The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: It’s Been A Hell Of A Run!

Published 7 years ago by , Updated February 9th, 2009 at 11:26 am,

iron man indy4 dark knight The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!

It’s almost September and that means that the big summer movie season of 2008 is finally over – but what a summer it’s been!

2008 delivered the kind of summer that superhero and action movie geeks dream of – this is the year that brought us three bonafide superhero movies: Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk and what was that third one… oh yeah: The Dark Knight.

We also had the chance to see the long awaited Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the latest Pixar flick Wall-E, Will Smith as a superhero in Hancock, Angelina Jolie as an assassin in Wanted, Hellboy II: The Golden Army. To keep us laughing we had Tropic Thunder, The Pineapple Express (which I haven’t seen) and Get Smart.

dark knight joker The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!
Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight: Summer 2008 box office winner

The Dark Knight was this summer’s box office juggernaut, and no doubt will be the year’s biggest earner. The big surprise of the summer (and the film that kicked it all off) is Iron Man, which came in second and actually beat Indy 4 in the US! That speaks to both how great Iron Man was and how poor an addition the latest Indiana Jones movie was to the original trilogy.

iron man summer 2008 The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!
Iron Man: Surprise hit of the 2008 Summer movie season

Here are the top ten movies this summer based on US box office:

  1. The Dark Knight – $493.7MM
  2. Iron Man – $317.6MM
  3. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – $315.3MM
  4. Hancock – $226.5MM
  5. Wall-E – $216.8MM
  6. Kung Fu Panda – $213MM
  7. Sex and the City (yeah, I know) – $152.4MM
  8. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian – $141.6MM
  9. The Incredible Hulk – $134.4MM
  10. Wanted – $133.8MM

One big suprise in the above list is Pixar’s Wall-E: I’m really shocked that the R-rating-pushing, PG-13 and mediocre (according to most critics) Hancock actually beat the family friendly Pixar film. Also surprising is that Kung Fu Panda made almost as much as the Wall-E. It looks like despite the universally rave reviews for Wall-E, that the overly message-heavy plot of the movie wasn’t as much of a winner with families as other of their films like The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. Heck, even Cars (considered by many to be Pixar’s weakest film) made more money than Wall-E at the box office.

wall e summer 2008 The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!
Wall-E: Below Summer box office expectations?

I’ll take a moment to toot my own horn and point out that I was one of the lone voices pointing out the fact that Wall-E was too heavy handed with its messages. simple smile The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!

Also, despite the “cool factor,” Wanted didn’t manage to beat underdog summer flick The Incredible Hulk. I guess more people thought it was ridiculous (as I did) than thought it was “awesome, dude!”. However superhero movie fans across the land can weep in unison at the fact that Hulk was not able to defeat three hip, New York City powershopping babes on the prowl for true love.

incredible hulk summer 2008 The Top 10 Summer 2008 Movies: Its Been A Hell Of A Run!
Summer 2008: The Incredible Hulk did not go down without a fight

How the heck Sex in the City made into that list is beyond me.

Movies worth noting that are missing from that top 10 list include The Happening (huge stinker for Shyamalan), The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (couldn’t bring myself to watch it), 10,000 B.C. (do I even need to comment on this one?), Speed Racer (LSD trip for kids), and Hellboy II: The Golden Army (too niche, I suppose).

In the “bombed at the box office” category I guess I’d add X-Files: I Want to Believe ($20.7MM) and at only $27MM since opening, for a Star Wars movie, I’d say The Clone Wars didn’t do too well.

All in all I’d say it’s been a pretty damned awesome summer for movie fans, and it’ll be a tough one to top in 2009.

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  1. Hey Vic, nice article, just wanted to point out two little typos you had at the end.

    ” I’d say The Clone Wars didn’t too to well.”

    And “and it’ll be a touch one to top in 2009.”

    That’s all I noticed. Just figure I let you know. Article is a pretty good (and accurate) summary. I thought this summer was a great summer for movies as well.

