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Highest Grossing Fantasy Movies

On Friday, “Snow White and the Huntsman” will debut on movie screens across North America. The film is a live-action retelling of the “Snow White” legend, starring Charlize Theron as the wicked queen and Kristen Stewart of the “Twilight” saga as the fairest one of all. The budget for the film is $170 million, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The amount is actually relatively modest for the fantasy genre, in which films with budgets exceeding $200 million are par for the course. “John Carter,” which was released in March and had a budget of $250 million, had an opening-weekend domestic box office take of $36 million, making it one of the first major flops of 2012. But that’s fantasy filmmaking for you. It’s a high-risk genre that requires spectacular visual effects and huge budgets, and the potential for failure is immense. When a fantasy movie connects with audiences, however, a potential gold mine awaits, with sequels, prequels and spin-offs extending into the next decade and beyond.

CNBC.com collected the domestic gross box office of fantasy movies, using data from BoxOfficeMojo.com and adjusting the numbers for inflation to see which fantasy movies, as defined by BoxOfficeMojo.com, are the highest grossing of all time. Read ahead to find out.

By Daniel Bukszpan
Updated 29 May 2012

Walt Disney Pictures