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The 20 Highest Grossing Movies of 2013 (A Prediction)

By Dustin Rowles | Seriously Random Lists | January 24, 2013 | Comments ()


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20. The Great Gatsby ($127 million) -- The decision by Warner Brothers to push The Great Gatsby from a crowded marketplace on Christmas 2012 to a crowded marketplace in May 2013 was a wise one, as it provided a nice adult alternative in a summer crowded with action blockbusters.


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19. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs II ($129 million) -- The sequel to the well-received $124 million movie based on the children's book essentially duplicated its box office, dominating the children's market from late September until November.

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18. Anchorman: The Legend Continues ($135 million) -- The reason it took so long to greenlight a sequel to Anchorman was that, despite the modest box-office success of the original, it made next to nothing internationally, and these days, worldwide box-office is a huge factor. The sequel didn't fare much better overseas, but thanks to the growing audience for the original and the improving box-office clout of the original's stars, the sequel more than recouped its budget domestically.

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17. Elysium ($138 million) -- Neill Blomkamp's follow-up to District 9 camped out on the same August weekend as his first film, and like District 9 it stole the August box-office, as audiences weary with empty blockbusters welcomed a more substantive action sci-fi pic. It also gave Matt Damon his first big hit since True Grit.

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16. A Good Day to Die Hard ($143 million) -- There was enough left in the Die Hard franchise to spawn another hit, which roughly equalled the box-office of 2007's Live Free or Die Hard, plus inflation. Next up: A Hard Man Is Good to Find.

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15. Jack Ryan ($146 million) -- People love a reboot, and Chris Pine -- hot off the success of another Star Trek film -- helped propel this franchise back into relevancy. It was one of three films that resurrected the once dim star of Kevin Costner, as well.

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14. 300: Rise of an Empire ($162 million) -- Xerxes spin-off wasn't quite the hit of the original 300 ($210 million) without Zack Snyder behind the camera or Gerard Butler in front of it, but folks loves to see greasy, sweaty men point sharp things at each other and grunt. Eva Green sure didn't hurt.

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13. Oz: The Great and Powerful ($187 milion) -- Sam Raimi brought the The Wizard of Oz back to life, and like Alice in Wonderland, the film was far prettier than it was substantive. The difference between Alice's $330 million and Oz's ($187 million) box-office is basically the difference between Johnny Depp and James Franco.

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12. Fast and Furious 6 ($193 million) -- Slightly down from the $210 million of Fast 5, this franchise just keeps chugging along, adding Gina Carano, along with another shot of Dwayne Johnson, and all but ensuring this franchise has another two or three films left in it.

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11. Thor: The Dark World ($211 million) -- Thanks to the massive success of The Avengers and the growing star power of Chris Hemsworth, the Thor sequel was able to actually improve upon the original ($180 million) even though it was as generically entertaining as the first one.

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10. Hangover 3 ($219 million) -- I didn't get it. Basically, Todd Phillips modified The Hangover and turned it into The Road Trip with adults, but it was essentially the same formula, and it's continued success only proves that people love the familiar.

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9. Ender's Game ($223 million) -- People said it couldn't be filmed, but after years and years of trying, Ender's Game finally arrived, and while it didn't quite match the novel, it was a fairly great movie, all the same, ensuring that it would follow The Hunger Games as the next big book series turned film franchise.

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8. The Wolverine ($227 million) -- Wow! Another reborquel. At least it was better than X-Men Origins: Wolverine, and it's success ensures a Wolverine II, and I'm sure that another X-Men character will get his own franchise soon. Probably not Deadspin, though.

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7. Despicable Me 2 ($245 million) -- The same crowd that made this a $250 million hit in 2010 came again, and this time they brought their little siblings.

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6. Monsters University ($287 million) -- Wazowski and Sulley were back for the prequel to Monsters Inc. 2, and manages to give Pixar its biggest hit since Toy Story 3.

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5. Star Trek: Into Darkness ($290 million) -- J.J. Abrams was back with a sequel to his $250 million original, and this one fared even better, thanks in part to great reviews and Benedict Cumberbatch.

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4. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($293 million) -- The same people that turned out for the original turned out for this one, and will no doubt turn out for the third one. Nobody is crazy about the series, but we all watch it, dont' we?

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3. Man of Steel ($303 million) -- Thanks to outstanding visuals, a strong, dark storyline, and Henry Cavill's exemplary Superman, the franchise rebounded after the failure of Superman Returns, filling the vacuum left by the absence of The Dark Knight.

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2. Iron Man 3 ($330 million) -- Like the Thor sequel, Iron Man 3 -- already the most successful stand-alone Avengers character -- improved upon Iron Man 2's box office, and with Shane Black behind the camera, the movie itself was much improved over the sequel, as well.

