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HIghest Grossing Films by Genre

Guess the films with the highest worldwide box office for each given genre or sub-genre.
Grosses are in millions of US dollars.
According to BoxOfficeMojo.
Not adjusted for inflation.
Unless otherwise specified, English-language, live-action films.
Quiz by kalbahamut
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Last updated: August 10, 2021
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First submittedMarch 21, 2015
Times taken2,006
Average score27.5%
Rating4.26
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Genre
Year
Gross
Answer
Drama
2009
2847
Avatar
/Epic
2009
2847
Avatar
/Biopic
2018
912
Bohemian Rhapsody
/Sexual/Erotic
2015
570
Fifty Shades of Grey
/High School/Teen
2014
307
The Fault in Our Stars
/Original Musical
2016
449
La La Land
/Animated
2019
1668
The Lion King (2019)
/Historical
1997
2202
Titanic
//Sword & Sandal
2004
497
Troy
//Biblical/Religious
2004
612
The Passion of the Christ
//Samurai
2003
455
The Last Samurai
 
 
 
 
Fantasy
2019
2798
Avengers: Endgame
/Sword & Sorcery
2003
1146
The Return of the King
/"Space Opera"
2015
2070
The Force Awakens
/Adventure
2006
1066
Dead Man's Chest
/Animated
2019
1450
Frozen II
 
 
 
 
Adventure
2006
1066
Dead Man's Chest
/Swashbuckler
2006
1066
Dead Man's Chest
/Road Movie
2007
254
Wild Hogs
/Animated
2011
374
The Adventures of Tin Tin
 
 
 
 
Science Fiction
2009
2847
Avatar
/High Concept
2010
837
Inception
/Time Travel
1991
520
T2: Judgment Day
/Dystopian Future
2015
297
Insurgent
/Post-Apocalyptic
2013
865
Catching Fire
/Robot Apocalypse
2003
742
The Matrix Reloaded
/Aliens
2009
2847
Avatar
/Alien Invasion
1996
817
Independence Day
/Space Exploration
2014
701
Interstellar
/Monster
2015
1671
Jurassic World
/Animated
2014
658
Big Hero 6
 
 
 
 
Sci-Fi/Horror
1993
1034
Jurassic Park
 
 
 
 
Horror
1993
1034
Jurassic Park
/Thriller
1999
673
The Sixth Sense
/Torture Porn
2006
165
Saw III
/Monster
1993
1034
Jurassic Park
/Slasher
2018
256
Halloween
/Teen
1996
173
Scream
/Satanic
1973
441
The Exorcist
/Zombie
2007
585
I Am Legend
/Supernatural
2017
702
It
 
 
 
 
Vampire Horror
2007
76
30 Days of Night
 
 
 
 
Vampire
2012
830
Breaking Dawn Part 2
/Period/Traditional
1994
224
Interview With the Vampire
/Comedy (animated)
2018
529
Hotel Transylvania 3
/Romance?
2012
830
Breaking Dawn Part 2
 
 
 
 
Vampire Action
2004
300
Van Helsing
 
 
 
 
Action
2015
1515
Furious 7
/Blockbuster
2015
1515
Furious 7
/Shoot 'em Up
2020
426
Bad Boys for Life
/Spy
2012
1109
Skyfall
/Car Chase
2015
1515
Furious 7
/Buddy Cop
2020
426
Bad Boys for Life
/Kung Fu
2003
742
The Matrix Reloaded
//Traditional
1973
350?
Enter the Dragon
//Wire-Fu
2003
742
The Matrix Reloaded
//Foreign Language
2000
214
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
//Animated
2011
666
Kung Fu Panda 2
 
 
 
 
Disaster
1997
2202
Titanic
 
 
 
 
Crime
2001
451
Ocean's Eleven
/Caper
2001
451
Ocean's Eleven
/Mafia
2006
290
The Departed
/Serial Killer
2001
352
Hannibal
/Film Noir
2005
159
Sin City
/Courtroom/Legal
1992
243
A Few Good Men
/Whodunnit
2014
369
Gone Girl
/Femme Fatale
1992
353
Basic Instinct
/Financial
2013
392
The Wolf of Wall Street
/Narco
2007
270
American Gangster
/Animated
2016
1024
Zootopia
 
 
 
