The official close to the summer season is an ideal time to check the top films at the 2010 box office. What has the American moviegoer flocked to? And what does it all mean? (Hell if we know, but we can hypothesize. One thing is for sure: We continue to love the familiar.)
Seven films of the current Top Ten were released this summer (as expected). Four on the list are animated (two of those are sequels), two are live action sequels, and three are remakes. That leaves one original, non-animated idea: Inception. Thank goodness for the bold mind of Christopher Nolan.
(Box office totals as of 9.7.10)
:: 1. Toy Story 3 ($409 million)
It’s the highest grossing film of 2010, the biggest movie of Pixar’s illustrious catalog, and the 2nd most successful animated title ever (behind Shrek 2). And it’s beloved by critics too: With a 99 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it’s the best reviewed major release of the year. After 11 weeks in theaters, Toy Story 3 gained more screens — and about $2.7 million — for Labor Day weekend.
:: 2. Alice in Wonderland ($334.2 M)
Tim Burton’s obscene reported budget (around $200 M) seems okay after this effects-heavy take on the Looking Glass tale became one of only seven films to ever grab $1 billion globally. Burton’s Edward Scissorhands storytelling days may be far behind him, but all the studio cares about is ‘billion’ with a ‘b’.
:: 3. Iron Man 2 ($312.1 M)
Director Jon Favreau has already mentioned there will probably be a third entry somewhere in the future. Those Marvel superhero movies are stacking up like planes waiting to fly out of JFK.
:: 4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($298.9 M)
How I wish these films were more accessible to those of us who aren’t a) women who like romance novels; b) teens who like romance; c) wimpy vampires. They really should be. Or could be. Oh, whatever, it’ll all be over soon. Eclipse has divebombed at the box office (especially in weeks #2 and #3), but the film should pass $300 million in about two weeks.
:: 5. Inception ($278.8 M)
You could pair this one up with Shutter Island for your Leonardo DiCaprio Mindscrew Double Feature. Lots of interrogation and explanation needed. And that’s just the people in your living room! Ba-dum! After two months, this one has never earned less than $4.5 million in a weekend.
:: 6. Despicable Me ($241.6 M)
One of three Steve Carell movies in 2010, animated or otherwise. Total take: about $410 million. Steve Carell, box office superstar? Hmm, okay.
:: 7. Shrek Forever After ($238.3 M)
A bust? You bet. This fourth chapter (ugh) had a sub-$1 million weekend within its first two months, and is the lowest-grossing of the Shrek films. Dreamworks had to believe the green ogre would give the toys a run for their proverbial money. Not even close.
:: 8. How To Train Your Dragon ($217.5 M)
Now here’s the big Dreamworks winner. It didn’t have the opening oomph of Shrek 4 of course, but its longevity has to be a surprise to all. Viewer dropoff was minimal from weekend to weekend, until the ninth week of the run. Excellent achievement. Look for the sequel in 2013. Or don’t.
:: 9. The Karate Kid ($176.3 M)
I was just thinking that Will Smith’s kid needs more work, huh? Columbia never dreamed in the 1980s that this series could earn this kind of money.
:: 10. Clash of the Titans ($163.2 M)
Liam Neeson, slumming. Just like Olivier in the original.
(Box office stats courtesy Box Office Mojo)
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