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Highest Grossing Movie Every Year of the Sound Era

24/7 Tempo Logo By Hristina Byrnes of 24/7 Tempo | Slide 1 of 96: When filmmakers set out to craft a movie, many probably have two main goals -- win awards and turn a profit. Reaching the top of the box office charts to become the highest grossing film at the end of the year is a huge accomplishment. 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on worldwide box office from film industry site The Numbers to determine the highest grossing movie every year since 1927. This was the year in which the first feature-length movie with synchronized dialogue, often referred to as “talkies,” was released. Before 1927, most of the movies were silent, and data box office performance was not available.    In 2019 -- 2020 was canceled, remember? -- global movie ticket sales amounted to $42.5 billion. The best performing movie at the box office that year accounted for just 5.3% of that amount. Sometimes, the top grossing movie in a given year accounts for as little as 3.1% of the global gross, and sometimes it accounts for more than 60%. This is possible because a film's gross is based on total lifetime worldwide box office sales. Romances, musicals, dramas, and comedies are equally represented in the mix of the top grossing movie each year, although action and adventure films -- including superhero movies -- dominate the box office in recent years. Also represented are a number of animated children's films -- many from Disney. Here are the biggest Disney box office hits of all time.

When filmmakers set out to craft a movie, many probably have two main goals -- win awards and turn a profit. Reaching the top of the box office charts to become the highest grossing film at the end of the year is a huge accomplishment.

24/7 Tempo reviewed data on worldwide box office from film industry site The Numbers to determine the highest grossing movie every year since 1927. This was the year in which the first feature-length movie with synchronized dialogue, often referred to as “talkies,” was released. Before 1927, most of the movies were silent, and data box office performance was not available.   

In 2019 -- 2020 was canceled, remember? -- global movie ticket sales amounted to $42.5 billion. The best performing movie at the box office that year accounted for just 5.3% of that amount. Sometimes, the top grossing movie in a given year accounts for as little as 3.1% of the global gross, and sometimes it accounts for more than 60%. This is possible because a film's gross is based on total lifetime worldwide box office sales.

Romances, musicals, dramas, and comedies are equally represented in the mix of the top grossing movie each year, although action and adventure films -- including superhero movies -- dominate the box office in recent years. Also represented are a number of animated children's films -- many from Disney. Here are the biggest Disney box office hits of all time.

© Courtesy of Buena Vista Pictures

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