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Top Ten Box Office Films of 2005


In general 2005 was not a happy year at the box office. Movies made $600 million dollars less than they did in 2004. If the stock market dropped by such a large percentage experts would be bracing for a depression. A lot of films, like The Island, took a real financial beating but there were plenty that made box office bank. Each week we bring you the top ten weekend money makers. With the end of the year come and gone it’s time to take a look at the top ten for 2005.


2005 Sales: $179,495,555

Opening Date: February 11

Who would have guessed that Will Smith, better known as an action star, would headline one of the year’s top ten movies as a romantic lead? I, Robot, a major sci-fi action flick in 2004 didn’t do this well. Thanks to a combination of good comedy and a great release date (romance and February do go very well together) this movie became one of the few romantic comedies in recent years to make the top ten.

Mr. & Mrs. Smith

2005 Sales: $186,336,279

Opening Date: June 10

Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have serious chemistry. Here’s hoping it works out as well for them in real life as it did on the big screen. As one of the summer’s most anticipated movies the story of the spy/spouses was one of the biggest hits for either of the two stars. Naturally a sequel is already on the way.


2005 Sales: $193,202,933

Opening Date: May 27

Shrek 2 was the number one money maker of the 2004. This year the only animated movie to make the list comes in at number eight. Such a thing would never happen in a year when Pixar releases a film, but while we’re waiting for Cars to arrive next summer there’s still plenty of laughs to be had at the hands of those wacky tropical lemurs.

Batman Begins

2005 Sales: $205,343,774

Opening Date: June 15

Just when we thought the last thing we needed was another comic movie, director Christopher Nolan got us all pumped up for Batman’s revival. He delivered in a big way but oddly enough his choice offering comes in second to last among the franchise films in yearly rankings. Only Batman and Robin did worse, placing 12th in 1997.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

2005 Sales: $206,459,076

Opening Date: July 15

Oompa loompa doompity doo; I’ve got another puzzle for you. How do you make a fool proof blockbuster? Take a classic story with an already incredible film adaptation, splash it up with the latest special effects and cast Johnny Depp in the lead. Thanks to a slow second half to the summer Willy Wonka stayed in the top five for a month straight, a run that took this new version of the story right to number six for the year.

Wedding Crashers

2005 Sales: $209,218,368

Opening Date: July 15

It seems like there’s always an irreverent comedy floating around the middle of the year’s top ten and 2005 was no different. This summer was chock full of action but we were hard pressed for any solid comedies. As a result people flocked to see Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson making booty calls at random nuptial ceremonies. What do you do for an encore, Funeral Crashers?

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

2005 Sales: $232,134,689

Opening Date: December 9

With less than a month to bring in the big bucks Narnia managed to make a rapid climb to number four, hot on the heels of War of the Worlds. As fantasy franchises go, Narnia is way behind the likes of Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter but with this kind of success we’re likely to see a few more of the C.S. Lewis books brought to the silver screen in the coming years.

War of the Worlds

2005 Sales: $234,280,354

Opening Date: June 29

Steven Spielberg hadn’t directed a top ten movie since Saving Private Ryanin 1998 but when he combined his cinematic clout with Tom Cruise’s for the biggest remake of the decade he scored a choice spot in this year’s top ten. The jury is still out on whether Cruise’s PR shenanigans and dramatic engagement to Katie Holmes helped or hindered.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

2005 Sales: $278,658,114

Opening Date: November 18

A PG-13 rating didn’t phase this darker chapter in the Harry Potter franchise. It broke the decreasing sales trend for the Potter movies doing better than all but one of its predecessors, quite a feat in the midst of a massive domestic box office slump. With this kind of success there’s no telling how well the next three films could potentially perform.

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

2005 Sales: $380,270,577

Opening Date: May 19

What did you expect? Whether you thought the movie was filmmaking genius or just a good show compared to Jar Jar, it made no difference where the box office was concerned. Nothing else even came close to touching the final chapter in the Star Wars saga. While the fans who turned out seventeen times each on opening weekend didn’t hurt, there was enough hype, energy and improved story telling surrounding the movie to make it the undisputed cash champion of 2005.


Some almost made the top ten, others went under faster than the Titanic. For whatever reason the following movies made some kind of financial statement last year and earned a little special recognition.

King Kong

2005 Gross: $176,826,950

Opening Date: December 14

With only two weeks to cash in, Peter Jackson’s heavy duty re-envisioning only missed the top ten by less than $3 million dollars. Maybe if Jackson had shaved a meager half hour off his three hour monster it might have been trim enough to squeeze in.

The Pacifier

2005 Gross: $113,086,868

Opening Date: July 14

I only mention this one because of the bizarre success it enjoyed despite being one of the most disappointing movies I saw all year. Vin Diesel sold his soul to play second fiddle to a duck but his movie garnered a ton of cash in return.

March of the Penguins

2005 Gross: $77,437,223

Opening Date: June 24

$77 million ain’t bad for a documentary. The penguins enjoyed this year’s longest run in the weekend top ten and became the second highest grossing documentary in cinema history.

The Island

2005 Gross: $35,818,913

Opening Date: September 8

Thanks to overseas success the project recovered its hefty $126 million budget but on the domestic scene it’s a definitive financial failure. Arguably the biggest box office flop of 2005.