Highest-Grossing Movies: Where the Money Lies in 2016

Nowadays, most films are judged by dollars and cents. In other words, regardless of how many bad scores they are given on Rotten Tomatoes, that bottom line dictates whether they are a success, and whether or not a sequel will be penned in.


Fortunately, we’ve been pretty blessed with the quality of movies over the course of 2016. In his regular columns, David Berkowitz Chicago has lauded movie after movie and this appears to be one of the strongest years of the last decade.

However, if we return to those bottom line figures again, some of the results might be surprising. Here are the best movies of 2016 – ranked by how much money they have grossed at the box office.

Captain America: Civil War

Having grossed $1.15 billion at the box office, little else needs to be said about Captain America: Civil War. However, this is one movie where expectations were high to start with and a cast including Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans obviously put it in good stead.

The budget of $250m gave Disney a huge profit margin, while the critics scores seemed to correlate with the huge takings after Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 90% approval rating.


Something that will soon become apparent when reading this list is that kids films feature heavily. Something else which will become clear is that Disney are one of the most successful distributors around when it comes to box office grosses. Suffice to say, Zootopia ticks both of these boxes after grossing $1.02 billion around the world following its release in March.

Strictly speaking, it’s not actually a kid’s film – but the fact it is a 3D animation means that many publications will automatically classify it as this. In short, the animation is out of this world and with Rotten Tomatoes handing it a rating of 98%, it’s the highest rated film on that site as well.

The Jungle Book

It’s the same story with Jungle Book. It’s kids again, and it’s Disney again.

There was definitely a huge amount of anticipation ahead of this release, with this being a true Disney classic from the past after it was originally released in 1967. The way in which this film was made resulted in it becoming a favorite for many, with the producers attempting to strike a balance between the original by Rudyard Kipling and an updated version of the 1967 animation.

Suffice to say, the approach worked wonders. It’s the third highest grossing film of 2016, having grossed $964m around the world.

Finding Dory

Finally, we’ll continue with the theme. Finding Dory is another Disney masterpiece and is also regarded as one of the best children’s films of the year. This time the gross was slightly lower, but a return of $950m from a $200m budget is certainly not to be sniffed at.

Of course, with this being the sequel to the hugely successful 2003 movie Finding Nero there was again lots of anticipation. With several big names brought in as voices, there will be few raised eyebrows to see this movie at #4 on the highest grossing films of 2016.