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The Highest-Grossing Biopics of All Time



This article is published in collaboration with Statista 

by Anna Fleck


Napoleon, directed by Gladiator’s Ridley Scott and starring Joaquin Phoenix, is hitting cinemas on Wednesday 22 November. The new historical biopic chronicles the story of Napoleon Bonaparte, France's famous military general who climbed his way to the top, becoming the nation’s Emperor in 1804.


Scott’s latest movie has already received an array of criticism, ranging from pointing out factual inaccuracies to recognition of it as a “bombastic” epic. But the jury’s still out on how it will perform in ticket sales. With this in mind, the following chart provides some insight into the most successful movies of the genre, at least in terms of worldwide box office revenue.


According to data by Box Office Mojo and compiled by Shawn S. Lealos and Stephen Barker of Screenrant, the movie arguably best received, according to this metric, is Oppenheimer, which came out in cinemas earlier this year. Based on the story of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who is sometimes called the “father of the atomic bomb”, the movie brought in just over $950 million in revenue. In second place comes Bohemian Rhapsody, a tale of Queen’s lead singer Freddie Mercury, having pulled in roughly $911 million. In rank 3 comes American Sniper, a story about U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle who was one of the deadliest snipers in history, with a global box office revenue of around $548 million.


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