 
Suspense/Mystery
2006
758
The DaVinci Code
Genre
Year
Gross
Answer
Adaptation
2019
2798
Avengers: Endgame
/Adult Fiction
1993
1034
Jurassic Park
/Children's Fiction
2011
1342
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
/Film Remake
2019
1668
The Lion King (2019)
/Musical (comedy)
2008
611
Mamma Mia!
/Musical (drama)
2012
442
Les Miserables
/Stage Play
1992
243
A Few Good Men
/Video Game
2016
439
Warcraft
/Fan-Fiction
2015
548
Fifty Shades of Grey
/Cartoon
2011
1124
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
/TV Show (live action)
2018
792
Mission Impossible - Fallout
/Board Game
2012
303
Battleship
/Toy
2011
1124
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
/Fairy Tale (animated)
2013
1282
Frozen
/Anime
2019
405
Alita: Battle Angel
/Theme Park Ride
2006
1066
Dead Man's Chest
/Comic Book
2019
2798
Avengers: Endgame
//Superhero
2019
2798
Avengers: Endgame
//Non-Superhero
2012
624
MIB 3
//Graphic Novel
2007
456
300
//Manga
2014
371
Edge of Tomorrow
//Animated
2014
658
Big Hero 6
 
 
 
 
War
2017
527
Dunkirk
/Iraq
2014
518
American Sniper
/World War 1
2019
385
1917
/World War 2
2017
527
Dunkirk
/Vietnam
1986
139
Platoon
/Civil War
1939
402
Gone With the Wind
 
 
 
 
"Found Footage"
1999
249
The Blair Witch Project
 
 
 
 
Western
2012
426
Django Unchained
/Spaghetti
1967
25
The Good The Bad and The Ugly
 
 
 
 
Comedy
2017
962
Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
/Slapstick
1990
477
Home Alone
/Parody
1999
312
The Spy Who Shagged Me
/Teen Sex
2001
288
American Pie 2
/Christmas
2000
345
How The Grinch Stole Christmas
/Christmas (Animated)
2018
512
The Grinch
/Gross-Out
2011
587
The Hangover Part II
/Cross-Dressing
1993
441
Mrs. Doubtfire
/Original Musical
2018
350
Mary Poppins Returns
/Animated
2015
1159
Minions
 
 
 
 
Romantic Comedy
1990
463
Pretty Woman
 
 
 
 
Romance
1997
2202
Titanic
/Period
1997
2202
Titanic
/Musical
2017
1264
Beauty & the Beast (2017)
/Animated
2013
1274
Frozen
 
 
 
 
Sports
2009
309
The Blind Side
/Baseball
1992
132
A League of Their Own
/Basketball
1996
230
Space Jam
/Football
2009
309
The Blind Side
/Soccer
2003
77
Bend It Like Beckham
/Rugby
2009
122
Invictus
/Horse Racing
2003
148
Seabiscuit
/Boxing
1985
300
Rocky IV
/Olympics
1993
155
Cool Runnings
/Ice Hockey
2004
64
Miracle
/Golf
1996
54
Tin Cup
/Motor Racing
2019
226
Ford v Ferrari
//NASCAR
2006
163
Talladega Nights
//Formula 1
2013
97
Rush
//Animated
2011
560
Cars 2
 
 
 
 
Silent Film
2011
133
The Artist
 
 
 
 
Foreign Language
2017
870
Wolf Warrior 2
/French
2011
427
The Intouchables
/Chinese
2017
870
Wolf Warrior 2
/Hindi
2016
304
Dangal
/Korean
2019
259
Parasite
/Animated
2019
726
Ne Zha
//Japanese Anime
2020
453
Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
 
 
 
 
Documentary
2009
261
This Is It
/Nature
2005
127
March of the Penguins
Mockumentary
2006
263
Borat
 
 
 
 
By Rating
Rated G
1994
1084
The Lion King
Rated PG
2019
1668
The Lion King (2019)
Rated PG-13
2009
2847
Avatar
Rated R
2019
1074
Joker
Rated NC-17
1995
20
Showgirls
Pornographic
1972
50?
Deep Throat
36 Comments
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
So after five years I finally got around to updating this. Geez that was tedious. Mostly because I don't trust Box Office Mojo's assessment of genre.

Genre can be a pretty subjective thing. Most films exist in multiple genres simultaneously, and there will be arguments over which films belong in which genres as film genres are dynamic and amorphous.

I used my own well-informed, but subjective, opinions to classify all of these movies. And I made some subjective decisions about what to put where. For example, I decided that in the case of most comic book movies, which have increasingly come to dominate international box office, the genre of "comic book movie" pretty much always subsumes all others - so even though AntMan could theoretically be considered a heist movie, and Endgame a caper, and some could be horror, and most are action comedies, I'm filing the majority just under comic book.

