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Revealed: The most successful film franchises of all time

17 Nov | BY Betway | MIN READ TIME |
Revealed: The most successful film franchises of all time

Betway casino explores the most successful film franchises of all time.

Hollywood blockbusters with their whopping budgets and casts of famous faces are pretty much guaranteed to have audiences lining up to see them on their debut weekend. However, a movie’s chances of success are made infinitely better when it’s part of a hugely popular film franchise. 

With so many thriving film franchises gracing the big screen, Betway online slots has discovered the most successful film franchises of all time, creating an index that looked at the following:

  • The highest-grossing film franchises
  • The highest-rated film franchises 
  • The franchises that have won the most awards 
  • The franchises that have the most returning cast members  
  • The most searched for franchises  

Star Wars is crowned the most successful film franchise of all time, with a score of 69.3 out of 90.

The long-standing movie franchise has successfully secured huge box office takings of $10.3B (£8.9B) and won 348 awards. It’s no surprise that the film series has an overall average IMDb rating of 7.3 and has 4,066,600 searches for its movie titles. 

The Spider-Man film series follows closely behind, claiming its spot in second place as one of the biggest franchise successes with a score of 65.3 out of 90.

The superhero franchise has racked up a massive $8.3B (£7.1B) at the box office and the films have received a respectable overall IMDb rating of 7.3/10. The Spider-Man films have won 184 awards, making it no surprise that superfans are searching for the movie titles 17,632,000 times. 

Marvel makes its way to third, as one of the most successful movie franchises of all time with a heroic score of 62.7 out of 90. 

The famous franchise has turned over $27.4B (£23.7B) in profit from its box office takings and has a total of 555 awards to its name. The film series has seen fans searching for its movie titles 43,221,000 times. It’s unsurprising that 232 cast members have returned to feature in more Marvel movies.

What are the highest-grossing film franchises? 

Marvel, Star Wars and Wizarding World (Harry Potter) collections of movies emerge as the biggest money-making franchises taking the most profit at the box office.  

Marvel leads the way as the highest grossing film franchise to grace cinema screens, with an impressive box office takings score of 10 out of 10. 

Boasting an impressive portfolio of box office hits from The Incredible Hulk and Iron Man to Captain America and Avengers, the franchise has racked up $27.4B (£23.7B) in takings. 

Star Wars secures its spot as the second-biggest box office earner, with 9.5 out of 10. 

The legendary film series has made $10.3B (£8.9B) in total from the first film Star Wars: A New Hope emerging on the movie scene in 1977, and the latest Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker in 2019.

The magical movie franchise, Wizarding World is transported to third place with a box-office takings score of 8.9 out of 10 (and just a smidge of the transportation helper Floo Powder). 

The eight-film series has totalled $9.7B (£8.3) in box office profits on its journey from its first film Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in 2001, to its last Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 in 2011. 

What are the highest-rated film franchises? 

From film critic reviews to audience scores, a film’s rating can be the make-or-break of a film. So, which film franchises are lucky enough to take the title of being the highest rated?

The Middle Earth franchise, which owns the Lord of The Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, is top of the leaderboard for being the highest rated film series, with a score of 10/10. 

The movie franchise has received a successful average IMDb rating of 8.3 across all of its films. The LOTR films: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002) and The Return Of The King (2003), alongside The Hobbit films: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation Of Smaug (2013) and The Battle of the Five Armies(2014) have been extremely well received amongst critics and audiences alike.

The Wizarding World movie series proudly takes its place in second as one of the highest rated film franchises with a score of 9.5 out of 10. 

One of the most well-known series of films around the world, the Harry Potter films have received an overall IMDb rating of 7.4/10. From the magical youthfulness of the first film The Philosopher’s Stone (2001) to the later, much darker films the Deathly Hallows Part 1 (2010) and The Deathly Hallows II (2011) – the films have been an overall triumph. 

The Marvel movie series ranks as the third highest rated film franchise, with an upstanding score of 8.9 out of 10.

The franchise that is home to a number of incredible films, from solo films like The Incredible Hulk (2008) to films that lead on to a series like Thor (2011), Thor: The Dark World (2013), Thor: Ragnarok (2017) and Thor: Love and Thunder (2022) has received an average IMDb rating of 7.4. 

Which franchises have won the most awards?

While most movie franchises have an extensive collection of Oscars, Golden Globe Awards, BAFTAs and Grammys, Marvel, Middle Earth and Star Wars lead the way for winning the most.  

