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Highest Worldwide Box Office 2024

by Scott Kacsmar
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Box Office 2024

While there may not be an award for having the movie with the highest worldwide box office in a given year, every studio is dying to hold that title as it means huge profit for them.

Just last year, Barbie earned over $1.44 billion at the box office to lead all 2023 films, making it one of the biggest releases in the post-COVID era.

Before COVID happened in 2020, we were seeing a dramatic rise in box office successes totaling $1 billion thanks to the franchise and sequel machines out there. In 2019, a whopping 9 movies made over $1 billion at the box office, and they were all established intellectual properties, including 3 movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and sequels to Toy Story, Star Wars and Frozen.

So far, only 6 movies in the period of 2020-24 have reached $1 billion, but there is a fair chance we’ll see more on the list by the end of 2024. At a top-rated sportsbook like  Bovada (visit our Bovada Review to learn more), you can bet on which movie will finish 2024 with the highest worldwide box office. We walk through the strategy for the best pick below.

The Favorite: Dune – Part Two (+190)

The odds-on favorite is currently leading all movies in the 2024 box office as Dune: Part Two has crossed the $668 million mark. Here is the current list of leaders according to Box Office Mojo:

  1. Dune: Part Two – $668M
  2. Kung Fu Panda 4 – $420M
  3. Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire – $369M
  4. Bob Marley: One Love – $176M
  5. The Beekeeper – $152M

Considering Dune came out just a week before Kung Fu Panda 4 (+3000), this substantial lead of over $240M should hold up.

The latest Godzilla x Kong movie (+1500 ) came out 4 weeks after Dune, and it already dropped 61% at the box office from its first week. It has not been well received by critics and most fans, so word of mouth is unlikely to keep it going to topple Dune. The only thing it has going for it is a Japanese release still to come on April 26, but even Japan only grossed $48M for 2023’s Godzilla Minus One, a Japanese film that is considered far superior to any American offering.

Therefore, we conclude that Dune: Part Two will outgross any movie that’s already come out through April 12 this year. The challengers to the throne for the highest box office are the 6 movies with odds of +2000 or better that have yet to be released.

Gladiator 2 (+2000)

It has been a long time since Gladiator came out in 2000, but we are getting a sequel that will be released on November 22, 2024. The original was a box-office smash with $465.4M on a budget of $103M.

However, this sequel has been in development hell for over 20 years with director Ridley Scott finally putting the pieces together recently with a way forward. Will it include star Russell Crowe? That’s not very likely for obvious reasons, but newcomer Paul Mescal (Normal People) is set to headline an impressive cast with Denzel Washington and Pedro Pascal.

The film could do quite well, but keep in mind we are likely talking about an epic, R-rated period piece that doesn’t release until around Thanksgiving. The bet is for the top box office at the end of 2024, so that gives the film about 5 weeks to gross the most it can, and that doesn’t seem like enough time to earn the top spot.

Mufasa: The Lion King (+1800)

Look, people still love The Lion King. When the original animated hit came out in 1994, it crushed the box office with $763M worldwide, which was over $430M more than the next-closest film (Forrest Gump, $329M).

Remember that 2019 “live-action” remake of The Lion King with the soulless expressions from the animals that most people didn’t truly enjoy? That still made $1.65 billion at the box office, which ranked No. 2 that year and is a huge number.

Don’t be surprised if the final numbers for Mufasa: The Lion King, a prequel to that 2019 release, are staggering and lead all movies for 2024. However, the release date is a killer here as it is December 20, 2024. Great for families at Christmas time, but that doesn’t even give it 2 full weeks to rack up the most box office in 2024.

We’ll pass for that reason as the bet is for numbers through December 31, 2024.

Joker: Folie A Deux (+1400)

Speaking of 2019 successes, Joker was another hit with $1.078 billion at the box office, which ranked No. 6 that year. We are getting a sequel with Joaquin Phoenix back in the role that won him an Oscar for Best Actor, and Lady Gaga is playing Harley Quinn in what will be a musical take in the sequel Joker: Folie A Deux.

