Top Movies in the First Half of 2010

2010 Box Office

The list above, snatched from Box Office Mojo, shows the top five movies at the North American box office in the first half of 2010. Whether you like the films or not, animated features have rarely dominated Hollywood’s box office as they have done this year so far. Nobody in Hollywood dares point it out, but the numbers speak for themselves and they clearly show that the few films made by our small animation community are consistently more popular with audiences than the glut of movies being churned out by the rest of Hollywood.


  • http://deleted OtherDan

    PRAISE THE LORD! We’re so blessed!…Well, a few of us are blessed-financially anyway…not me though…

  • http://invaderpetblog.blogspot.com Brandon Pierce

    Oh, I have a gut feeling Toy Story 3 will surpass Iron Man 2 and Alice eventually, if they have not already.

  • Austin Papageorge

    “the few films made by our small animation community are consistently more popular with audiences than the glut of movies being churned out by the rest of Hollywood.”

    I think it might be BECAUSE there are so few animated features, that they gross more on average than live action features.

  • Isaac

    Warmongering as ever, Amid. You could have noted that animation is popular without adding a snide remark about “the rest of Hollywood”. This sort of attitude doesn’t help you, or anyone else.

  • erlab

    There wasn’t a lot of live-action blockbusters this year so far, which leaves spots open for the money-grubbin’ animated films at the top- it’s only been 6 months into the year. Avatar would definitely trump all these, but that was released in December. Still, it’s very good to see this.

  • Karl Hungus

    …and the animators responsible will not get their share of the revenue. why? Because CGI has spread the process out so widely over so many departments that every animator is replacable. Contrast that to the 90s when Disney’s run of movies gave top animation talent a massive payday.

    There will be no comparable payday for the workers in CGI animation. The super realistic polish that computers provide hides any distinctive voice seen in the animation. No hand stands out and therefore no hand is sought after(with compensation relative to those returns.
    Why do you think Katzenberg loves CGI so much? Its the same success at the box office and he doesn’t have to chase (or pay) any talent.

    *Now there are some peopl in the uindustry who will contest that they can pick out the animation of certain animators, but thats a load of rubbish.

    No one else would animate creatures like Glenn Keane and no one else would imbue characters with a distinctive charisma like Andres Dejas.

    Now everyone does it the same.

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    Only been six months erlab? You do realize that if you round off .5 you are at 1. In other words, that’s half of the whole year you’re dismissing.

  • Robert D.

    Because the “rest of Hollywood” makes great films regularly? Not that the animation community is free from stinkers.

    Who is being helped by our silence and acceptance of crap? Not us, certainly.

  • somebody

    And actually – Iron Man and Alice in Wonderland are both sort of halfway to being animated films too. Almost seems like MOST hollywood movies these days are animated films. I think there are a lot of animators out there, and not all of them are part of our “animation community”.

    TV is still dominated by live action though.

  • Peter F

    It probably helps animated film box office that this has possibly been the worst year for movies in my almost four decades of film going.

    I only saw three of those top 5 movies, and of those, Toy Story 3 was the only movie that I feel was actually worth its ticket price. Iron Man 2 and How To Train Your Dragon, I could have waited to see on DVD, if at all.

    Toy Story 3 was an instant classic, but seemed even greater for its complete lack of competition in 2010.

  • Roberto Severino

    Hopefully this means that a lot of hungry animators are getting their money’s worth and eating right now. They need the money especially now. I don’t care about who’s trying to warmonger here or whether animated films gross more than live-action ones, the animation industry needs this type of boost, especially in this harsh economy. Money doesn’t grow on trees.

  • Harry

    4 out the 5 movies were also released in 3D. I wonder how the inflated ticket prices for that skew the perceived popularity of each movie.

  • Pedro Nakama

    And the number 1 TV show. if you take in account all of the cable companies, is SpongeBob Square Pants.

  • floyd pendershaft

    I agree 100% with Karl.

    He is spot on.

  • Doug N.

    Hrm. Karl. I have to disagree with a couple of your assumptions. Animators in the 90′s didn’t get massive paydays either for their talent or the success of the movies they made. They got paid more than normal only when Jeffrey started to build D-works and started hiring people away from Disney. Top talent got paid to stay at Disney. Some got paid top money at D-works. Disney wasn’t giving away the bank because the mouse was just thrilled with the quality of the animation.

    Also, Jeffrey doesn’t like CG because it’s cheaper. Or easier. Or faster. Or less talent-driven. It’s not.

    I like being able to pick out certain animators’ work, too. It’s fun! And easier in 2D. I can certainly spot all of John Pomeroy’s shots in Atlantis. His great work didn’t make the film better, though. CG is produced differently. Doling out individual characters across shots is a problematic process in CG. Instead, animators get complete shots with all characters. Does that make spotting individuals tougher? Maybe so. But I would say, with good direction, it brings the overall level of the animation up to a nice, even place. Is that inherently bad? Does it make, by default, bad animation? Nah.

