Highest grossing 3D movies in North America 2019

As of July 2019, the 3D movie which had the highest lifetime gross at the North American box office was ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ with 936.66 million U.S. dollars in revenue. For years, James Cameron’s 2009 hit ‘Avatar’ ranked second with over 760 million dollars in box office revenue. However, the movie was knocked down to third place after the success of ‘Avengers: Endgame’ which at the time of writing had generated 842.76 million U.S. dollars in box offices in Canada and the United States – more than ‘Captain America: Civil War’ and ‘Iron Man 3’ combined.

The success of the final instalment in the Avengers series catapulted brothers Anthony and Joe Russo close to the top of the ranking of highest grossing directors of all time in the U.S., overtaking Peter Jackson, Robert Zemeckis, James Cameron and Ridley Scott.

3D cinema in North America

Back in 2003, there were just two 3D films released in the United States and Canada. Ten years later in 2013, this figure had shot up to 54, seeing the release of movies such as ‘Top Gun 3D’ and ‘Texas Chainsaw 3D’. The box office revenue of movies with CGI, 3D effects or animation in that year amounted to just under 4.8 billion U.S. dollars, and surpassed 5.8 billion in 2018.

The number of digital 3D cinema screens has surged over the past decade on a global level. For the U.S. and Canada, the number of screens grew from 1,514 to almost 17 thousand during the same time period, whilst the number of analog movie screens has dropped sharply. In 2008, there were more than 33 thousand analog screens in the U.S., compared to just 258 ten years later.

These changes are natural in a world increasingly reliant on digital technology, and digital formats are arguably the future of the movie industry. However, many filmmakers dislike the digital format and lament what they consider to be the imminent ‘death’ of film as a medium.

Highest grossing 3D movies of all time in North America as of July 2019

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Release date

July 2019


Canada, United States

Survey time period

as of July 3, 2019

Supplementary notes

*These movies were still showing in theatres as of July 2019.

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Statistics on "Box office in the U.S."

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