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1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($387 million) -- It didn't quite reach the $400 million of Hunger Games, but then again, Catching Fire was kind of a repeat of the first movie. Fans were not as satisfied with the result, but they sure turned out to see it, as they will for the third and fourth movies, too.


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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • DickClark

    One movie that was not either

    A: Based on a book

    B: A sequel or
    C: A reboot.

  • kirbyjay

    Mila Kunis, Rachel Weiss, Michelle Williams. 3 reasons why I will se OZ, despite James Franco, not because of him

  • cruzzercruz

    Surprisingly snark free.

  • Jen

    Where the hell is GRAVITY on this list. I for one cannot wait for that.

  • e jerry powell

    Gatsby seems to have some quality about it. Leo's taking a break, Mia Farrow's retiring indefinitely, Mira Sorvino has dropped off the face of the earth...

    Coincidence? More than likely.

  • e jerry powell

    I'm still pointing and grunting.

    *grunt*

  • manting

    Deadpool is the shit! He's all like 4th wall, I fucked it. Pacific Rim will do an easy 150 - Stringer Bell driving a giant robot ala shogun warriors vs giant aliens ala robeasts from Voltron? My inner nostolgic fanboy is peeing in his pants

  • AudioSuede

    I saw the trailer for The Great Gatsby and wanted to drown Baz Luhrmann in a swimming pool. Seriously one of the most intellectually offensive and insipid adaptations of American literature I've ever seen. Everything about it is wrong.

    So, you know, it'll probably be a breakaway hit.

  • Leigh

    I agree on all points. :)

  • AudioSuede

    "Next up: A Hard Man Is Good to Find."

    Oh my god, if that's a Flannery O'Connor reference, you're a damned god.

  • Eva

    4TH Hunger Games movie!? They DO NOT need to make 4.

  • The Kilted Yaksman

    The first was so forgettable they shouldn't even bother with #2.

  • Laura

    Splitting the last book into two movies. Yeah, I don't know why they need to do that either. Same reason we got a trilogy out of The Hobbit I guess.

  • e jerry powell

    Please. They're going to milk that mofo dry. If studios can keep Bruce Willis propped up for another two decades with Die Hard, they can drive anything into the ground.

  • Guest

    FOURTH Hunger Games movie?

  • Samantha Schltr

    A couple of them are jokes, aren't they? Please tell me there isn't really a "Fast and the Furious 6"?! Sequels! Sequels everywhere!

  • Kballs

    Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is my favorite animated flick ever, so I'll be taking my daughter to see that one. I'm surprised by a few of these (Die Hard and 300 especially) but then I remember some people also like pickles. Gross.

  • aardvark

    PICKLES ARE THE BOMB. But I'll upvote you anyway for the Meatballs love.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I think the 300 sequel belongs on the bombs list. It's been too long.

  • Tinkerville

    I think you're giving some of these way too much credit, but we'll see.. Most of them look too generic to get audiences riled up, and while I'm excited for The Great Gatsby but I think I'm definitely in the minority compared to mass audiences.

    Also, Pacific Rim's going to knock most of this list out of the park and no one can convince me otherwise. I don't care if you put it on the failures list, it's going to be AMAZING, okay?!

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Generic suits the most tastes across the board - so big & generic get the most dollars. Strong tastes (like Gatsby, like Wes Anderson films) are for smaller audiences

  • pajiba

    Generic is what audiences love, alas. But almost all of these have original installments, or similar situated movies (like Les Mis), with which to gauge their box office with a fair amount of accuracy. Gatsby's $127 million is probably on the low end of studio expectations.

  • Tinkerville

    Fair enough. Sometimes I like to be hopelessly optimistic as far as audiences not running out to see generic crap is concerned.

    However, I'm still not convinced about Gatsby. Les Mis is a beloved musical while I think most people see Gatsby as "that dull book their high school English teacher made them read but that everyone just spark-noted anyway."

  • Pinky McLadybits

    DEADSPIN??? DEADSPIN?!?!!? Dustin, we need to have a screechy fangirl talk.

  • pajiba

    Deadspin would SO kick the crap out of Deadpool. Deadpool would just be wading around in the water, while Deadspin would be round-housing with throwing stars in a hamster wheel. DEADSPIN 4 EVA.

  • Pinky McLadybits

    I was mad, but now I'm giggling. So I guess I don't have to drive Bea Arthur (my car) to your house, read my Deadpool comics to you for hours upon hours, and then force feed your family Hot Pockets and chimichangas. YOUR LOSS.

  • The Kilted Yaksman

    You can come do that for me. I have tequila.

  • Guest

    Deadspin? Did you mean Deadpool? Or was that a joke?

  • Alyson McManus

    yes please tell me it was deadpool not deadspin. i am glad i am not the only one who came down to the comments to say this.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I'd say it's depressing that the top 8 picks are franchise pieces, but I'll reserve depression until the end of the year if it actually comes to be.

