Year in Review: The 2007 Box Office


The year started with people flocking to see Ben Stiller in Night at the Museum, and it ended with Nicolas Cage finding box office glory with National Treasure: Book of Secrets. In between there were giant-sized hits (Spider-Man 3, Transformers), almighty flops (Steve Carell, this means you), and plenty of super-Good and super-Bad box office performances in between (this means you, too, McLovin).

Yes, it’s time to look back at Spidey, Johnny Depp, Michael Bay and everyone else responsible for the Biggest Box Office performances of 2007 in this special edition of The Reject Report Box Office Review.

Without any further ado, it’s time to run down the Top Ten movies of 2007 at the box office, based on the final totals for the year ending Dec. 31, 2007. All box office numbers are courtesy, as always, of Box Office Mojo.

10. The Simpsons Movie (20th Century Fox)
I should qualify this statement by saying that The Simpsons Movie is ranked tenth for now. There is a very real possibility that Alvin and the Chipmunks could still surpass the comfy $183,135,014 that Homer, Bart and the rest of Springfield made in 2007. The Simpsons Movie opened at $74,036,787 on the July 27 weekend and was one of the monster hits of the summer. Do you remember buying Squishees and Buzz Cola at your local 7-Eleven, I mean Kwik-E-Mart?

But Alvin exceeded predictions as well and is still raking it in, right into 2008. In fact, I would say the performance of those three goofy Chipmunks was the surprise of the year.

Alvin and the Chipmunks are up to $154,575,000 in domestic box office at the close of 2007 and it is still not done yet. It’s true, Alvin has a real shot at ending up with more domestic revenue than The Simpsons Movie in a couple of weeks. Go figure that one out.

May I also note that National Treasure: Book of Secrets could pass BOTH of these movies before all is said and done. That movie is up to $143,821,000 and is still making more money than Alvin at this point — so that movie will probably finish ahead of both of them when the final box office totals are tallied. See you in a couple of weeks or so when we sort out which of these 2007 releases ends up with more revenue overall.

9. I Am Legend (Warner Bros.)
$205,090,000 was the take for 2007 for Will Smith’s best box-office opening ever. It was his biggest opening weekend at $77,211,321. Again, I qualify this 9th-place ranking by saying that this movie is still in theaters, and still raking in the cash. The overall box office take for this flick is likely to vault past the $227,471,070 hauled in by The Bourne Ultimatum in a couple of weeks, making I Am Legend the Number 6 movie in overall box office take for all 2007 releases.

8. Ratatouille (Disney)
$206,445,654 was the domestic take in 2007 for the story about that food-loving rat Remy and his quest to make it big in the restaurant world in Paris. Its June 29 open brought in $47,027,395 and it’s been onwards and upwards ever since.

7. 300 (Warner Bros.)
You know, everyone forgets what a big hit this movie was, because it came out so early in the year. But this movie adaptation of the Frank Miller graphic novel opened at a mammoth $70,885,301 on the March 9 weekend, and made $210,614,939 for the year.

6. The Bourne Ultimatum (Universal)
The latest instalment of Matt Damon’s spy movie series opened at $69,283,690 for the August 3 weekend and now sits at $227,471,070, a phenomenal performance for the genre.

5. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner Bros.)
The final take for 2007 for the fifth instalment of the J.K. Rowling classic was an impressive $292,004,738. Its opening weekend brought in $77,108,414.

4. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Buena Vista)
The third and probably last appearance for Johnny Depp and those popular Pirates brought in $114,732,820 in its opening weekend, and hauled in $309,420,425 for the year domestically.

3. Transformers (Paramount/DreamWorks)
Yes, this movie ended up the year doing better than those Pirates! The Michael Bay robot movie made it to $319,071,806 after a $70,502,384 haul in its opening weekend. It also set the Tuesday record at $27.4 mil, and set the July 4 record and also the Wednesday non-sequel record during its opening week. It made $155 million during its entire opening week.

2. Shrek the Third (Paramount/DreamWorks)
It was another big box office performance for Shrek again, with a $321,012,359 domestic take for the year — just edging out Transformers. It made $121,629,270 during its May 18 opening weekend and was obviously the top-grossing animated movie of the year.

And now the drum roll please —- for our 2007 box office champ in the USA:

1. Spider-Man 3 (Sony)
$336,530,303 on 4,324 domestic screens, with a haul of $151,116,516 during its May 4 opening weekend. And the opening weekend for Peter Parker and crew again shattered records. It was the top haul for any three-day or five-day period EVER, and also set the top three-day weekend haul EVER.

Honorable Mentions: $148,761,765 for Judd Apatow’s Knocked Up and $121,463,226 for Superbad. Not a bad showing. $134,529,403 was the take this year as well for Live Free or Die Hard, Bruce Willis’ comeback. Also, an honorable mention goes out to The Rock and The Game Plan, with a take of $88,649,123. That made it a rare hit during one of the lull periods at theaters in the fall.

So those were the biggest box office hits of the year. Pretty easy to quantify those. What is harder to quantify are the disappointments of the year at the box office. Certainly Evan Almighty comes to mind. Mind you, it made $100,289,690, but it COST $200 million! That’s what I call a flop. The Golden Compass was another bomb, making only $58,869,000 for only a 38th-place finish.

But really — is anyone out there really disappointed that The Golden Compass or Evan Almighty underperformed?! There may have even been people dancing jigs because these two did so poorly.

Same for these horror movies. I know Eli Roth was mad because Hostel: Part II was a flop with a USA take of only $17,609,452. He blamed pirating for the poor showing. But a lot of people were sick of torture movies anyway, so I doubt that many people feel those crummy numbers for Hostel: Part II were all that disappointing. Again, there were probably lots of people celebrating its poor showing.

Not so for this next flick. For me, and for a lot of die-hard movie fans, the one film that really was a major letdown at the box office was Grindhouse. No question about it, it was 2007’s box office Disappointment of the Year.

This was an ambitious, well-made, collaborative tribute by Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, and others to those R-rated cult movies that played in the grindhouses of the Seventies. It was Planet Terror, Death Proof, and a bunch of hilarious fake trailers. Fine, quality entertainment, one of the best movie experiences of the year for a lot of people.

And it got ground right up into many pieces at the box office. Grindhouse finished the year 91st, at $25,037,897, just behind The Reaping.

Now, that is what I call depressing. It makes you wonder about these fools out there in middle America, especially when some real stinkers did so well. Like Wild Hogs ($168,273,550). Same for Ghost Rider, which got slaughtered by critics yet still made $115,802,596. And, uh, Alvin and the Chipmunks.

Anyway, enough about all that. All in all, it was a big year at the box office, a big year for big movies, and a big year for Film School Rejects! See you in 2008 for another year of predictions right here at The Reject Report.

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