Proof Originality Doesn’t Pay in Hollyw’d

It’s all sequels, remakes and adaptations on Wikipedia’s list of the decade’s 50 top-grossing films.

Last Updated: November 17, 2009 @ 6:43 PM

Some enterprising Wikipedia contributor decided to pull together a list of the 50 films with the highest worldwide gross of this decade so far.

Here’s the thing: One has to go all the way down to No. 15 on the list, Disney/Pixar’s "Finding Nemo," before finding one created from original material — in other words, not a sequel, remake or adaptation of existing material or characters (such as Batman or Harry Potter).

And then, to find another, you have to go all the way to No. 30, also animated: DreamWorks Animation’s "Kung Fu Panda."

It just goes to prove that familiarity breeds … success.

See for yourself. Here’s the list, including studio, year of release and worldwide gross. Original film titles are in bold:

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (New Line; 2003) $1,119,110,941

2. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (Disney; 2006) $1,066,179,725

3. The Dark Knight (Warner Bros.; 2008) $1,001,921,825

4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Warner Bros.; 2001) $974,733,550

5. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (Disney; 2007) $960,996,492

6. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Warner Bros.; 2007) $938,212,738

7. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Warner Bros.; 2009) $929,022,922

8. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (New Line; 2002) $925,282,504

9. Shrek 2 (DreamWorks; 2004) $919,838,758

10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Warner Bros.; 2005) $895,921,036

11. Spider-Man 3 (Columbia; 2007) $890,871,626

12. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner Bros.; 2002) $878,643,482

13. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (20th Century Fox; 2009) $878,615,229

14. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (New Line; 2001) $870,761,744

15. Finding Nemo (Disney/Pixar; 2003) $864,625,978

16. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (20th Century Fox; 2005) $848,754,768

17. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (Paramount; 2009) $833,229,011

18. Spider-Man (Columbia; 2002) $821,708,551

19. Shrek the Third (DreamWorks; 2007) $798,958,162

20. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Warner Bros.; 2004) $795,634,069

21. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (Paramount; 2008) $786,636,033

22. Spider-Man 2 (Columbia; 2004) $783,766,341

23. The Da Vinci Code (Sony/Columbia; 2006) $758,239,851

24. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Disney; 2005) $745,011,272

25. The Matrix Reloaded (Warner Bros.; 2003) $742,128,461

26. Transformers *DreamWorks/Paramount; 2007) $709,709,780

27. Ice Age: The Meltdown (20th Century Fox; 2006) $655,388,158

28. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Disney; 2003) $654,264,015

29. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones (20th Century Fox; 2002) $649,398,328

30. Kung Fu Panda (DreamWorks; 2008) $631,736,484

31. The Incredibles (Disney/Pixar; 2004) $631,442,092

32. Hancock (Columbia; 2008) $624,386,746

33. Ratatouille (Disney/Pixar; 2007) $623,707,397

34. The Passion of the Christ (Newmarket; 2004) $611,899,420

35. Mamma Mia! (Universal; 2008) $609,841,637

36. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (DreamWorks; 2008) $603,900,344

37. Casino Royale (MGM/Columbia; 2006) $594,239,066

38. War of the Worlds (DreamWorks/Paramount; 2005) $591,745,540

39. Quantum of Solace (MGM/Columbia; 2008) $586,090,727

40. I Am Legend (Warner Bros.; 2007) $585,349,010

41. Iron Man (Paramount; 2008) $585,133,287

42. Night at the Museum (20th Century Fox; 2006) $574,480,450

43. King Kong (Universal; 2005) $550,517,357

44. Mission: Impossible II (Paramount; 2000) $546,388,105

45. The Day After Tomorrow (20th Century Fox; 2004) $544,272,402

46. Madagascar (DreamWorks; 2005) $532,680,671

47. The Simpsons Movie (20th Century Fox; 2007) $527,071,022

48. Monsters, Inc. (Disney/Pixar; 2001) $525,366,597

49. WALL-E (Disney/Pixar; 2008) $521,268,237

50. Meet the Fockers (Universal; 2004) $516,642,939