Summer 2010: The Top 10 Hits and More

Today on the blog, we come to the third and final replay of the cinematic summers from 30, 20, and 10 years ago. If you missed my posts covering 1990 and 2000, you may find them right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/18/summer-1990-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2020/07/25/summer-2000-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

This brings us to 2010 where sequels ruled the top 3 slots and a couple of other significant franchises were born. We also all had our collective minds blown by Christopher Nolan’s brand of time shifting sci-fi action.

As I have with previous entries, I’ll recount the top ten hits, some other notable titles, and the flops of the season. Let’s get at it!

10. The Other Guys

Domestic Gross: $119 million

The buddy cop comedy marked the fourth collaboration in six years between director Adam McKay and his lead Will Ferrell after Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, and Step Brothers. It also marks Ferrell’s first teaming with Mark Wahlberg and the pair would go on to make two successful and family friendlier Daddy’s Home pics.

9. The Last Airbender

Domestic Gross: $131 million

Based on the Nickelodeon animated series, the fantasy adventure marked a departure from M. Night Shyamalan’s twisty suspense thrillers. It did, however, maintain the filmmaker’s recent trend of critically savaged titles (arriving two years behind the lambasted The Happening). It couldn’t match its reported $150 million budget stateside.

8. Grown Ups

Domestic Gross: $162 million

Adam Sandler continued to prove himself review proof with this comedy where he recruited buddies Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, and Rob Schneider for another sizable hit. A sequel followed three years later.

7. The Karate Kid

Domestic Gross: $176 million

Produced by his parents Will and Jada, this retooling of the 1984 blockbuster starred Jaden Smith with Jackie Chan as his mentor. Shot for just about $40 million, it grossed over $300 million worldwide. Surprisingly, a planned sequel never materialized.

6. Shrek Forever After

Domestic Gross: $238 million

Typically a gross of $238 million is quite an achievement, but not necessarily in this case for the Dreamworks animated franchise. Forever grossed less than its three predecessors and generated mixed critical reaction.

5. Despicable Me

Domestic Gross: $251 million

At the start of summer 2010, not many would have have projected this original Illumination Entertainment animated tale would outdo Shrek. Yet that’s exactly what occurred and two sequels and the Minions spin-off franchise have followed.

4. Inception

Domestic Gross: $292 million

Coming hot off the heels of 2008’s The Dark Knight, Christopher Nolan had another huge earner in his collaboration with Leonardo DiCaprio. It might have been a challenge to follow the plot, but audiences gave it their best and a worldwide take over $800 million occurred. Multiple Oscar nominations, including Best Picture (though not Nolan’s direction), resulted.

3. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Domestic Gross: $300 million

2010 found audiences still enraptured by the Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner vampire romance. The third entry in the series set a midnight earnings ($30 million) opening record that stood for a year before Harry Potter swept it away.

2. Iron Man 2

Domestic Gross: $312 million

The Marvel Cinematic Universe was still in its infancy a decade ago as this was the third pic of the bunch. Part 2 posted fine numbers, but was considered a bit of a letdown compared to the first edition. It did mark the first appearance of Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and a buff and whip cracking Mickey Rourke as the main villain.

1. Toy Story 3

Domestic Gross: $415 million

Pixar easily ruled the season with the third flick in the studio’s startup series. Arriving 15 years after the original, the return of Woody and Buzz was a critical darling that earned a Best Picture nomination and lots of love from all ages. Part 4 would follow in 2019.

And now for some other noteworthy pictures from the time frame:

Salt

Domestic Gross: $118 million

Arriving two years after her action hit Wanted, this spy thriller hovered just outside the top 10 and managed to just outgross its $110 million budget in North America.

The Expendables

Domestic Gross: $105 million

Sylvester Stallone led a band of action heroes in this early August title that tapped the nostalgia of moviegoers. A pair of sequels followed that would bring in more genre heavy hitters like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Bruce Willis, Wesley Snipes, Chuck Norris, and Harrison Ford.

Eat Pray Love

Domestic Gross: $80 million

This adaptation of a 2006 bestseller starring Julia Roberts brought in a sizable female audience and hit just over $200 million worldwide against a $60 million budget.

