'Iron Man 3' Crosses The $1B Mark, But What Are The Best & Worst Movies In The Billion-Dollar Club?

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by Oliver Lyttelton
May 17, 2013 1:45 PM
23 Comments
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We tend not to weigh in on box-office so much bar our weekly rundown on Sunday afternoons, but every so often a significant milestone comes up, and today is such a day; various sources report that some time yesterday, Marvel's "Iron Man 3" crossed the billion dollar mark at the box office (while also managing to cross $300 million domestically, making it the first film of 2013 to do so).

The film managed it just under three weeks after opening internationally, leaving it slightly behind the pace of "The Avengers," but we're sure Disney and Marvel will be delighted, with the film still on course to possibly crack the all-time top 5 if it keeps up this pace. And we're just happy that the man who made "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang," Shane Black, is suddenly such a box office behemoth...

But it got us thinking, as we head into the weekend: what's the best $1 billion grosser of all time? And what's the worst? 16 films have managed the feat so far, and in our minds, there's a significant gap in quality between some of them. . Below, we've put the 16 billion-dollar films in a sure-to-be-controversial descending order of quality. Let us know which of the ten-figure club is your favorite, and your least favorite, and our favorite answer will win a billion dollars! (N.B: Not really) Take a look at the list below.

1. "Toy Story 3" ($1.063B)
2. "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King" ($1.119B)
3. "The Dark Knight Rises" ($1.084B)
4. "The Dark Knight" ($1.004B)
5. "Titanic" ($2.185B)
6. "The Avengers" ($1.511B)
7. ""Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2" ($1.341B)
8. "Skyfall" ($1.108B)
9. "Iron Man 3" ($1.000B and counting)
10. "Avatar" ($2.782B)
11. Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ($1.066B)
12. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ($1.017B)
13. "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" ($1.123B)
14. "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" ($1.027B)
15. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" ($1.043B)
16. " Alice In Wonderland" ($1.024B)


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23 Comments

  • Lexis | May 20, 2013 10:31 PMReply

    How did Pirates and Transformers sequel make so much money?! Disaster.

  • gatos | May 20, 2013 2:17 PMReply

    Major fail putting Alice in Wonderland on the very bottom below utter garbage like the Pirates and Transformers films and The Phantom Menace. (I actually enjoyed it, so sue me.)

    Plus, it's kinda impossible to hate on a film that (deservedly) brought Mia Wasikowska into the public conscious. Without her it probably would have been an utter abomination.

  • Claire | May 18, 2013 11:36 AMReply

    People are so stupid.

  • Rob | May 17, 2013 10:12 PMReply

    The only ones I really enjoyed on that list were Toy Story 3, The Avengers, Dark Knight, and Dark Knight Rises. Iron Man 3 was good, but not as good as the first. The rest kinda stink.

  • immature | May 17, 2013 9:42 PMReply

    The only really good films here are Titanic, Toy Story 3, Return of the King, and The Dark Knight. The rest of them range from decent if overrated (Skyfall, Harry Potter), to abysmal (Pirates 3, The Hobbit, Transformers 3).

  • McRaj | May 17, 2013 9:38 PMReply

    I actually didn't like most of these movies. Pretty sad actually.

    1. "The Dark Knight" ($1.004B)
    2. "Titanic" ($2.185B)
    3. "Avatar" ($2.782B)
    4. "Toy Story 3" ($1.063B)
    5. "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2" ($1.341B)
    6. "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King" ($1.119B)
    7. "The Avengers" ($1.511B)
    8. "The Dark Knight Rises" ($1.084B)
    9. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ($1.017B)
    10. "Skyfall" ($1.108B)
    11. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ($1.066B)
    12. "Iron Man 3" ($1.000B and counting) 
    13. "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon" ($1.123B)
    14. "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" ($1.027B) 
    15. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" ($1.043B)
    16. "Alice In Wonderland" ($1.024B)

  • Glass | May 17, 2013 8:22 PMReply

    It's amazing how big business models have commandeered the movies so completely that a film making a billion dollars is now in the "who fuckin cares" category. Transformers Dark of the Moon? Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides? (is that the third one?) Harry Potter 8? Woopdeedoo, you're a real happy meal of a movie...

    But you make a good point, HUGE gap in quality between those and films like Dark Knight and Toy Story 3.

  • Dryer | May 17, 2013 6:06 PMReply

    The Avengers, Alice In Wonderland, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Stranger Tides & Dark Knight Rises are all films that shouldn't belong on any list let alone one noting gross of over a billion dollars.

  • Stranger | May 17, 2013 6:00 PMReply

    None of these movies are exemplary. A couple of them are pretty good. Most of them are garbage.

