Following the release of “The Dark Knight Rises” and news that “The Hobbit” will officially be turned into a trilogy, we decided to take a look at the highest-grossing third films of trilogies of all time.
With Hollywood’s increasing emphasis on foreign grosses, expect this list to continue to change in the near future. In fact, our current list contains a trio of 2012 releases that are still on their way up the charts. Expect “The Hobbit,” “Iron Man 3,” and “The Hangover Part III” to all join these ranks in a year or two.
Note: This list only includes actual trilogies. Just because a film is the third in a series doesn’t mean it will make the list (sorry “Prisoner of Azkaban,” “Shrek the Third,” “Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End,” “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs,” etc.).
10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
9. Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983)
Worldwide Gross: $475 million
The concluding chapter of the original trilogy makes the list even with nearly three decades of inflation working against it.
8. Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted (2012)
Worldwide Gross: $501 million (and counting)
Playing towards the increasingly important foreign dollar right in the title lead to the most successful film in the franchise. We don’t expect this to remain a “trilogy” much longer.
7. “The Dark Knight Rises” (2012)
Worldwide Gross: $552 million (and counting)
The conclusion to Christopher Nolan‘s trilogy still stands to cross $1 billion in worldwide grosses after a few more weeks.
6. “Men in Black 3″ (2012)
5. “Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith” (2005)
Worldwide Gross: $849 million
Separating the prequels from the original trilogy, “Sith” benefitted from the payoff teased in the first two films, Anakin Skywalker finally turning into Darth Vader.
4. “Spider-Man 3″ (2007)
Worldwide Gross: $891 million
Anticipation for the three-quel brought in $151.1m opening weekend; however, after word of mouth spread, the film dropped a huge 61.5 percent in week two. However, it fared well enough overseas ($554.3m) to make it to the top ten.
3. “Toy Story 3″ (2010)
2. “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” (2003)
Worldwide Gross: $1.120 billion
Only five films have made more than the conclusion to Peter Jackson‘s original J.R.R. Tolkien trilogy.
1. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (2011)
SEE ALSO: Which Pixar films made the most money? >