Dinner for Schmucks

Domestic Gross: $73 million

Steve Carell and Paul Rudd headlined this midsize hit that got mixed reviews. It has since turned into a bit of a cult favorite in subsequent years.

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Domestic Gross: $31 million

There’s no question that I could have put this teen action romance in the misfires column as it made just a fraction of its $85 million price tag. However, the Edgar Wright title has since achieved significant status as an impressive original work with a major following.

The Kids Are All Right

Domestic Gross: $20 million

This domestic dramedy became a major awards player and was nominated for Best Picture with acting nods going to Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, and Mark Ruffalo.

MacGruber

Domestic Gross: $8 million

Just as with Pilgrim, this SNL spin-off with Will Forte was a financial bomb. Yet it has also turned into a cult classic and there’s a rumored sequel or TV spin-off in the making.

Winter’s Bone

Domestic Gross: $6 million

This indie mystery is notable for introducing Jennifer Lawrence to critics, if not a wide audience. Bone would earn the star her first Oscar nomination in addition to a Best Picture nod. Of course, Ms. Lawrence would break out in the next two years with the X-Men and Hunger Games series and her Oscar victory happened in 2012 with Silver Linings Playbook. 

And now for some movies that didn’t match their expectations:

Robin Hood

Domestic Gross: $105 million

With a budget that may have been as high as $200 million, Robin Hood reunited Russell Crowe with Ridley Scott. A decade earlier, they made Gladiator which was a giant hit that won Best Picture. As for this version of the oft told saga, it’s largely forgotten.

Sex and the City 2

Domestic Gross: $95 million

The second installment cinematically of the beloved HBO series, part 2 made more than $50 million below its predecessor from 2008. Critics also savaged it.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Domestic Gross: $90 million

A hoped for franchise for Disney, the $150 million fantasy pic couldn’t hit the century mark in North America. Lead Jake Gyllenhaal has since expressed his regret for doing it.

The A-Team

Domestic Gross: $77 million

A year after his breakthrough in The Hangover, this action pic based on the 1980s TV series didn’t quite turn Bradley Cooper (alongside Liam Neeson) into an action star. Audience mostly found it, well, expendable.

Knight and Day

Domestic Gross: $76 million

Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz couldn’t provide enough star power for this action comedy to get near its budget north of $100 million.

Cats & Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore

Domestic Gross: $43 million

Perhaps nine years was too long a break between sequels. The original family tale was an unexpected hit at $93 million in 2001, but the long gestating sequel didn’t gross half that number.

Jonah Hex

Domestic Gross: $10 million

This DC Comics based title with Josh Brolin in the title role and Megan Fox was an instant flop, barely making eight figures against a $47 million budget. It also held a sad 12% Rotten Tomatoes rating.

And that wraps up my looks at the summers of decades past, folks! I’ll have 1991, 2001, and 2011 recaps up in a year’s time…

Charlie’s Angels Box Office Prediction

The pitch is a rebooted cinematic version of the Charlie’s Angels franchise, but I suspect its opening gross will be far from perfect. Elizabeth Banks directs and costars with Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska in the three lead roles. The supporting cast includes Djimon Hounsou, Sam Claflin, and Patrick Stewart.

In the early 2000s, Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz, and Lucy Liu brought the 1970s TV hit to the big screen with McG directing. The first entry in 2000 took in $125 million while the 2003 sequel earned $100 million.

Expectations are not as high this time around. While Stewart has been making the rounds (including an SNL hosting gig), I believe this could fall victim to the franchise fatigue we’ve already witnessed in 2019 with the Men in Black and Terminator series, to name a couple.

I would anticipate a #2 debut behind Ford v Ferrari and I question whether Angels can handle a start of over $20 million… or even $15 million.

Charlie’s Angels opening weekend prediction: $14.2 million

For my Ford v Ferrari prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/05/ford-v-ferrari-box-office-prediction/

For my The Good Liar prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2019/11/07/the-good-liar-box-office-prediction/

Summer 1998: The Top 10 Hits and More

Continuing with my recaps of the movie summers from 30, 20, and 10 years ago – we arrive at 1998. If you missed my post recounting the 1988 season, you can find it right here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2018/07/11/summer-1988-the-top-10-hits-and-more/

1998 was a rather astonishingly sequel lite summer with only one making up the top ten moneymakers. And while 2018 will be known for its Avengers phenomenon, it was a much different story with Avengers two decades ago.

