The Best Action Movie Franchises Of All Time Ranked
Get ready to yippie-kay-ay with the best action movie franchises of all time ranked from best to worst. Featuring spies, sci-fi, martial arts, cops, comedies and many more. The most popular action series are also some of the greatest action movies of all time as voted by the users at Ranker. Are your faves on this list?
#20 Mad Max Franchise
The Mad Max franchise is an Australian post-apocalyptic action multi-media series created by George Miller and Byron Kennedy. The series began in 1979 with Mad Max, starring Mel Gibson. It was succeeded by three films: Mad Max 2 (1981), Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) and Mad Max: Fury Road (2015).
#19 The Expendables Franchise
The Expendables is an American ensemble action thriller franchise spanning a film series, written by Sylvester Stallone. The films star an ensemble cast notably of Sylvester Stallone and Jason Statham. The series consists of four films: The Expendables (2010), The Expendables 2 (2012), The Expendables 3 (2014), the upcoming Expend4bles (2023).
#18 Dirty Harry Franchise
Dirty Harry is an American neo-noir vigilante action thriller film series featuring Inspector “Dirty” Harry Callahan. Callahan is notorious for his unorthodox, violent and ruthless methods against the criminals and killers he is assigned to apprehend. There are five films: Dirty Harry (1971), Magnum Force (1973), The Enforcer (1976), Sudden Impact (1983) and The Dead Pool (1988). Clint Eastwood portrayed Callahan in all five films and directed Sudden Impact.
#17 Fast and Furious Franchise
Fast & Furious is a media franchise centered on a series of action films that are largely concerned with street racing, heists, spies, and family. The franchise also includes short films, a television series, toys, video games, live shows, and theme park attractions.
#16 Rambo Franchise
Rambo is an American media franchise centered on a series of action films featuring John J. Rambo. The five films are First Blood (1982), Rambo: First Blood Part II (1985), Rambo III (1988), Rambo (2008), and Rambo: Last Blood (2019).
#15 Rocky Franchise
Rocky is an American sports drama multimedia franchise created by Sylvester Stallone.
The original film (Rocky) was written by Stallone and was followed by the sequels Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky V (1990), and Rocky Balboa (2006). A spin-off film series followed, with Creed (2015), Creed II (2018), and Creed III (2023).
The franchise so far has earned over $2 billion worldwide.
#14 Batman Franchise
The Batman franchise has become one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time. The standalone Batman films have grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
#13 X Men Franchise
X-Men is an American superhero film series based on the Marvel Comics superhero team of the same name. The X-Men film series has been well received by several critics during its run, with X-Men: Days of Future Past and Logan being their most acclaimed films and with both being considered to be two of the greatest superhero films ever made. With thirteen films released, the X-Men film series is the ninth-highest-grossing film series, having grossed over $6 billion worldwide.
#12 Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise
The Pirates of the Caribbean film franchise has grossed over $4.5 billion worldwide. It is the 15th-highest-grossing film series of all time, and is the first film franchise to produce two or more movies that grossed over $1 billion.
#11 Lethal Weapon Franchise
Lethal Weapon is an American buddy cop action-comedy media franchise created by Shane Black. It focuses on two Los Angeles Police Department detectives, Martin Riggs and Roger Murtaugh. The 4 films made between 1987 and 1998 have earned over $500,000 at the box office.
#10 The Matrix Franchise
The Matrix is an American media franchise consisting of four feature films, beginning with The Matrix and continuing with three sequels, The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions, and The Matrix Resurrections. The first three films were written and directed by the Wachowskis and produced by Joel Silver.
#9 The Lord of the Rings Franchise
The Lord of the Rings is a series of three epic fantasy adventure films directed by Peter Jackson. They are based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The films are subtitled The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King.
The Lord Of The Rings trilogy was made on a budget of $281 Million which is relatively modest compared to the behemoth scale of the movies. All the films combined grossed a whopping $3 Billion worldwide, making them one of the highest-grossing trilogies ever
#8 Star Wars Franchise
Star Wars is an American epic space opera multimedia franchise created by George Lucas, which began with the eponymous 1977 film and quickly became a worldwide pop culture phenomenon. The franchise has so far grossed nearly $52 billion.
#7 The Terminator Franchise
The Terminator is an American media franchise created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd. The franchise encompasses a series of science fiction action films, comics, novels and additional media, concerning a total war between Skynet’s synthetic intelligence – a self-aware military machine network – and John Connor’s Resistance forces comprising the survivors of the human race. Skynet’s most famous products in its genocidal goals are the various terminator models, such as the T-800, who was portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger from the original Terminator film in 1984. By 2020, the franchise had generated over $3 billion in revenue.
#6 Die Hard Franchise
Die Hard is an American action film series that originated with Roderick Thorp’s 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever. All five films revolve around the main character of John McClane, a New York City/Los Angeles police detective who continually finds himself in the middle of a crisis where he is the only hope against disaster. The films have grossed a combined $1.4 billion worldwide.
#5 Bourne Franchise
The Bourne franchise consists of action-thriller instalments based on the character Jason Bourne, created by author Robert Ludlum. The franchise includes five films and a spin-off television series. The overall plot centres around Jason Bourne, a CIA assassin suffering from dissociative amnesia, portrayed by Matt Damon. The franchise has so far earned $1.6 billion.
#4 Mission Impossible Franchise
Mission: Impossible is a series of American action spy films, based on the 1966 TV series created by Bruce Geller. The series is mainly produced by and stars Tom Cruise, who plays Ethan Hunt, an agent of the Impossible Missions Force.
The series has been positively received from critics and audiences. It is the 18th-highest-grossing film series of all time, earning over $3.8 billion worldwide, and is often cited as one of the best action franchises to date.
#3 John Wick Franchise
John Wick is an American neo-noir action thriller media franchise created by Derek Kolstad and centered on John Wick, a former hitman who is forced back into the criminal underworld he had previously abandoned. The franchise has earned over $1.1 billion.
#2 Indiana Jones Franchise
Indiana Jones is an American media franchise consisting of five films and a prequel television series, along with games, comics, and tie-in novels, that depicts the adventures of Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Jr., a fictional professor of archaeology. The series began in 1981 with the film Raiders of the Lost Ark. The franchise has earned $2.3 billion so far.
#1 James Bond Franchise
James Bond is a fictional character created by British novelist Ian Fleming in 1953. A British secret agent working for MI6 under the codename 007, Bond has been portrayed on film in twenty-seven productions by actors Sean Connery, David Niven, George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. The franchise has earned over $7.8 billion so far.
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