  • Byakko

    Err, that'd be Deadpool, not Deadspin. Unless there's an X-Men who makes snarky comments about sports I don't know about...

  • so I'll be taking my daughter to see that one. ... http://www.JobSeekerget82dolla...

  • Frank Booth

    Really ? inane comment stuffed with spam ...? Like on a walk you suddely
    hear the well known notes of a favorite song seeping from the partially
    opened window of a rusty van...you approach, wanting a better vantage
    from which to hear only to discover that the occupant is a a fat weeping
    man slowly pleasuring himself whilst reading an eviction
    notice....there does that convey my sentiments?

  • Bert_McGurt

    It'd give new meaning to the "Fastball Special" though.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Either I missed the Goodman casting in Hangover 3 or the Emu's REALLY let himself go after his breakup with Zoe Saldana.

  • Alberto Cox D√©lano

    Let us compare with the previous year: http://www.pajiba.com/seriousl...

    Though the prediction of flops was pretty accurate last year, huge underestimation of THG and Avengers. I will stand for and include Pacific Rim in this list instead of the other.

  • Skyler Durden

    While I personally can't wait for The Great Gatsby, I don't have enough faith in the American people to believe it will be a hit. I'd probably replace it with that muscle movie whose name escapes me.

  • Bert_McGurt

    Pain & Gain? I read the article about that a couple weeks ago (after it was mentioned here) and it's sure got potential. What a crazy story.

  • Blake

    Where is The Host and GI: Joe? $140 Million each easy.

    Only 3 of the movies on list will be seeing any of my hard earned dollars

    Star Trek, Super Man, and Elysium..,

    The rest are straight to dvd or Netflix veiwings.

  • pajiba

    Rise of Cobra did $150 million, but it was a weak $150 million, and there was a reason they were reluctant to greenlight a sequel. It'll do in the $115 million range, while The Host won't break $75. It's not Twilight. It's not Kristen Stewart, and it's not hugely popular source material. Andrew Niccol is not a guy who makes blockbusters, but I will give this one a better chance than In Time.

  • Blake

    I don't know A Stephenie Meyer Best Selling Book with a bunch of pretty white people saving the world sounds like $150 Box Office to me. Also since they killed of most of the dud cast from the original GI:Joe and added John McClane $150 M is pretty doable.

  • BendinIntheWind

    I don't know about "The Great Gatsby": it just looks so Baz Luhrmann-y, and not in a good way. Watching the trailer, all I could think was how annoying it looked to me. Same with "Oz". Had high hopes from the casting and pre-production, but the CGI world is infuriatingly cheeseball.

  • Untamed

    Agreed, both films. Gatsby is trying too hard to be cool and slick but winding up looking and sounding dangerously like a parody. Oz is just visually annoying. Cheeseball CGI indeed.

  • Lee

    Exactly how I feel re. Gatsby. The only Baz movie I liked was Strictly Ballroom.

  • sean

    The problem is that if Superman and Iron Man "only" make $300 million apiece they will be flop. Those movies have $200+ million budgets. They need to be nearly Avengers/Dark Knight level hits to make money.

  • JC

    That numbers are just for the US market, worldwide they must get at least $600 million.

  • lowercase_ryan

    Totally unaware of Ender's Game. hmmmm, interesting.

  • I think you are laughably, horribly wrong about everything from #11 down, and Ender's Game. In a way it's almost cute just how much credit you give to general audiences. Gatsby? Oh, honey, no. If it's not Teen-Lit, it's not making money.

  • Natallica

    Fast and furious 6 a box office hit? Really? I wasn't even aware there was a 4th and 5th part, actually

  • I seriously thought they were up to #27. But they do make a shitload of money with the Bro Crowd.

  • pajiba

    I think if Les Mis can do $132 million, Gatsby can do $127. (AND ENDER'S IS GONNA BE AWESOME).

  • I'm not saying they're not gonna be awesome, it's just that audiences weren't clamoring for a Gatsby movie. I mean, every single theater girl ever has sung "On My Own" at an audition and dreamed about playing Eponine while crying at night, but I don't think there's a bunch of folks going "Ooh! I want to marry The Great Gatsby! He's so great and Gatsbyish"...or...something. I don't know. I never read the book.

  • pajiba

    You didn't read the book? YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM.

  • EXACTLY! It's how I know!

  • Vi

    I've read the book and you should have seen the bitch-fit I threw when I realized it was going to be a 'Luhrmann movie'. Ug

  • Sara_Tonin00

    I haven't read the book either, though I've been meaning to. An ex gave me "This Side of Paradise" to read first.

    I'll read the book before I see the movie though.

    There's a long, looong list of literature that is on my "to read" wishlist. A diversion, perhaps? what books has one been "meaning to read" for far too long?

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