Behold my synopsis of the top 10 hits, along with other notables and flops:

10. The Mask of Zorro

Domestic Gross: $94 million

He may be playing Pablo Picasso on TV now, but Antonio Banderas had a significant hit (alongside Catherine Zeta-Jones and Anthony Hopkins) in this tale of the famed swashbuckler. A less successful sequel would follow in 2005.

9. Mulan

Domestic Gross: $120 million

Disney’s 36th animated feature (with a voice assist from Eddie Murphy) didn’t reach the heights of titles like Aladdin or The Lion King, but the Mouse Factory has already commissioned a live-action version slated for 2020.

8. The Truman Show

Domestic Gross: $125 million

Jim Carrey’s first major big screen foray outside of zany comedy, Peter Weir’s reality show pic garnered critical acclaim for the film itself and the star’s performance.

7. Lethal Weapon 4

Domestic Gross: $130 million

The final teaming of Mel Gibson and Danny Glover (with Chris Rock and Jet Li joining the mix) made slightly less than part 3 and was generally considered rather mediocre, especially considering the heights that the franchise started from.

6. Godzilla

Domestic Gross: $136 million

Coming off the massive success of Independence Day, Roland Emmerich’s tale of the giant green monster was expected to possibly be summer’s biggest hit. It came in well below expectations with critics and audiences. A better regarded version arrived in 2014.

5. Deep Impact

Domestic Gross: $140 million

Our first asteroid disaster flick on the list came from Mimi Leder with a cast including Tea Leoni, Elijah Wood, and Robert Duvall. Moviegoers loved their asteroids 20 years ago.

4. Dr. Dolittle

Domestic Gross: $144 million

Eddie Murphy was still in popular family guy mode with this remake of the Rex Harrison animal tale. A sequel would follow in 2001.

3. There’s Something About Mary

Domestic Gross: $176 million

The Farrelly Brothers had the comedic smash of the summer in this effort that made Ben Stiller a huge star and had a showcase role for Cameron Diaz’s talents.

2. Armageddon

Domestic Gross: $201 million

Our second asteroid pic (this one from Michael Bay) comes with Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck, and Liv Tyler… and an Aerosmith ballad that played all season long.

1. Saving Private Ryan

Domestic Gross: $216 million

Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed World War II drama with Tom Hanks has one of the most intense first scenes in cinematic history. It was considered the Oscar front-runner until it lost in an upset to Shakespeare in Love. 

And now for some other notable films:

The X-Files

Domestic Gross: $83 million

Bringing David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson’s alien themed FOX TV show to the big screen turned out to be a profitable venture. An ignored sequel would follow 10 years later.

Blade

Domestic Gross: $70 million

The vampire-centric Wesley Snipes flick spawned two sequels and major cult status.

Out of Sight

Domestic Gross: $37 million

Its box office performance was middling, but Steven Soderbergh’s romantic crime pic showed George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez at their best. Critics dug it.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Domestic Gross: $10 million

Not a success at the time, but Terry Gilliam’s wild ride featuring Johnny Depp as Hunter S. Thompson created a serious following in subsequent years.

And now for some flops:

Six Days, Seven Nights

Domestic Gross: $74 million

Harrison Ford was flying high off the success of Air Force One one summer earlier, but audiences and reviewers weren’t as kind to this action comedy with Anne Heche.

Snake Eyes

Domestic Gross: $55 million

Likewise, Nicolas Cage experienced a trilogy of mega hits during the two previous summers with The Rock, Con Air, and Face/Off. This one from Brian De Palma didn’t impress nearly as much.

The Avengers

Domestic Gross: $23 million

Not THOSE Avengers, ladies and gents. This big screen adaptation of the 1960s TV series with Ralph Fiennes, Uma Thurman, and Sean Connery landed with a thud in August. No sequels here.

