Fantasy, sci-fi dominate highest grossing movies of all time

Megan Behnke, Reporter

The highest grossing movies of the year and of all time have one striking similarity: they’re overwhelmingly fantasy and sci-fi.

In 2019 alone, Walt Disney Studios has managed to bring in over a billion dollars for five different movies, and with a couple more titles still to be released before 2020, it’s no question they’ll be adding more to that list.

In its opening weekend in late April 2019, Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Endgame” shattered box office records, grossing $1.2 billion worldwide, beating the record of $640 million “Avengers: Infinity War” set last year, according to Box Office Mojo.

Although “Avengers: Endgame” currently holds the record for highest grossing movie of all time at the worldwide box office, at just short of $2.8 billion, Lucasfilm’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” which released in 2015, is still the highest grossing movie domestically at $936 million.

Film buff Tina Jackson thinks certain series have huge followings because of an inherent desire for acceptance and connection.

“We long to find our ‘tribe’ — people with whom we feel comfortable and truly belong,” Jackson said.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures currently has five of the top 10 highest grossing movies in the domestic box office of 2019. Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures have two movies each in the top 10, with Sony Pictures having just one.

People who grew up watching the original “Star Wars” trilogy can introduce their kids to the new ones, or someone who grew up on Marvel Comics can watch these movies with their children and maybe compare, contrast or just enjoy them.

Cosplayer Kerry Jasmine Gullickson said she thinks the reason why these movies do so well is because people want to escape into epic stories that take time to build and grow with them.

“These kinds of movie series last longer than just an hour on TV,” Gullickson said. “The movies seen in theaters just suck you in with sound, visual and audience participation. It’s like we are all in this together.”

Cosplayer Kristina Leigh thinks certain films have big followings because of the way they are crafted and are rooted in the realm of fantasy.

“The world is a mess, and humanity in general is eager to escape their reality and get lost in worlds that are fun and adventurous,” Leigh said. “The general themes of good versus evil can be found in all of the successful franchises, and that resonates with almost everyone, as we are, at our core, good people fighting in our day-to-day lives.”

Nerds and Beyond editor Brianna Lester had her own definition for the world of “fantasy.”

“I think of fantasy, personally, as anything that deviates from the real world via magic, mythical creatures, superpowers or other make-believe elements,” she said.