Estimated Profits of 50 Films from the Past Decade

Written by Carly Hallman

What are the highest-grossing films of the past decade, and how do they compare to Oscar winners and critical darlings? We’ve found the top three highest box office successes of the past ten years and broken them down by production budget, domestic gross, worldwide gross, and the estimated profit of each. See the astonishing difference in profit between beloved summer blockbusters, Oscar winners, and what critics on Metacritic claim are the best movies of the decade! The movies that made the most profit in the past decade include Avatar in 2009, with an astonishing $2.5 billion in estimated profit, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which made $1.7 billion in 2015. Blockbuster movies are some of the highest-profit movies, with Oscar winners for best picture and the most critically acclaimed films of each year often making a fraction of their earnings. See the worldwide box office numbers of the most profitable movies of each year from 2006 to 2016 and see for yourself: From Harry Potter to Marvel to tiny productions like A Separation, a retrospective of the past ten years of film is interesting once you view it through a monetary lens.

Estimated Highest Profit 50 films past decade

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Estimated Profits of 50 Films from the Past Decade

Comparing the Dollars Earned by Award-Winning Movies and Blockbusters

Year Type Film Worldwide Gross Domestic Gross Production Budget Estimated Profit
2006 Highest Grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest $1,066,178,725 $423,315,812 (39.7%) $225,000,000 $841,178,725
2nd Highest Grossing The Da Vinci Code $758,239,851 $217,536,138 (28.7%) $125,000,000 $633,239,851
3rd Highest Grossing Ice Age: The Meltdown $660,940,780 $195,330,621 (29.6%) $80,000,000 $580,940,780
Oscar Best Picture Winner Crash $98,410,061 $54,580,300 (55.5%) $6,500,000 $91,910,061
Highest Metacritic Score Pan’s Labyrinth [Metacritic Score: 98] $83,258,226 $37,634,615 (45.2%) $19,000,000 $64,258,226
2007 Highest Grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End $963,420,425 $309,420,425 (32.1%) $300,000,000 $663,420,425
2nd Highest Grossing Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix $939,885,929 $292,004,738 (31.1%) $200,000,000 $739,885,929
3rd Highest Grossing Spider-Man 3 $890,871,626 $336,530,303 (37.8%) $270,000,000 $620,871,626
Oscar Best Picture Winner The Departed $289,847,354 $132,384,315 (45.7%) $90,000,000 $199,847,354
Highest Metacritic Score Ratatouille [Metacritic Score: 96] $620,702,951 $206,445,654 (33.3%) $150,000,000 $470,702,951
2008 Highest Grossing The Dark Knight $1,004,558,444 $534,858,444 $185,000,000 $819,558,444
2nd Highest Grossing Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull $786,636,033 $317,101,119 (40.3%) $185,000,000 $601,636,033
3rd Highest Grossing Kung Fu Panda $631,744,560 $215,434,591 (34.1%) $130,000,000 $501,744,560
Oscar Best Picture Winner No Country for Old Men $171,627,166 $74,283,625 (43.3%) $25,000,000 $146,627,166
Highest Metacritic Score 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [Metacritic Score: 97] $9,800,000 $1,198,208 (12.2%) $700,000 $9,100,000
2009 Highest Grossing Avatar $2,787,965,087 $760,507,625 (27.3%) $237,000,000 $2,550,965,087
2nd Highest Grossing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince $934,416,487 $301,959,197 (32.3%) $250,000,000 $684,416,487
3rd Highest Grossing Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs $886,686,817 $196,573,705 (22.2%) $90,000,000 $796,686,817
Oscar Best Picture Winner Slumdog Millionaire $377,910,544 $141,319,928 (37.4%) $15,000,000 $362,910,544
Highest Metacritic Score The Hurt Locker [Metacritic Score: 94] $49,230,772 $17,017,811 (34.6%) $15,000,000 $34,230,772
2010 Highest Grossing Toy Story 3 $1,066,969,703 $415,004,880 (38.9%) $200,000,000 $866,969,703
