There are only 34 films in history that have managed to take in $1 billion at the box office, and only 13 have ever done so in less than one month. Recently, a new film joined that prestigious group.
The list of films to hit $1 billion in a month includes some you’d expect, but several of them are fairly surprising. There are also a few movies that you’d think would have gotten to $1 billion much quicker than they did, considering how massive they were.
Here’s a look at all of the films that have made $1 billion in less than one month, leading up to the fastest movie to ever do so.
Beauty and the Beast (29 days)
Disney’s live-action remakes have all performed well, but Beauty and the Beast blew the previous ones out of the water. The 2017 version of the classic fairy tale opened to an astonishing $174 million domestically and $182 million overseas.
It remained No. 1 or No. 2 at the box office for the next several weeks. And by the end of the month, it had hit $1 billion. This was a phenomenal success for Disney, especially since neither Cinderella nor The Jungle Book managed to make $1 billion at all.
Beauty and the Beast concluded its run with $1.2 billion worldwide, making it the second highest-grossing movie of 2017.
Next: This 2018 Marvel movie joined the elite club.
Black Panther (26 days)
Black Panther was expected to be a hit, but never could anyone have predicted just how much of a sensation it would turn out to be. The Marvel superhero flick exceeded all expectations when it was released in February 2018; it opened to an unbelievable $202 million domestically, the fifth-biggest U.S. opening of all time.
For five weekends in a row, Black Panther topped the box office, destroying new releases like A Wrinkle in Time and Tomb Raider. The film performed fairly well overseas, too, though it was much more of a phenomenon in the U.S.
Despite being an original, standalone story, Black Panther went on to outgross Captain America: Civil War.
Next: Another movie from the Marvel Cinematic Universe makes the list.
Captain America: Civil War (24 days)
Civil War is technically the third Captain America movie, but it was essentially another Avengers film, and it performed like one. The film took in $179 million domestically in its opening weekend, plus an additional $200 million overseas.
But Civil War was quite front-loaded, and it had a second-week drop of 59%. This explains why the movie was faster to $1 billion than Black Panther but ended up grossing less than that film: the legs were not nearly as good as Black Panther, which had a second-week drop of just 44%.
In the end, though, Civil War concluded its box office run with $1.1 billion worldwide, which is still quite impressive.
Next: This Marvel movie also hit $1 billion in 24 days.
Avengers: Age of Ultron (24 days)
Avengers: Age of Ultron had a worldwide opening of $392 million, literally the exact same opening as the original Avengers.
However, this Avengers took longer to reach $1 billion than the original. That’s largely because its weekend drops were steeper; while the 2012 movie dropped 50% between its first and second weekend, Age of Ultron dropped 59%.
Age of Ultron was definitely a hit, but it fell short of outgrossing its predecessor. We’ll get back to that movie in a bit.
Next: It’s surprising how quick this movie made it to $1 billion.
Iron Man 3 (22 days)
You’d never expect that Iron Man 3 would have actually hit $1 billion quicker than Avengers: Age of Ultron did. But it’s true: The movie did so two days faster.
Iron Man 3 had an opening weekend higher than that of any Marvel solo film up until that point, taking in $372 million worldwide. This was likely due to the fact that this was the next Marvel film after The Avengers, and it capitalized on that hype fairly well.
Next: You’ll probably be shocked that this movie actually made the list.
The Fate of the Furious (19 days)
If you don’t follow box office results that closely, you’ll likely be surprised that this movie is actually on the list. The Fast and the Furious movies do pretty well in the United States, but they usually don’t break many records. However, they tend to really catch on overseas.
The most recent entry into the series, The Fate of the Furious, reached $1 billion in just 19 days. That’s largely thanks to the foreign box office. In the United States, the movie only made $226 million in its entire run, a little less than Justice League.
However, The Fate of the Furious made about $1 billion just from the foreign markets. This means that 81% of the movie’s box office take came from outside the U.S. It currently has the second largest worldwide opening weekend of any movie ever made with $541 million.
Next: This is the second of two 2017 films to join the list.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi (19 days)
Star Wars: The Last Jedi actually performed slightly below expectations. But that doesn’t mean the movie wasn’t still incredibly profitable; it managed to hit $1 billion in 19 days.
As with most films like this, The Last Jedi relied very heavily on its opening weekend gross; by the end of the first few days of release, it had taken in $450 million worldwide; that’s the fifth biggest worldwide opening ever.
The Last Jedi ended its run at $620 million domestic, making it the seventh highest-grossing movie ever released in the United States. What no one would have expected was that a few months later, Black Panther would actually make more money, although that film took longer to build up its momentum and reach $1 billion.
Next: This movie was magic at the box office.
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 (19 days)
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2 was a major event, as it was the end of an era for Harry Potter fans. Naturally, the movie was a hit at the box office, far outgrossing any of the previous installments.
Years later, the opening weekend of Deathly Hallows — Part 2 has still rarely been beaten; it’s the fifth biggest worldwide opening of all time, with $483 million coming in during those first few days. A significant amount of that — $314 million — came from overseas.
