The 12 highest-grossing movies of 2021 at the worldwide box office

Vin Diesel driving a car in "F9."
Vin Diesel in "Fast and Furious 9."
  • The worldwide box office is slowly recovering from the pandemic.
  • China, the world's biggest theatrical market, has quickly rebounded and has produced the top two movies this year.
  • Hollywood releases like "F9," "No Time to Die," and "Dune" have benefited from international markets.
  • This year's Marvel movies haven't been approved for release in China, impacting their global grosses.
12. "Free Guy" (Disney)
Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds in "Free Guy."
Jodie Comer and Ryan Reynolds in "Free Guy."

Global box office: $331.3 million

US box office: $121.5 million (36.7%)

Description: Ryan Reynolds stars as a bank teller who discovers that he is a character in a video game. The movie was produced by Twentieth Century Studios, the former Fox film studio acquired by Disney.

11. "Eternals" (Disney)
eternals
"Eternals."

Global box office: $336.4 million

US box office: $136.1 million (40.5%)

Description: Marvel's "Eternals" introduces a race of immortal beings who come out of hiding when an ancient threat returns to Earth.

 

10. "Dune" (Warner Bros.)*
A picture of Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in "Dune."
Timothée Chalamet and Rebecca Ferguson in "Dune."

Global box office: $365.5 million

US box office: $98.3 million (26.9%)

Description: "Arrival" and "Blade Runner 2049" director Denis Villeneuve's adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel of the same name by Frank Herbert, about a young man named Paul (played by Timothée Chalamet) who is caught in a war on the desert planet Arrakis between his family and another Great House.

*released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max at no additional charge for subscribers

9. "Black Widow" (Disney)*
Scarlett Johansson Black Widow

Global box office: $379.6 million

US box office: $183.6 million (48.4%)

Description: Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow is reunited with her long-lost sister, played by Florence Pugh, when elements from her past come back to haunt her. The movie was the first Marvel Cinematic Universe theatrical release in two years.

*released simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ Premier Access for an additional $30 fee for subscribers

8. "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" (Disney)
Simu Liu Shang-Chi
Simu Liu plays Shang-Chi.

Global box office: $431.3 million

US box office: $224.5 million (52%)

Description: Shang-Chi (Simu Liu) is ripped from his normal life when his father, the leader of the Ten Rings organization, returns. It's the first MCU movie to star an Asian lead and a primarily Asian cast.

7. "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" (Sony)
Tom Hardy looking at Venom
Tom Hardy in "Venom: Let There Be Carnage."

Global box office: $454.8 million

US box office: $206.6 million (45.4%)

Description: Tom Hardy reprises his role as Eddie Brock, who becomes the anti-hero Venom after an alien symbiote latches on to him. This sequel pits Hardy's Venom against Woody Harrelson's Carnage, a serial killer who comes into contact with the symbiote.

6. "Godzilla vs. Kong" (Warner Bros.)*
godzilla vs kong
"Godzilla vs. Kong"

Global box office: $467.9 million

US box office: $100.5 million (21.5%)

Description: The culmination of Warner Bros.' "MonsterVerse," Godzilla and King Kong come face to face when Kong is removed from the safety of Skull Island.

*released simultaneously in theaters and on HBO Max at no additional charge for subscribers

5. "Detective Chinatown 3" (Wanda Pictures)
detective chinatown 3
"Detective Chinatown 3"

Global box office: $686.3 million ($685 million from China)

Description: Two Chinatown detectives go to Tokyo to help solve a murder.

4. "F9: The Fast Saga" (Universal)
fast and furious 9
Vin Diesel and John Cena in "F9"

Global box office: $721.1 million

Us box office: $173.0 million (24%)

Description: Dom Toretto's (Vin Diesel) estranged brother Jakob (John Cena) comes back into his life, which leads to another globe-trotting mission for Toretto and his crew.

3. "No Time to Die" (MGM/Universal)
Daniel Craig in "No Time to Die."
Daniel Craig in "No Time to Die."

Global box office: $734.4 million

US box office: $154.7 million (21.1%)

Description: In star Daniel Craig's final outing as James Bond, he's brought out of retirement to track down a madman who has gained access to a weapon that could kill millions of people.

2. "Hi, Mom" (Tiger Pictures Entertainment)
hi, mom

Global box office: $822 million ($821 million from China)

Description: After her mother dies, a woman goes back in time and meets the younger version of her mom.

1. "The Battle at Lake Changjin" (Bona Film Group)
battle at lake changjin
"The Battle at Lake Changjin."

Global box office: $888 million (all from China)

Description: A Chinese film about the battle of Chosin Reservoir in the Korean War, the movie quickly became the highest-grossing film in the world this year, based on only the China box office, after opening in October during China's National Day holiday. It will soon make its way to other markets like the US, UK, Ireland, and Australia.

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