54

Domestic Gross: $16 million

Mike Myers was coming off a little something called Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery when this pic about the famed NYC nightclub opened. Critics weren’t kind and crowds didn’t turn up.

BASEketball

Domestic Gross: $7 million

Trey Parker and Matt Stone rarely create something that isn’t massively successful – like “South Park” and The Book of Mormon. This sports comedy is the rare exception, though it has developed a following since.

And there you have it – the summer of 1998! Look for 2008 shortly…

Top 25 Highest Grossing Actresses of All Time (5-1)

Today we reach the final installment of my listing of the Top 25 Highest Grossing Actresses in box office history with the top five!

Here are the five ladies that have grossed the most stateside:

5. Julia Roberts

Career Earnings: $2.7 billion

Franchises: The Ocean’s pictures

Highest Grossing Picture: Ocean’s Eleven (2001) – $183 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 11 (Ocean’s Eleven, Ocean’s Twelve, Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Erin Brockovich, Hook, Notting Hill, Valentine’s Day, Sleeping with the Enemy, The Pelican Brief)

Lowest Grosser: Fireflies in the Garden (2011) – $70,000

Overall Rank: 30

4. Helena Bonham Carter

Career Earnings: $2.7 billion

Franchises: Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland

Highest Grossing Picture: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011) – $381 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 9 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Cinderella, Planet of the Apes, Les Miserables, The King’s Speech)

Lowest Grosser: The Theory of Flight (1998) – $73,000

Overall Rank: 28

3. Cate Blanchett

Career Earnings: $2.8 billion

Franchises: Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit

Highest Grossing Picture: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) – $377 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 10 (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings, Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Cinderella, How to Train Your Dragon 2, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Robin Hood, The Aviator)

Lowest Grosser: Little Fish (2006) – $8,000

Overall Rank: 27

2. Cameron Diaz

Career Earnings: $3 billion

Franchises: Charlie’s Angels, Shrek

Highest Grossing Picture: Shrek 2 (2004) – $441 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 11 (Shrek, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, There’s Something About Mary, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Charlie’s Angels, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, The Mask, Vanilla Sky, Bad Teacher)

Lowest Grosser: Head Above Water (1997) – $32,000

Overall Rank: 19

  1. Scarlett Johansson

Career Earnings: $3.3 billion

Franchises: Marvel Cinematic Universe

Highest Grossing Picture: The Avengers (2012) – $623 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 7 (The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 2, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, The Jungle Book, Lucy)

Lowest Grosser: A Love Song for Bobby Long (2004) – $164,000

Overall Rank: 9

And there you have it, my friends! Your 25 highest grossing females in the history of the movies…

Annie Box Office Prediction

There’s a whole lot of talent involved with the Annie remake opening this Friday. Will Smith and Jay-Z are among the producers with Easy A and Friends with Benefits director Will Gluck behind the camera. Quevenzhane Wallis (who won critical acclaim for Beasts of the Southern Wild) plays the title role with Jamie Foxx, Cameron Diaz, Rose Byrne, and Bobby Cannavale rounding out the cast.

There’s a real question as to whether those big names will translate to big holiday box office though. Based loosely on the Broadway play and 1982 picture, the film trades its Depression era setting for modern day NYC. So far, reviews have been far from kind. There’s also the matter of serious family competition in the form of Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. 

Sony Pictures is hoping for a healthy debut to divert attention away from its considerable hacking scandal. It could be wishful thinking. I believe Annie won’t even reach $20 million out of the gate for a lackluster start.

Annie opening weekend prediction: $17.6 million

For my prediction on The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/12/13/the-hobbit-the-battle-of-the-five-armies-box-office-prediction/

For my prediction on Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/12/13/night-at-the-museum-secret-of-the-tomb-box-office-prediction/

For my prediction on Wild, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/12/15/wild-box-office-prediction/

Sex Tape Movie Review

You might think putting two talented comedic performances such as Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel in a movie called Sex Tape would pretty much sell itself. It didn’t. When it opened this past summer, it failed to garner audience attention. Now I know why.

