One of my friends recently asked me my opinion on the financial success of The Matrix trilogy at the box office. It was an interesting question to be sure; although the trilogy is clearly iconic and timeless, those attributes don’t always translate into box office success. Thus, since I never considered this question before, I thought I’d touch on the subject for today’s post. So I put on my Matrix sunglasses, and I did a little research. I was surprised at what I found out!
Believe it or not, in terms of pure financial success, The Matrix was not in the top 50 of all time highest grossing movies in the US. In fact, it didn’t even crack the top 100! According to the-numbers.com, The Matrix ranks #168 all time, bringing in a little over $171 million at the box office.
The most financially successful Matrix movie in the US was The Matrix Reloaded. This installment came in at #49 all time, grossing over $281 million. The worst performer was the final installment, The Matrix Revolutions, which ranks #259 at $139 million.
When the numbers are adjusted for inflation, The Matrix Reloaded ranked #54 ($368 million), The Matrix ranked #141 ($266 million), and The Matrix Revolutions ranked #319 ($182 million).
Worldwide, The Matrix Reloaded ranks #43 ($738 million), The Matrix ranks #107 ($460 million), and The Matrix Revolutions ranks #128 ($424 million). No inflation-adjusted numbers are available.
It was disappointing to see some of the movies that out-ranked the highest ranking Matrix installment (The Matrix Reloaded). These include movies such as Shrek 2 (#19 on the global list), 2012 (#39 on the global list), and the Da Vinci Code (#40 on the global list). But I think much of the trilogy’s popularity was garnered after the major release of the first installment, and its subsequent cult status enabled a continuous influx of new fans over time. Thus, it has become one of the most iconic movie concepts in the history of cinema, despite each movie’s relatively modest box office success.