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The Year In Movies: 2010 Recap

originally posted January 3, 2011

2010 at the movies will be remembered as the year of hit sequels, 3D and animated films. Disney's 3D adventures Toy Story 3 and Alice in Wonderland led the global box office with $1.06 billion and $1.02 billion, respectively. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($862 million), Shrek Forever After ($738 million), The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($693 million) and Iron Man 2 ($621 million) were among the strong sequel performers. Originality counted among worldwide audiences too. Christopher Nolan's mind-bending Inception ($825 million), Universal/Illumination's Despicable Me ($540 million) and DreamWorks Animation's How to Train Your Dragon ($494 million) led the pack. Remakes of Clash of the Titans ($493 million) and Karate Kid ($358 million) were close behind. To review all the top grossing films of the year, check out

At least one of the biggest box office hits also scored well with critics. Toy Story 3 garnered a 99% fresh/positive rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Some other top critically-acclaimed films included: How to Train Your Dragon (98%), The Social Network (97%), The King's Speech (96%), Blue Valentine (96%), True Grit (95%), The Town (94%), The Kids Are Alright (94%), 127 Hours (93%) and The Secret of Kells (92%).

Much of the top film news throughout the year was rooted in established properties, sequels, remakes or adaptations. Given the success of Alice in Wonderland, studios scrambled to lock up literary classics and stories, such as Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid and even the story of Christopher Columbus. Other book-to-film adaptations announced included The Hunger Games, The Dark Tower and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Classic films, such as Frankenstein, The Wizard of Oz, The Great Gatsby, The Addams Family and The Three Musketeers, were announced (or at least, rumored) to be receiving traditional Hollywood remake treatment.

Numerous sequels were announced and greenlit. Expect to see Clash of the Titans 2, Bad Santa 2, Machete 2, Pirates of the Caribbean 5, Spy Kids 4, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, Super Troopers 2, Ring 3D, Ice Age 4: Continental Drift and How to Train Your Dragon 2.

More than a handful of long-in-development projects were finally given the go ahead. Such projects included: A Star is Born, The Hobbit, James Bond 23, The Three Stooges, The Lone Ranger, The Man from U.N.C.L.E., Logan's Run, Ghost Rider 2 and Emily the Strange and Have Spacesuit, Will Travel.

Filming is in progress or wrapped on the following highly-anticipated films: Men in Black III, Final Destination 5, Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules, Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol, Captain America: The First Avenger and The Avengers.

Disney locked up top directors, such as The Social Network's David Fincher and Iron Man's Jon Favreau, to helm future the studio's tentpoles, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Magic Kingdom, respectively.

On the superhero front, Disney paid Paramount $115 million to take over the distribution rights to Iron Man 3 and The Avengers. After countless rumors, reboots of superhero favorites Spider-Man and Superman were solidified. 500 Days of Summer director Marc Webb signed on to helm the former, while 300 director Zack Snyder will take the lead on the latter.

Along with the 3D conversion announcement of the Star Wars franchise, there was talk of a new trilogy to follow the re-release of Return of the Jedi 3D in 2015 or 2016.

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