A week ago we looked at the highest 10-day grossers of all time, now I bring you sort of a sequel to that list, the top 10 fastest films to ever reach $300 million in North America. Now as is with most sequels, there might be more than a few similarities, after all, sequels come from a lack of original ideas, right? But you’ll notice a few changes like, for example, the complete absence of a certain web crawler that was featured twice last time around. And yes, The Hunger Games has a spot on this top 10.
10. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) – This took 19 days to reach $302.8 million and ended up with $352.3 million. Interestingly, Dark of the Moon just barely missed the last top 10 with $223.3 million in 10 days ($225.1 million was the number for 10th place).
9. Toy Story 3 (2010) – The 3rd entry in the Pixar animated series needed 18 days to get to $301.8 million. That’s like 3 weekends and a day, very impressive and hopefully, when Toy Story 4 comes out (and as long as it’s just as good), it will get there faster. Toy Story 3 finished with $415 million.
8. Shrek 2 (2004) – Another film that wasn’t in my last top 10, Shrek 2 made it to $300 million in 18 days but unlike Toy Story 3, it got there with $302.6 million. Box office wise, this was the highpoint of the franchise with a total of $441.2 million.
7. Star Wars: Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith (2005) – 17 days to reach $300.3 million and it ended up with $380.2 million. While this is the fastest in the series to reach that mark, it’s only 3rd when taking into account the overall totals (if we don’t include re-releases, it’s 2nd after Phantom Menace).
6. The Hunger Games (2012) – The newest film on this list, it got here in 17 days with $302.4 million. Since every single film found here ended up with at least $350 million, it’s safe to say The Hunger Games should at the very least match that number at the end of its run.
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006) – 16 days with $311.3 million and this one finished with $423.3 million. It remains by far the highest grossing film in the franchise.
4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011) – The last Harry Potter adventure needed 15 days to hit $303 million and finished with $381 million. This was only the 3rd Potter film to pass $300 million and it got there much faster than The Philosopher’s Stone (52 days) and Half-Blood Prince (77 days).
3. Avatar (2009) – The current highest grossing film of all time got to $308.8 million in 15 days and didn’t stop before $749.7 million (during its initial run). What’s more surprising than the success of this film is the fact we doubted James Cameron again, just like we did when Titanic was on the verge of release. While I don’t think Avatar 2 will match the total of the original, it should reach $300 million much faster.
2. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) – Here stands probably the most hated film on this top 10. Trashed by everyone, Revenge of the Fallen still managed to hit $305.5 million in just 14 days and was out of juice at $402.1 million, where it stopped.
1. The Dark Knight (2008) – Batman got to $313.7 million in only 10 days, absolutely trashing every gross speed record by a wide margin. The film went on to a $533.3 million total, making it (at the time) only the 2nd film to ever pass the $500 million mark. This summer The Dark Knight Rises has a lot to live up to and I’m hoping it can deliver.
A few last words are supposed to come here and since I’m all out of ideas, I’ll finish this in a very factual way while trying to maintain my serious face in the process. You see, only 37 films have made it past $300 million in North America and while The Dark Knight was the fastest (10 days, in case you skipped to the end, cheater), Forest Gump came in last place (193 days). Also for the Lord of the Rings fans out there (I’m one) that might be wondering why there’s no film from the trilogy on here, well, they were a few years ago. Now Return of the King is the highest of the franchise in 14th with 24 days to hit 300 million.
I promise I’ll do a fastest to $400 million top 10 as soon as we have a new film reach that mark. What film you think will be the next to make $400 million?