IT MIGHT BE TIME to update the old adage: These days a picture is worth a thousand wordsand, occasionally, a billion dollars.

Unadjusted for inflation, five movies directly adapted from books have cracked $1 billion in global ticket sales. Add comic books and the list grows to ten. (Most recently: Avengers: Age of Ultron, whose heroes have racked up more than $1.2 billion since early May.)

Since The Exorcist in 1973 ($441 million) book adaptations have tallied $33.6 billion in constant-dollar ticket sales–and that’s just among the 200 top-grossing movies. According to data from Box Office Mojo with dollar amounts unadjusted for inflation, nearly a quarter of the top 200 worldwide grossing films have been directly adapted from literature, excluding comic book or picture book translations.