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December 17, 2008 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | December 17, 2008 |

As we near the end of 2009 and approach 2010 with a sense of optimism — after President Obama’s successful first year in office and the speedy recovery we’ve made from the deep recession of 2008 — let us take a look back at the year in films. Thanks t to that recession, numbers overall were down from a stellar 2008, when The Dark Knight went on to become the second highest grossing film of all time. Pajiba — now the largest independently ran pop-culture website on the Internet — gives you the top ten film of 2009:

The Ten Top Grossing Films of 2009

10. Angels and Demons ($142 million): It was worse than The Da Vinci Code, and Ron Howard again tarnished his resurgent reputation (after the Oscar nomination for 2008’s Frost / Nixon), but the same mass-market paperback crazies and older people flocked to it, nudging Angels and Demons slightly ahead of the youth skewing Twilight sequel, New Moon, for the 10th spot. Looks like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight franchise is already losing its legs.

9. Sherlock Holmes: ($151 million): There were a lot of reservations from a lot of people about the box-office viability of Sherlock Holmes, especially one as stylized as Guy Ritchie’s. But, the hugely popular Robert Downey, Jr., won over a lot of converts, while Rachel McAdams — coming off of two of the more successful films in the early part of the year, The Time Traveler’s Wife and State of Play — brought in a nice chunk of the female demographic. It was one of the few successes in 2009 that crossed over heavily into both the adult and youth demographics …

8. Public Enemies ($159 million): … and Michael Mann’s Public Enemies was the other one. With Christian Bale and Johnny Depp leading the way, Mann reinvigorated with crime drama with his take on the 1930s mafia.

7. X-Men Origins: Wolverine ($175 million): A critical failure and a disappointment with most audiences, Wolverine nevertheless opened with huge numbers ($85 million opening weekend) in May before limping to $175 million. It nevertheless left a sour taste in most moviegoer’s mouths, seriously jeopardizing the X-Men franchise, as well as the potential Deadpool spin-off, which is now DOA.

6. Watchmen ($185 million): After the biggest March opening of all time, Zack Snyder’s comic book film got a mixed reception from critics and audience — the effects were eye-popping, but many of the Alan Moore purists were pissed with Snyder’s take on the classic comic book.

5. Star Trek ($192 million): J.J. Abrams Star Trek origins story brought in millions of newcomers to the franchise without too terribly disturbing the Trekkies. While it received a generally mixed reaction from critics — many of whom were displeased with the casting of Chris Pine — audiences ate it up and Abrams benefitted heavily from an otherwise lackluster May at the box office.

4. Up ($221 million): Once again, the ever-consistent Pixar machine delivered a huge box-office hit. Not as critically beloved as Wall-E, Up nevertheless pleased both kids and adults alike, generating box-office numbers on par with previous Pixar outings.

3. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($250 million): If you’d watched the original Transformers and the sequel back-to-back, it’d have been difficult to tell the difference between the two. The sequel scored $70 million less than its predecessor, but Revenge of the Fallen nevertheless owned the box office over the 4th of July, guaranteeing a 3rd film and further boosting Shia Labeouf’s box-office prowess.

2. Terminator Salvation ($290 million): The 4th movie in the franchise, a reboot of sorts, decimated the box office; it was the number one film for four consecutive weeks in late May and through June, delivering a $90 million opening and maintaining solid numbers for most of the summer. For Christian Bale, it wasn’t too much of a fall-off from his number one film in 2008, The Dark Knight, but unlike that film — which boasted the Oscar nominated performance of Heath Ledger (robbed in the supporting actor category) — Christian Bale owned Salvation, setting the franchise up for two more movies in the planned reboot trilogy and, unfortunately, solidifying McG as the next generation’s Michael Bay.

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince: ($294 million): In a year with no Spider-man or Batman movies to steal its thunder, the sixth movie in the Harry Potter franchise delivered numbers on par with its predecessor, Order of the Phoenix. It wasn’t the best film in the series, but did an excellent job of setting up the last two films, Deathly Hallows parts I and II. To the surprise of some, the box-office numbers were neither hurt nor hindered by the paparazzo’s obsession with Emma Watson, who had a bit of a sex scandal herself in the early part of the year.

A Pajiba Prediction / Dustin Rowles

Lists | December 17, 2008 |

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here or follow him on Twitter.

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