Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Top 20 Films of 2012

It is now 2013.


If I had confetti, I would throw it. And if I had a party blower, I would most definitely be blowing it.

Unfortunately, I have neither, so I guess I'll have to settle for something else... something that I think is far more interesting than dumping confetti on everybody's heads (though, honestly, that would be a whole lot of fun!).

The Top Films of 2012!

Box Office Mojo has just released the final numbers for the highest grossing films of 2012, ranking each one by the amount of money it made at the box office in 2012. Last year was an amazing year for the film industry, both in terms of the movies that were released as well as monetarily. The whole box office was up 6.0% from last year, and ticket sales along were up 5.9%.

655 movies were released to U.S. theaters in 2012, but that would take forever to go through. Instead, let's take a more reasonable chunk: the Top 20.

So, without further ado, let's review the list and relive the wonderful 2012 film season.

#20 - Prometheus
     The prequel to the Alien franchise was in 3,442 theaters for three months. It opened with $51 million and by the end of its run grossed a total of $126.5 million. Ridley Scott would be pleased.

#19 - Lincoln
     A new president biopic from the ever-creative Steven Spielberg, Lincoln has only been in theaters for almost a month, but it's already made quite an impression. Opening with only $944,308 in 11 theaters, the film is now showing in 2,293 theaters and (so far) has grossed $131.9 million. Pretty big jump, if you ask me.

#18 - 21 Jump Street
     21 Jump Street is the film version of a popular TV show back in the day that starred Johnny Depp. Even without Depp, the film has done well. It ran for four months in 3,148 theaters, opening with $36.3 million and closing with $138.4 million.

#17 - Taken 2
     Ah, Liam Neeson. I can't watch any of his performances without thinking either "Hey, there's Aslan" or "Hey, there's Qui-Gonn." But he's a good actor, so it works. This drug-busting father film opened in 3,661 theaters and brought in $49.5 million. Fast-forward until now and not only is Taken 2 currently playing in 3,706 theaters but it's also grossed a nice $138.9 million. By the way, a sequel's in the works. Kinda makes you wonder how many times a guy can let his family get caught by drug dealers and then go save them in a flurry of lead. Just saying...

#16 - Hotel Translyvania
     Telling the story of monsters vacationing at a hotel owned by a vampire, Hotel Translyvania earned $42.5 million on its opening weekend. Now it's playing in 3,375 theaters and, so far, has grossed $143.9 million. No doubt it will still be making money in 2013.

#15 - Snow White and the Huntsman
     Now this is one movie that I really want to see. True, Kristen Stewart isn't exactly my favorite actress, but I've always loved the Snow White story and this version looks very good. Opening with $56.2 million, Snow White and the Huntsman went on to earn a total of $155.1 million once its three month box office run was completed. It played in 3,777 theaters, which seems to be about the average of most other 2012 movies.

#14 - Ice Age: Continental Drift
     Ice Age appears to be one of those film franchises that just won't die. Not like I'm complaining or anything. I just find it so interesting that some movies really resonate with audiences and spawn sequel after sequel, while others that are equally good fall by the wayside. There's gotta be some statistics about this phenomenon somewhere.... But getting back on track, this new Ice Age installment opened with a tidy $46.6 million and over a five month period has gone on to earn $161.1 million in 3,886 theaters, and it doesn't look like it's anywhere near done yet.

#13 - Wreck-It Ralph
     Animated films were big last year, but that's nothing new. There's just something so special about animated films that makes them resonate with not only kids but adults as well. Very few movies can do that, but most animated ones can. Wreck-It Ralph - telling the story of a video game character who wants to find purpose - earned $49 million in its opening weekend, and so far has earned a total of $175.5 million in 3,752 theaters over a two month period. The movie should have at least one, if not two, more months in theaters, so it may break $200 million eventually.

#12 - Men In Black 3
     Not only were animated films big in 2012, but so were sequels. Some sequels stunk, others were ok, very few were awesome. Pretty normal, overall. MIB 3 had a four month run in 4,248 theaters, opening with $54.6 million and closing with $179 million. It's also the third of the five films that Sony has in the Top 20 list, which gives them the award for the most highest grossing films in 2012.

#11 - Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
     "The Lorax" was one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books when I was little, right after "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" and "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut Tight." I haven't gotten around to seeing the movie yet, but maybe I will one day. My Must-Watch list keeps getting bigger and bigger. The Lorax had a normal four month theater run, playing in a final total of 3,769 theaters. It opened with $70.2 million and closed with a honkin' $214 million. That's pretty good for an animated film, though Brave beat that number. But I'm getting way ahead of myself...

#10 - Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
     And we're coming into the home stretch, the Top 10 highest grossing films of the 2012 theater season! Madagascar 3 took the #10 spot last year, opening with $60.3 million and four months later closing in 4,263 theaters with $216.4 million.

