How to Sum the Top 5 Values in Excel

July 28, 2017

Have you ever needed to Sum the top N values in Excel? Maybe you need to find out how much the total of the top 5 sales were for the year. Or perhaps if you’re like me and you would like to know how many page views your top 5 posts get. Whatever the case, we’ll quickly go over how to use the Sum function to add up the top 5 values in your list.

Setting up the Data

Let’s take a simple worksheet like the following:

How to Sum Top 5 Values - Table

You can also copy and paste this data into your Excel workbook to follow along:

Movie Date Opened Total Gross
Deadpool 2/12/16 $363,070,709
Zootopia 3/4/16 $341,268,248
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice 3/25/16 $330,360,194
The Jungle Book (2016) 4/15/16 $364,001,123
Captain America: Civil War 5/6/16 $408,084,349
Finding Dory 6/17/16 $486,295,561
The Secret Life of Pets 7/8/16 $368,384,330
Suicide Squad 8/5/16 $325,100,054
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story 12/16/16 $532,177,324
Sing 12/21/16 $270,329,045

Now we’d like to find the top grossing films of 2016 and then sum them up to give us a grand total. How do we go about doing that?

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Getting the Top 5 Values

First, we need to get the top 5 values from the list. We can do this by using the LARGE() function in Excel. If you’re not familiar with the LARGE() function, click here to learn more.

Normally, you would use the LARGE() function to return a single value, but today, we need it to return multiple values. To do this, select 5 cells and then in the formula bar type the following formula:

=LARGE(MovieData[Total Gross],{1;2;3;4;5})

Then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to create an array formula. The formula should look like this in the end:

{=LARGE(MovieData[Total Gross],{1;2;3;4;5})}

Since you had 5 cells selected, the values will be spread across the 5 cells from top grossing film to least grossing film.

Here are the results of that formula:

How to Sum Top N Values - Getting top 5

OK, we have the top 5 grossing films, now all that’s left to do is sum up those values.

Putting it All Together

In a single cell, you can take that LARGE() function we wrote earlier and wrap it with the SUM() function:

=SUM(LARGE(MovieData[Total Gross],{1;2;3;4;5}))

Be sure to enter this formula with Ctrl+Shift+Enter.

And with that, you end up with the top 5 grossing films:

Sum of Top grossing films

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Written by Joseph who loves teaching about Excel.

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