Highest Grossing Movies of 2021

The year 2021 came with lots of excitement in the entertainment industry and particularly in the film industry. We were treated to lots of thrilling and exciting films. From Nomadland and Godzila vs Kong in January to Marvel’s “Spider Man: No Way Home” in December, there were blockbusters back to back! However, while there were so many movies to choose from throughout the year 2021, and with filmmakers putting in lots of work to make spectacular films, as expected, not all the films would perform the same way. Some would have a wider audience and are sure to earn massive revenues, others may not. 

Here, we take a look at which 2021 movie grossed the highest revenue globally for its makers. Any clues?

Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies of 2021

  • Spider-Man: No Way Home ($1,892,761,122)

This Superhero adventure/fiction film is based on the Marvel Comic character “Spiderman”, and is part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the 27th film in the franchise. Spider-Man: No Way Home debuted at the Fox Village Theater in Los Angeles on December 13, 2021, before being theatrically released in the United States on December 17. It is by a large margin the highest grossing movie of 2021. 

The film was widely anticipated, attracting attention domestically and globally. When the ticket sales began on November 29,  ticket websites such as Fandango and AMC Theaters crashed due to a large inflow of individuals wanting to purchase tickets. 

In the US alone, Spider-Man: No Way Home grossed $121.9 million on its opening day, and would go on to gross $260 million in its opening weekend, surpassing Avengers: Infinity War ($257.7 million) to become the second-highest domestic box office opening of all time. So far it has grossed over $1.89 billion. 

Genre: Action/Adventure/Fiction/Superhero

Released: December 17, 2021 (United States)

Director: Jon Watts

Distributors: Sony Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing

Box office: $1.89 billion

  • The Battle at Lake Changjin ($913,100,520)

First released in China on September 30, The Battle at Lake Changjin grossed over $460 million in its first week. The film received positive reviews on several Chinese websites, with Maoyan and Douban giving it a rating of 9.5 and 7.6 respectively. Overall, it has grossed over $913 million globally. The Battle at Lake Changjin  is currently the highest-grossing Chinese film of all time and the second highest grossing film of the year 2021 worldwide. 

Genre: War/Action

Released: September 30, 2021 (China)

Director: Dante Lam, Tsui Hark, Chen Kaige

Distributor: Polybona Films

Box office: $913.1 million

  • Hi, Mom ($841,674,419) 

This Chinese Comedy grossed $195 million in  its opening weekend. It was released on February 12 and was positively received by the Chinese audience who couldn’t help but talk about the film with their friends, thus further popularising it. Hi, Mom has a rating of 8.2 on Douban and 9.5 on Maoyan. It currently holds the all time record for the highest grossing movie by a solo female director. “Hi, Mom” is the third highest grossing film of 2021. So far, it has grossed US$848 million at the box office. “Hi, Mom” is director Jia Ling’s debut film. 

Genre: Comedy/Drama

Released: February 1, 2021 (China). 

Director: Jia Ling

Distributors: China Film Co., Ltd., Tianjin Maoyan Weiying Culture Media, Beijing Jingcai Time Culture Media, Shanghai Ruyi Film & TV Production, Ltd.

Box office: $841.7 million

  • No Time to Die ($774,153,007)

No Time To Die is actor Daniel Craig’s final film in the James Bond series. It was released on September 30 in the United Kingdom and October 8 in the United States. No Time To Die grossed $119.1 million in its opening weekend. It is the 4th highest grossing movie of 2021. 

Genre: Action/Thriller

Released: September 30, 2021 (United Kingdom)

Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga

Distributor: Universal Pictures, United Artists Releasing

Box office: $774.2 million

  • F9 ($726,425,501)

F9: The Fast Saga was first released in South Korea on May 19 and June 25 in the United States. F9 grossed $30 million on its first day and would reach $70 million in its opening weekend. Overall, F9 has grossed over $726 million and is the 5th highest grossing film of 2021. 

Genre: Action/Adventure

Released: May 19, 2021 (South Korea)

Director: Justin Lin

Distributor: Universal Pictures 

Box office: $726.2 million

  • Detective Chinatown 3 ($686,084,069)

Genre: Mystery/Comedy

Released: February 12, 2021 (China)

Director: Chen Sicheng

Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures, Wanda Media

Box office: $686.1 million

  • Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($506,863,592)

Genre: Musical/Comedy

Released: October 1, 2021 (United States)

Director: Andy Serkis

Distributor: Sony Pictures Releasing

Box office: $506.9 million

  • Godzilla vs. Kong ($468,216,094)

Genre: Sci-fi/Action 

Released: March 24, 2021 (International)

Director: Adam Wingard

Distributors: Warner Bros. Pictures, Toho

Box office: $468.2 million

  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings ($432,243,292)

Genre: Action/Fantasy/Superhero 

Released: September 3, 2021 (United States).

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton

Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Box office: $432.2 million

  • Sing 2 ($409,753,307)

Genre: Musical/Comedy

Released: December 22, 2021 (US).

Director: Garth Jennings

Distributor: Universal Pictures

Box office: $408.2 million


References: The Numbers | Box Office Mojo | Wikipedia


Highest Grossing Movies of 2021 (#11-20)

  • 11 Eternals ($402,064,929)
  • 12 Dune ($399,007,157)
  • 13 Black Widow ($379,751,655)
  • 14 Free Guy ($323,496,495)
  • 15 A Quiet Place: Part II ($296,667,589)
  • 16 Wo He Wo De Fu Be ($231,838,172)
  • 17 Encanto ($230,677,560)
  • 18 Cruella ($226,892,470)
  • 19 Nou fo ($211,231,310)
  • 20 Jungle Cruise ($210,384,144)