Diaz and Segel reunite with their Bad Teacher director Jake Kasdan for this uninspired and unfocused farce in which they play married couple Annie and Jay, who’ve let the spark dissipate in their relationship. To get their collective mojo back in gear, they decide to make said film title and, sure enough, it gets released on the infamous “cloud”. The duration of the picture is devoted to them trying to retrieve it back and save their dignity.

The simple premise is probably one that could be mined for humorous results. Yet both Diaz and particularly Segel seem as bored as their characters before they go all Kim and Ray J. Their best friends are played by Rob Corddry and Ellie Kemper and this talented duo fail to add much to the proceedings either. In fact, only Rob Lowe provides occasional laughs as a business associate looking to buy Annie’s blog. He’s in full Creepy Rob Lowe mode here and he’s almost as funny as his recent turn in those DirecTV commercials. There’s also a surprise cameo towards the conclusion that falls mostly flat.

Sex Tape is an uncomfortable hodgepodge of forced dark humor with trite sentimental romance. It tries to copy the formula of the original Hangover unsuccessfully by not showing us the sex tape until the end. By that point, the previous 90 minutes have rendered us so turned off that no tape could spice our spirits up.

*1/2 (out of four)

Top 25 Highest Grossing Actors of All Time: Nos. 15-11

We’ve returned to my Top 25 Highest Grossing Actors of All Time list and part three, covering numbers 15-11. If you missed the first two entries, you may find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/08/09/top-25-highest-grossing-actors-of-all-time-nos-25-21/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/08/10/top-25-highest-grossing-actors-of-all-time-nos-20-16/

Let’s go right to it:

15. Ian McKellen

Career Earnings: $2.8 billion

Franchises: The X-Men, Lord of the Rings, and Hobbit series

Highest Grossing Picture: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – $377 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 10. X-Men, Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, X2: X-Men United, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Da Vinci Code, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, X-Men: Days of Future Past.

Lowest Grosser: Emilie – $5,800

14. Robert De Niro

Career Earnings: $2.9 million

Franchises: The Fockers series and Analyze This/Analyze That

Highest Grossing Picture: Meet the Fockers – $279 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 6.  Analyze This, Meet the Parents, Shark Tale, Meet the Fockers, Little Fockers, Silver Linings Playbook.

Lowest Grosser: Killing Season – $39,000

13. Michael Caine

Career Earnings: $2.9 billion

Franchises: The Dark Knight series. Mr. Caine also appeared in sequels Jaws 4: The Revenge, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Cars 2, and Journey 2: The Mysterious Island.

Highest Grossing Picture: The Dark Knight – $534 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 9. Miss Congeniality, Austin Powers in Goldmember, Batman Begins, The Dark Knight, Inception, Cars 2, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, The Dark Knight Rises, Now You See Me.

Lowest Grosser: Around the Bend – $193,000

12. Cameron Diaz

Career Earnings: $2.9 billion **Blogger’s note: highest ranking female on list

Franchises: The Shrek series. Charlie’s Angels/Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle

Highest Grossing Picture: Shrek 2 – $441 million

Number of $100M+ Earners: 11. The Mask, My Best Friend’s Wedding, There’s Something About Mary, Charlie’s Angels, Shrek, Vanilla Sky, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, Bad Teacher.

Lowest Grosser: Head Above Water – $32,000

11. Gary Oldman

Career Earnings: $3 billion

Franchises: The Harry Potter and Dark Knight franchises. Mr. Oldman also appeared in sequels Hannibal, Kung Fu Panda 2, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Highest Grossing Picture: The Dark Knight – $534 million

Numbers of $100M+ Earners: 12. Air Force, Hannibal, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Batman Begins, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, The Dark Knight, A Christmas Carol, Kung Fu Panda 2, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, The Dark Knight Rises, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.

Lowest Grosser: We Think the World of You – $20,000

Tomorrow – we get to the Top Ten!

Sex Tape Box Office Prediction

Three summers ago, Bad Teacher performed well with audiences to the tune of a $100 million domestic gross. On Friday, that film’s director Jake Kasdan and its stars Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel reunite for Sex Tape. The raunchy comedy’s concept is simple: bored married couple makes sex tape to spice things up and it accidentally goes viral. Costars include Rob Corddry, Ellie Kemper, and Rob Lowe.

