Compared to years past, 2014 was a bit of a disappointment where box office numbers were concerned. While there were certainly many fantastic films released in the last 12 months, the final tallies show that this year’s totals are down 5.4 percent from last year, and that it’s been the worst year for Hollywood since 2011. That being said, the year wasn’t completely without its major releases, and now the list of the highest grossing titles are ready to be recognized.
With 2014 coming to a close, the numbers are all in on Box Office Mojo and now have the list of the Top 10 worldwide box office performers of the past year. Read on to find out what ranked where!
10. How to Train Your Dragon 2Domestic Box Office Total: $177,002,924
Worldwide Box Office Total: $618,909,935
Reported Budget: $145 million
With Pixar not having film to release, The LEGO Movie not finding much traction in foreign territories, and Big Hero 6 not exactly achieving Frozen-level success, 2014 was a somewhat slow year for animation at the box office – but Dean DuBlois’ How To Train Your Dragon 2 did still manage to squeak into the worldwide Top 10 for the year. The success of the film was slowed by it’s somewhat underwhelming release domestically – earning about $40 million less – but it has come out on top internationally, beating the first movie’s $494.9 million total.
9. InterstellarDomestic Box Office Total: $178,080,502
Worldwide Box Office Total: $648,780,502
Reported Budget: $165 million
Going through the rest of this list, you’ll find that Interstellar is actually the only non-franchise film to be featured in the top 10 – but that really just speaks to the power of Christopher Nolan’s influence on the movie-going world. The film has proven to be an absolutely gigantic hit internationally – where spectacle tends to play better than story - and while the domestic numbers don’t exactly rank with Nolan’s biggest hits, it’s obviously still a success story (if not partially because the film has one of the lowest budgets of the titles featured on this list).
8. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1Domestic Box Office Total: $308,939,828
Worldwide Box Office Total: $671,939,828
Reported Budget: $125 million
As was expected, Francis Lawrence’s The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 was an absolutely gigantic hit in the United States, enough to rank it as the second biggest domestic box office earner of 2014, but it sinks down in the worldwide rankings due to the fact that it hasn’t yet been released in all areas. For instance, the movie won’t be coming out in China – one of the world’s biggest markets – until mid-February 2015. Clearly, this puts the hurt on its standings here at the end of the year, but it doesn’t diminish the film’s success.
7. Dawn of the Planet of the ApesDomestic Box Office Total: $208,545,589
Worldwide Box Office Total: $708,299,389
Reported Budget: $170 million
Rupert Wyatt’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes laid down some excellent groundwork for the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise, and this past summer Matt Reeves’ Dawn of the Planet of the Apes capitalized on it in a big way. Not only did the sequel make $31 million more than its predecessor domestically, but the worldwide gross was an amazing $226 million more. There definitely was a notable budget increase between the two movies, but this series is performing incredibly well, and anticipation is high for the third installment.
6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2Domestic Box Office Total: $202,853,933
Worldwide Box Office Total: $708,982,323
Reported Budget: $255 million
Alone on paper, the worldwide box office performance of Marc Webb’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 looks like a big win, and #6 on the global Top 10 is certainly nice – but the bigger picture definitely hurts the movie’s position in the blockbuster world. Not only is the reported $255 million budget far and away the biggest featured on this list, but the movie also ranks dead last in the history of the Spider-Man franchise both domestically and worldwide. Making more than $700 million is a nice sum, but it’s a number that comes with a lot of baggage.
5. Captain America: The Winter SoldierDomestic Box Office Total: $259,766,572
Worldwide Box Office Total: $714,083,572
Reported Budget: $170 million
In 2014, Marvel Studios wasn’t able to lay claim to the first weekend of May like they usually do, but that didn’t stop them from still managing to put out one of the biggest hits of the first half of the year. Until Guardians of the Galaxy came along, Joe and Anthony Russo’s Captain America: The Winter Soldier was top dog at the domestic box office, and it’s worldwide ranking turned out pretty great as well. These numbers, compared with the over-whelming critical praise, are the reason why Marvel Studios is currently seen as top dog in the blockbuster world.
4. X-Men: Days of Future PastDomestic Box Office Total: $233,921,534
Worldwide Box Office Total: $746,045,700
Reported Budget: $200 million
As hard as it may have tried, Bryan Singer’s X-Men: Days of Future Past wasn’t quite able to stake a claim as the biggest X-Men movie domestically ( X-Men: The Last Stand still holds that rank with a total of $234,362,462), but it has been crowned as the franchise’s biggest hit worldwide – and that’s something to celebrate. It took a major effort and a lot of money on behalf of 20th Century Fox, bringing together the casts of the original trilogy and X-Men: First Class, but the investment/gamble paid off in a very big way.
3. MaleficentDomestic Box Office Total: $241,410,378
Worldwide Box Office Total: $757,752,378
Reported Budget: $180 million
Angelina Jolie has been saying a lot recently that she’s pretty much finished with acting and wants to focus more on directing, but the numbers put up by Robert Stromberg’s Maleficent probably have studios hoping that she’d be willing to spend a few more years as one of the world’s few true on-screen box office draws. Despite being released during a crowded summer season, the Disney live-action fairy tale was an absolutely huge hit that did well both here and abroad. Clearly there are a few movie-goers who would be disappointed to see Jolie disappear from the screen as well.
2. Guardians of the GalaxyDomestic Box Office Total: $332,862,030
Worldwide Box Office Total: $772,462,030
Reported Budget: $170 million
It’s easy to call James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy the greatest underdog story of 2014 – and it’s really easy to celebrate its success thanks to just how good it was. Despite the film’s Marvel connections, box office analysts wound up severely underestimating the film’s success, and it went on to break records when it hit in August. Its domestic box office total wound up being the biggest of the year, edging out The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, and while it’s international sum couldn’t get it the number one spot worldwide, it’s still seen as one of the biggest cinematic wins of the past 12 months.
1. Transformers: Age of ExtinctionDomestic Box Office Total: $245,439,076
Worldwide Box Office Total: $1,087,404,500
Reported Budget: $210 million
Being the only film to make more than $800 million globally, let alone over $1 billion, Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction has basically been a lock for this number one spot for months now. By doing some simple division and subtraction, you’ll notice that a staggering 77% of the film’s worldwide sum came from foreign box office receipts, with China alone pumping in $92 million to the total. Interestingly, the film actually underperformed in the United States compared to previous Transformers installments – ranking behind all of Bay’s other franchise contributions, but obviously that wasn’t enough to slow it down.