Zendaya is filming both Challengers and Dune: Part Two in the summer of 2022, cementing her status as a global movie sensation with a diverse portfolio. Zendaya has built a reputation for herself from her Disney Channel origins to her part in successful MCU movies to starring in sci-fi blockbusters. She began her career as a child model and was most recently cast as Ronnie Spector in her untitled upcoming biography.
Due to her recent change toward dramatic roles, such as in Challengers, there is renewed optimism that the famed actress may be nominated for an Academy Award in 2023. She delivers a captivating performance in every role, and her films have had a phenomenal run at the box office. These are the 8 highest-grossing Zendaya movies.
8 Duck Duck Goose (2018) – $19.6 Million
A voice-over role, Duck Duck Goose is a 2018 Netflix animated film written by the creator of Surf’s Up that was removed from a US theatrical distribution for unknown reasons. Chi is voiced by Zendaya and is rescued by Peng, who is portrayed by Jeff Gaffigan. The film was a collaborative effort between the United States and China, grossing approximately $19.6 million globally. As Zendaya’s reputation grew and her abilities became more apparent, many fans felt she was underutilized and that the children’s film lacked depth and relied too heavily on flatulence comedy.
7 Space Jam: A New Legacy (2021) – $163.7 Million
Malcolm D. Lee’s live-action/animated Space Jam: A New Legacy, one of four films starring Zendaya and released in 2021, was the long-awaited sequel to the 1996 film Space Jam. Zendaya stars as the voice of Lola Bunny and has stated that being raised by the original in her family gave her the ability to take on this role. This is not Zendaya’s first time appearing in a voice-over role. Lebron James, Don Cheadle, and Michael B. Jordan are featured among the film’s all-star cast. It made $163.7 million against a $150 million budget and was one of four blockbuster films released in 2021 featuring Zendaya.
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6 Smallfoot (2018) – $214.1 Million
Smallfoot is considered Zendaya’s most profitable animated film to date. It is an animated musical comedy about a small village of Yeti who stumble to find a human, or Smallfoot, after having believed they were a legend for so long. The soundtrack album featuring two songs by Zendaya reached number eight on the Billboard Top 200. The film was well-received because of its powerful message, catchy melodies, and well-developed plot. After grossing $214 million against an initial budget of $80 million, the director indicated that a sequel is possible.
5 Dune (2021) – $401.8 Million
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A modest role does not reduce Zendaya’s presence. Denis Villeneuve directs the two-part remake of the science-fiction classic Dune, in which Zendaya portrays Timothee Chalamet’s love interest Chani. In contrast to the second part, in which Zendaya plays a prominent role, the first segment featured Zendaya only in brief visions seen by Chalamet. Nevertheless, her performance captivated the crowd, and many anticipate her reprisal of the part. In the sequel, she will play a more active part. Zendaya’s involvement in the science-fiction movie caught the eye of many, including director Pedro Almodovar, who wishes to collaborate with her in the future.
4 The Greatest Showman (2017) – $435 Million
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Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, and Zac Efron co-star with Zendaya in the musical drama The Greatest Showman, which tells the story of the development of P.T. Barnum and his circus. The film garnered negative reviews for its erroneous historical depiction. However, Zendaya’s performance as one of The Greatest Showman’s best characters was appreciated. The film went on to become the fifth highest-grossing live-action musical film of all time.
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3 Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017) – $880.2 Million
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Spider-Man: Homecoming, the first film of the second reboot, was burdened with a great deal of expectation yet blossomed into its own unique universe. Part of that world was Zendaya, whose nickname, MJ, was concealed until the end, but increased fan anticipation as they anticipated Zendaya’s character development. The film marks Zendaya’s debut as a leading actress. She would go on to star in later sequels, becoming a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. With a budget of $175 million, the film grossed over $880.2 million and was the second-most successful Spider-Man film at the time.
2 Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) – $1.132 Billion
Spider-Man: Far From Home, the second installment in the MCU Spider-Man Trilogy, elevates Zendaya’s MJ from a minor to a supporting role. Peter and his classmates travel to Europe for a school trip in this film starring Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Samuel L. Jackson. Despite becoming the lowest-rated Spider-Man film with Tom Holland, Zendaya was lauded for her depiction of MJ and her chemistry with Holland, making their relationship one of the greatest in the MCU.
1 Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) – $1.901 Billion
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Even though she began with a small role, Zendaya stole the show in her most recent film, the conclusion of the MCU Spider-Man trilogy, Spider-Man: No Way Home. She reprises her role as MJ and provides her best performance of the trilogy, according to fans. Zendaya concluded her busy 2021 release year with a multidimensional performance that revealed MJ’s previously unseen vulnerabilities. The film was well-received by both reviewers and audiences, and it was the highest-grossing movie of 2021 and the sixth-highest-grossing movie of all time. Alongside Tom Holland, Zendaya is slated to star in the next sequel, which may not arrive for some time.
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Sources: Box Office Mojo, Deadline, The Numbers
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