Shropshire Star

Stammering, Star Wars, and a sing-along circus show: The films that ruled the box office this decade

This was the decade that massive franchises ruled the roost the box office.


The reinvigoration of Star Wars under the watchful eye of Disney provided the only real rival to the runaway success of the Marvel Universe as filmgoers handed over billions of pounds to watch big-name movies.

The highest-grossing “original” film – one that was not a comic book adaptation, a remake, or part of a larger franchise, was Disney’s musical sensation Frozen – but even this lagged in 13th place in the biggest money-makers of the decade.

Two Avengers grossed a combined $5 billion at cinemas worldwide, and were only separated at the top of the list of the biggest films of the 2010s by Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

One notable entry into the list of big-bucks films is Furious 7, 2015’s latest entry into the Fast and Furious franchise.

It was notable because it marked the final appearance of one of the series’ original stars, Paul Walker, who had died in a car crash in November 2013, before the film had been completed

The finished picture garnered praise for its emotional tribute to the popular action star.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the list of Best Picture winners at the Oscars looks quite different to the list of the highest-grossing movies.

Tom Hooper’s low-key The King’s Speech, about a speech impediment which affected King George VI in the run-up to the Second World War, was the first Oscar winner of the decade in 2010, and the silent movie The Artist was victorious in 2011.

One of the most notable Oscar winners of the decade was 12 Years A Slave, released in 2013, which sits proudly on a list which elsewhere features a number of films that have not received the same level of public affection, such as Birdman and Moonlight.

This was also the decade of success for two major genres – digital remakes of Disney films such as The Lion King and The Jungle Book, and musical biopics.

Elton John and Freddie Mercury were both the subject of films that became runaway successes.

But perhaps the surprise hit of the decade was one that came from nowhere, was generally critically panned, but was beloved by huge audiences that couldn’t get enough of the cheesy singalongs it inspired. Step forward a film about PT Barnum’s circus – The Greatest Showman, in 2017.

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