» more from Slideshows

10. Star Trek (Paramount)

Domestic gross (franchise average): $92 million

On Sept. 8, 1966, the NBC television network premiered a show called Star Trek. It featured a diverse crew of space explorers who boldly went where no one had gone before, but despite its originality and ground-breaking vision, it was cancelled after a mere three seasons due to low ratings. However, when the show went into reruns it found its audience, and became a cult phenomenon.

In the wake of the blockbuster success of Star Wars, film studios searched for properties to capitalize on the newly inspired science fiction craze. Star Trek was ideal source material, and Paramount Pictures released Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1979. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan was released in 1982, and four further installments starring the original television cast made it to the silver screen.

The cast of Star Trek: The Next Generation took over the film franchise in 1994 with Star Trek: Generations. In 2009, Lost creator J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek, a franchise reboot that was well received and earned almost $258 million in the U.S. To date, the Star Trek franchise has earned more than $1 billion at the domestic box office.

Paramount Pictures