ByMatthew Chapman, writer at Creators.co
Male. Australian. Nerd. Twitter: shuey1984
Matthew Chapman

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has been out for a month now and it's still raking in the dollars at the box-office. At this point, if you have the Star Wars name attached to anything, you are pretty much guaranteed to get butts in seats but it also helped that Rogue One was the first foray into a story that doesn't revolve around the Skywalkers.

Having been regular staple at the cinemas since A New Hope was released in 1977 and always having merchandise on stands, it stands to reason that the Star Wars saga will have a lot of money under its belt. Wanna take a guess? It's just a few billion...

$7.34 billion, to be exact.

With these new figures, the nine-film Star Wars saga has now overtaken the 26 films of James Bond to become the third highest-grossing movie franchise. Even with a 15-year head start and a lot more films under their belt, Bond doesn't bring in the money like a Star Wars film will, especially with things like merchandise.

While its primary figures come from theatrical box office earnings, a film franchise can continue to add to their total with merchandising, home video and television broadcast rights, making franchise films some of the best performers for the last 10+ years.

With that change, let's take a look at the top 5 highest-grossing movie franchises!

5) Middle-Earth

'The Lord of the Rings' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'The Lord of the Rings' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

How many films? Seven

Total worldwide box office? $5,883,468,587

Highest-grossing film? The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1,119,929,521)

While there have only been three #LordoftheRings (2001-2003) films and three Hobbit films (2012-2014), this figure also includes the 1978 animated film, The Lord of the Rings. With no more films in the works, it seems likely that this franchise will be pushed out in the next few years with the X-Men, The Fast and the Furious and Transformers franchises close behind.

4) James Bond

The Men of Bond [Credit: MGM]
The Men of Bond [Credit: MGM]

How many films? Twenty Six

Total worldwide box office? $7,040,275,645

Highest-grossing film? Skyfall ($1,108,561,013)

While the Bond films used to be pumped out regularly, the Daniel Craig films seem to be further apart with the two most recent films, Skyfall and #Spectre, released three years apart. While there is more planned, who will play Bond is up for debate, as Daniel Craig is undecided on whether he will return for more.

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3) Star Wars

'Star Wars' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]
'Star Wars' [Credit: 20th Century Fox]

How many films? Nine

Total worldwide box office? $7,374,550,783

Highest-grossing film? The Force Awakens ($2,068,223,624)

The Star Wars saga, including The Clone Wars animated film (2008) and #RogueOne, is only set to get bigger with Episode VIII released this year followed by Han Solo: A Star Wars Story in 2018. With every movie comes tons of merchandise and also multiple comic book series' ongoing at the moment.

2) The Wizarding World

'Harry Potter' and 'Fantastic Beats' [Credit: Warner Bros.]
'Harry Potter' and 'Fantastic Beats' [Credit: Warner Bros.]

How many films? Nine

Total worldwide box office? $8,520,097,702

Highest-grossing film? Deathly Hallows – Part 2 ($1,341,511,219)

While the #HarryPotter saga might have finished in 2011, we have entered the Wizarding World again with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them hitting cinemas last year. With four more movies planned, this magical franchise isn't going to be disappearing from the list anytime soon.

1) Marvel Cinematic Universe

The Marvel Cinematic Universe [Credit: Marvel/Walt Disney]
The Marvel Cinematic Universe [Credit: Marvel/Walt Disney]

How many films? Fourteen

Total worldwide box office? $10,896,795,096

Highest-grossing film? The Avengers ($1,519,557,910)

With three new films coming out this year alone, I don't see the #MCU dropping any places anytime soon. While Guardians of the Galaxy made $773,312,399 in 2014, I see Volume 2 bringing in the big bucks for Marvel and Walt Disney this year, and with movies planned until 2020, their box office earnings are only set to skyrocket!

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Three out of the five franchises on the list currently have movies in production, so there will probably be a few familiar faces returning in 2018 as well as some new entries.

With Batman ($4.68 billion), X-Men ($4.37 billion) and Spider-Man ($3.96 billion) holding the next three spots, and with all three of them still pumping out movies, it's entirely possible that this time next year, we might see some changes to the list.

How do you think the list will look next year? Any surprises here? Comment below.