  • THOR | May 17, 2013 5:53 PMReply

    8/10
    1. "The Avengers"

    7/10
    2. "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace"

    6/10
    3. "Toy Story 3"
    4. "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King"

    5/10
    5. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest"
    6. "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2"

    4/10
    7. "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon"
    8. "Avatar"
    9. "Titanic"

    3/10
    10. "The Dark Knight"

    2/10
    11. "Skyfall"
    12. "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides"

    1/10
    13. "Alice In Wonderland"
    14. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey"
    15. "The Dark Knight Rises"

    Haven't seen Iron Man 3, but I do hate Shane Black.

  • Claire | May 18, 2013 11:35 AM

    Thor = Marvel Fanboy aka stupid

  • Andrew | May 17, 2013 4:32 PMReply

    I think you actually got the best and the worst films spot on. Loved Toy Story 3 and really hated Alice in Wonderland.

    However, like many others, putting The Dark Knight Rises over The Dark Knight is crazy to me. The Dark Knight is a film that works on so many levels, with strong performances and a strong emotional connection to boot. I enjoyed the first half of The Dark Knight Rises, but the second half is a jumbled mess. The script pales in comparison to The Dark Knight's on every single level.

    And I would definitely at least have The Hobbit above Dead Man's Chest, Avatar, and Iron Man 3. Still can not for the life of me understand the hate some seem to have for it. I thought it functioned much like the other LOTR films so I'm not entirely sure what others were looking for.

  • Eric | May 17, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    Best: Lords Of The Rings
    Worst: POTC: On Stranger Tides

    And The Hobbit should be way higher.

  • Boo R. | May 17, 2013 3:33 PMReply

    You really should have just made this a top 10 list and dropped some of those stinkers.

  • Michael | May 17, 2013 2:57 PMReply

    Switch TDKR with TDK position and drop the commercialized atrocity "Iron Man 3" furtherrrr down.

  • Bryan | May 17, 2013 2:50 PMReply

    List is actually real solid - Skyfall ought to be a bit higher, at least over Avengers

  • jacques demolay | May 17, 2013 2:27 PMReply

    My biggest disagreements: In no fucking universe is Titanic better than Avengers.
    TDKR better than TDK? Ha ha ha, no.
    The first Pirats movie ranking BELOW Avatar? Pirates had more fun and wit in an average 15 minute segment than Avatar did in the entire run time.
    The bottom 4 all suck so much ass, it's almost pointless to quibble, but I'd rather watch Alice in Wonderland 10 times in a row than sit through Phantom Menace even one more time. Hell, I'd rather watch the 4th Pirates movie again than Phantom Menace. PM is THE absolute worst film on the list, because even for all it's faults, it COULD at least be entertainingly stupid, but it's not - it's fucking BORING. Even Avatar wasn't quite that dull.
    I feel like Harry Potter should be a bit higher, but the competition is quite stiff. I actually liked 7 pt 1 better anyway.

  • DArtagnan | May 17, 2013 2:26 PMReply

    "The Dark Knight" ---
    "Toy Story 3" ---
    "The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King" ---
    "Skyfall" ---
    "Titanic" ---
    "The Dark Knight Rises" ---
    "Iron Man 3" ---
    "The Avengers" ---
    "Alice In Wonderland" ---
    "Harry Potter & The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2" ---
    "Avatar" ---
    "Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" ---
    "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace --- "
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" ---
    "Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" ---
    "Transformers: Dark Of The Moon"

  • Mack Fraser | May 17, 2013 2:15 PMReply

    The Dark Knight Rises ranks above The Dark Knight? The Dark Knight is a masterpiece that manages to meld political allegory, theme and character into an entertaining and intellectually stimulating piece of pop-art. The Dark Knight Rises is a mess thematically (especially when viewed as part of a trilogy) with a muddled politcal subtext and a central character arc that is repetitive and makes you actively dislike the protagonist for the first half of the film. It should be in the bottom third of the list at most.

  • Chris | May 17, 2013 2:24 PM

    Bottom third? Hardly. You're talking about a list that includes two Pirates of the Caribbean sequels, Burton's Alice and Wonderland, a Transformers movie, a Star Wars prequel, and The Hobbit. Oh, and Avatar is kind of awful, too.

  • Marcus | May 17, 2013 1:57 PMReply

    I enjoyed all movies (I haven't seen Star Wars: The Phantom Menace ... I know I know .. i must be the only one) but the movies that shouldn't be there are Alice in Wonderland, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and Transformers: Dark of the Moon

  • Oogle monster | May 17, 2013 1:49 PMReply

    TDKR over TDK? Disagree. Also HP over LOTR!

  • movie lover | August 23, 2013 11:10 PM

    1. The Lord of the Rings The Return of the King
    2. Jurassic Park
    3. The Dark Knight
    4. Toy Story 3
    5. Skyfall
    6. The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey
    7. The Dark Knight Rises
    8. Titanic
    9. The Avengers
    10. Avatar
    11. POTC Dead Man's Chest
    12. Transformers Dark of the Moon
    13. Star Wars Episode 1
    14. Iron Man 3
    15. Deathly Hallows Part 2
    16. Alice in Wonderland
    17. POTC On Strangers Tide

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