There is one objective truth of genre: Star Wars is not Sci-Fi.

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
With the latest update I made the decision to, for most categories, disqualify both animated and foreign language films from consideration.

Animation because, while animated movies often do huge box office, most people don't think of "Cars" when they're thinking of "sports movies" - sort of the same way that comic book movies are subsumed by that label I feel animated films are usually subsumed by the fact that they are animated.

And foreign language because, even though it makes very little difference currently in any of the rankings ("Hi, Mom" could technically be counted as the top-grossing time travel movie ever made, and there's some film by Ang Lee that is now the highest grossing NC-17 movie of all time), with the explosion of the Chinese market the last few years, it seems all but inevitable that, fairly soon, the Chinese market will be more important than the American one. And I just don't know enough about Chinese movies to keep this up to date including them.

+2
Level 82
Mar 21, 2015
This took a considerable amount of research. It's possible I made mistakes. If you see any please point them out. Spirited discussion of what exactly defines a genre is also welcome, just know that in the case of a disagreement with the quiz maker you are wrong.
+1
Level 82
Mar 22, 2015
I keep fiddling with the design/format of this. I think it's pretty good now. Though I wish there was an easy way to do the categories where it was more clear and attractive when giving genres and sub-genres. There's probably some way to do the html coding for make the text left-aligned and right-aligned for example rather than all centered.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
and now though I know QM and Stewart? have made huge upgrades to the quiz editor and it's probably much easier to make this quiz much prettier at this point in time... I'm too lazy/disinterested to take the time to learn how and implement these features. Hope it's not too ugly.
+1
Level 78
Mar 22, 2015
Excellent quiz! One minor correction: You have "Cars" as a 2005 movie in the Sports category, it should be 2006, just like in the NASCAR line.
+1
Level 82
Mar 22, 2015
Thanks!
+1
Level 40
Jun 17, 2015
You accept "Star Wars" for the phantom menace, so I think you should accept "lord of the rings" or even "lotr" for "the return of the king"

(I actually only tried lotr, so I don't know if you accept the whole title)

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
I finally added "LOTR" as a type-in. "Lord of the Rings" should already have been accepted.
+1
Level 60
Sep 28, 2015
there were so many I missed, I even knew Wild Hogs, but how is Jurassic Park a horror film, even when it came out.
+1
Level 82
Sep 29, 2015
JP in concept and execution is pretty classic SciFi/Horror monster movie. Some mad scientist- or in this case well-meaning but a bit obsessed wealthy person with a team of scientists- decides to toy with nature or play God to create something. The inevitable result: scary things that smash, terrorize, and kill people. Think of Frankenstein.
+1
Level 82
Sep 29, 2015
Also, while I never personally found the film scary, I never find any film scary, and I know plenty of people who *did* think it was scary and I remember quite a few jumps and gasps in the movie theater watching it the first time.
+1
Level 55
Jan 19, 2017
I think that Deadpool is now the highest grossing R-rated movie
+1
Level 82
Jan 20, 2017
Yes. This is badly in need of an update. But it takes a lot of research unlike some other quizzes. And I've had a lot on my plate lately. I even started doing the research once about 2 months ago and got about halfway through before I got distracted.
+1
Level 82
Aug 13, 2021
Finally did the update... but Joker has now surpassed Deadpool in the R-rated film category.
+1
Level 79
Jan 21, 2017
Love the quiz, but sad to not see hockey listed under sports. Miracle's $64 million tops Tin Cup's $53 million, according to your source.
+1
Level 82
Jan 23, 2017
That's definitely worth looking in to and I will whenever I get around to updating this. Thanks for pointing it out!
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
Gah! I went through the whole update and forgot to do this! But.. just went in and added it. Done! Pretty silly because I just watched that movie again last night while I was working on researching this update.
+1
Level 62
Nov 13, 2017
This quiz is awesome! As others have pointed out it could stand to be updated but otherwise, it's fantastic. I'm totally bewildered at some of the movies that made the cut though. (Wild Hogs of all things??)
+1
Level 82
Nov 14, 2017
I started doing the research to update it once, got half way through and got distracted. I'd like to keep this up-to-date but it's a bit more maintenance-intensive than any of my other quizzes. Glad you enjoyed it, though.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
If not for my commitment to keeping the genres relatively "pure"... there are some movies that could be counted as "road movies" that grossed a lot more than Wild Hogs. Finding Nemo, for instance... basically follows the structure of a road movie. Though there are no roads in it.
+1
Level 73
May 18, 2020
Hey this quiz was great. I really wish you could update it though.
+1
Level 82
Aug 13, 2021
Thanks! Finally got around to it...
+1
Level 55
Feb 3, 2021
Great! Although an update is really needed tbh.
+1
Level 82
Feb 3, 2021
Thanks! and, yes, I know. Maybe I will get around to it sometime this year.
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
August 2021:

