Blog

Latest Industry News

50 High Grossing Movies Based on the Public Domain

1. Adventures of Huck Finn (1993) based on Mark Twain’s  book (1885)

Revenue = $24.1 million (revenue figures listed where available – based on wikipedia data).

2. Tom and Huck (1995) based on The Adventures of Tom Sawyer  by Mark Twain (1876)

Revenue = $23.9 million

3. Aladdin (1992) from a folk tale in One Thousand and One Nights (1706)

Revenue = $504 million

4. Alice in Wonderland (1951) based on Lewis Carroll’s book (1865)

5. Alice in Wonderland (2010) based on Lewis Carroll’s book (1865)

Revenue = $1.02 billion

6. Around the World in 80 Days (2004) based on Jules Verne’s book (1873)

Revenue = $72.2 million

7. Atlantis (2001) from the Legend of Atlantis (Socratic Dialogues “Timaeus” & “Critias” by Plato ~360 BC.)

8. Beauty and the Beast (1991) by G-S Barbot de Villeneuve’s book (1775)

Revenue = $425 million

9. Bug’s Life (1998) from Aesop’s Fables

Revenue = $363.4 million

10. Cinderella (1950) from Charles Perrault’s folk tale (Grimm’s Fairy Tails) (1697)

Revenue = $85 million

11. Chicken Little  (2005) from the folk tale

Revenue = $314.4 million

12. Christmas Carol (2009) from Charles Dickens (1843)

Revenue = $325.3 million

13. Fantasia (1940) scored and based on Bach, Tchaikovsky, Beethoven & other classical compositions (however, “ The Rite Of Spring” was licensed)

Revenue = $83.3 million (22nd highest-grossing film of all time as adjusted for inflation)

14. Fantasia 2000 (1999)

Revenue = $90.9 million

15. Frozen (2013) from Hans Christian Anderson’s Ice Queen (1845)

Revenue = $810.3 million

16. Hercules (1997) from the Greek myth

Revenue = $252.7 million

17. In Search of the Castaways (1962) based on Jules Verne novel (1868)

Revenue = $21.7 million

18. John Carter (2012) based on A Princess of  by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1917)

Revenue = $284 million

19. Kidnapped (1960) by Robert Louis Stevenson (1886)

20. Little Mermaid (1989) by Hans Christian Anderson (1837)

Revenue = $211.3 million

21. Lt. Robin Crusoe U.S.N. (1966) based on Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe (1719)

Revenue = $22.5 million

22. Mulan (1998) from the Chinese Legend of Hua Mulan

Revenue = $304.3 million

23. Oliver & Company (1988) based on Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (1839)

Revenue = $74 million 

24. Return to Neverland (2002) based on Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie (1904)

Revenue = $109.9 million

25. Pinocchio (1940) by Carlo Collodi (1883)

Revenue = $84.3 million (39th highest grossing box office gross as adjusted for inflation)

26. Pocahontas (1995) from the life and legend of Pocahontas

Revenue = $346 million

27. Princess and the Frog (2009) from the Brothers Grimm folk tale The Frog Prince

Revenue = $267 million

28. Return to Oz (1985) from L. Frank Baum’s books

(When original Oz film was made it was under copyright. Disney purchased rights to all the books. But when Return to Oz was made it had entered the public domain.)

29. Rob Roy the Highland Rogue (1953) based on the Rob Roy by Sir Walter Scott (1817)

30. Robin Hood (1973) from the English folk tales

Revenue = $87 million

31. Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010) from the poem by Johann Goethe (1797)

Revenue = $236.9 million

32. Snow White (1937) from the Brothers Grimm folk tale (1857)

Revenue = $416 million (10th highest grossing film as adjusted for inflation)

33. Sleeping Beauty (1959) from the Charles Perrault folk tale (1697) (also with music/characters from Tchaikovsky’s 1890 ballet)

Revenue = $51.6 million) (31st highest grossing film as adjusted for inflation)

34. Swiss Family Robinson (1960) by Johann David Wyss (1812)

Revenue = $40 million (83d highest grossing film as adjusted)

35. Tangled (2010) from the Brothers’ Grimm fairy tale Rapunzel (1812)

Revenue = $591.8 million

36. Tarzan (1999) from Tarzan of the Apes by Edgar Rice Burroughs (1914)

Revenue = $448.2 million

37. The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) based on the Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving (1820) and Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908)

38. The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) from Victor Hugo’s Book (1831)

Revenue = $325.4 million

39. The Lion King (1994) from Hamlet (1603) and inspired from a 1960s Japanese animated series called Kimba the White Lion

Revenue = $987.5 million

40. The Jungle Book (1967) by Rudyard Kipling (1894 copyright, movie released just one year after copyright expired)

Revenue = $205.8 million (30th highest grossing film with inflation)

41. The Jungle Book (1994 live action version) by Rudyard Kipling (1894)

Revenue = $43 million

42. Three Musketeers (1993) by Alexandre Dumas (1844)

Revenue = $53.9 million

43. The Reluctant Dragon (1941) based on the story by Kenneth Grahame (1898).

44. The Sword in the Stone (1963) from the Arthurian Legends

Revenue = $22.2 million

45. Treasure Planet (20002) based on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

Revenue = $109.6 million

46. Muppet Treasure Island (1996) based on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

Revenue = $34.4 million

47. Treasure Island (1950) based on Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson (1883)

48. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954) by Jules Verne (1870)

Revenue = $28.2 million

49. White Fang (1991) by Jack London (1906)

Revenue = $34.8 million

50. White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf (1994) based on book by Jack London (1906)

Revenue =  $8.8 million

Back to top