This one has potential as the release date is October 4, the same as the 2019 release, so it should get a solid run at the title for nearly 3 whole months of the year. It also has a $200M budget, which is more than double the original film, so they are putting a lot into this one for marketing and scale.

The fan excitement is there as the newly released trailer was a big deal with 167 million views in 24 hours, beating out the initial Barbie trailer for Warner Bros.

With Dune slowing down in April, this one has potential if the target number is around $800 million. Clearly, they are looking to at least match what the 2019 film made, which was over a billion. The R-rating did not hurt that film either, and adding Lady Gaga can bring in some other interested parties who may not have gone to see the first one.

Inside Out 2 (+550)

The original Inside Out came out in 2015 as the latest Disney Pixar film, and it made $858.8M at the box office. It was well received, but is it really on par with more established Pixar franchises like Toy Story and The Incredibles? Those last sequels both grossed over a billion, but even a Toy Story spin-off like Lightyear bombed in 2022 with $226M.

The last Pixar film, 2023’s Elemental, only made $496M on a $200M budget, so the studio has not been churning out the mega hits as often anymore.

Add in the fact it’s been nearly a decade since the last Inside Out, and a whole generation of kids who went to the first one are at an age where they wouldn’t be caught dead with their parents in public now.

This sequel should do well with a June 14, 2024 release date, but it’s not good value at these odds to claim the top spot at the end of the year.

Deadpool 3 (+250)

Deadpool 3, better known as Deadpool & Wolverine, is set to release on July 26, 2024, so that is in the summer sweet spot for moviegoers. It is also the long-awaited return to the big screen for Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool and Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine in a team-up movie that is the first R-rated feature for the MCU as these characters are officially integrated into that.

It is a bold project with high expectations, but we’ll see if the R-rating has any negative impact on its earnings. Even a fantastic film like 2017’s Logan only made $619.2M at the box office. Deadpool (2016) finished at $782.8M and Deadpool 2 was right at that mark with $785.8M.

You have to think those numbers would be a tad higher with a PG-13 rating, but to play devil’s advocate, those movies wouldn’t be as violent or filled with crude humor at that rating. It’s a give-and-take situation.

Can this one get to that $800M mark and beyond? Possibly, but it doesn’t feel like the best choice.

Despicable Me 4 (+210)

Finally, we are looking at the latest entry in the Despicable Me franchise, set to release on July 3, 2024. That’s great timing for the big holiday weekend in the summer. But is there any fatigue with this franchise as this will be the 6th entry following a couple of prequels about the Minions? According to the box office, not really.

Minions: The Rise of Gru (2022) still made $939M worldwide, which was on par with the Minions (2015) making $1.159B, Despicable Me 2 (2013) making $970M and Despicable Me 3 (2017) making $1.034B.

Between the royalties for this and reruns of The Office, Steve Carell is still winning at life without having to put in much effort into new material.

This has great potential to win even if it’s a so-so sequel.

Conclusion: The Pick

So, what is the plan here?

The bar has been raised to that $1 billion territory to lead the year in box office gross. With the way Dune has been slowing down – it’s made just $15 million in domestic box office through 2 weeks of April – you have a hard time seeing that one top $800M at this point.

That feels like a low bar for the field. There’s value in the Joker sequel topping it at +1400, so that is a definite play.

However, is it the best play? No, that should be Despicable Me 4. It has a lot going for it as an established IP, family-friendly, and has a great release date in the heart of summer. Even if you haven’t remembered anything in that series since the initial film, that hasn’t stopped the last few sequels and prequels from earning around $1 billion at the box office. They can do it again with this latest installment.

Pick: Highest Worldwide Box Office 2024 – Despicable Me 4 (+210) at (visit our Bovada Review to learn more)

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Scott Kacsmar
NFL football picks are Scott Kacsmar's expertise, serving as his main focus. He has contributed to various sports websites and blogs, such as NBC Sports, ESPN Insider, FiveThirtyEight, and, JoeWager. Originating from Pittsburgh, Scott maintains a love-hate connection with the Pirates.

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