The Top-Grossing Book-to-Film Adaptations of All Time

One story has been adapted more than 20 times!

The Top-Grossing Book-to-Film Adaptations of All Time
(Image credit: Getty Images / Summit / Universal Studios)

What do a boy wizard, brooding vampires, and a BDSM-obsessed billionaire have in common? Well, they all star in some of the highest-grossing film adaptations in history, of course. We've all heard the phrase, "I'll just wait for the movie." Honestly, it's something I've been guilty of saying when a book seemed too long or daunting to read. But there's something cosmic that happens when the worlds of bookworms and movie geeks collide. I mean, it's one thing to top the bestseller list, but it's another to smash the box office charts. When a title manages to succeed at both, it's a true mark of rich storylines and captivating characters.

Here, we've gathered a list of the 15 highest-grossing book-to-film adaptations based on the cumulative box office figures for each franchise. If the list were full of selects based on individual box office grosses, it would consist mostly of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings titles. Also notably absent from this list is one thing that is currently conquering the box office: superheroes. While one could argue that caped crusaders, like Batman, Superman, and Captain America, are also book-to-movie adaptations, they technically hail from comic book strips. So, we've decided to focus on properties that began as novels. Ahead, the most successful book-to-film adaptations of all time.

Alex Aronson

Alex is an entertainment and lifestyle writer who has a penchant for pineapple pizza, paranormal podcasts, paddleboarding, and alliteration.