The Most Profitable Film Genres

3 min readFeb 5, 2019

The global success of a film is measured by how well the film performs in key territories around the world. While it may be hard to put a number or real value, we can take a look at how the major genres perform around the world relative to their global average performance to determine which genres are the most profitable.

In North America, adventure is ranked as the most popular film genre with a total box office revenue of $59.79 billion US dollars while action comes in second place with a box office revenue of $44.61 billion US dollars. Box Office revenue is the primary yardstick used to measure the success of a film. As of January 2019, the most profitable movie of all time in terms of global office revenue was Avatar which had grossed a total of $2.8 billion US dollars, and Titanic followed with gross revenue of $2.8 billion US dollars. Neither of them was a comedy, and the third most profitable was the action film genre, Star Wars: The Force Awakens grossed a revenue of $2.1 billion US dollars.

In terms of the number of releases worldwide, dramas and comedies top the list in North America between 1995 and 2018 as more than 22,000 comedy films were released and over 49,000 drama films have been released.

So, let’s check out the most profitable movie genres.

1. Action

Action films are very much popular in Asia and not so much in Europe. Action films like Jurassic World and Furious 7 have done well recently, but in Asia, Japan, South Korea, and Japan have their own homegrown action film hits. In the United Kingdom, the action film genre grossed a total of $414.3 million US dollars in 2017.

2. Comedy

The home of comedy is Italy and Italy takes double the total box office performance in other countries. Although comedy is a bit difficult to sell to every country as not every comedy film will appeal to everybody, Italy has quite a receptive audience to comedy.

3. Horror films

Mexico and South Korea are major bases for horror films. Japan and China are not as receptive to horror films that much, and for China, this can be attributed to the restrictive censorship rules that restrict the kind of movies shown in Chinese cinemas.

4. Romantic Comedy

France does not seem to be very receptive to romantic comedies, and while a large percentage of teenagers in the United States are avid fans and followers of romantic comedy films. Mexico has a ready and thriving market for these films, and quite surprisingly, Russia also happened to be a market for romantic comedy films.




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