84 years after he first stomped across screens in stop-motion form, King Kong is back in "Kong: Skull Island." The legendary primate helped establish the popularity of the creature feature, which since Kong's debut has unleashed waves of monsters big and small across movie screens over the decades. These are the movies that stand tall as the kings of the monsters. (Box office figures courtesy of comScore)
10.) Godzilla (1998) $136M Domestic
Roland Emmerich's overhaul of Toho's most famous kaiju was panned by critics, including Siskel and Ebert, whom Emmerich mocked with characters meant to be thinly veiled parodies of the two critics. Siskel and Ebert were not impressed, saying they if they were going to be mocked in a Godzilla movie, they should have been "squished like a bug."
9.) Gremlins (1984) $148M
The magnum opus of Joe Dante, one of the most famous creature feature directors ever. Dante was known for his macabre, cartoony creatures, with his most famous being Gizmo, the alien centerpiece of "Gremlins" whom is taken in as a pet and spawns an army of far more destructive brethren.
8.) Jurassic Park III (2001) $181M
The "Jurassic Park" movies have ranged in quality over the years, but the desire to see dinosaurs chase humans too stupid to realize that resurrecting them is a bad idea has always been a hot ticket. Despite lukewarm reviews, "JP III" made $369 million worldwide.
7.) Godzilla (2014) $200M
Made 16 years after Emmerich's version, Gareth Edwards restores Godzilla to a form more resembling his classic Toho appearance. The film was better received by critics and audiences and has now spawned a cinematic universe that will lead to Godzilla doing battle with King Kong in a 2020 crossover.
6.) King Kong (2005) $218M
Speaking of Kong, here he is in Peter Jackson's remake released 72 years after the original. Jackson's version went far over budget, with the cost ballooning to $207 million. But the gamble paid off, as "Kong" made $550 million worldwide
5.) Signs (2002) $227M
M. Night Shyamalan was riding at the peak of his "Sixth Sense" popularity when he made this alien film in which the invaders' biggest weakness is -- SPOILER ALERT! -- water. While it was a box office success, "Signs" marked the start of a long series of critical pans for Shyamalan that recently ended with his praised thriller "Split."
4.) The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) $229M
In the classic style of sequels raising the stakes, "The Lost World" featured a grand finale in which a T-Rex escaped its confinement and began destroying San Diego. Since such destruction would permanently kill the idea of a dinosaur theme park, "Jurassic World" decides to just ignore this movie.
3.) Jaws (1975) $260M
Spielberg's legendary movie about a giant killer shark remains to this day one of the most important movies ever made, creating the blueprint for the modern blockbuster as we know it. Then, 18 years later, Spielberg changed the movie biz again with...
2.) Jurassic Park (1993) $402M
A powerful testament to the sense of wonder and terror movies can instill in their audience. "Jurassic Park" wowed audiences around the world, pushed the boundaries of what could be done with computer generated imagery, and for over two decades was the most successful creature feature ever made...until...
1.) Jurassic World (2015) $652M
The pedigree of the "Jurassic Park" franchise, combined with the immense popularity of leading man Chris Pratt made "Jurassic World" and the growing power of the Chinese box office turned "Jurassic World" into a hit to the tune of $1.67 billion worldwide. So naturally, a sequel is set to be released next year. To quote the greedy Donald Gennaro in the original "Jurassic Park": "We're gonna make a fortune with this place."