2nd Highest Grossing Alice in Wonderland $1,025,467,110 $334,191,110 (32.6%) $200,000,000 $825,467,110
3rd Highest Grossing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 $960,983,305 $295,983,305 (30.8%) $125,000,000* *250,000,000 budget shared with Part 2 $835,983,305
Oscar Best Picture Winner The Hurt Locker $49,230,772 $17,017,811 (34.6%) $15,000,000 $34,230,772
Highest Metacritic Score The Social Network [Metacritic Score: 95] $224,920,315 $96,962,694 (43.1%) $40,000,000 $184,920,315
2011 Highest Grossing Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 $1,341,511,219 $381,011,219 (28.4%) $125,000,000* *250,000,000 budget shared with Part 2 $1,216,511,219
2nd Highest Grossing Transformers: Dark of the Moon $1,123,794,079 $352,390,543 (31.4%) $195,000,000 $928,794,079
3rd Highest Grossing Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides $1,045,713,802 $241,071,802 (23.1%) $410,600,000 $635,113,802
Oscar Best Picture Winner The King’s Speech $414,211,549 $138,797,449 (33.5%) $15,000,000 $399,211,549
Highest Metacritic Score A Separation [Metacritic Score: 95] $19,899,055 $7,099,055 (35.7%) $500,000 $19,399,055
2012 Highest Grossing Marvel’s the Avengers $1,518,812,988 $623,357,910 (41.0%) $220,000,000 $1,298,812,988
2nd Highest Grossing Skyfall $1,108,561,013 $304,360,277 (27.5%) $200,000,000 $908,561,013
3rd Highest Grossing The Dark Knight Rises $1,084,939,099 $448,139,099 (41.3%) $300,000,000 $784,939,099
Oscar Best Picture Winner The Artist $133,432,856 $44,671,682 (33.5%) $15,000,000 $118,432,856
Highest Metacritic Score Zero Dark Thirty [Metacritic Score: 95] $132,820,716 $95,720,716 (72.1%) $40,000,000 $92,820,716
2013 Highest Grossing Frozen $1,276,480,335 $400,738,009 (31.4%) $150,000,000 $1,126,480,335
2nd Highest Grossing Iron Man 3 $1,214,811,252 $409,013,994 (33.7%) $200,000,000 $1,014,811,252
3rd Highest Grossing Despicable Me 2 $970,761,885 $368,061,265 (37.9%) $76,000,000 $894,761,885
Oscar Best Picture Winner Argo $232,325,503 $136,025,503 (58.5%) $44,500,000 $187,825,503
Highest Metacritic Score 12 Years a Slave [Metacritic Score: 96] $187,733,202 $56,671,993 (30.2%) $20,000,000 $167,733,202
2014 Highest Grossing Transformers: Age of Extinction $1,104,054,072 $245,439,076 (22.2%) $210,000,000 $894,054,072
2nd Highest Grossing The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies $956,019,788 $255,119,788 (26.7) $250,000,000* *$745,000,000 budget shared for trilogy $706,019,788
3rd Highest Grossing Guardians of the Galaxy $773,328,629 $333,176,600 (43.1%) $232,000,000 $541,328,629
Oscar Best Picture Winner 12 Years a Slave $187,733,202 $56,671,993 (30.2%) $20,000,000 $167,733,202
Highest Metacritic Score Boyhood [Metacritic Score: 100] $44,495,281 $25,352,281 (57.0%) $4,000,000 $40,495,281
2015 Highest Grossing Star Wars: The Force Awakens $2,068,223,624 $936,662,225 (45.3%) $306,000,000 $1,762,223,624
2nd Highest Grossing Jurassic World $1,671,713,208 $652,270,625 (39.0%) $152,000,000 $1,519,713,208
3rd Highest Grossing Furious 7 $1,516,045,911 $353,007,020 (23.3%) $190,000,000 $1,326,045,911
Oscar Best Picture Winner Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) $103,215,094 $42,340,598 (41.0%) $18,000,000 $85,215,094
Highest Metacritic Score Carol [Metacritic Score: 95] $40,272,135 $12,711,491 (31.6%) $11,800,000 $28,472,135
2016 Highest Grossing Captain America: Civil War $1,153,304,495 $408,084,349 (35.4%) $250,000,000 $903,304,495
2nd Highest Grossing Rogue One: A Star Wars Story $1,056,057,273 $532,177,324 (50.4%) $200,000,000 $856,057,273
3rd Highest Grossing Finding Dory $1,028,570,889 $486,295,561 $200,000,000 $828,570,889
Oscar Best Picture Winner Spotlight $88,346,473 $45,055,776 (51.0%) $20,000,000 $68,346,473
Highest Metacritic Score Moonlight [Metacritic Score: 99] *Also Oscar Best Picture for 2017 $65,046,687 $27,854,932 (42.8%) $1,500,000 $63,546,687

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