  2. Thanks, bud. I’ll fix those. It was late when I was writing it. :-)


  3. Did you say that The Incredibles was Pixars last film? What about Cars and Ratatouille?

  4. Oh! (slaps forehead)

  5. Its been a great year for films.
    Here’s my top 10

    1-Iron Man
    3-Speed Racer
    4-Hell Boy 2
    5-The Dark Knight
    9-Indy 4
    10-Tropic Thunder

    I hope I didn’t forget anything,,,
    790 😎

  6. Yes, 790, you forgot something…
    You forgot that THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL that Hulk and Speed Racer are better than The Dark Knight. lol

  7. A real good realistic article.

    Here is my top 10:

    1. The Dark Knight (ofcourse what else!)
    2. Wanted
    3. Iron Man
    4. Tropic Thunder
    5. Wall E
    6. Hancock
    7. Get Smart
    8. The Incredible Hulk
    9. Kung Fu Panda
    10. Speed Racer

    Indy 4, Hellboy 2, The X files and The Mummy 3 aren`t worthy to be named in the top 10. I haven`t seen Star Wars Clone Wars yet, but it doesn`t look that good.

  8. Yeah I expected a few remarks on that one ,,, 😎

    I had some problems with TDK,,, :-(

  9. I never saw Speed Racer, but heard it sucked, lol.

    I don’t know if I can get up to ten with relevant order, but I will say my top 3 was:
    1. Iron Man
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. The Incredible Hulk

    Tropic Thunder and Hellboy 2 is somewhere up there in the top movies, but not sure what order I would put them. Indy 4 would be among the bottom of my list, of course not worst than the obvious stupid movies out this year, but bottom out of the top movies. I enjoyed it, but it was pretty cheesy and doesn’t have the magic of the original trilogy…

    Chronicles of Narnia was pretty darn good too. Did Spiderwick Chronicles also come out this year? That was surprisingly good for what I thought was going to be yet another wannabe fantasy movie following the footsteps of LOTR and Narnia (*cough*Golden Compass*cough*), but it turned out to be very entertaining.

  10. I keep forgetting that Cloverfield was this year πŸ˜€

  11. Yeah I’m pretty much the only one that appreciated Speed Racer for its greatness. 😎

    Oscar,,, Cloverfield is alot better on dvd ,,,!!

  12. Ok, now don’t hold me to the nuances of this list. :-) But here are is my informal list of my favorite films of Summer ’08:

    1. Iron Man
    2. The Dark Knight
    3. Kung Fu Panda
    4. Tropic Thunder
    5. The Incredible Hulk
    6. Get Smart
    7. Wall-E
    8. Hellboy II: The Golden Army
    9. Hancock
    10. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


  13. Hm, was Get Smart actually any good? For some reason I had the impression that it wasn’t a good movie and never bothered to watch it. I used to watch the reruns of the old show on Nick & Nite and thought it was hilarious. Maybe I should rent it one day…

  14. Good article to summarize the summer season,

    I think next year will be strong as well…

    Wolverine (boooo Fox)
    Star Trek (yeaa!!!!)
    Transformers 2
    Harry Potter 6
    James Cameron’s Avatar
    Prince of Persia
    Terminator: Salvation
    GI Joe!!!
    The Brazillian Job?
    Inglorious Bastards
    Angels and Demons (I hated Da Vinci Code)
    Ice Age 3
    Fast and the Furious 4
    Public Enemies (Look at the cast: Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum, Billy Crudup, Marion Cotillard, Emilie de Ravin, Giovanni Ribisi)

    so ya, for me, I think 2009 will be even better (possible MUCH better) than this summer! It’s gonna be a good time for all of us :)

  15. Rob, the only films on your list that interest me for next year are,,,,

    Star Trek 11
    Terminator 4
    Wolverine (subject to boycott)


  16. Prince of Persia has been pushed to Summmer 2010.

  17. @Ken J
    Well, *I* liked Get Smart, doesn’t mean you will. Opinions were pretty split on it.