#9 - Ted
     Raunch-fest. Not a word, I know, but that's the film Ted in a nutshell: the story of a middle-aged man with his talking teddy bear (unoriginally named Ted) who loves drinking beer and being, well, raunchy. Enough said. Ted had a four month theater run in 3,303 theaters, opening with $54.4 million and closing the 2012 season with $218.7 million. That's really all I have to say about this film. Moving on...

#8 - The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
     Yes, The Hobbit is only at the number eight position on this list, but that's mainly because it only opened a few weeks ago. It will get more and more money in the coming months. I'm planning on going again this Saturday, so there's an extra ten bucks. =P The Hobbit opened with $84.6 million and has so far made a whopping $221.7 million in 4,100 theaters. Here's to hoping that it gets nominated for (and, by extension, wins) as many Academy Awards as it can!

#7 - Brave
     The most popular animated movie of 2012 was undoubtably Brave, the story of a rebellious Scottish princess and her traditional-minded mother. I did see this one in theaters with my best friend, and it was definitely an experience to remember (mainly because there was no one in the theater, so we sat in the very back row and sang "Fireflies" by Owl City at the top of our lungs). Brave opened in June and is still in theaters (4,164 of them, to be exact). It opened with $66.3 million and, so far, has made $237.3 million.

#6 - The Amazing Spider-Man
     And here come our superheroes, which were another big thing in the 2012 movie line-up. A reboot of Sam Raimi and Tobey Maguire's original Spider-Man trilogy, The Amazing Spider-Man only had a three month run, but in that short amount of time it opened with $62 million and closed with $262 million in 4,318 theaters. Pretty good, if you ask me.

#5 - The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2
     And here are the vampires and werewolves. The final installment of the Twilight film franchise (based off of Stephanie Meyer's novels) has been in theaters for a little over a month, and likely will stay there for a while longer. In 4,070 theaters it opened with $141 million and closed the 2012 season with $286 million.

#4 - Skyfall
     James Bond movies have been around for a good fifty-odd years, but Skyfall has been the most popular of them all. Opening in 3,505 theaters it opened with $88.4 million, and a little over a month later closed out 2012 with $289.6 million in 3,526 theaters. Good job, Bond. Very good job.

#3 - The Hunger Games
   The first film in the Hunger Games franchise (based off of the books by Suzanne Collins), The Hunger Games has enjoyed life at the top for six months, the longest of all the Top 20 theaters runs in 2012. It played in 4,137 theaters for the entirety of its run, opening with $152.5 million and closing in September with $408 million. Let's see if the three sequels will be able to match or beat those numbers.

#2 - The Dark Knight Rises
     Ah, Batman, welcome back to the box office. Even with the terrible tragedy that occured in Colorado around this film, it still managed to take the #2 spot in the Top 20 list. It ran for five months in 4,404 theaters, opening with $160.9 million and closing with $448.1 million. That's a strong finish for a film surrounded by so much tragedy.

And the award for the number one highest grossing film in 2012 goes to....

(Drum roll, please)

#1 - The Avengers
     No surprise that the number one spot should go to The Avengers. Not only did it beat out the number two movie in the history of the world (Titanic) but it also beat all of the records held by the number one movie in the history of the world (Avatar), becoming the highest grossing movie the world has ever seen. We'll see if James Cameron's Avatar sequel will be able to give The Avengers a run for its money.
     The Avengers opened in 4,349 theaters with a humungous $207.4 million and closed five months later with a huge haul of $623.4 million. Wondeful, beautiful job, Buena Vista, and congradulations all around for distributing the most popular movie in all of film history.

And there you have it: the Top 20 Films of 2012. It has truly been a wonderful year for filmmaking. 2013 will have to work extra hard to come close to the record-breaking 2012 year, but my hopes are high. If you would like to see the standings of all 655 films that were released last year, just click on this link.

Good-bye, 2012. Thank you for a beautiful film year.

Welcome, 2013. Time to show us what you got!

 - Edessa, signing off


  1. I would say that 2013 was the best year in terms of film quality for me. The Avengers and Hobbit were both incredible and The Dark Knight and Amazing Spider-Man were great. What are your favorite movies of the year?


    1. I haven't seen most of the films on this list, but (from what I did see) I'd have to say that "The Hobbit" was undoubtably the best. I'm still bummed that we have to wait a whole year for the second part, but I'd rather the filmmakers space it out and do a great job than release the whole trilogy at once and have the whole thig stink. =)

  2. yes! I'm so happy the Avengers got number 1! It was my personal favorite:)

  3. I agree, the Avengers deserved number one. Out of all those, I have seen seven of the twenty.

    2013 will be good too. We have the new Iron Man and Thor movies, Man of Steel, Turbo, Despicable Me 2, and Sea of Monsters. Mostly, it just seems like sequels.

  4. ...*glares at humanity* Something is really REALLY wrong when Twilight beats the Hobbit. =P Even if it was out longer.

    All in all though...it was a good year. XD Looking forward to another awesome year full of movies.


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