If you want to be successful in the movie industry, being part of a lucrative film franchise is undoubtedly one of the best ways to go about it.
Numerous Hollywood studios have attempted to create popular movie series, but only a select few have been fortunate to achieve the feat.
A recent study by Betway Insider took an in-depth look at film franchises to come up with a definitive answer about which is the most popular.
They assessed several key categories such as box office takings, average IMDb rating, awards won and more – here is what they discovered.
1. Star Wars
The most successful film franchise of all-time is Star Wars, which also happens to have enjoyed the longevity that every film producer dreams about.
It has secured impressive box office takings of $10.3 billion and won 348 awards at major ceremonies across the globe.
Star Wars also scores well in the number of cast members to return to it over the years, with 121 actors and actresses reprising their roles during the series.
Having become a global smash in its own right, Spider-Man has subsequently contributed to the massive success of the Marvel franchise in recent years.
The superhero franchise has racked up a whopping $8.3bn at the box office and is one of the most searched for terms on the internet.
Spider-Man films have won 184 awards, while the series also ranks in the top ten for the number of stars who have appeared in more than one movie.
Marvel Studios’ decision to turn its vast array of superheroes into a film franchise is unquestionably one the finest anyone in the movie industry has ever made.
First launched in 2008 with Iron Man, the series has raked in a staggering $27.4bn at the box office and picked up 555 major film awards.
Loyalty to the franchise amongst the acting ranks has been hugely impressive, with 232 cast members returning to feature in subsequent releases.
4. Harry Potter
The Harry Potter franchise has been a lucrative earner for author J.K. Rowling, with estimates putting her net worth at around $1bn.
The eight-film series made $9.7bn at the box office, but is only ranked seventh on the list for the most number of film awards won.
Harry Potter scored extremely well in terms of merchandise searches, which is unsurprising given its popularity with younger audiences.
Another of the longer-standing film franchises, Batman scores very well in several key survey categories to take fifth place on the list.
The franchise’s overall rating was dragged down a little by box office takings, while an average IMDb score also negatively impacted its ranking.
However, Batman is one of the most searched for film series on the internet and ranks in the top five for the number of movie awards it has won.
6. James Bond
The James Bond franchise is another series that scores well in terms of searches, while it is inside the top five for the number of returning cast members.
James Bond is the sixth highest-grossing film franchise of all-time, with only Marvel, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Spider-Man and Fast & Furious ahead of it.
However, fans have not been overly kind on IMDb, with many James Bond films coming in for huge criticism on the respected review site.
7. Jurassic Park
The enduring popularity of the Jurassic Park franchise is perfectly demonstrated by the box office takings for the latest film in the series – Jurassic World Dominion.
Released in 2023, it has raked in more than $1bn worldwide and is currently the second highest-grossing film of the year behind Top Gun: Maverick.
The Jurassic Park franchise is the eighth highest-grossing film series of all-time, having earned more than $6bn worldwide at the box office.
8. Lord of The Rings
While Lord of The Rings just about sneaks into the top 10 for box office takings, it performs extremely well in several other key categories.
The six-film franchise has won 494 major awards, putting it second behind the Marvel series and significantly ahead of Star Wars.
The Lord of The Rings series also tops the rankings for successful average IMDb rating ahead of Harry Potter, Marvel, Spider-Man and Star Wars.
9. Fast & Furious
The Fast & Furious franchise is fifth on the all-time list of highest-grossing films despite struggling to receive positive reviews from audiences and movie critics alike.
Its success at the box office has also not translated into success at awards ceremonies, with the series finishing in 12th position in the standings.
However, with a new movie scheduled for release in May 2023, it appears there is still some life left in a franchise that many people tipped to fail at the outset.
The X-Men franchise scored consistently well across the board, with a couple of low scores in the search categories dragging its overall ranking down.
It is the seventh highest-grossing film series of all-time and eighth in the standings for average review rating on IMDb.
The X-Men also finished in the top 10 for number of major awards won, ahead of franchises such as Pirates of the Caribbean, The Hunger Games and Fast & Furious.
Most successful film franchises – the final word
While Star Wars tops the list in this study, it is difficult not to be impressed by the consistent success delivered by the Marvel brand.
Having been established as by Sony Pictures Entertainment as a film franchise from 2002-2014, Spider-Man has since been integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).
The day where MCU takes over from Star Wars as the most successful film franchise of all-time cannot be too far away given the popularity and regularity of their releases.