Last week, I brought you top ten summer movies – along with other notable pics and flops – of 1996. Now it’s time to recount what was before our collective eyeballs 10 summers ago in 2006.
As I do with these lists, we’ll count down the top ten and then mention some others that made their mark, both positively and negatively.
10. The Devil Wears Prada
Domestic Gross: $124 million
Meryl Streep received her 267th Oscar nomination (or something like that) for this hit comedy which also helped break Anne Hathaway out of Princess Diaries mode.
9. Mission: Impossible III
Domestic Gross: $134 million
It may be in the top ten, but part 3 of this franchise that has now five entries is by far the lowest grosser (making $81 million less than part 2). This did give J.J. Abrams his first big directorial break and, as you may know, he’s moved forward with some other well-known franchises.
Domestic Gross: $137 million
10 years later, he may be relegated to Netflix territory, but the critically drubbed Click gave us Adam Sandler when he still had no problem reaching the century club and then some.
7. Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby
Domestic Gross: $148 million
Of the five Will Ferrell/Adam McKay collaborations, Ricky still stands as the highest grosser of them all. It’s first, not last.
6. Over the Hedge
Domestic Gross: $155 million
Dreamworks animated raccoon tale was a nice hit, even if it didn’t approach Shrek territory.
5. Superman Returns
Domestic Gross: $200 million
Coming nearly 20 years after the latest Supes flick, Superman Returns was Bryan Singer’s eagerly awaited reboot of the franchise. Yet its $200 million domestic gross was definitely on the lower end of expectations and critics and audiences were a bit disappointed. Seven years later, it would be rebooted once again with Man of Steel.
4. The Da Vinci Code
Domestic Gross: $217 million
Tom Hanks and Ron Howard teamed up for this adaptation of Dan Brown’s mega-selling novel and box office returns were heavenly, even if critics were quite mixed. Two sequels – 2011’s Angels & Demons and this fall’s Inferno – followed.
3. X-Men: The Last Stand
Domestic Gross: $234 million
Brett Ratner took over this franchise from Bryan Singer (busy with Superman) for film #3. Its reputation now is in tatters and is widely considered a mediocre experience at best. That said, it’s the highest grossing X pic domestically of all time – a full $1 million ahead of 2014’s Days of Future Past.
Domestic Gross: $244 million
It isn’t considered one of the greatest Pixar pics, but it still managed to pace second in summer 2006. The Paul Newman voiced effort would spawn two sequels – one in 2011 and the next coming in summer 2017.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Domestic Gross: $423 million
This summer features a Johnny Depp sequel flop (Alice Through the Looking Glass), but 10 years ago – he was the king of the summer with this follow-up to 2003’s The Curse of the Black Pearl. It easily blew all competition away.
And now for some other notable movies of the season:
Little Miss Sunshine
Domestic Gross: $59 million
This little indie comedy/drama became a critics darling and struck a chord with audiences and Oscar voters. It was nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actress (Abigail Breslin), and gave Alan Arkin a win in Supporting Actor.
An Inconvenient Truth
Domestic Gross: $24 million
Former Vice-President Al Gore’s feature-length slideshow on global warming was a massive hit as documentaries go (it currently stands at 10th all-time).
And now for the flops of summer ’06:
Domestic Gross: $63 million
Based on the iconic 80s cop show and directed by its creator Michael Mann, Miami Vice suffered from a reported troubled production and grossed less than half of its $135 million budget.
The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift
Domestic Gross: $62 million
This is the one and only example of a Furious flick being listed as a flop as the series would majorly rebound when Paul Walker and Vin Diesel returned for part 4 a few years later.
Domestic Gross: $60 million
Audiences didn’t get on board for director Wolfgang Peterson’s remake of 1972’s The Poseidon Adventure, grossing just $60 million domestically compared to its $160 million budget.
Lady in the Water
Domestic Gross: $42 million
This is when it really started to go downhill for M. Night Shyamalan. Critics ridiculed it and it broke his streak of four hits in a row (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village).
Snakes on a Plane
Domestic Gross: $34 million
The trailer got all kinds of publicity with Samuel L. Jackson expressing his displeasure at what was going on in the title. That buzz didn’t end up translating into much, however.
The Wicker Man
Domestic Gross: $23 million
OK, it’s another Nic Cage bomb, but it would gain notoriety later for this gem of a clip…
And that’ll do it for now, my friends! Next summer, you can be sure I’ll be bringing you a recap of summers 1997 and 2007!