The 2010 holiday movie line-up included some of the most impressive box office performances of the year and also some of the most underwhelming duds. Here is a list of the movies that made the most of the lucrative holiday season.
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1
The Harry Potter franchise has dominated box office charts for a nearly a decade and each of the seven films in the series has garnered at least $795 million worldwide. No franchise in history has ever had a seventh film that was able to maintain or eclipse the box office performance of previous films in the series. For this reason and others, the Harry Potter franchise stands on its own and the seventh film, which is marching upwards of $940 million, is no less impressive than any of its predecessors.
Walt Disney Studios produced this computer animated film, which is not a product of Pixar animators, and to the surprise of many succeeded in Pixar-like fashion with both critical acclaim and box office success. This film opened on Thanksgiving weekend to the tune of $68 million over the 5-day holiday period and since then it has hauled in $186 million in the U.S., a number that will continue to increase and possibly break the $200 million mark. Its worldwide haul stands at an impressive $417 million thus far and this is without contributions from several major foreign markets such as Japan and the U.K., countries where the movie will be opening later this winter.
3. Tron Legacy
A visually stimulating ad campaign paid off for Disney as their promotion efforts raked in over $160 million domestically so far and continues to climb. This sequel to the original Tron was a risky endeavor because the original, which was released nearly 30 years ago, did not make huge profits in theaters upon its release despite its visual achievements. The executives at Disney can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that the film has been profitable with nearly $350 million worldwide plus revenue from Tron merchandise.
4. The Fighter
Unlike previous years, 2010’s Oscar nominated films have enjoyed plenty of success at the box office to go along with well-deserved praise from critics and audiences. The Fighter broke into theaters on the weekend before Christmas with $12 million and has collected $73 million so far with many weeks still left to go until the Academy Awards ceremony. Expect this film to approach, if not pass, the $100 million mark domestically by the end of its theatrical run.
5. Black Swan
Natalie Portman is the star of this psychological thriller which began its gradual release nationwide in early December. Ever since, this movie received a plethora of awards considerations and accolades but it also became a surprise hit at the box office having collected over $80 million and is almost certain to pass $100 million with the awards season far from over.
6. The King’s Speech
This film has been the biggest surprise among all of the Oscar worthy films with box office receipts totaling close to $60 million. The main actor in this film, Colin Firth, won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor and is the favorite to win the Oscar in the same category. If this is to be the case, expect The King’s Speech to finish its run with well over $100 million to become the most impressive box office hit of the year.
7. True Grit
This Western movie from the Coen brothers has earned nearly $140 million thus far and still remains within the top five in the box office charts. This film has already become the #1 movie at the box office for a Joel Coen and Ethan Coen production and the second consecutive holiday hit for Jeff Bridges in 2010.