It won't surprise anyone to learn that 2008 was a good year for comic-based movies. Now 'Dark Knight' is topping DVD sales charts as well as critics' lists, and 'Incredible Hulk' and 'Wanted' helped Universal Pictures have the best year ever. Read on...
Universal pictures issued a press release yesterday touting 2008 as its biggest year ever, topping 2007 which was the previous record-holder.
The studio rang up global theatrical grosses totaling $2.834 billion, more than double 2007's numbers. The studio took in $1.714 billion domestically.
Universal cites four movies as keys to the year's success. Not surprisingly, two of them are comic-based films. 'The Incredible Hulk' and 'Wanted' along with 'Mamma Mia!' and 'The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor' each bagged over $100 million in domestic sales, making them the big winners for the studio.
'Wanted', based on Mark Millar and J.G. Jones' indie comic opened with a whopping $51 million in its first weekend and went on to earn $144 million. Surprisingly it was the best-opening ever for Angelina Jolie and the biggest R-rated opening ever for the month of June. Internationally the film rang up $209.5 million in foreign grosses.
'The Incredible Hulk' also proved a welcome return for the studio. It opened to $55 million and went on to gross more than $135 million in North America.
After falling back to #2, 'The Dark Knight' has re-assumed the top spot on DVD sales charts during the holiday lull. The bat-film's third week of release saw it topping newbie's 'Burn After Reading' and 'Death Race', both of which posted respectable numbers.
The Hollywood Reporter's chief film critic Kirk Honeycutt named 'The Dark Knight' his top film of 2008, in an apparent tie with 'Slumdog Millionaire'.
Honeycutt goes on to discuss what's generally wrong with comic-based movies (he's not a fan) and what both the Batman epic and 'Iron Man' did right whereas 'The Spirit' did wrong. And then he strangely lumps 'Wall-E' in as a comic-book movie, apparently not appreciative of the differences between comics and cartoons.