We have written a lot about Star Wars movies here on the site, especially since the new trilogy was announced, which caused a new surge in popularity for the franchise. The excitement for the new movies was higher than ever before. Old fans of the franchise were excited to see it coming back to the big screen, and it also created new fans in the younger generations who didn’t get to see the first movies back when they came out.
In fact, the new trilogy brought Star Wars back into the mainstream for our generation and also opened the doors for new games, spin off movies, television shows like The Mandalorian and of course, lots and lots of merchandising.
In fact, with how much we’re seeing The Child on merchandise and memes, you’d think he was the star of a hit Star Wars movie. He definitely gave a lot of people a reason to get a Disney + subscription, that’s for sure.
Now, let’s get back to that topic of the most profitable Star Wars movies. There are a lot of ways to figure this type of data and there have been quite a few Star Wars movies released now so we need to pick a set of guidelines to follow in order to get a baseline. I’m going to go with Box Office stats, although you could also look at other ways they learn money, such as DVD sales or merchandising directly related to a particular film.
If we want to look at which was the most profitable Star Wars movies to date, we need to look at the entire franchise, going back to the first trilogy and all the way up to the most recent movie, The Rise of Skywalker.
We are going to break them down by their Worldwide Box Office Rankings to show you which movies in the Star Wars franchise were the most profitable. Let’s look at the top five:
- Star Wars: Ep. VII: The Force Awakens (2015) – $2,065,478,084
- Star Wars: Ep VIII: The Last Jedi (2017) – $ 1,332,539,889
- Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) – $1,073,469,600
- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) – $1,056,057,273
- Star Wars Ep. I: The Phantom Menace (1999) – $1,027,044,677
At the bottom, you’ll find Star Wars: The Clone Wars which only earned $68,695,443 and a lot of fans of the franchise do list it as their least favorite Star Wars film. Its production budget was $8,500,000 so it is also the movie that worked with the smallest budget. They didn’t turn a bad profit on it, considering the data.
At the end of the day, The Force Awakens was still light years ahead of all the other films, including the spin-off films, so it earned its title and the number one spot.
You can also learn about the most profitable movies of all time. Some of the movies on the list might surprise you. There are some that I totally expected to be on there. They also give you a lot of other great facts about movies.
For example, they cover the most expensive films of all time and I was not surprised to see Avengers: Age of Ultron and Avengers: Endgame in the top three. The films that cost the most to make aren’t always the ones who gross the most in the box office, however. Usually, you will see some overlap, but that’s not always the case.
We told you about when Star Wars: The Force Awakens crossed into $2 Billion in earnings worldwide, back in the beginning of 2016. That was just shortly after the movie’s release and it made this film only the third in history to ever reach that number in the box office.
The other two movies to make more than $2 billion in their box office releases were Titanic at $2.19 billion and Avatar at $2.79 billion. This is a huge milestone for the film, but not really a surprising one when we look at how anticipated it was and how fast people were flocking to see it.
Unfortunately for the franchise, the hype didn’t stay up there for the rest of the films and a lot of fans outright hated the last film. Personally, I enjoyed it and so did my youngest son, who got to go for his birthday which also falls in late December, right along the time to movie came out.
But I watch enough fan films to see that the hardcore Star Wars fans were disappointed in these films. There are loads of comments on the fan films that flood YouTube that claim these fan-made films are better than the big production films we have on our list here. I suppose that depends on your idea of “better”, but I think a lot of the fans who say this are judging by the story and the spirit of Star Wars that goes into the fan films, something that not everyone thought the latest trilogy got right.