What is the most successful Hollywood movie? It depends

3 February 2023

Information is Beautiful looks at the different of assessing a film’s success.

By worldwide box office gross takings, Avatar, made in 2010, by James Cameron, tops the list. But adjust the takings for inflation, and the picture changes. Sort of. Avatar still tops the stack, but Titanic, also directed by Cameron, comes in at number two, with 1977’s Star Wars close behind.

And then, using the not so great return on investment metric — which favours productions with smaller budgets — films like My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and Australia’s own ocker hit Crocodile Dundee, rate highly.