There were many films eclipsed by their own sequels. The Avengers were overtaken by Endgame. Insurgent trumped Divergent. Jurassic Park was passed up by Jurassic World (though JP remains the top fiction adaptation and top sci-fi horror film; the sequels pretty well abandoned the horror genre). Hotel Transylvania was replaced by Hotel Transylvania 3.

Some other updates:

Bohemian Rhapsody replaced American Sniper as the top Biopic.

Furious 7 took the title of top Action Blockbuster from Dark of the Moon and top car chase movie from one of its own predecessors.

Bad Boys for Life topped Live Free or Die Hard as the top Shoot 'em Up and Lethal Weapon 3 as the top buddy cop movie.

The Lion King remake bypassed the Alice in Wonderland remake.

Warcraft took the title of top video game adaptation from Prince of Persia.

Mission Impossible - Fallout beat Sex and the City as top television adaptation.

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
Also:

Dunkirk became the top WW2 movie and top war movie beating out Saving Private Ryan and American Sniper, respectively.

Toy Story 3 was replaced by Jumanji 3 as top comedy because of the new rule about animation. But it was also eclipsed by Minions as the top animated comedy

How the Grinch Stole Xmas *would* have been replaced by, ironically enough, The Grinch, except for the same rule.

Beauty & the Beast (2017) replaced Frozen

Wolf Warrior 2 became the highest grossing foreign-language film beating The Intouchables (along with several other Chinese films) by a large margin.

Ne Zha (another Chinese film) beat Spirited Away to become the top foreign language animated film, but even in Japan Spirited Away has been usurped by some anime horror film about a demon train or something.

The Lion King (1993 and 2019 versions) became the top G and PG rated films, displacing Toy Story 3 and Frozen. And The Passion was defeated by Joker for the Rated R title.

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
(the '93 Lion King earned more money due to a wide re-release)
+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
Finally, the latest Halloween movie unseated Scream to become the top slasher film of all time, but Scream retains the title of top teen horror film as Jamie Lee has not been a teenager for quite some time.

Some previous mistakes were also corrected:

This is It has been the highest grossing documentary film for a while, beating Fahrenheit 911, if you look at international gross and not just US.

I originally replaced The Road to Perdition with Oblivion for top adaptation of a graphic novel, but upon further research found the graphic novel of Oblivion never actually existed; and then I decided that 300 should count in this category so gave the title to that film.

World War Z was previously credited as being the top zombie film when really it should have been I Am Legend - though there's some debate as to whether that's a true zombie film or not.

Terminator 2 previously held the title of top robot apocalypse movie. I had forgotten The Matrix.

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
But I created a new category for Sci-Fi/Time Travel so T2 could still retain the top spot somewhere. (also long ago decided that comic book movies were more fantasy than science fiction and so Endgame doesn't count here)

And... lastly... I came across the fact that Gravity (2003) took in 723 million at the box office, slightly more than Interstellar, but... I decided that floating around in low Earth orbit doesn't really count as "exploration"... so I left that category as it was. I don't remember if I found this before or not.

+1
Level 82
Aug 10, 2021
Already noticed a mistake after the update that I should have caught before... Home Alone should be counted as the highest-grossing Christmas comedy movie. For some reason I didn't consider it in that category but it made more than the live action Grinch. Somewhat amazingly, not as much as the more recent animated Grinch movie, but, with the new rule about counting animated films separately then Home Alone wins. Will fix with the next update I guess...
+1
Level 82
Nov 11, 2021
Note to self: also add type-ins for Wolf Warrior 2, Rocky IV, and Mary Poppins Returns without the sequel designations, to make them more consistent with the rest of the quiz.
+1
Level 82
Nov 17, 2021
Also: bold face motor racing sub-category
+1
Level 82
Jun 26, 2022
Also: consider replacing Sin City with Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, arguably same genre
+1
Level 63
Aug 7, 2023
Shouldn't Battle Angel be under the manga category, not anime? And isn't Edge of Tomorrow is based on a light novel, not a manga?
+1
Level 67
Aug 8, 2023
Shouldn't Home Alone also be the highest-grossing Christmas comedy?