Getting into the billion dollar movie club used to be a very rare thing indeed. By the time Avatar became the highest grossing movie ever in 2009, there had only been five others to pass that exalted marker (a sixth, Jurassic Park, took a few more re-releases to manage it). It was a special achievement, to say the least.
Since then, with budgets increasing massively and audiences increasingly drawn to glossy blockbusters and tentpoles, 25 others have managed to squeeze their way into the party, and rather than it being classed as a stunning achievement, the billion dollar mark is now often classed as a benchmark. It's ridiculous, but when huge comic book movies don't manage it, cynics turn their noses up derisively.
You'd think, obviously, that the most watched movies in cinemas would be the best, since word of mouth is said to kill movies so quickly, but there are so serious anomalies in the list of top earning flicks that suggest that people really do like a greasy burger rather than steak sometimes.
So which of the most financially lucrative movies is the best?