Harry Potter and 7 Other Highest-Grossing Young Adult Film Franchises, According to Box Office Mojo

Fans of the young adult (YA) genre will be able to watch The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents in 2023, with the hunger games prequel recently cast Peter Dinklage. The film may well reignite interest in the young adult landscape, which has seen a relative downturn since its peak in the 2010s.

Nevertheless, many YA franchises have become big blockbusters, including Harry Potter and The Twilight Sagaas well as anime series like How to train your dragon. The success of these YA movies peaked at the box office, with box office mojo a great source for tracking the commercial performance of movies. The box office performance of films in the genre also shows why some series ended prematurely and which ended with a bang.


8 The Divergent Series (2014-2016) – $765 million

There were already a lot of movies like Divergent at the time of its release, which may explain why it hasn’t been as popular as other young adult franchises. Intended to be a tetralogy, it ended as a trilogy when the planned final episode never materialized.

Still, the story of Tris Prior’s insurrection against totalitarian rule made quite a bit of money through his three films. Divergent, Insurgentand alleviating grossed $288.8 million, $297 million, and $179.2 million for a grand total of $765 million (according to box office mojo). The series missed the billion dollar mark, but was unlucky to release at a time when the young adult genre was experiencing a decline in popularity.

seven The Maze Runner (2014-2018) – $949 million

Although The maze Runner released when the teen sci-fi genre was far from its peak, all three films performed better than most would have expected. The story of young people trapped in a seemingly hopeless maze was gripping enough to bring the trilogy to its natural conclusion.

The Labyrinth, The Burning Trials, and The cure for death grossed $348.3 million, $312.3 million, and $288.1 million to reach a final gross total of $949 million worldwide (according to box office mojo). Although the films suffered from the law of diminishing returns, they held up well in international markets.

6 The Chronicles of Narnia (2005-2010) – $1.580 billion

Long considered one of the best fantasy series of all time, The Chronicles of Narnia was a big deal when the first movie was released. The classic tale of the Pevensie children heading to the magical land of Narnia to rid it of evil hasn’t quite told its full story, as only three movies have been made out of the book’s seven episodes.

The film trilogy included The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspianand The Odyssey of the Dawn Treader totaling $745 million, $419.6 million and $415.6 million, respectively for a worldwide transport of $1.580 billion (according to box office mojo). The noticeable drop in performance is the reason for the abandonment of the young adult series.

5 How to Train Your Dragon (2010-2019) – $1.636 billion

The How to train your dragon is a rare anime franchise designed to appeal to young adults rather than being just for kids. The story is about the friendship between the young Viking Hiccup and the dragon Toothless as they prevent many attacks from outside forces against their community.

How to train your dragonThe three films earned $494.9 million, $621.5 million, and $519.9 million, to gross $1.636 billion worldwide (according to box office mojo). While the per-movie average remains impressive, the drop in gross for the third installment means it was probably the right decision to wrap up the series at its peak.

4 The Hunger Games (2012-) – $2.968 billion

Katniss Everdeen is recognized as one of the most badass female characters of the 2010s, with Jennifer Lawrence’s career also rocketing to new heights. The hunger Games concerns the protagonist’s participation in a gladiatorial arena pitting young people against each other.

The hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay Part 1, and Mocking Jay Part 2 grossed $694.4 million, $865 million, $755.3 million, and $653.4 million for a final total of $2.968 billion (according to box office mojo). The series originally ended after the main story was told, but will soon return with The Ballad of Songbirds and Serpents, which will serve as a prequel.

3 The Twilight Saga (2008-2012) $3.359 billion

There was a time when The Twilight Saga ruled pop culture, as young adults eagerly awaited the release of the latest installment each year. The story of Bella Swan falling in love with the vampire Edward Cullen sparked considerable interest in the monster genre which placed a heavy emphasis on romantic overtones.

The five films earned a combined gross of $3.359 billion worldwide (according to box office mojo), becoming the second highest-grossing film series based on a young adult novel. It also proved instrumental in pushing Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart into the A-list category.

2 Harry Potter (2001-2011) $7.793 billion

The Harry Potter is the ultimate benchmark of success in the young adult film genre, having topped the box office for an entire decade. Unlike most young adult series, the franchise strikes a lighter tone with the titular protagonist of Hogwarts Magical School before taking on the villainous Lord Voldemort.

The eight films were at one point the highest-grossing franchise overall before being overtaken by other media. Still, a combined worldwide gross of $7.793 billion is an astonishing figure that few can hope to match (according to box office mojo). The series’ gross increased slightly when the re-release of the first installment pushed its gross to $1.022 billion (according to Box Office Mojo).

1 Spider-Man (2002-) – $8.2 billion

The Spider Man The series is one of the few superhero efforts to focus solely on teenage characters and is largely aimed at a young adult audience. Each iteration has focused on a version of Peter Parker facing off against enemies who threaten him and his friends in New York.

The Tobey Maguire-directed series grossed $2.5 billion worldwide, while the Andrew Garfield duology grossed $1.467 billion (according to box office mojo). Tom Holland’s MCU “Home” trilogy proved to be an even bigger blockbuster, grossing as much as $3.913 billion worldwide. Plus, the Miles Morales-directed animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse raised $375.5 million to boost the Spider Man brand performance even more (according to box office mojo).

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