The Most Successful Sci-fi Movie: A Closer Look at Unprecedented Success

Choose the sci-fi movie you think is the most successful!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 14, 2024 07:56
Welcome to StrawPoll, where the cosmos of opinions collide! Prepare for a celestial journey as we embark on a quest to discover the most successful sci-fi movie of all time! Warp-speed through our galaxy of thousands of polls and rankings to cast your vote, or take command by suggesting a missing interstellar masterpiece. Will your favorite be the supernova of sci-fi, or will it be lost in the infinite universe of opinions? Join our cosmic congregation of stargazers and cinephiles as we explore the final frontier of film and unveil the ultimate sci-fi sensation! Beam yourself up to our poll and let the celestial showdown begin!

What Is the Most Successful Sci-fi Movie?

  1. 1
    Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015)
    Wiki · Public domain
    Grossing over $2 billion worldwide, the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise is the most successful sci-fi movie to date. It brought back beloved characters, introduced new heroes and villains, and continued the epic space opera story that fans have been following for decades.
    Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) is an epic space opera film and the seventh installment in the Star Wars franchise. Directed by J.J. Abrams, it serves as a continuation of the original Star Wars trilogy, set approximately 30 years after the events of Return of the Jedi. The film follows new characters as well as the beloved characters from the original trilogy, as they face the rise of the sinister First Order and the search for the long-lost Luke Skywalker.
    • Release Date: December 18, 2015
    • Genre: Science Fiction, Action, Adventure
    • Runtime: 138 minutes
    • Production Company: Lucasfilm Ltd., Bad Robot Productions
    • Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
    Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens (2015) in other rankings
  2. 2

    Avatar (2009)

    James Cameron
    With a box office gross of $2.79 billion, James Cameron's Avatar was a groundbreaking achievement in visual effects and immersive storytelling. Set on the distant planet of Pandora, the film explores themes of environmentalism, colonialism, and the power of interconnectedness.
    Avatar (2009) is a science fiction film set in the mid-22nd century on the moon Pandora, featuring a blend of live-action and computer-generated imagery (CGI). The movie follows the story of a paralyzed former Marine named Jake Sully, who is sent on a mission to Pandora to infiltrate the indigenous Na'vi race using an avatar, a genetically engineered hybrid body. As Jake explores the beautiful and dangerous world of Pandora, he becomes deeply connected with the Na'vi and embarks on a journey of self-discovery, love, and conflict.
    • Release Date: December 18, 2009
    • Director: James Cameron
    • Genre: Science fiction, Action, Adventure
    • Runtime: 162 minutes
    • Budget: $237 million
    Avatar (2009) in other rankings
  3. 3
    While divisive among fans, The Last Jedi still managed to earn over $1.3 billion at the box office. Directed by Rian Johnson, the film subverted expectations and took risks with its storytelling, paving the way for a new era of Star Wars films.
    Star Wars: Episode VIII - The Last Jedi (2017) is a science fiction film set in the Star Wars universe. It is the eighth installment in the main Star Wars film series and follows the story of Rey, the last Jedi, as she seeks guidance from Luke Skywalker. The film explores themes of legacy, sacrifice, and the ongoing conflict between the Resistance and the First Order.
    • Release Date: December 15, 2017
    • Director: Rian Johnson
    • Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Ram Bergman
    • Screenplay: Rian Johnson
    • Runtime: 152 minutes
  4. 4
    Christopher Nolan's mind-bending thriller about dream heists and corporate espionage earned over $800 million at the box office and became a cultural phenomenon. Its intricate plot, stunning visuals, and memorable performances from Leonardo DiCaprio and Ellen Page make it a standout in the sci-fi genre.
    Inception (2010) is a science fiction action film directed by Christopher Nolan. The movie follows a skilled thief who is able to enter people's dreams and extract valuable information. He is given the task of planting an idea into a target's mind, a process known as inception. As the team delves deeper into the dream world, they encounter unexpected challenges and discover the complexities of the human subconscious.
    • Release Year: 2010
    • Genre: Science Fiction, Action
    • Running Time: 148 minutes
    • Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy
    • Writer: Christopher Nolan
  5. 5
    The Matrix (1999)
    Jamie Zawinski (program); Church of emacs (screenshot) · Attribution
    The Wachowskis' groundbreaking action film about a future where humanity is trapped in a simulated reality earned over $460 million at the box office and spawned two sequels. Its innovative use of special effects, philosophical themes, and iconic fight scenes have made it a sci-fi classic.
    The Matrix is a science fiction action film released in 1999. It explores the idea that the world as perceived by humans is a simulated reality called the Matrix, created by intelligent machines to distract humanity while they use their bodies as an energy source. The story follows a computer programmer named Neo, who becomes aware of the Matrix and joins a group of rebels called the Morpheus' crew in their fight against the machines.
    • Release Date: March 31, 1999
    • Genre: Science Fiction, Action
    • Director: The Wachowskis
    • Writer(s): The Wachowskis
    • Main Cast: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss, Hugo Weaving
    The Matrix (1999) in other rankings
  6. 6
    Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel about genetically engineered dinosaurs brought the prehistoric creatures to life and became a cultural phenomenon. The film earned over $1 billion at the box office and spawned four sequels, with a fifth on the way.
    Jurassic Park is a science fiction adventure film released in 1993. It follows the story of a billionaire philanthropist who creates a theme park populated with cloned dinosaurs. When the park's security systems fail, a group of visitors and park staff must survive and escape from the rampaging creatures.
    • Release date: June 11, 1993
    • Runtime: 127 minutes
    • Genre: Science fiction, Adventure
    • Budget: $63 million
    • Box office: $1.029 billion
    Jurassic Park (1993) in other rankings
  7. 7
    Steven Spielberg's heartwarming tale of a young boy who befriends an alien is a beloved classic of sci-fi cinema. It earned over $792 million at the box office and cemented Spielberg's status as a master of the genre.
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is a science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg. It tells the story of a young boy named Elliott who befriends an extraterrestrial creature stranded on Earth. As Elliott and his siblings help E.T. find a way home, they must also protect him from government agents who are determined to capture him.
    • Running Time: 115 minutes
    • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy
    • Release Year: 1982
    • Genre: Science fiction
    • Director: Steven Spielberg
    E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) in other rankings
  8. 8

