Despite rapid and manifold changes in the distribution landscape, the movie year is still defined by its seasons. Which means that certain debates and conversations recur at intervals as predictable and regular as leaves changing color, or the arrival of the first birds of spring. The fall festival months ramp into the Oscar qualifying season, which then gets swallowed up in year-end list making and stocktaking, before the January lull sets in, and we hunt through the snowy wastelands of our local multiplexes hoping for that first gem to poke through, like a hardy early bluebell. Each of those phases has its own perennial topics of conversation.
And right now, as spring teeters into summer, even those of us most squeamish about acknowledging Art’s ugly (but well turned-out) stepsister, Commerce, find our filmic conversations dominated by one thing: $$$$$$. Arguably, in fact, 2015 has seen the filthy lucre conversation start with a bang slightly earlier than before, as “Furious 7” became the fastest film ever to cross the $1 billion worldwide milestone (17 days). And with the sequel to the third highest grossing film of all time opening blockbuster season like a starter pistol this weekend outside the US (read our review of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” here), we thought we’d honor the tawdry truth that this priceless art form we love is also a business, and at the top end, a pretty damn lucrative one at that.
And so we’re tweaking our “Best of the 21st Century” formula (check out our Horror Films, Animated and Music Documentary features) to look instead at the top-grossing films of the century to date, and seeing how, in this season of bottom lines and billions and box office bombs, the 25 reigning champions of the century stack up against each other in terms of quality. Interestingly, going by the Box Office Mojo figures (so not adjusting for post-2000 inflation) all the biggest films of all time, bar four, have come from the 2000s and 2010s — perhaps we’ll run another of these soon, which will be an all-timer, and will adjust for inflation: that would be a considerably different list.
For right now however, here’s our ranking of the 25 highest-grossing films of the last 15 years: we know which films are the biggest of the century, but which are the best of the biggest?
25. “Transformers: Age of Extinction” (2014)
Box Office Take: $1,091 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 10
If there were enough contrarianism juice in the world, we could have supped until we were able to surprise you all by not having a Michael Bay “Transformers” film languish at no 25. But there isn’t, and so we can’t. Proof of the series’ continually diminishing returns, this latest “reboot” exchanged bored Shia LaBoeuf for bored Mark Wahlberg, and gave us typically physically non-credible, uninteresting robots and a spectacularly cardboard coupling in Jaffa-orange,Nicola Peltz, and so-bland-he’s-nearly-transparent,Jack Reynor. Not to mention the irritating comic relief from TJ Miller. Whom, to be fair, this PG13-rated film allows us to watch burn to death, so there’s that. It took marginally less than ‘Dark of the Moon‘ but still crossed a billion, and as night follows day came the news that we’re not getting just more “Transformers” movies, but a Shared Universe of spin offs, sidequels and hyperkinetically edited, ugly CG God knows what.
24. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010)
Box Office Take: $1,026 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 15
The story of the runaway success of Tim Burton‘s soulless CG extravaganza has many facets: the first film after the previous year’s “Avatar” to cross the billion-dollar barrier, it was also greatly indebted to “Avatar”, rolling, in all its inflated-price 3D glory, into theaters worldwide, many of which had only just converted to the technology for James Cameron‘s megahit. And it was an abiding curiosity about 3D that must account for the massive turnout, far more than any particular love for the Lewis Carroll story (which is borderline unrecognisable here, anyway), though the presence of the globally huge Johnny Depp didn’t hurt, either. Even now, though, it’s hard to find anyone who’ll really go to bat for the film as anything other than a new nadir in Burton’s creative slump. Timing, star power, luck, 3D surcharges and day-glo family-friendly CG visuals — these are the reasons for ‘Alice’s’ great showing, but they are not excuses. The film is bloody awful.