Marvel tops the table as the movie franchise that has won the most awards, scoring full marks with 10 out of 10. 

The series of films has received 555 awards in total, with the 2018 film Black Panther winning a BAFTA for ‘Best Special Visual Effects’ in 2019 and Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) winning an Oscar for ‘Best Makeup and Hairstyling’ in 2015. 

Middle Earth (Lord of The Rings) follows closely behind in second, with a total number of awards score of 9.5 out of 10. 

The six-film franchise (including The Hobbit trilogy) has won 494 awards including the BAFTA Award ‘Best Film’ for (2001 film) The Fellowship of the Ring in 2002, an OSCAR for ‘Best Visual Effects’ in Two Towers in 2002 and the third film The Return of the King (2003) taking home eleven Academy Awards. 

The Hobbit trilogy: An Unexpected Journey (2012),The Desolation of Smaug (2013), The Battle of the Five Armies (2014) has also won an impressive total of 43 awards. 

From Jedi academy to Academy Awards, the Star Wars empire climbs the ranks to third place with an impressive total awards score of 8.9 out of 10. 

The movie franchise has a total of ten films and has taken home 348 awards over the years. The film Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) won eleven OSCARS in 1978, including the likes of ‘Best Costume Design, Best Original Score, Best Visual Effects and Best Picture’, with later films also having continued success.

Which franchises have the most returning cast members?

Big film franchises often have a dedicated cast that want to commit to future films, but which movie series has had the most actors return? 

The Marvel movie franchise takes the title of having the most loyal cast, with a returning cast member score of 10 out of 10. 

Across its variety of films, a total of 232 cast members have returned. This loyalty can be seen with the continuous return of Robert Downey Jr in the Iron Man series (2008, 2010, 2013). 

Chris Evans also devoted many years of acting to Captain America: The First Avenger (2011), The Avengers (2012), Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) and Captain America: Civil War (2016).

The Wizarding World, better known as the Harry Potter film series, has the second most returning cast members of any franchise and scored a respectable 9.5 out of 10. 

With 219 of the cast returning for the eight films, the world watched the young characters grow up, played by Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter), Emma Watson (Hermione Granger), Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley), Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) and Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom)

Many of the loyal, long-standing actors of the franchise were a part of the film series until sadly passing away, like Robbie Coltrane (Hagrid), Alan Rickman (Severus Snape), Richard Harris (Albus Dumbledore) and Helen McCrory (Narcissa Malfoy).

Star Wars takes the final spot in the top three franchises with the most loyal cast members, with a score of 8.9 out of 10. 

The iconic movie series has had 121 cast members return to it over the years, including the likes of Mark Hamill (Luke Skywalker). The actor first appeared in the original film Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977) and went on to return throughout the film series, even as the force ghost in the last film Star Wars: Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker (2019).

What are the most searched-for franchises? 

Many keen film fanatics want to get the low-down on their favourite upcoming film releases and where they can purchase their very own film merchandise. However, which franchise is being searched for the most?

Swooping straight into first place from Gotham City is Batman, taking the title of the most searched-for franchise with a score of 35.8 out of 40

The film franchise has received 3,500 Wiki Fandom searches, had 3,300 fanatics searching for Batman-related merchandise, racked up 54,000 searches for the release dates of the films and a further 54,000 searches for the film trailers. 

Emerging in second place and yet another franchise in the superhero genre is Spider-Man, with a score of 33.2 out of 40. 

From the first film Spider-Man (2002) to the latest Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021), the franchise has a total of 1,800 Wiki Fandom searches, 3,000 searches for merchandise by superfans, 42,000 searches for the films release dates and 76,000 searching for the film trailers. 

The legendary movie franchise James Bond takes the title of the third most searched-for, with a score of 27.8 out of 40. 

The popular film series in the spy genre has featured an array of famous faces, from the first big screen James Bond played by Sean Connery to the latest Daniel Craig. The series has had 1,100 searches on Wiki Fandom, with 1,800 fans of the film searching for merchandise, 21,000 searching for the film’s release dates and 6,600 for trailers of the films.


The team at Betway have produced an index of the most successful film franchises of all time by looking at the following factors: 

  • The highest-grossing film franchises: using Box Office Mojo 
  • The highest-rated film franchises: using IMDb data 
  • The franchises that have won the most awards: using IMDb data 
  • The franchises that have the most returning cast members: using IMDb data  
  • The most searched for franchises: using ahrefs data