Diaz, especially, has proven herself to be a valuable commodity in these types of pictures. Just this spring, The Other Woman got off to a $24 million debut on its way to an $83M domestic haul. And Sex Tape could be more successful in bringing in a male audience as Woman was geared more towards… well, women. Similar types of movies such as No Strings Attached or Friends with Benefits both opened to just shy of $20 million, but this should outdo them.

The most fair comparison for how Sex Tape plays is likely Bad Teacher itself. It opened to $31 million in June 2011 and it’s certainly possible that this could open in the same range. Ultimately I’m predicting it falls just short of that for a solid opening.

Sex Tape opening weekend prediction: $29.1 million

For my The Purge: Anarchy prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/07/13/the-purge-anarchy-box-office-prediction/

For my Planes: Fire & Rescue prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/07/13/planes-fire-rescue-box-office-prediction/

Summer 2004: The Top Ten Hits and More

As we’re moving deep into the 2014 Summer Movie Season – on this here blog I’ve been reflecting on what has come in the summers before us. Days ago, I wrote a post reflecting on the hits, notable pictures, and flops from 20 years ago in 1994. Today – we focus on the season from a decade ago with 2004’s summer entries.

We’ll start with the Top Ten, but what is notable is some of the comedies that weren’t on that list that spawned endless catchphrases and became massive cult classics:

Onto the Top Ten:

10. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story

Domestic Gross: $114 million

Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller teamed up for this well-received sports comedy which received 70% positive support on Rotten Tomatoes. While this was a solid hit, Vaughn’s biggest comedy would come one summer later with a certain pic costarring Owen Wilson.

9. Fahrenheit 9/11

Domestic Gross: $119 million

It’s not often you see a documentary in the top ten summer hits, but in the summer of 2004 the country was focused on an upcoming Presidential election between Bush and Kerry. Michael Moore’s examination of the Iraq War struck a chord with viewers and became the highest grossing documentary of all time.

8. Van Helsing

Domestic Gross: $120 million

Don’t let its #8 ranking fool you because Van Helsing starring Hugh Jackman was considered a major flop upon release. With a reported $160 million budget, it couldn’t recoup that stateside and a potential franchise for Jackman stalled immediately. Good thing he’s got another character he can go back to time and time again.

7. Troy

Domestic Gross: $133 million

Wolfgang Peterson’s Trojan War saga starring Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom, and Eric Bana under performed a bit domestically (with its reported $175 million budget) but made it up overseas.

6. I, Robot

Domestic Gross: $144 million

While not reaching the heights of his previous summer hits Independence Day or Men in Black – Will Smith’s I, Robot did respectable business. Based on a short story by Isaac Asimov, it received mixed reviews from critics and a planned sequel never materialized.

5. The Bourne Supremacy

Domestic Gross: $176 million

Goodwill left over from the 2002 original The Bourne Identity propelled this Matt Damon sequel to gross over $50 million more than its predecessor. A third Bourne feature would follow three years later before Damon left the franchise and Jeremy Renner took over in 2012.

4. The Day After Tomorrow

Domestic Gross: $186 million

Roland Emmerich returned to doing what he does best (showing the world getting destroyed) and audiences rewarded him for it. Starring Dennis Quaid and Jake Gyllenhall, Tomorrow is the highest non-sequel on the list and it took in over half a billion worldwide.

3. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Domestic Gross: $249 million

Alfonso Cuaron took over directing duties from Chris Columbus in this third franchise entry. While many (including myself) consider this the best of the series, it surprisingly has the lowest domestic gross of all eight Potter flicks.

2. Spider-Man 2

Domestic Gross: $373 million

Generally considered one of the best superhero movies of all time and the best of this particular franchise, Spider-Man 2 was a massive hit even though it couldn’t quite match the $403 million performance of the 2002 original.

1. Shrek 2

Domestic Gross: $441 million

DreamWorks Animation easily ruled the summer as the sequel featuring the vocal work of Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Cameron Diaz took the top spot. Of the four Shrek entries, it is the biggest grosser and outshined its predecessor by nearly $180 million dollars.

