Hollywood ended 2015 on a high note thanks to a late surge in box office receipts that pushed the industry's annual domestic take above $11 billion for the first time in history. The top-grossing film of the year, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," needed only three weeks from its mid-December release date to take its position as the all-time domestic box office leader in nominal terms. It was the third 2015 release to take its position among the top 10 domestic grossing films of all time. While the results are slightly less impressive when receipts are adjusted for inflation, 2015 saw growth of more than 5% in the number of tickets sold, reversing a two-year decline. All box office figures quoted below are as of Jan. 7, 2016.
1. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
One of the most anticipated movie events in recent years, "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" skyrocketed past $764 million in domestic box office receipts only three weeks into its theatrical run. On an inflation-adjusted basis, the film has already claimed a spot in the top-20 domestic grossing films of all time, a list topped by "Gone with the Wind" (1939) and "Star Wars" (1977), the first release in the iconic sci-fi film franchise that has entertained generations of moviegoers. Worldwide box office receipts for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" stand at nearly $1.58 billion. The film is expected to continue in release through the winter of 2016.
2. Jurassic World
"Jurassic World" was released in June and earned about $652 million in domestic gross receipts during its five months in release. The movie's worldwide box office amounted to about $1.67 billion. In inflation-adjusted terms, "Jurassic World" ranks as the 24th highest-grossing film of all time, eight spots behind its wildly successful predecessor, "Jurassic Park" (1993).
3. Avengers: Age of Ultron
The superhero action film, "Avengers: Age of Ultron," was released in May, accumulating $459 million in box office earnings during its five-month run in American theaters. It ranks fourth on the global stage, with about $1.4 billion in gross receipts. The movie ranks as the 89th biggest-grossing film of all time in inflation-adjusted terms.
4. Inside Out
The animated comedy, "Inside Out," the latest blockbuster from Pixar Animation Studios, earned about $356 million at the domestic box office in 2015. In active release from June to December, the film brought in total worldwide receipts of about $856 million on the year. Adjusted for inflation, it is the 141st biggest-grossing film of all time.
5. Furious 7
The seventh and highest-grossing installment of the action film series centered around street racing, "Furious 7" earned $353 million at the domestic box office. This exceeds the performance of each of the prior films in the franchise by more than $100 million on an inflation-adjusted basis. Worldwide earnings for the May-released film amounted to more than $1.5 billion.
Another high-grossing animated comedy, "Minions" earned $336 million at the American box office after its release in July. The film is a spinoff of, and prequel to, the "Despicable Me" animated franchise. "Minions" took in about $1.16 billion in receipts worldwide. The film outgained its animated competition, "Inside Out," by more than $320 million in markets outside the United States.
7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2
"The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2" is the fourth and final installment of the sci-fi adventure film franchise based on The Hunger Games book trilogy. It has earned $275 million at the domestic box office since its release in November. Worldwide box office receipts amount to about $638 million. The film is still showing in theaters as of January 2016.
8. The Martian
The science-fiction survival film, "The Martian," rounds out the top eight grossing films of 2015 with $226 million in domestic box office to date. The film began its theatrical run in October and remains in theaters as of January 2016. It has accumulated $595 million in gross receipts worldwide.