    Blade Runner 2049 (2017)

    Directed by Denis Villeneuve
    While not a huge commercial success, Denis Villeneuve's sequel to the 1982 classic Blade Runner was a critical darling and earned over $260 million at the box office. Its stunning visuals, complex themes, and powerhouse performances from Ryan Gosling and Harrison Ford make it a standout in the sci-fi genre.
    Blade Runner 2049 (2017) is a visually stunning science fiction film set in a dystopian future. It is a sequel to the original Blade Runner film released in 1982. The movie follows the story of a new blade runner, Officer K, played by Ryan Gosling, who uncovers a long-buried secret which leads him to seek out the former blade runner, Rick Deckard, portrayed by Harrison Ford.
    • Release Date: October 6, 2017
    • Running Time: 163 minutes
    • Production Company: Alcon Entertainment
    • Distributor: Warner Bros. Pictures
    • Cinematography: Roger Deakins
    Blade Runner 2049 (2017) in other rankings
  9. 9
    Christopher Nolan's epic space opera about a team of astronauts who travel through a wormhole in search of a new home for humanity earned over $677 million at the box office. Its mind-bending plot, stunning visuals, and emotional performances from Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway make it a must-see for sci-fi fans.
    Interstellar is a science fiction film released in 2014. It is set in a dystopian future where Earth is becoming uninhabitable due to climate change. A group of explorers embarks on a journey through a wormhole, seeking a new habitable planet for humanity.
    • Release Date: November 7, 2014
    • Genre: Science Fiction, Adventure, Drama
    • Running Time: 169 minutes
    • Director: Christopher Nolan
    • Writer: Jonathan Nolan, Christopher Nolan
  10. 10
    James Cameron's action-packed sequel to The Terminator earned over $500 million at the box office and cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger's status as an action icon. Its innovative special effects, iconic characters, and thrilling chase scenes make it a sci-fi classic.
    The Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) is a science fiction action film that serves as a sequel to the original Terminator movie. It was directed by James Cameron and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Linda Hamilton, and Edward Furlong. The movie is set in a dystopian future where sentient machines, led by the villainous Skynet, seek to exterminate the human race. In a race against time, the protagonist, Sarah Connor, her son John Connor, and their new ally, a reprogrammed Terminator, attempt to prevent Judgment Day – the date when Skynet becomes self-aware and launches nuclear warfare.
    • Release Date: July 3, 1991
    • Running Time: 137 minutes
    • Budget: $102 million
    • Box Office: $520.8 million
    • Production Company: Carolco Pictures

Missing your favorite sci-fi movie?


Ranking factors for successful sci-fi movie

  1. Box Office Revenue
    This is the amount of money the movie made in ticket sales during its theatrical run.
  2. Critical Acclaim
    This involves the movie's reception among film critics, as well as its overall reputation among the film-loving audience.
  3. Cultural Impact
    Some sci-fi movies can go on to influence future films or even real-life technology and societal norms.
  4. Fan Base
    The size of a movie's fan base can indicate its success and longevity.
  5. Awards and Nominations
    The accolades a movie receives from various award shows can be indicative of its impact and popularity.
  6. Special Effects
    Sci-fi movies are often heavily reliant on special effects to create fantastical worlds and creatures. The quality of these effects can be a contributing factor in the success of a movie.
  7. Storyline
    A compelling storyline with relatable characters can be key to the success of a movie, even in the sci-fi genre.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most successful sci-fi movie. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or sci-fi film is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 185 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each sci-fi film once every 24 hours. The rank of each sci-fi film is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most successful sci-fi movie

Science fiction movies have been a staple in the film industry for decades, captivating audiences with their imaginative visuals and thought-provoking storylines. From the early days of cinema to the present, sci-fi has proven to be a genre that consistently draws in viewers on a global scale. With so many successful films to choose from, it's difficult to determine which one reigns supreme. However, through the power of polling and rankings, we can gauge public opinion to answer the age-old question of what is the most successful sci-fi movie.

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