides the big screen, the Minions took over our lives with their cute looks and quirky language. You can find these little yellow guys on toys, clothes, and other merchandise!
If you’d like to own your very own Minion plush (among other things), check out our collection.
10. The Despicable Me franchise holds the title of the most successful animated film franchise in history.
Despicable Me is the ultimate winner for history's most successful animated film franchise.
The story revolves around Gru, a supervillain who becomes a loving father and discovers the power of love and family through his adopted daughters: Margo, Edith, and Agnes.
All the Despicable Me movies combined have made an incredible $3.7 billion worldwide, and the second and third movies broke records and were the highest-grossing animated films of their years, respectively. 
11. The Conjuring franchise, encompassing movies like Annabelle, The Nun, and The Curse of La Llorona, is the highest-grossing franchise in horror history.
The Conjuring franchise is the highest-grossing horror movie franchise, making over $2.13 billion worldwide. 
The titular movie was popular due to it being based on the real-life story of Ed and Lorraine Warren, a pair of paranormal investigators and authors, and their supernatural experiences.
If you’d like to get spooked Conjuring-style in real life, the popularity of the horror franchise has garnered it a themed attraction at the Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights.
You may also want to read everything about the Child's Play franchise here.
Top 5 Highest-Grossing Horror Film Franchises
|Horror Film Franchise||Revenue As of 2023||Rank|
12. The Super Mario Bros. Movie, released in 2023, set a new record as the highest-grossing action movie, earning $570,163,000 with 54,561,052 tickets sold.
Illumination Studios, also behind the Despicable Me franchise, released The Super Mario Bros. Movie in 2023. This movie has snatched the title of the highest-grossing non-Disney animated film of all time, bumping down Minions.
It earned $570,163,000, with 54,561,052 tickets sold domestically and $1.34 billion worldwide. 
The Super Mario Bros. Movie starred big names, such as Chris Pratt as Mario, Charlie Day as Luigi, Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach, and Jack Black as Bowser.
13. The 2009 film Avatar is the highest-grossing sci-fi film of all time
The 2009 film Avatar is the highest-grossing sci-fi film since its release and has made over $2.9 billion at the box office worldwide. 
It is also one of the few films to be re-released in theaters in a 4K remastered version.
According to James Cameron, director of the movie, the movie is intended to be seen this way, and if you’ve never seen the movie in 3D in 4k resolution, it’s akin to you never having seen it at all.
14. Call of Duty currently holds the title of the highest-grossing video game franchise, generating $30 billion in revenue as of 2023.
Call of Duty takes the top spot as the highest-grossing franchise in video games.
Since its beginning in 2003, this action-packed series has won gamers' hearts everywhere and earned an incredible $30 billion in revenue.
What makes Call of Duty so special is how players can dive into different war scenarios, whether that’s past battles or futuristic warfare. It’s also available on many platforms, such as video game consoles, PCs, and mobile devices.
Check out Toynk’s collection of Call of Duty merch here.
Top 10 Highest-Grossing Video Game Franchises
|Film Franchise||Revenue As of 2023||Rank|
|Call of Duty||$30B||1|
|Dungeon Fighter Online||$18B||5|
15. Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow ranks seventh among the top-selling video games, with 47,520,000 copies sold, despite most of the franchise's revenue coming from merchandising.
The classic Pokémon Red/Green/Blue/Yellow RPGs, developed by Game Freak and published by Nintendo for the Game Boy console, were a smash hit in the 1990s.
They are among the top-selling video games ever and sold a whopping 47,520,000 copies worldwide.
What is the highest-grossing Disney franchise?
The highest-grossing Disney franchise is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
According to Forbes, the franchise is now worth an estimated $53 billion, about 16 percent of Disney’s market value.
Which franchise has the most fans in the world?
It is difficult to pinpoint precisely which franchise has the most fans worldwide, as fan bases can be extremely diverse.
However, the biggest franchises with some of the most dedicated and passionate fans include Harry Potter, Star Wars, Pokemon, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
But do you know what's the best Scream movie?
What’s the Star Wars franchise’s net worth?
The Star Wars franchise is said to be worth $70 billion and is the fifth highest-grossing franchise today.
It’s difficult to imagine how much money our favorite franchises are making when we’re talking about billions, which just shows how passionate fans are about their favorites.
The highest-grossing film franchise as of today is still the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which started with Iron Man in 2008.
The latest Marvel film as of posting is Guardians of the Galaxy 3, released in May 2023. Today, Disney owns the MCU.
On the other hand, Star Wars is the most successful non-superhero movie franchise, making over $10 billion at the box office. Disney also owns it.
Today's highest-grossing non-Disney animated film is The Super Mario Bros. Movie by Illumination Studios, released in 2023. Before that it was Minions, also by Illumination Studios.
Toynk carries cool merchandise from all your favorite fandoms.