23. “Transformers: Dark Of The Moon” (2011)
Box Office Take: $1,124 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 7
The top-grossing movie in the “Transformers” franchise is also the second least shitty of the series, but given the track record of the series, that still precludes a high level of shittiness. The final outing in the series for Shia LaBeouf and co (though Megan Fox was replaced here already, after falling out with Bay), with John Malkovich and Frances McDormand among those paying for new houses with a few weeks work, the film does at least have a striking moon-landing themed opening, and an enormous extended climax that marks a high watermark for the franchise’s action (particularly an impressive Halo jump sequence done for real). But at two-and-a-half hours, it’s exhausting, nihilistic, tonally insensible, and completely uninterested in anything like story or character. Recommended mostly for people who like to incoherently bash pieces of metal together.
22. “Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2011)
Box Office Take: $963m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 20
There are those out there who defend some of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels, some of whom are on staff here. But pretty much no one defends the fourth movie, “On Stranger Tides.” It’s a badly made, over-plotted mess that makes “Dead Man’s Chest” and “At World’s End” look like “Raiders Of The Lost Ark,” as far as blockbusters go. Leaving Keira and Orlando behind, this places Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow front-and-center as he searches for the fountain of youth and battles mermaids, zombies and Blackbeard (Ian McShane, who, with screen daughter Penelope Cruz, provides the few moments of interest), but it all feels like a tired retread of past glories. And with musicals specialist Rob Marshall, someone who literally doesn’t know how to direct a movie, the film’s lacking even the visual flair of Gore Verbinski’s prior entries.
21. “Despicable Me 2” (2013)
Box Office Take: $971m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 19
Back in 2010, Universal’s animated feature “Despicable Me” proved a surprise worldwide smash, but few would have anticipated that its sequel would have become the third-biggest animated movie of all time, and until “Furious 7,” Universal’s biggest hit ever. Especially given that the film was an inferior follow-up to a movie that was hardly “Spirited Away” to begin with. Filing off what little edge there was from the first film’s supervillainy, introducing a host of mostly forgettable new characters (Al Pacino was initially down to voice the bad guy, but dropped out at the last minute), and doubling down on the adored-by-kids, annoying-to-adults Minions, the film has occasional moments of wit and invention, but it’s mostly a bland retread without the heart of its predecessor. It might have been a megahit, but it’s most lasting impact on pop culture was introducing the world to Pharrell’s earworm, “Happy.”
20. “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (2001)
Box Office Take: $975m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 18
Of the four ‘Harry Potter’ films to make this list, indeed of the whole series, the first, especially in retrospect, feels by far like the least. With Chris Columbus‘ unsubtle hand at the helm, centering on a trio of juveniles who, whatever your opinion of the actors they’d become, are often awkwardly wet-behind-the-ears and self-conscious here, as often in the series it really falls to the supporting cast, packed with British character-actor ringers, to bring the texture. But even here they are hamstrung by thinly sketched characterization, and a visual approach that can best be described as “indifferent.” Of course you can’t wholly blame Columbus — there was pressure on him to establish this franchise, and while everyone knew it would be big, it was by no means assured it would be this big. Even his second time at bat, the marginally better ‘Chamber of Secrets,’ would show the confidence-boosting effect that this film’s stellar box office performance could engender.
19. “The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies” (2014)
Box Office Take: $955m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 23
When the “Lord of the Rings” series arrived at the start of the century, their tactility, wit and humanity served as a blessed relief for epic fantasy fans after the airless “Star Wars” prequels had disappointed so. But in general, “The Hobbit” movies showed that Peter Jackson was just as capable of disappointing fans with follow-ups, suffering from many of the same issues as “The Phantom Menace” et al. But even George Lucas wrapped things up in a more artful fashion with “Revenge Of The Sith” than PJ did with “Battle Of The Five Armies,” the noisy, dragged-out conclusion to the series. It certainly does what it says on the tin, with an epic final clash, but compared to Jackson’s finest hours, it’s visually muddy and pretty much more of the same, and without the stakes of emotional payoff of the ‘Rings’ films. Martin Freeman remains excellent as Bilbo Baggins, but with the character pushed to the side for the most part, this was even more of a bitter disappointment.
