Highest Grossing Animated Films
Mon, April 19, 2021

Highest Grossing Animated Films

For all its controversy, the 2019 version of “The Lion King” easily unseated 2013’s top performer at the box office, “Frozen,” and mostly for good reason / Photo by: chingyunsong via Shutterstock

 

Over the years, animated movies have become more technically sophisticated and better-looking, thanks to the advancements in technology. They have also become an entertainment fare for everyone, embracing audiences of all ages with their stories that are rife with lessons relevant to the young ones and values and even jokes that the older generations will appreciate as well. Cartoons are no longer strictly for kids. 

Still spearheaded by Disney, which became even more a juggernaut with its acquisition of Pixar, the animated movie genre has seen its popularity reach dizzying heights with the entry of other studios that have proven they too are up to the task, such as Illumination Entertainment, Sony Pictures Animation, Laika Entertainment, Warner Bros. Animation, and Dreamworks. These companies have created truly enjoyable animated movies that also proved a success at the box office. Here are some of the highest-grossing animated films so far. 

 

“The Lion King” (2019)

Worldwide Gross: $1,631,724,000

For all its controversy, the 2019 version of “The Lion King” easily unseated 2013’s top performer at the box office, “Frozen,” and mostly for good reason. People are suckers for nostalgic things, never mind that the movie was heavily criticized for recreating the 1994 version, which was already perfect, with a product that some said looked a better fit on the Animal Planet channel. According to The Wrap, a digital-first news organization covering the business of entertainment and media via digital, print, and live events, the box office earnings of “The Lion King” still did not solve the problem of whether it is live-action or animated, considering the general appearance of the project somehow made it feel a little uncanny valley.

The impressive success of “The Lion King” was further boosted when the overall gross of the film was compared to its budget, which was a “mere” $45 million. 

“Frozen” (2013)

Worldwide Gross: $1,276,480,335

It’s been knocked down to second place but “Frozen” is still the smash hit it’s been six years ago. It’s still a heavily popular franchise and was beloved by so many people when it came out and had a good run. The Wrap reported that the earnings for the franchise also came from merchandising, video on demand, and home video. It had an unbelievably fun and creative soundtrack as well and prompted so many of us to belt out “Let It Go” whenever we had the chance. 

“Frozen” also performed really well alongside other movies, animated or otherwise, as Screen Rant, an online entertainment news website that offers news in the field of television, films, video games, and film theories, reported that it is actually the 14th highest-grossing movie of all time. 

It’s been knocked down to second place but “Frozen” is still the smash hit it’s been six years ago. It’s still a heavily popular franchise and was beloved by so many people when it came out and had a good run / Photo by: Mike Mozart via Flickr

 

"The Incredibles 2" (2018) 

Worldwide Gross: $1,242,805,359

A sequel that was 14 years in the making, “The Incredibles 2” proved to be such a big hit that it was nearly all everyone talked about when it came out. Its weekend at the box office was massive. Screen Rant reported that the animated movie about a family of superheroes made $182 million over the weekend of its first airing. It was the highest-grossing animated feature to come from Pixar as well. 

“Minions” (2015) 

Worldwide Gross: $1,159,398,397

Love them or hate them, the minions are here to stay, what with their impressive performance at the box office. When they were first seen in the first “Despicable Me” movie, they launched a fan base that was yellow and unironically fervently downloading minion-based games. Just as unironically, “Minions” made a billion-dollar payout at the cinema when they surpassed the one billion mark easily, trumping “Despicable Me” and “Despicable Me 2.” 

These successful bright yellow oddities were given their own storylines, which captivated enough people that they made an impressive $115 million just on opening weekend. According to Screen Rant, the success of the movie was so through the roof that it practically rubbed elbows with “Iron Man 3” in the top 20 highest-grossing films ever.   

Love them or hate them, the minions are here to stay, what with their impressive performance at the box office / Photo by: infinindy via Shutterstock

 

“Toy Story 3” (2010) 

Worldwide Gross: $1,066,969,703

Even though it’s the third installment, “Toy Story 3” had the backs of two highly successful predecessors in the franchise to justify its spot on the list as being one of the highest-grossing animated movies of all time. Technically, when it was made in 2010, it already appeared to be the convincing end to a wonderful and beloved series, but Disney surprised everyone when they released a fourth installment, which might have done really well in cinemas but not as much as “Toy Story 3,” it seems. 

According to Screen Rant, the success of “Toy Story 3” proved that “animated features could reach numbers that were comparable to big live-action blockbusters such as superhero and sci-fi franchises.” 

 

“Despicable Me 3” (2017) 

Worldwide Gross: $1,034,799,409

“Minions” was pretty high on this list but what about the other “Despicable Me” movies? Well, never worry because the third installment also made the list of the highest-grossing movies. Gru and long-lost blond-haired brother teamed up in the franchise’s big grosser, reported The Wrap. Screen Rant described the performance of “Despicable Me 3” as being a sign that the franchise is still going strong. 

It’s tough to keep the public entertained, but in the span of enough movies and spinoffs, the “Despicable Me” franchise seemed to have enough ideas to keep the public entertained. In its opening weekend, it made $72 million.

These are but some of the most successful animated movies that the public was gifted with. With their superb graphics and special effects working together with an equally splendid script, it is not really a surprise that they became a big hit worldwide.