The Biggest Opening Weekends of All-Time

We’re living in the age of the blockbuster movies (not to be confused with the age of Blockbuster Videos). Every year, the movies become more action packed and earn more money. Here are the twenty highest-grossing opening weekends of the past 20 years:

2016: Deadpool
Deadpool became the first R-rated movie to break $100 million in its opening weekend. The "Merc with a Mouth" also set the February record, earning $135 million in its first three days.
2015: Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Star Wars: The Force Awakens set all kinds of box office records becoming the highest-grossing Disney film of all-time and the fastest film to reach $1 billion at the box office (which it achieved in only 12 days). Episode VII also earned a record setting $247 million in its opening weekend.
2014: Transformers: Age of Extinction
Michael Bay's soft-reboot of the Transformers franchise gave the series its second highest opening weekend ever at about $100M.
article continues below ad
2013: Iron Man 3
The third Iron Man film is Marvel’s highest grossing solo superhero flick, hitting $174M in its opening weekend.
2012: The Avengers
The first Marvel team up film proved mighty at the box office, netting the highest opening weekend gross of all time at $207M (a record it held until Jurassic World was released in 2015)
2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
The last Harry Potter film capped off the franchise by giving it its biggest opening weekend ever: $169M.
article continues below ad
2010: Iron Man 2
The second Iron Man improved upon the original with a substantial opening weekend of $128M.
2009: The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Surprisingly, Twilight: New Moon had the highest grossing opening weekend of the entire franchise, even besting the openings of the two-part finale with $143M.
2008: The Dark Knight
Christopher Nolan’s landmark superhero flick broke box office records with its massive opening weekend of $161M.
article continues below ad
2007: Spider-Man 3
The overstuffed sequel to the sublime Spider-Man 2 easily topped the box office in 2008 with $121M, though we’re still waiting for a proper Venom movie.
2006: Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest
The second Pirates film made Jack Sparrow a household name with its massive opening weekend of $136M.
2005: Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith
The last film in the Star Wars prequel trilogy did excellent box office business with an $108M opening weekend, but the film itself didn’t live up to the pedigree of the original trilogy.
article continues below ad
2004: Shrek 2
The surprisingly lucrative Shrek 2 holds the title as the third highest opening weekend for an animated film with $108M.
2003: The Matrix Reloaded
The sequel to The Matrix easily outgrossed it’s processor, despite being a mostly disappointing follow-up. It opened to $92M.
2002: Spider-Man
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man kicked off the superhero boom with a huge opening weekend of $115M, the record at the time.
article continues below ad
2001: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
The first film in the Harry Potter franchise opened huge to $90M, paving the way for seven more films in the series.
2000: Mission: Impossible 2
The John Woo-directed actioner cruised (sorry) to the top of the box office with a $58M opening weekend.
1999: Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Despite a lukewarm critical reception, the first Star Wars prequel had the highest opening weekend in 1999 at $65M, ensuring the existence of two more disappointing sequels.
article continues below ad
1998: Godzilla
Roland Emmerich’s disastrous take on Godzilla managed to top the box office in 1998 with $44M.
1997: The Lost World: Jurassic Park
The second Jurassic Park film had the highest opening weekend of the series at $72M, proving the key to box-office success wasn’t all the dinosaurs, but in fact, Vince Vaughn.