18. “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (2007)
Box Office Take: $963m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 20
At the time the most expensive film ever made, budgeted at $300m (before its even more dire sequel, “On Stranger Tides,” smashed that dubious record), the third ‘Pirates’ movie was the one where the franchise’s over-reliance on Johnny Depp‘s Jack Sparrow really started to tell. What had been a brilliantly swaggering, bilious supporting role in the first film, Oscar nominated no less, had already been expanded greatly for the second. But this time out, Gore Verbinski‘s last go-round, it seemed the only way they could cram in more Sparrow was to include a hallucination subplot in which we get multiple Sparrows talking to each other — the film abandoning even the pretense of interest in the bland, chemistry-free romance between Keira Knightley and Orlando Bloom. It certainly still looks expensive, though, and there are glimmers of interest in Sparrow’s sudden obsession with immortality, but mostly it just feels rote, soggy and charmless, and at 169 minutes, extraordinarily long.
17. “The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug” (2013)
Box Office Take: $960m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 21
Famously, “The Hobbit” franchise was initially intended to be just two movies, before Peter Jackson figured that he had enough material to get a third out. Warner Bros were delighted, raking in an extra billion dollars or so, but the impact of his decision was felt with the second movie, “The Desolation Of Smaug,” which surrounds a couple of decent set-pieces of the new trilogy with a hell of a lot of padding. Yes, the barrel sequence is a lot of fun, and Smaug himself, mo-capped by Benedict Cumberbatch, is a stand-out, but in both cases the sequences are hampered by a CGI-reliance and impossible floating camera that Peter Jackson never felt the need for in the “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy. Evangeline Lilly and Luke Evans make strong additions to Middle Earth here, but this still mostly feels like busking for time.
16. “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1” (2010)
Box Office Take: $960m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 22
Like many of the titles that languish in the mid-table doldrums here, our issues with ‘Deathly Hallows Part 1’ are similar to those of the ‘Hobbit’ movies: its misshapenness is a factor of trying to spin too little material into too many films. The only time the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise stooped to splitting a book into two (and the book was itself not the longest of the series), while all other credentials are present and correct — David Yates is in his stride as the franchise’s most reliable director; the actors are the best they’ll be; the visuals are as dramatic as the themes — the installment is let down by ending in mid-air and having a whole inert section where the three kids play house in a forest. The film is just a prelude to another film — how depressing that this tactic pays offso predictablyas a moneymaking wheeze.
15. “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey” (2012)
Box Office Take: $1,017 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 16
Hard to recall, but there was a time we felt excited by the prospect of a return to Middle Earth under the guiding hand of Peter Jackson. And the first ‘Hobbit’ film, once everyone stopped singing and adventure got underway, did just about deliver, giving us some great sequences, like the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ section. But while the new cast, like Martin Freeman and Richard Armitage were well chosen, the pacing was off, and instead of the clever condensing that worked so well to wrestle “Lord of the Rings” down into a rich trilogy that lived beyond its frames, we get the padding out of a book that’s less than a quarter the length. Also hampered, for those that saw it in 48fps, by the shiny, overlit, hyperreality of Jackson’s much-touted high frame rate, ‘Unexpected Journey’ is the best of the ‘Hobbit’ films, but still only a pale shadow of its high-watermark forbear.
14. “Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
Box Office Take: $1,066 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 12
Not as well-crafted as it predecessor, but not as bloated as the films that followed, the first ‘Pirates’ sequel “Dead Man’s Chest” was still kind of a mess, but still retained enough of the original’s invention and charm to remain somewhat palatable. Reuniting Depp, Bloom and Knightley, the film pits them against the fearsome octopus-faced Davy Jones (Bill Nighy), a legitimately wondrous CGI creation, who both through Nighy’s pathos-fuelled performance and some ILM wizardry, can match Gollum and Caesar in the mo-cap hall of fame. The plot’s overly convoluted, and there are plenty of missteps (a brief appearance from some cannibals that feels outdated and racist), but there’s still a sense that everyone involved’s having some fun, particularly in an ingenious water-wheel duel that’s a high watermark for action in the series, and a reminder that Gore Verbinski knows what he’s doing.
