TV & Movies

Top 10 Highest-Grossing Monster Movies, From 'Godzilla' to 'King Kong' (Photos)

Godzilla may be King of the Monsters, but another group of reptiles have the advantage at the box office


This month’s “Godzilla vs. Kong” is the latest addition to the collection of creature features that have come out over the decades, the most successful of which have featured kaijus, giant apes, and dinosaurs.

10. “Kong: Skull Island” (2017) $165 million  Before Brie Larson and Samuel L. Jackson teamed up in “Captain Marvel,” they appeared together in this MonsterVerse film that marked Kong’s return to the big screen after 12 years. With $566 million grossed globally, the film ensured the success of the MonsterVerse and set the stage for “King of the Monsters” and “Godzilla vs. Kong”

9. “Jurassic Park III” (2001) $181 million  The “Jurassic Park” movies have ranged in quality over the years, but the desire to see dinosaurs chase humans who are too stupid to realize that resurrecting them is a bad idea has always been a hot ticket. Despite lukewarm reviews, “JP III” made $369 million worldwide.

8. “Godzilla” (2014) $200 million Made 16 years after Roland Emmerich’s version, Gareth Edwards restores Godzilla to a form more resembling his classic Toho appearance. The film was better received by critics and audiences and has now spawned a cinematic universe that will lead to Godzilla doing battle with King Kong in a 2020 crossover.

7. “King Kong” (2005) $218 million Speaking of Kong, here he is in Peter Jackson’s remake which was released 72 years after the original. Jackson’s version went far over budget, with the cost ballooning to $207 million. But the gamble paid off, as “Kong” made $550 million worldwide

6. “Signs” (2002) $227 million  M. Night Shyamalan was riding at the peak of his “Sixth Sense” popularity when he made this alien film in which the invaders’ biggest weakness is — SPOILER ALERT! — water. While it was a box office success, “Signs” marked the start of a long series of critical pans for Shyamalan that ended with his 2015 thriller “Split.”

5. “The Lost World: Jurassic Park” (1997) $229 million  In the classic style of sequels raising the stakes, “The Lost World” featured a grand finale in which a T-Rex escaped its confinement and began destroying San Diego. Since such destruction would permanently kill the idea of a dinosaur theme park, “Jurassic World” decides to just ignore this movie.

4. “Jaws” (1975) $260 million  Steven Spielberg’s legendary movie about a giant killer shark remains to this day one of the most important movies ever made, creating the blueprint for the modern blockbuster as we know it. Then, 18 years later, Spielberg changed the movie biz again with…

3. “Jurassic Park” (1993) $402 million  A powerful testament to the sense of wonder and terror movies can instill in their audience. “Jurassic Park” wowed audiences around the world, pushed the boundaries of what could be done with computer-generated imagery, and for over two decades, was the most successful creature feature ever made…until…

2. “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” (2018) $417 million  The pedigree of the “Jurassic Park” franchise, combined with the immense popularity of leading man Chris Pratt, has made “Jurassic World” into a potent franchise for Universal. The latest installment of the series grossed $1.3 billion worldwide, and the only creature feature that has grossed more is…

1. “Jurassic World” (2015) $652 million  …its 2015 predecessor, which stands as one of the top 10 highest-grossing films on the domestic charts and the highest-grossing film in Universal history with $1.67 billion. Combined, the two “Jurassic World” films have grossed $3 billion at the box office. To quote the greedy Donald Gennaro in the original “Jurassic Park,”: “We’re gonna make a fortune with this place.”
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