Looking Back: The Top 10 Highest Grossing Movies from 2010!

December 31, 2010
Source: THR

Iron Man 2

The year may just be ending, but today's earnings won't make or break THR's tally of the Top 10 highest grossing films from 2010. No matter how many times we cry about wanting original stories, less sequels and more bold motion pictures, the films that earn the most money at the box office seem to indicate other desires from audiences worldwide. Nearly every movie included in the ten biggest earners of 2010 is either a sequel in an established franchise or an adaptation of a book or series of books, and one remake. Only two original films cracked the Top 10, and you probably already know one. See the full Top 10 list below!

10. Clash of the Titans - $163 Million Domestic / $493 Million Worldwide
9. How to Train Your Dragon - $218 Million Domestic / $495 Million Worldwide
8. Despicable Me - $251 Million Domestic / $540 Million Worldwide
7. Iron Man 2 - $312 Million Domestic / $622 Million Worldwide
6. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - $301 Million Domestic / $694 Million Worldwide
5. Shrek Forever After - $238 Million Domestic / $740 Million Worldwide
4. Inception - $293 Million Domestic / $825 Million Worldwide
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 - $278 Million Domestic / $865 Million Worldwide
2. Alice in Wonderland - $334 Million Domestic / $1.02 Billion Worldwide
1. Toy Story 3 - $415 Million Domestic / $1.06 Billion Worldwide

It's no surprise that a Pixar film, especially the heart-breaking end to the story that started the animation studio's success all the way back in '95, is the biggest success of the year. But box office is just another conquest for Pixar as they have their sights set on winning the Oscar for Best Picture. The presence of other sequels in Iron Man 2, Shrek Forever After, Twilight: Eclipse and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I is to be expected, and it's not surprising that most of the list is composed of films that are intended to be viewed by the whole family (and with How to Train Your Dragon, I couldn't be happier with its success).

The two glaring exceptions in this year's box office hits are Universal's surprise animated hit Despicable Me and the mind-bending original dreamweaver Inception. Leave it to Christopher Nolan, a director who became a household name after helming two movies in one of the most successful blockbuster franchises currently running, to deliver an original film that rakes in a shitload of money without the inflated cost of a 3D ticket - impressive. Of course, when these two original movies are surrounded by all these sequels and adaptations, it's hard to make the case for more original stories. Hollywood will remake nearly any movie, no matter how classic or beloved, but if the money flow ain't broke, you know they won't even try to fix it.

But for me the most interesting note on box office comes from the site Screened, who has included James Cameron's Avatar, a film initially released on December 18th, 2009, as an honorable mention on their biggest box officer earners chart. Why? Well apparently the film made $466 million of its $760 million box office take in 2010, which trumps Toy Story 3's 2010 box office take of $415 million with plenty of room to spare. That's pretty impressive for a 3D remake of Dances with Wolves, eh? Sorry about that, but we had to throw it in, its been a year! So what's your take on the highest grossing films of 2010?

Find more posts: Hype, Movie News, Opinions, Pixar



as long as inception, toy story, and harry potter beat twigay, i am good

max s. on Dec 31, 2010


I think the most phenomenal success this year is Inception. It has no pre-existing material to be based off like the other 8 movies. Also, surprisingly, it is the only non-3D release on the list. The pile of money has no credit to the inflated price for 3D, so it could be argued that it is the most viewed movie of the year. Wow, an original movie making that much money... Hollywood, maybe it's time for you to take a hint that we want original and quality movies! Wanna hear something funny? A.O. Scott, the New York Times said this about Inception: "Admirers of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 will find themselves in good company, though Inception does not come close to matching the impact of those durable cult objects." And he also predicted that Inception would not be a box-office success because they had actor like Leo leading the movie instead Will Smith. Jesus, I hope he see how wrong he is. Scott... you know $hit about movies so you can shove your college degrees or whatever you did to get your undeserving position as a critic up your @$$ Happy new year, y'all!

