8 Movies You Didn't Realize Were Big Hits This Year

By Katey Rich 2012-12-06 15:01:44discussion comments
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You could probably rattle off the year's biggest movies without much effort, just based on what you saw people talking about the most all year. The Dark Knight Rises, The Avengers, Ted and all the others are the hits that are so huge everybody knows about them and has probably seen them. But there are a lot of different ways to define a hit, especially if you're a studio just trying to figure out if a film will make back its money. And there are a lot of elements of film grosses, like DVD sales and international licensing fees, that we simply can't see for ourselves.

But looking over the year in box office over at Box Office Mojo, there are plenty of ways to be surprised by films that were way more popular than you ever dreamed. Whether because they opened slow and built up buzz, were hits only proportion to their budgets or made way more money overseas than they did in the States, here are 10 movies that became sizable hits while you weren't paying attention-- and may deserve a second thought if you wrote them off the first time.


Magic Mike
$165 million worldwide gross on a $7 million budget, $113 million domestic
WIth its ads featuring beefcake men dancing in front of glittery backdrops, Magic Mike was sold as much more of a romp than it really was… but the gamble worked. It's wildly profitable after being made on such a tiny budget funded entirely by Steven Soderbergh and Channing Tatum, and it also hit a kind of cultural touchstone in a way that I'm sure has turned tidy profits for all-male strip clubs, too. In a world where so many independent films stumble, Magic Mike is the dream come true.
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