The Ten Biggest Earners of 2008

All the critical kudos in the world doesn’t count when it comes to the one reason movies are made – money. With the year about to end, the list of the year’s biggest earners both domestically and around the globe have been released with thirteen titles taking differing positions.

The list contains two true cinematic gems (Dark Knight, Wall-E), two very well-made entertainments (Kung Fu Panda, Iron Man), three notable disappointments (Quantum, Indiana, Hancock), two perfectly decent female-targeted films (Mamma Mia, Twilight), an over-budgeted family film (Prince Caspian) and two mediocre CG kiddie movies (Horton Hears a Who, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa).

The lists were pretty consistent with most of the films earning nearly twice as much internationally as they did domestically. There were exceptions however, most notably the comic book hero movies “The Dark Knight” and “Iron Man” which took in more within the US than outside (superhero comic book movies always do much better States-side).

On the flip side musical “Mamma Mia” and to a lesser extent the new James Bond film did far better overseas, where ABBA music and the 007 franchise are much bigger audience grabbers. ‘Mia’ tripled its domestic take in global markets, while ‘Quantum’ took in well over double.

Here are the lists of both the US only box-office, and the entire global tally (including the US):

2008 U.S. Domestic Box-Office Top Ten

1. The Dark Knight – $530.9 million

5. Iron Man – $318.3 million

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – $317.0 million

4. Hancock – $227.9 million

8. WALL-E – $223.8 million

3. Kung Fu Panda – $215.4 million

9. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $174.9 million

6. Twilight – $167.3 million

7. Quantum of Solace – $164.3 million

10. Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! – $154.5 million

2008 Worldwide Box-Office Top Ten

1. The Dark Knight – $996.9 million

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – $786.6 million

3. Kung Fu Panda – $631.9 million

4. Hancock – $624.4 million

5. Iron Man – $581.9 million

6. Mamma Mia! – $572.2 million

7. Quantum of Solace – $537.1 million

8. WALL-E – $507.3 million

9. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa – $457.2 million

10. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – $419.6 million