Deathly Hallows — Part 2 ended up grossing $1.3 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing movies ever.
Next: This movie grossed even more than Deathly Hollows – Part 2.
The Avengers (19 days)
The Avengers took in $207 million domestically in its opening weekend, which in 2012 was the biggest opening ever.
It also took in an additional $185 million overseas in those first few days. But as usual, that’s not enough to bring it to $1 billion; Batman v. Superman actually had a bigger worldwide opening, after all.
No, what brought the movie such success was that it had great legs throughout the summer, and by the end of May, it had taken in $532 domestically and over $1 billion worldwide.
Next: You’d expect this movie to be much higher up on the list.
Avatar (19 days)
Because Avatar is still the highest-grossing movie of all time, you might be surprised to find that it’s not higher on the list. But it wasn’t immediately clear after the film opened just how extraordinary it would end up doing. In fact, by the end of its opening weekend, Avatar had only made $241 million worldwide, which is just the 41st biggest opening ever and about on par with The Da Vinci Code.
But Avatar‘s momentum built and built, and before anyone knew it, it had hit $1 billion. It can’t be overstated how impressive it is that the movie reached $1 billion in the same amount of days as Deathly Hallows – Part 2, despite taking in $242 million less during its opening weekend.
Next: It’s hard to believe that this movie hit $1 billion faster than any of the ones we’ve talked about so far.
Furious 7 (17 days)
The Fate of the Furious did well, but the previous installment in the series was an even bigger hit. Furious 7 is by far the highest grossing in the series, and it reached $1 billion in just 17 days.
Some of that has to do with the U.S. gross, as it had a great opening weekend of $147 million. However, the movie once again relied a lot on the foreign markets; it made 76% of its gross overseas.
By the end of its run, Furious 7 had grossed $353 million in the U.S., but it also grossed $1.1 billion overseas.
Next: This highly anticipated movie was still a bigger hit than anyone expected.
Jurassic World (13 days)
Jurassic World is another one of those movies that everyone knew would do well, but nobody knew would do this well. The fourth installment in the Jurassic Park series, and the first in 14 years, hit $1 billion in just 13 days.
By the end of its opening weekend, the movie had already brought in $525 million worldwide, with $208 million of that coming from the United States. Jurassic World concluded its run with $1.6 billion, making it the fourth highest-grossing movie of all time, behind Avatar, Titanic, and the No. 1 movie on our list.
Next: This is the second fastest movie to ever hit $1 billion.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (12 days)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is not only currently the highest-grossing film ever released in the United States (not adjusting for inflation), but also the second fastest to ever reach $1 billion.
The seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise, and an episode that had been anticipated for over 30 years, hit the $1 billion in less than two weeks. In fact, by the end of its first weekend, it was already over halfway there, as the movie’s worldwide opening was a jaw-dropping $529 million.
By the end of its run, The Force Awakens had grossed over $2 billion worldwide. This made it only the third film in history to make over $2 billion, after Avatar and Titanic.
Next: This recent film just broke the record and became the fastest movie to ever reach $1 billion.
Avengers: Infinity War (11 days)
Avengers: Infinity War, the epic crossover event Marvel had been building to for years, became an absolute sensation when it was released in April 2018, and it’s now the fastest to $1 billion.
In its opening weekend, Infinity War shattered the opening weekend record set by The Force Awakens, taking in $257 million domestically and $640 million worldwide.
It only took 11 days for the movie to reach $1 billion; it did so one day quicker than The Force Awakens. This is incredibly impressive, especially considering it hit that milestone so before the film even opened in China.
Next: Could these 2018 movies join the list later this year?
What other 2018 films could join the list?
Infinity War is the most recent film to join the club of movies to hit $1 billion in one month. So what might be next?
In the immediate future, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is all but certain to do so, even if it’s a huge drop from the first one. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a strong contender, too; while the first Fantastic Beasts didn’t even hit $1 billion in its entire run, this sequel is delving much deeper into Harry Potter lore.
Finally, Mary Poppins Returns is also a candidate; it could quickly reach $1 billion for the same reasons Beauty and the Beast did in 2017.
Next: These movies from beyond 2018 are worth keeping an eye on, too.
2019 and beyond
Beyond 2018, what are some other films that could join the $1 billion-in-one-month club on the horizon? In 2019, Star Wars: Episode IX doing so is basically 100% guaranteed; the same is true of Avengers 4.
But The Lion King also seems quite likely, once again for the same reason Beauty and the Beast was such a hit. Aladdin could make the list as well, though Lion King is the safer bet between those two.
2019 also sees the release of Frozen 2. The first Frozen took a bit longer to hit $1 billion, but after six years of Frozen fever, could Elsa and Anna reach new box office heights in this sequel? Finally, 2020 will be particularly interesting, as that’s when Avatar 2 will be released and we’ll find out whether the success of the first film was a fluke.
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