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. icon 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 Gary,

    people spoke of boycotting Fox 7 years ago simply for what they did with Firefly.

    Since then, its only gotten exponentially worse.

  2. Do you think it’s a long shot for another hulk, even if the dvd sells really well and do you really think the A-team will make it to theaters next year?

  3. I think Indy 4 is a poor addition to the franchise not because of how much it made, but simply because of how bad the movie was compared to the original trilogy. I found Indy 4 slightly amusing. Which is a long shot from the classic mega-hits of the original trilogy which I think were pure genius.

    The movie made so little despite the huge name recognition because word of mouth spread that it wasn’t that great. That’s how a relatively unknown crew with a relatively unknown superhero can beat out Lucas, Spielberg, and Indiana Jones. So the numbers say more than just money, they speak of the quality as well.

  4. “The movie made so little despite the huge name recognition”
    Indy 4,has made over 780.000.000mil. worldwide,,,
    The dvd hasn’t even come out yet. That will add another 20mil…

  5. It’s INDIANA JONES, it should have been the top grossing film of the year and should have gotten there in record time. But it didn’t.

    Any other movie making that much money is amazing, Indiana Jones making that much is coming up short.

  6. 790,I tried unsuccessfully to post this earlier (It may show up later)
    But to me a movie with high expectations that performed truly terribly at the box office was Speed Racer .
    It was from the creators of the Matrix,
    so, the high expectations are there and it was the biggest bomb of the year .

  7. Wes,
    it might take some time but I fully expect another Hulk film.

  8. Biggest bomb of the year? Naw don’t think so. I loved Speed Racer didn’t have any problems with it. ??

  9. 790 i am speking financially , in relations to its budget.
    it opened with 20 million and faded fast

  10. That’s true Gary, I think it made overall somewhere around 50 mil domestic.
    But ya know at the end of the day, who cares, all I want was a good ride, and I got one with Speed Racer. 8-)
    I don’t usually base my love of a film on its domestic take. ;-)

    Ken J, your logic gets weirder by the day,,,

  11. My favorite summer movies: top 5 1: Hulk 2 2: Spidey 3 3: Iron Man 4: The Dark Knight 5: X-Men 3

  12. @wes

    I think the next time we see the Hulk (if we see him at all) will be in the Avengers movie.


  13. I haven’t seen Indy 4, The Incredible Hulk or Tropic Thunder so I’m not sure if it could get a spot on my list. But here’s my my top 5:

    1. The Dark Knight
    2. Iron Man
    3. Kung Fu Panda
    4. Wall-E
    5. Wanted

    Hellboy 2 would have been my fifth but I really like Wanted more than it. I personally didn’t like Hancock and Speed Racer that much.

    I also think next years movies will be good too, maybe better.

  14. Louis Leterrier, the director of Hulk 2 had let it slip that Ed Norton had been signed along with Sam L and Robert Downey for the Avengers film…I forget where that happened.

    I would love to see Universal give us another hulk film though, I don’t think it would be able to come out before Avengers though, but who knows.

  15. 790, in tonights CinemaBlend Podcast
    They mentioned Eddie Murphys Meet Dave,
    And I remembered it made 1.8 million when it debuted.
    So, I was wrong about SR being the biggest bomb of the summer.
    Sorry about that.

  16. This is the first summer in a long time where i was satisified with most of the films I saw.

  17. I second that, this summer is really amazing for movies. And this year there are still great movies coming out in the following months.

  18. No prob Gary,,,
    Don’t sweat the small stuff. 8-)

    I was thinking about, “Swing Vote” that one really bombed too, I think it made like 5 mil opening weekend.
    Keven Costner has just lost his mojo.

  19. Jenson, you gotta see Hulk when it comes out on dvd !!!
    Great film, and I’m not even a real hard core Hulk fan.
    Vfx are real good !!! 8-)

    Most underrated Superhero film of the year. The Hancock crowd dosnt know what they missed !!!! Dorks!

  20. Biggest flop of the summer has to be Speed Racer, made like $40 million and cost at least $150 million to make and another $50 million to market…just plain nasty. Plus I saw the movie and while I know some people enjoyed I thought it was awful, just a plain terrible film IMO.

  21. What was Speed Racers international box office like? Would have to make something like at least $300-350 million total box office to even come close to breaking even and I know it’s $40 million in the us had to make it kind of hard to make a profit

  22. Meet Dave money wise might be the biggest flop, but with what was expected of Speed Racer it has to be the biggest flop. A lot of people were saying it would make at least $150-200 million in norht america alone…and not even close

  23. Indiana Jones and the Kindom of the Crystal Skull was a discrace to the Franchise. Stunningly bad!

  24. entertainmenttodayandbeyond, you just listen to me! Indy 4 does not sucks. and u dont understand a darn thing about it! this is the reason why

  25. @Ronnie

    Speed Racer only made $89MM worldwide.


  26. LOL, ok 790, if you say so. Frankly I don’t particularly place much credibility in your observations of other peoples’ logic… ;-)

    @entertainmenttoday, I didn’t much like Indy 4 either, but I don’t think it was “stunningly bad.” It was OK up until the end… But for an Indiana Jones movie it was definitely a huge let down.

  27. I definitely think this was one of the best summers movies I’ve ever seen. Almost all of them had quality Anyways, here’s my top 5:

    1. The Dark Knight (YEAH!!! INVINCIBLE)
    2. Iron Man (WOW!! What a surprise it was!)
    3. The Incredible Hulk (A big improvement over Ang Lee’s)
    4. Hellboy II: The Golden Army (love Prince Nuada)
    5. WALL-E (best Pixar film ever)

  28. Iron Knight, (love the name, mix of the two best movies this summer I assume?)

    Did you find Wall-E too preachy? I didn’t want to give it any business at the theater because I heard it had some preachy message in it like Happy Feet did (OMG was that stupid…). What is your opinion? I’ve heard both.

    If you can give your opinion on this matter, I would appreciate your opinion too.

  29. 790, I definitely buy a copy of those movies I missed when it comes out in DVD.

    @Ken J, IMO Wall-E is not that too preachy and its message has got more impact than Happy Feet(which is really kinda stupid). I only like the humors in that movie.