The 2009 JoBlo.com Box-Office movie Recap!

I don't consider myself a huge box-office prognosticator. In fact, that box office numbers are reported every Monday on The Today Show seems fairly odd to me. Why do the majority of people out there really care? I know we, a select group of movie fans, get into this stuff but why does the rest of the world care? I don't know that I have an answer but if I had to guess it's because people react one of two ways: a) they're disgusted that MOVIE X made so much money, or b) they're happy that MOVIE Y made so much money. In the end, it's a reflection of ourselves and our society. It allows us to see what our fellow people are interested in and in this age of information saturation, people need to know what everyone else is up to (see: Twitter).

2009 is well in the books now and looking back on 2009, I'll even admit that it's surprising to see what people were into and what they weren't. Here's a list of the top-grossing films of 2009 with one caveat: films marked with an asterisk are still playing in theaters and in the case of AVATAR, still have a lot of money to make.

1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, $402.1 million
2. Avatar, $367 million
3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, $302 million
4. Up, $293 million
5. The Twilight Saga: New Moon, $288 million*
6. The Hangover, $277.4 million
7. Star Trek, $256.7 million
8. The Blind Side, $210 million*
9. Monsters vs Aliens, $198.4 million
10. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, $196.6 million

Looking at that list there are the obvious surprises (THE BLIND SIDE) and the obvious no-brainers (TRANSFORMERS 2). 3D films certainly were a hit with four making the Top 10 and with three of them being animated films, it proves there's enough room for Pixar, DreamWorks and Fox to co-exist. (Though I find it strange that DWA decided not to pursue a MVA sequel even though the film almost hit $200 million. Are they not happy unless it breaks $250MM?)

THE HANGOVER went on to become the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time, which seems odd to me. Studios are always pushing PG-13 ratings on films to increase the potential for a higher box-office but hasn't the success of films like THE HANGOVER proved that an R-rated film can be just as successful so long as it's well made? Shouldn't making a good movie be paramount? I'm preaching to the choir, I know...

Out of the 10 movies on this list, only five were graded above 70/100 on Metacritic's aggregate scale of critics reviews (HARRY POTTER, UP, AVATAR, THE HANGOVER and STAR TREK). Now I say "only" but frankly, I'm surprised that five made it up that high. Frankly when the only film to so far gross higher than $400 million has an awful 35/100, I'm not sure what to think anymore. Quality doesn't seem to be an indicator of success but this year we seem to have better luck with good films doing well (though I'm sure the people behind THE HURT LOCKER would disagree).

11. X-Men Origins: Wolverine, $179.8 million
12. Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, $177 million
13. The Proposal , $163.9 million
14. 2012, $163 million
15. Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, $159 million
16. Fast and Furious, $155 million
17. G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, $150 million
18. Paul Blart: Mall Cop, $146 million
19. Taken, $145 million
20. Sherlock Holmes, $144 million

Up above we now have the runners-up, the #s 11-20 of 2009 starting with X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE. What's important about the #11 total? Well back in March an almost final, DVD-quality bootleg of WOLVERINE hit online. This was obviously illegal and frowned upon in almost all circles (except the furthest reaches of the interwebs) but Fox at the time was very concerned about how this would affect their gross. Turns out it didn't really affect it at all and one could argue it actually helped.

So what does it all mean? Well in the end it meant rich people got richer and we got poorer from spending all our money on ticket prices that keep going up. It also means that franchises are increasingly important and I'd say all but three of those movies will have a sequel.

So what do you think were the biggest surprises - whether it's films that did well or films that did poorly - at the box-office in 2009?

Source: JoBlo.com



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