The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies hits the big screen on Friday and will bring another Middle Earth franchise from director Peter Jackson to a close.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Ten years after the success of The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit has taken us back to Middle Earth while Jackson has made a welcome return to the fantasy film director's chair.

We take a look at some of the highest grossing film franchises as The Hobbit is set to come to an epic conclusion.

- Harry Potter - $7,723 billion

Currently, the Harry Potter franchise is the most successful of all time. Spanning eight movies and ten years, the movie took over $7.7 billion at the global box office and delighted armies of fans.

Harry Potter made stars of Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Grint as they took on the central role of Harry, Hermione, and Ron, as J.K. Rowling's much-loved novels were adapted for the big screen.

During that time, the franchise had four different directors as Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron, Mike Newell and David Yates all brought their own flair to the franchise. Yates was the director with the most films under his belt as he was at the helm of four: Order of the Phoenix, The Half-Blood Prince, and the two Deathly Hallows movies.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone hit the big screen in 2001, and was the highest grossing film in the franchise until Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2 came along in 2011. It was the only film in the franchise to gross over $1 billion at the global box office.

- Marvel Cinematic Universe - $7,155 billion

Harry Potter may be the highest grossing franchise at the moment, but it won't be long until the Marvel Cinematic Universe takes the lead. It will most likely make the leap into top spot with the release of Avengers: Age of Ultron next year.

Ever since Iron Man hit the big screen back in 2008, Marvel has been a dominating force when it comes to superhero films, and so far we have been treated to ten different movies.

Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy have all enjoyed solo movies, while Avengers successfully brought Phase 1 to a close in 2012. Age of Ultron looks set to do the same next summer.

So far, the franchise has taken in excess of $7,1 billion, with Avengers Assemble being the most successful film so for it remains the third highest grossing movie of all time.

With new franchises such as Ant Man, Doctor Strange, and Black Panther on the way, Marvel is only going one way... and that is up.

- James Bond - $6,159 billion

James Bond is the most enduring franchise of all time, and has enjoyed huge success in the last fifty years.

It was back in 1962 when Sean Connery blasted onto the big screen for the first time as 007 in Dr No, since them we have seen George Lazenby, Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Pierce Brosnan, and Daniel Craig all take up the mantle of 007.

Fifty years and twenty-three films in, the movie has grossed just over $6 million worldwide and remains one of the most loved franchises of all time.

Skyfall is the highest grossing film in the franchise's history and was the third time that we had seen Daniel Craig take on the role of James Bond.

It went on to be the first film in the franchise to gross over $1 billion at the global box office when it was released back in 2012. Bond 24 is one of the most anticipated films of 2015, as Craig is back as 007, while Sam Mendes in the director's chair for a second consecutive movie.

Last week it was revealed that the movie would be called Spectre and Christoph Waltz, Léa Seydoux, Monica Bellucci, Andrew Scott, Dave Bautista, Ralph Fiennes, Naomie Harris, and Ben Whishaw would all also be on board. Could Spectre be even more successful than Skyfall at the box office? I guess we are going to have to wait and see.

- Star Wars - $4,382 billion

Star Wars is another franchise that has really endured as we were introduced to the world of Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader for the first time back in 1977.

Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi were the first trilogy of movie - ending in 1983 - before The Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clone, and Revenge of the Sith followed over fifteen years later.

So far, the franchise has grossed over $4,3 billion worldwide - a total that looks set to rise as three more movies have been planned since Disney bought LucasFilm.

J.J. Abrams will be in the director's chair for The Force Awakens, which will hit the big screen at the end of next year - I think we can safely say that this movie is going to be one of the most successful of 2015.

While the likes of Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, and Carrie Fisher will be back as Skywalker, Han Solo, and Princess Leia, a brand new cast has been assembled, including John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Adam Driver, Andy Serkis, and Domhnall Gleeson.

- Spider Man - $3,963 billion

Spider Man has been a big screen favourite for many years and has seen two franchises enjoy success in the last decade.

Tobey Maguire took on the role of Peter Parker for the first time back in 2002, with Sam Raimi in the director's chair. The duo would reunite for two further movies in 2004 and 2007 - all of which enjoyed big box office success.

However, in 2012, the franchise was rebooted with Andrew Garfield in the lead role and Marc Webb in the director's chair. He has since reprised the role in a second solo film earlier this year.

We are expecting a third movie in the franchise, while they are planning to expand this franchise even further. Venom and Sinister Six movies are also in the pipeline over the next couple of years.

- Transformers - $3,763 billion

Transformers is a film franchise that we were introduced to for the first time back in 2007, and it is already one of the most successful of all time.

Directed by Michael Bay, the Transformers movies are inspired by the Hasbro and Tomy line of toys, and we have seen four movies hit the big screen between 2007 and 2014.

Transformers and Transformers: Revenge of the Faller hit the big screen in 2007 and 2009 and helped really launch the acting careers of Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox, who took on the two central roles.

LaBeouf would return for Dark of the Moon, before a completely new cast list was assembled for Age of Extinction this summer. While the movies have not always been a critical success, they have enjoyed huge box office success.

So far, the franchise has grossed more than $3.7 billion at the global box office - Dark of the Moon remains the most successful film in the franchise to date.

Other franchises that have performed well in recent years include The Pirates of the Caribbean, Christopher Nolan's Batman, The Lord of the Rings, and Shrek.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is released 12th December.

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