    Although Doug Sweetland’s shots often stand out for me. Not always. But not never.

    And to say that everyone does it the same? The animation departments across the industry don’t have a range of talent within their individual groups? That’s just silly talk. Animation departments aren’t a socialist collective. The better animators get promoted. Or get the type of shots they’re superior with; action, emotion, etc. Some are fast, some are slow. Some slow ones do phenomenal work. Some fast ones go too fast for their own good. What I’m saying is there is a range. No one is Glen or Andreas except Glen and Andreas. Are there CG animators that will be that good…. when they have 30 years experience? I think so.

    No comparable payday for CG animators? Who knows? Animation is cyclical. And there is money to be made, so money will be invested to get this person or that for a higher rate. It happens all the time. The salad days of the mid-90′s may not come back. But who knows? It’s animation. Wacky stuff happens all the time.

  • Karen

    Love traditional animation, but I PREFER good ACTING–hand drawn or not. Glen Keane is a terrific actor, as is Tony Fucile, Nik Raineri, Kathy Zelinski, James Baxtor. Deja drawings are nice, but I’d never say his acting was much. There’s some great acting in The Incredibles, and Ratatouille, as well as Wall-e and Up and Kung Fu Panda. And of course the incredible work WETA did with Gollum (and we all know they did more than just “mo-cap” it).

    Good for animation.

  • http://adriaanvantoor.blogspot.com Adriaan van Toor

    Godverdomme.

    I have never understood why people here love to discuss box office turnovers as if they say anything about the films or their quality. The only info that can be gained from those numbers is how well the marketing department did. Funny how the film right at the top is one of the biggest pieces of dung released this year.

    Plain and simple, there is no way to guarantee a film will be a financial hit, animation or live action. I hope the day will come when studio execs finally realise this and stop making Shrek 14 or Cars 6.

    My bet is that there are fewer animated films than live action films, which makes them that much more special, hence the extra numbers. As the market becomes more saturated with animation though, this won’t last.

  • Marc Baker

    If ‘Eclipse’ makes more money that ‘Toy Story 3′, I will lose all faith in human civilization.

  • TheVok

    Iron Man 2 animated? Well, they did hire Genndy Tartakovsky to help choreograph action sequences. :)

  • http://mrseanlane.com Sean

    Well maybe people can start funding and producing more experimental and interesting animated films with better stories and character design than the top ones in the US and see that they can still make a profit without being so run of the mill.

    I mean if these films are breaking the 200 million point, surely someone can do a 60 mil film (or less) with a modest profit and still keep some new inventive studios afloat.

  • http://animationinventory.blogspot.com/ Teodor

    2D movies killed himself

  • Christina S.

    @Sean: I wish that was the case, but it seems marketing really does go a long way, or at least having an established name or brand. Fantastic Mr. Fox was done on a budget of only $40 million, but by the end of its run it only grossed $46,002,919. Granted, it at least made all its money back, but execs don’t want to just earn their money back.

    On the other hand, I just looked up Coraline, which had a budget of $60 million and earned twice that much in the box office, but I think it was because people heard it was by the same guy who did Nightmare Before Christmas. Either way, I guess it’s possible to make a profit, but it’ll be risky, and what kind of Hollywood exec takes risks? :P

  • http://deleted OtherDan

    On the one hand, it’s a great thing that you can’t distinguish in a CG film when the “acting baton” has been passed. On the other hand, it robs the artists working on a film their due respect. How sad would it be if you couldn’t distinguish the work of all the great animators from the past/present? From Freddie Moore to Eric Goldberg, if you’re observant you know who animated what, and what they brought to the table. The ability to express yourself in a personal way in animation, I think far outweighs the alternative. Where on the whole, all CG animation feels the same: darty pupils, Emo gestures and head turns, zippy Tex Avery action…it all looks the same to me-and I have a pretty keen eye. I know talented people working on some of these films, and I can’t tell what shots they worked on.

    Ultimately, it must drive salaries down for even the most gifted animators by virtue of making them anonymous.

  • zed

    its kind of easy to say, why are the animated features rule the cinemas: stereoscopic 3d. its the stuff that brings people back to the cinemas with making the experience even more realistic and by accident its easier and even more entertaining with cgi what looks real but full of magic in a way you dont see it every day.

  • http://www.hipchickcomics.com Ashanti

    I think it means the audiences are getting younger and younger. I hope independent films survive if this trend continues.

  • floyd pendershaft

    Otherdan has a good point as well.

    I identify Woody with Tom Hanks and Shrek with Mike Myers… I have no idea who animated these characters… but Woody acts like Tom Hanks and Shrek acts like Mike Myers… and I think the animators are inspired by the actors performing the voice roles… and I wonder who got paid more Tom Hanks or the guy who animated Woody?