Jon A. on Dec 31, 2010


@ Max S. Twigay... hahaha... good ones. Thanks for the term I will definitely use!

Jon A. on Dec 31, 2010


What really sucks is that the majority of my favorite movies from the year are NOT on this list... films like Scott Pilgrim vs the World, I Saw the Devil, Exit Through the Giftshop, Catfish... Oh well...

Kent Lundblad on Dec 31, 2010


I can't believe Twilight made that much money, that's just pathetic! I mean, what the hell is the world coming to?

Cruzer on Dec 31, 2010


Inception was my most favorite among all, a brand new and fresh idea.

Fisherr on Dec 31, 2010


@2 i totally agree with you,but iron man 2 wasn't in 3d though. Anyways, i do believe full heartedly what you said about how there was no source material and that this came from chris nolan's mind and not from a book or a sequel, although toy story 3 was a great movie ( and i do mean great in a big way) Inception is definetely the best and most original movie on this list and i really hope it does get best picture at the oscars

max s. on Dec 31, 2010


Inception all the way. Original. Love it.

grapefruit on Dec 31, 2010


#1 and #3- This site is about movies, not you're insecurity over you're sexual identity. Super happy about Inception, totally deserved, and of coarse kudos to TS3. I'd be happy if either of those films won Best Picture!

Caitie on Dec 31, 2010


the ones i went to see at the cinema were...clash of the titans, iron man 2, inception, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows & ofcourse without a second thought i went to see..the legendary...TOY STORY 3 😀

A5J4DX on Dec 31, 2010


ethan -my take is that avatar shows that the masses haven't changed much over the years and will still suck on the sump pump of mediocrity if there is enough hype/advertising

beavis on Dec 31, 2010


The highest grossing movies always seem to prove just how bad Americas tastes in movies are. Hollywood certainly isn't the only guilty party.

Brandon on Dec 31, 2010


#12 Actually more Americans flocked to the remake of The Karate Kid than they did with Clash of the Titans. This list reflects the world, not just America.

Jezza on Jan 1, 2011


I think, in regards to the adaptations, it's a matter of how well known the source material is. MacGruber bombed because nobody outside of America knows what Saturday Night Live is (let alone the sketches featuring MacGruber). Deathly Hallows part 1 was big simply because the book, on which it's based, is internationally known.

Jezza on Jan 1, 2011


this movie year sucked ass!

thedude on Jan 1, 2011


Toy Story <3

Zim. on Jan 1, 2011


Very glad How To Train Your Dragon did so well. It's opening weekend also only represented 20% of it's total gross, which is a major accomplishment.

Geoff on Jan 1, 2011


Inception was amazing and I hope it gets best picture. However, I haven't seen TS3 yet.

Proudfoot on Jan 1, 2011


My favorite films this year were Toy Story 3 and Inception 😉

sharktopus on Jan 1, 2011


@ #2 harry potter didn't have a 3D release. Just Imax...part 2 will.....toy story was great, inception was mind blowing. Black swan was over rated. No one had even heard about it till this year now its nominated for every award possible...and I don't think ironman2 got a 3D release either btw

jonathan on Jan 1, 2011


#9. Go away. Twilight is crap.

octopus on Jan 1, 2011


The list, consisting of almost entirely 3D movies, only means there will be more 3D releases in 2011. Inception did especially well for a normal movie too. And you can hate on the Twilight saga all you want, but the audience is clearly there.

casting couch on Jan 2, 2011


The point of going to the movies is to have fun, either by seeing a mindblowing story, a sequel, or some cooked up version of a book. I enjoyed every single movie on this list and thats just it, just fun.

Pablo Justiniano on Jan 2, 2011


No. 1 movie Inception period, i mean full stop.

ishteaque on Jan 2, 2011


Excuse me #21, my opinion wasn't targeting Twilight, I was talking strictly about the completely unnecessary homophobic add-on #1 used.

Caitie on Jan 2, 2011


harry pottter is already on 900 mill now

kure on Jan 3, 2011

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