    Yeah, good point, but not all of those fall under Summer ’09. πŸ˜›


  18. Oh, BTW gang, I’ve done some more reading on the whole Warner Bros. vs Fox thing and it’s looking like the actual buttheads in this fight may actually be WB and NOT Fox.


  19. My top 10 for summer 2008 (only since 5/02, which leaves Forgetting Sarah Marshall out which may have been my #3 at worst, great movie. Rambo would also be on my best of 2008 list)…

    1) The Dark Knight…far and away the best film not only of the summer but of year so far.

    2) Iron Man…a large gap between TDK and IM, but also a large gap between IM and the rest of the top 10.

    3) The Incredible Hulk…was shocked how much I liked this movie, a great re-boot and hope it did well enough to see at least one more in the series.

    4) Pineapple Express
    5) Hellboy II
    6) Mongol
    7) Get Smart
    8) Tropic Thunder
    9) Wanted
    10)X-Files: I want to Believe

    I do have to say I haven’t seen Wall-E or Kung-Fu Panda yet, so I’ll hold off on my opinion on those two for now of course.

    Movies I enjoyed that didn’t make my list Step Brothers, The Wackness and Traitor wasn’t to bad either but to compare it any of the Bourne movies like some critics have is just plain stupid, not near as good as any of the three. Hope I didn’t forget any summer movies I actually liked.

  20. Films for next year I’m looking forward to so far are Watchmen, Wolverine, Terminator: Salvation and my most anticipated movie for next year right now is Public Enemies.

  21. Ken J, I enjoyed Get Smart. I was a huge fan of the old TV show, it’s right up there with Soap, Taxi and a few other shows as my ATF live action comedy shows but if you go in expecting it be just like the TV you’ll be pretty ticked but I heard it wasn’t much like the show so I went in with an open mind and actually enjoyed it.

  22. Thanks for the info on Get Smart. I’ll probably end up renting it.

    About next year, I would have to say that my most anticipated movie would have to be Avatar. Even though I have not seen a single shot from the film, the fact that James Cameron is making it and have spent quite some time on the film tells me that it’s going to be phenomenal.

  23. I didn’t see too many films this summer, but here in the UK the film “Mamma Mia!” beat TDK, the film is still going strong ot packed audiences well over a month after it was released…I was disappointed by “The X-Files:IWTB” bombing as I am a fan and liked the film on the whole, probably the wrong time to release it, with all those giants at the box office.
    “Iron Man” I enjoyed so much! RDJ was amazing!
    TDK of course needs no say other than I went to see it twice in one week =)

  24. Hey Vic,

    when making that list, I looked for ones that fell only between May and August, or atleast planned releases during that time. Which ones are not scheduled for the summer?

  25. Doh! Rob, I think you’re right. I saw Star Trek on the list and had forgotten it was moved to a Summer release.



  26. I like your informal list of favorite movies, Vic… – mine is pretty much the same, though I didn’t bother to see Indy 4 after my friend said he didn’t like it (and I was shocked at that.)

    Btw, “ftouinally?”

  27. @Phil

    Yikes! Thanks for seeing that. One of the things I hate about laptops: jumping mouse cursor.


  28. Vic, Indiana Jones 4 was a poor addition to the franchise Because Iron Man beat it by just 2 million dollars?
    isnt that a bit harsh ?
    Thanks for the mini watchmen update ,
    Will we be getting a more detailed report on that?
    Do you think it might be premature to boycott Fox?

  29. @Gary

    No, it’s not harsh. Indiana Jones is a franchise with HUGE name recognition that had massive anticipation PLUS Lucas and Spielberg attached to it.

    Iron Man was a Marvel superhero that a year ago was not very well known to the average person, directed by Favreau – not exactly a powerhouse draw.

    Having only $2MM between the two of those speaks highly of Iron Man and poorly of Indy 4.