The Star Wars and The Lord Of The Rings franchises are two very different phenomenons but are phenomena nonetheless. In an era where box office numbers mean a lot, the two of these colossal franchises have brought in insane amounts, and stand as two of the very best in both quality and revenue.
While The Lord Of The Rings is based on books of equally epic proportions, the Star Wars franchise has often gotten heralded as the movies that kicked off the era of the box office. Nevertheless, they both have impressed. Let's rank them based on their Box Office Mojo numbers.
10 The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002) - $951,208,089
As well as the overall argument over whether or not The Lord Of The Rings is the best trilogy out there, there is a more specific argument over what is the best of the trilogy, with a lot feeling that it is Two Towers.
Continuing the journey of the heroes with a whole load of action, adventure, and emotion, Two Towers is an incredible movie and showed an upward trend for the trilogy in terms of the box office.
9 The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies (2014) - $956,019,788
The Hobbit trilogy ended up nowhere as beloved, acclaimed, or as memorable as Peter Jackson's first three ventures into Middle Earth, with the finale being decent, but not much more, focusing too much on spectacle.
Nevertheless, the movie made a giant amount of money, and even though it likely will not be as rewatched as its predecessor trilogy, the movie clearly had an audience.
8 The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013) - $958,366,855
Based on Rotten Tomatoes and other metrics like that, it appears as though Desolation Of Smaug is the best and most acclaimed of the trilogy, despite a box office that fell slightly from the first movie.
Continuing Bilbo and company's journey, the movie still could not reach the levels of The Lord Of The Rings, but definitely had its positives.
7 The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012) - $1,017,003,568
If not the second entry, the first venture into The Lord Of The Rings prequels is looked at in the most positive light, kicking off Peter Jackson's second venture into Middle Earth.
An Unexpected Journey is the only in the trilogy to earn over a billion dollars, with a downward trend happening from here, although they all did earn insane amounts.
6 Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999) - $1,027,082,707
The prequel trilogy upon release was extremely divisive, and at points straight up unpopular, only becoming more beloved after the fact with older fans coming round to it, and new fans adoring it.
Despite that though, The Phantom Menace became the first in the franchise to earn over $1 billion, and the only one for another sixteen years. The Duel of the Fates garnered multiple admissions clearly.
5 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) - $1,056,057,273
Disney and Lucasfilm's first venture into standalone Star Wars stories was a roaring success, with Rogue One well-received by audiences and critics alike, as well as killing it at the box office.
Similar to how the Duel of the Fates was worth The Phantom Menace's price of admission, the entire third act of Rogue One was worth its price. The movie may lack character development but is great in every other area and truly earned its money.
4 Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise Of Skywalker (2019) - $1,074,144,248
Moving onto the more divisive side of Disney Star Wars movies, The Rise Of Skywalker was a very strangely received film. At first, critics hated it while audiences loved it, now the fandom is split on the film also.
There was some good, and a load of bad in the movie with it continuing the trend of no plan, and a disjointedness about all three films which was only made worse by this movie. Nevertheless, it still earned an incredible box office take, even if it was projected to be more.
3 The Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King (2003) - $1,142,219,401
The epic conclusion to The Lord Of The Rings trilogy broke awards records, earned an insane amount at the box office, and gave a satisfying conclusion to an incredible trilogy.
The movie is probably the least popular of the three, but that does not say much considering how brilliant each entry is, and how much money they made.
2 Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017) - $1,332,539,889
Moving back to Disney's divisive Star Wars, the king of it all is The Last Jedi, which still gets argued about today amongst civil fans and gets hurled hate and abuse at by the more toxic side of the fandom.
Critics loved the movie, and a lot of people wanted to see it, with it being the second biggest Star Wars film of all time. It has its weak points, but when the movie is good, it is phenomenal.
1 Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) - $2,068,223,624
Before The Rise Of Skywalker, before The Last Jedi, before the entire fandom got split, there was The Force Awakens. There were some people who refused to give anything Disney did a chance, but overall The Force Awakens has been the best received Disney Star Wars film to date.
The film definitely had its criticism for its familiarity with A New Hope. But, it remains the biggest domestic movie of all time, as well as one of the biggest movies of all time worldwide and hopefully can be fondly remembered in the same vein as the prequels in the coming years.
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