Friday, November 20, 2009

The 00s: Box Office Champs

With already the biggest midnight haul of any movie ever, the second installment of the popular Twilight Saga, New Moon, is set to make lots and lots of money this weekend. And in only a month's time, James Cameron's long-awaited Avatar looks to be another potential mega-blockbuster. Will one of them, or both, be counted as one of the biggest box office champs of the decade?

The top grossing film of the decade is 2008's The Dark Knight grossing more than $533 million. The two films mentioned above will need to gross more than Chronicles of Narnia with its $291.7 million tally to make crack into the top 25 list and I'm fairly confident at least one of them will. Here is the rest of the top 25 ranked by their unadjusted domestic gross*:

1. The Dark Knight (2008)
2. Shrek 2 (2004)
3. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
4. Spider-Man (2002)
5. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
6. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
7. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
8. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
9. The Passion of the Christ (2004)
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
11. Finding Nemo (2003)
12. Spider-Man 3 (2007)
13. Shrek the Third (2007)
14. Transformers (2007)
15. Iron Man (2008)
16. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
17. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
18. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
19. Star wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones (2002)
20. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End (2007)
21. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2009)
22. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
23. Up (2009)
24. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
25. Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, & the Wardrobe (2005)

So what did the decade teach us? People really like sequels, prequels, epic literary adaptaions, comic book heroes, and an animated film or two preferably starring a green ogre or made by Pixar.

Four franchises make up nearly half the films on the list: Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider-Man, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter.

Three films have been nominated for Best Picture (all three Lord of the Rings films) with the third installment winning. Finding Nemo was nominated for and won Best Animated Feature Film. Up will surely be nominated for an Oscar in a few months.

*Data from Box Office Mojo.

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