13. “Frozen” (2013)
Box Office Tale: $1,274 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 4
The highest-grossing animated film of all time is, don’t get us wrong, a very nice film. But compared to its effusive and overwhelming reception in general, and maybe because none of us have children of an age that means we’ve watched the DVD forty times, we feel a little out of step with the all-out worship. There’s no doubt the heart and the politics of this story of sisterly affection are in the right place, and the songs are instantly iconic, the animation crisp and the voice work terrific, so as a children’s film it’s right up there with a lot of Classic Disney. But our standards for animation have risen so high that we don’t expect to have to append “as a children’s film” to anything anymore, since there’ve been so many stellar examples of animated films that wrap themselves just as securely around an adult viewer’s heart.
12. “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix” (2007)
Box Office Take: $940m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 24
Director David Yates‘ first time wielding the wand for the ‘Harry Potter’ franchise, and it felt like a lot of things clicked into place. Tonally, the film took the dark, foreboding mood that the franchise would largely stay in for the rest of its run. The lead actors now had real chemistry with each other and had reached a new level of maturity that made the puppy love subplots all the more believable. And most memorably, while it feels unfair to single out one stalwart Brit character actor out of so many who did God’s work throughout the series, here Imelda Staunton turns in probably the most delectably detestable Potter villain. All the more creepy for not being a part-time snake or a crazy-eyed, crazy-haired witch, Dolores Umbridge’s sickly pink outfits and chintzy granny taste in decor somehow make her cruelty and malevolence palpable, and give the franchise one of its best defined and most indelibly original characters.
11. “Avatar” (2009)
Box Office Take: $2,788 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 1
Remaking the 21st Century box office in its image, James Cameron‘s phenomenal success with “Avatar,” the biggest film of all time™, is even more jawdropping if you consider that after 1997’s “Titanic” ($2.1bn) no other film has ever even crept close to the $2bn marker. Of course a massive boon to now-ubiquitous 3D (and its associated surcharge), in fact possibly the single biggest reason that five years on every household has a drawer full of plastic 3D glasses, on a story level “Avatar”‘s messiah story/eco yarn is nothing new. Which means that the sheen has worn off a bit as other 3D blockbusters have proved that immersive, amazing worldbuilding and non-generic storytelling are not impossible bedmates, just very unusual ones, putting it up to Cameron for those upcoming sequels. Still, one can’t really accuse it of being an empty spectacle when it is so very full of money.
10. “Furious 7” (2015)
Box Office Take: $1,154 billion* (and climbing, still on release)
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 6 (may go higher)
Vin Diesel and Paul Walker driving that billionaire’s Lykan out of one Abu Dhabi skyscraper, 100 floors up, and into another for the second time, might be the platonic ideal of the “Fast & Furious” action scene — it is ludicrous, it defies both probability and physics, it involves insanely expensive kit and it happens more than once. This philosophy of excess is paying off handsomely at the box office, making “Furious 7” the fastest ever billion-earner, but it does have its drawbacks. As dumb-fun as many of the stunts are (and as oddly touching the RIP montage at the end), there’s no earthly reason for this film to be 2 ½ hours long. It just dilutes the good stuff, like the presence of The Rock, Rhonda Rousey and Tony Jaa, any of whom we’d rather watch fight than hear another gravelly speech about “family” or endure Tyrese‘s comedy-coward schtick. Still, cars drop out of planes.
9. “Finding Nemo” (2003)
Box Office Take: $937m
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 25
“Finding Nemo” will surely be bounced out of the Top 25 all-time grossers within a few weeks, thanks to “Age Of Ultron” (with “Minions,” “Spectre” and “Star Wars” likely to push it further down, too), but for a time, it was one of the top 5 movies of all time, and that was a measure of the confidence that Pixar was beginning to develop with this, their fifth theatrical feature, and one of their best. The touching tale of an over-protective fish father (Albert Brooks) whose worst nightmare comes true when little Nemo is taken by a diver and installed in a tank in Australia. The film assembled one of the studio’s finest voice casts, led by Albert Brooks and Ellen DeGeneres, gave them a ton of great gags and memorable characters (the surfer dude turtle and the “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” homage in the dentist’s office first among them), and then grounded it in with a deep bass line of thoroughly relatable pathos. Bring on next year’s sequel.