Beyond the top ten, there are four particularly notable pictures which achieved major cult status:

14. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

It made a decent $85 million upon release, but as we all know, the Will Ferrell comedy has gone onto to becoming one of the most quoted flicks in memory. A 2013 sequel followed.

15. The Notebook

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, The Notebook caused audiences to fall in love with Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams and brought in $81 million.

27. Napoleon Dynamite

With a tiny $400,000 budget – the quirky comedy Napoleon Dynamite with Jon Heder came out of nowhere and posted a $44 million domestic gross. Like Anchorman, it became an endlessly quoted picture.

38. Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle

It made a meager $18 million upon release, but this stoner comedy became an instant cult classic and spawned two sequels.

And now we move to the flops of the summer:

21. The Stepford Wives

Frank Oz’s remake of the 1975 film cost $90 million to make and earned just $59 million. Critics weren’t impressed and audiences ignored the sci-fi comedy starring Nicole Kidman, Matthew Broderick, and Christopher Walken.

25. King Arthur

Training Day director Antoine Fuqua teamed up with Clive Owen and Keira Knightley for this retelling of the medieval legend. With a $120 million budget, Arthur tanked stateside with only $51 million.

29. Catwoman

Warner Bros. surely regrets spending $100 million on this critically lambasted Catwoman feature which starred Halle Berry and Sharon Stone. It earned only $40 million. The silver lining for the studio: one summer later, a certain Chris Nolan would reinvigorate their superhero fortunes with Batman Begins.

And that’s what was going on ten years at the multiplexes, my friends!

Box Office Predictions: May 16-18

It’s the battle of AMC stars Bryan Cranston and Jon Hamm as the summer season rolls along entering weekend #3 with monster flick Godzilla and Disney sports drama Million Dollar Arm entering the marketplace. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/05/11/godzilla-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2014/05/11/million-dollar-arm-box-office-prediction/

Godzilla with Cranston should very easily dominate while a more interesting scenario could play out for the runner-up spot. Last weekend’s champ Neighbors had a bigger than expected opening (more on that below), however it received only a B Cinemascore grade which is lower than I would’ve thought. That means it could be in store for a larger sophomore drop-off than I might have earlier anticipated. This could set it up for a close showdown with Million Dollar Arm, starring Hamm.

As for the rest of the top five, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 should experience another healthy fall in its third weekend while The Other Woman rounds out the group.

And with that, my predictions for the weekend’s top five:

1. Godzilla

Predicted Gross: $77.3 million

2. Neighbors

Predicted Gross: $24.3 million (representing a drop of 50%)

3. Million Dollar Arm

Predicted Gross: $23.4 million

4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Predicted Gross: $16.6 million (representing a drop of 53%)

5. The Other Woman

Predicted Gross: $5.7 million (representing a drop of 43%)

Box Office Results (May 9-11)

The Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy Neighbors scored a truly impressive debut with $49 million, well above my $37.3M projection. The well-reviewed frat pic scored the fifth highest R rated comedy opening of all time, after The Hangover Part II, Sex and the City, Ted, and Jackass 3-D.

Dropping to second was The Amazing Spider-Man 2, plummeting a healthy 61% with $35.5 million, below my $40.6M estimate. The Spidey sequel has not met expectations domestically and it’s on course to certainly be the lowest grossing pic in the franchise yet. Sony and Marvel might be in for a major brainstorming session in order for the planned third and fourth installments to reverse this troubling trend.

The Other Woman with Cameron Diaz was third with $9.6 million in weekend #3, holding up stronger than my $7.6M prediction. In fourth, Heaven Is for Real also performed better than my prediction with my $7.4 million (I said $5M). The fifth and sixth spots went to sequel holdovers that I didn’t include in my top six estimates: Captain America: The Winter Soldier took in $5.7 million and Rio 2 made $5 million.

This means the other two newbies this weekend posted lackluster results. The faith based Moms’ Night Out was seventh with $4.3 million, slightly under my $5.1M projection. The animated Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return tanked in eighth with $3.7 million, below my moderate $5.7M estimate.

That’s all for now. folks!