Highest Grossing Movie Musicals
Fri, December 9, 2022

Highest Grossing Movie Musicals

The live-action version of Beauty and the Beast garnered a whopping $1.2 billion worldwide. / Photo by: BagoGames via Flickr


There has been an abundance of movie musicals for the past couple of years, and the trend has given rise to all manner of topics discussed in an hour-long collection of songs, refrains, instrumentals, and belted out or crooned dialogues. 

All over the world, movie musicals are appreciated for being deeply appealing to anyone who appreciates the genre, and it is evident in the gross sales that these kinds of movies register at the US box office. Below are the best-performing movie musicals of all time.

“Beauty and the Beast” (2017)

Earnings: $504 million 

It’s the animated movie to live-action version, a near-perfect rendition that made it such a big hit to fans. After making rounds in theaters all over the world, No. 1 on the list goes to Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” live-action of 2017. According to The Wrap, a digital-first news organization covering the business of entertainment and media, fans loved not only the movies’ songs, for which the original version was also loved but also how director Bill Condon “lovingly recreated” every “minute detail” from the animated movie.

That’s not all. On top of the domestic box office gross, the movie also garnered a whopping $1.2 billion worldwide, added a report by entertainment news website Screen Rant. 

“Grease” (1978)

Earnings: $188 million 

Starring a young John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John, this iconic film follows the story of “a group of teens in the 50s after bad boy Danny and good girl Sandy’s summer romance fades into the realities of high school.” The popularity of this movie musical was such that, before “Beauty and the Beast” came onto the scene, “Grease” was one of the best movie musicals ever. 

Like “Beauty and the Beast,” the movie also did well worldwide, amassing a total of $396 million. 

“The Greatest Showman” (2017)

Earnings: $174 million

Bringing audiences songs like “This Is Me,” “The Greatest Show,” and “A Million Dreams,” this modern classic has quickly found its place in the hearts of many of us who admire a good look back in time in the form of a musical movie. According to Screen Rant, the only problem with it was that it strayed too much away from actual history. 

Oddly enough, even then, it was beloved and was beautifully accentuated with “dazzling colors, special effects, and romance,” not to mention “This Is Me” becoming such an unexpected centerpiece that found affinity with the audience. Worldwide, the film also did very well, pulling in $434 million. 


The Greatest Showman has quickly found its place in the hearts of many of us who admire a good look back in time in the form of a musical movie. / Photo by: Yulia Kotyrina via 123rf


“Chicago” (2002)

Earnings: $170 million

Yet another classic, “Chicago” makes the list thanks to its great blend of intriguing themes such as scandal, corruption, and celebrity drama, reported the website The Richest. The initial Broadway play of the musical might have shocked the more conservative audience during its revival in 1996, but with the new crowd, the story fits in a little better. 

What’s more, the film was such a success that it launched the musical back on top and even won six Oscars along the way. 

“Straight Outta Compton” (2015)

Earnings: $161 million 

Another newcomer to the scene, “Straight Outta Compton” also performed really well in its release. According to The Wrap, “Straight Outta Compton” had been effective in that it “did a wonderful job making the legendary rap crew’s [NWA] music vital and timely and even balanced the three stories of Eazy-E, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre nicely.”

“La La Land” (2016)

Earnings: $151 million

It looked simple and unassuming on the poster, but when actually watched, it was probably one of the most stunning films to come out of 2016. Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, it followed “the story of a struggling actress and a jazz musician whose lives get a little crazy when their dreams collide with romance.” Right off the bat, Gosling and Stone’s on-screen chemistry was very palpable and quickly made the film such a robust one from the very first dance sequence. 

For a long movie, it also managed to perfectly capture the quiet moments all so beautifully with rich jazz music. Added The Richest, this amazing film also garnered 14 Academy Award nominations and won two, for Best Director and for Best Actress for Emma Stone. 

“Les Misérables” (2012)

Earnings: $148 million

Anyone who’s seen Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables” will know immediately why Anne Hathaway easily won an Oscar for her role as Fantine, the mother of Cosette and a struggling factory worker. Even though that is a great highlight of the film, the film also tells the story of many French citizens during the years leading up to the French Revolution in 19th century France. The film then chose to conclude during the June Rebellion. 
Worldwide, the movie did really well, amassing $441 million on top of its $148 million gross domestically, all on a film budget of $61 million.