8. “Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2” (2011)
Box Office Take: $1.342 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 3
Aside from Alfonso Cuaron’s entry (the lowest grossing, depressingly), most of the “Harry Potter” movies could be best described as ‘fine.’ The first two are pretty flat, Mike Newell’s is solid, David Yates’ early ones had the weakest source material. But the British helmer, who directed the last four Potter movies, turned out to have been building up to something more special, and “Deathly Hallows Pt. 2” is a stellar end to the franchise. Lean, action-packed (without falling subject to CGI fatigue) and soulful, it works in a way that say, the final “Hobbit,” doesn’t because J.K. Rowling made the end of her story so eventful, and the emotional impact of beloved character deaths and heroic reversals work like gangbusters. The unconvincing ‘grown-up’ coda leaves you on a bum note, but this was mostly hugely satisfying stuff.
7. “Iron Man 3” (2013)
Box Office Take :$1,215 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 5
A lot of people weren’t down with Shane Black‘s jokey, iconoclastic take on the “Iron Man” franchise, but we were not among them. For Tony Stark’s first outing post-“Avengers,” it was going to be hard to find a writer/director with as much a feel for the character’s spiky throwaway one-liners as Joss Whedon, but Black delivered on that level and added surprising insight into the character’s psyche, while also engineering one of the best Marvel rug-pulls ever with Ben Kingsley‘s Mandarin. Canon purists whined, but the rest of us thought it was pretty hilarious, and showed exactly the kind of irreverence and impishness that so sets Marvel apart from the sobriety of the recent DC universe. It was no mean feat to follow “The Avengers,” but “Iron Man 3” managed it, and even gave Robert Downey Jr. a chance to play the guy inside the suit as something other than just a genius billionaire playboy philanthropist.
6. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Box Office Take: $1,084 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 11
Because of the sky-high expectations from the film before, Christopher Nolan’s third film in his Bat-trilogy was greeted with a slight sense of deflation on arrival. But we’re confident that in time, it’ll be seen as a movie that, if it doesn’t quite match “The Dark Knight,” comes damn close to it. Having gone from globetrotting Bond-ish adventure to Michael Mann crime film, Nolan switches genres again into a Dickensian, dystopian epic, as Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) comes out of retirement, aided and abetted by Selina Kyle (an excellent Anne Hathaway), to face off against the mysterious terrorist, Bane. It’s less tightly constructed than the film before, but it’s still a superhero movie of rare craft and heft, rightly returning the focus to its hero after a Joker-centric installment and wrapping up his story in a definitive and satisfying manner.
5. “Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King” (2003)
Box Office Take: $1,120 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 8
It won all the Oscars (literally, all of the ones it was nominated for), and was the top-grossing of the saga. Only the second billion-dollar movie in history, but most would agree that “Return Of The King” was the least good of Peter Jackson’s original Tolkien sequence; at 200 minutes, it’s butt-numbingly long, and famously has as many endings as dollars it grossed. But in those pre-“Hobbit” days, it could be the least of a trilogy and still be an astonishing blockbuster: thrilling, emotional (Sam and Frodo’s final scenes together still pack a punch, as do at least some of the conclusions), epic in scale but intimate in its humanity (even when elves and dwarves are concerned), and bringing the fantasy author’s work to the screen while still feeling like an adaptation. More like this next time please, Mr. Jackson.
4. “Skyfall” (2012)
Box Office Take: $1,109 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 9
Twenty-three movies in, James Bond finally hit the billion dollar club, with “Skyfall” nearly doubling the gross of previous franchise high “Casino Royale.” The secret? Putting an Oscar-winning filmmaker in charge. The series, controlled tightly by the Broccoli family, had typically eschewed A-list helmers in favor of solid workmen, but Sam Mendes, and writer John Logan, gave “Skyfall” a distinct persona that built on the more grounded, character-driven approach of Daniel Craig’s previous entries, brought Judi Dench’s M front-and-center, and gave him a worthy adversary for the first time in years thanks to Javier Bardem’s Silva. Gorgeously shot by Roger Deakins, and full of nods to previous films in time for the 50th anniversary, it’ll be some feat if this year’s “Spectre” can top it critically or commercially.
3. “The Avengers” (2012)
Box Office Take: $1,519 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 2
It might have inspired the current glut of superhero movies and extended universes, but “The Avengers” didn’t become the third-biggest-grossing movie in history because of corporate synergy. It managed it because Joss Whedon did a hell of a job of wrangling its many moving parts into an enormously entertaining whole. Gathering Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, the Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye into a superteam to battle the malevolent Loki, it certainly delivered on the spectacle front, with an impressive final battle with a rare geographical clarity and Spielbergian sense of beats. But more importantly, it was the rare blockbuster that was as entertaining when it just gathered its actors in a room, with Whedon’s love of the actors and material palpably elevating things with real wit and drama. Imminent sequel “Age Of Ultron” doesn’t quite hit these heights, but that’s partly because the original set such a high bar to clear.
2. “Toy Story 3” (2010)
Box Office Take: $1,063 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 13
There are only a handful of perfect trilogies out there: Three Colors, Dollars, Cornetto. In 2010, Pixar joined those ranks, with a third adventure for Buzz and Woody that matched the movies before, with a greater emotional punch than ever before, but with everything that made audiences young and old fall in love with the characters before. Released and set a decade after the previous movie, it mutates the series into a story about letting go, giving up and embracing the inevitable, an impressively mature approach for a film that is, quite literally, child’s play. Sure, it occasionally goes to familiar wells (Spanish Buzz, for instance), but mostly somehow feels fresh, funny and even more gorgeous than previous movies, with a climax that’s up there with, well, “Up” for sheer emotion in Pixar joints. Also, it has Mr. Pricklepants. It’s a sign of the film’s greatness that the announcement of “Toy Story 4” was greeted with fear rather than excitement: could it possibly live up to the previous three?
1. “The Dark Knight” (2008)
Box Office Take: $1,004 billion
21st Century Box Office Ranking: 17
At the start of the century, the impression of Batman among the general public was mostly as a campy, day-glo thing, thanks to the 60s TV series and the Joel Schumacher movie. By Christopher Nolan’s second Bat-film, the Academy was literally changing their rules because of the outcry that a superhero movie hadn’t been nominated for Best Picture. “The Dark Knight” might not be as good as the IMDB voters and message board trolls think it is (i.e, it’s not like if “The Godfather” and “Citizen Kane” had a baby), but it’s still a remarkable achievement. A gripping two-and-a-half hour reinvention of the man-in-tights genre that delved into real moral and ethical ambiguities, it showed maturity without going for R-rated grit and gore, and, in Heath Ledger’s Joker, had one of the most iconic performances in modern cinema at its centre. It’s still the measure against which other superhero movies are compared.
And Just Behind:How do the next ten fare? Well, in order of gross, there’s the so-so antepenultimate “Harry Potter” picture “Half-Blood Prince” ($934.4m), excellent second Middle-Earth picture “The Two Towers,” ($926m), mildly disappointing animated sequel “Shrek 2” ($919.8m), very strong, R-Patz-featuring Potter “The Goblet Of Fire” ($896.9m), two disappointing “Ice Age” movies, “Dawn Of The Dinosaurs” ($886.7m) and “Continental Drift” ($877.2m), the original and best “Lord of the Rings” movie “The Fellowship Of The Ring” ($871.5m), very good YA adaptation “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” ($864.9m), Lucas’ galactic finale “Revenge Of The Sith” ($848.8m), and awful second “Transformers” “Revenge Of The Fallen” ($836.3m). How will the incoming billion-dollar movies fare? You’ll have to hit theaters to find out.