If there’s one thing you can count on with geeks, they really pump money into theaters whenever a big movie comes out. As a result, geek-friendly movies are regularly the highest grossing ones of each year and 2011 was no exception. From the end of Harry Potter, reboots, sequels, and even a couple of really good original movies this year was a surprisingly good year.
This list compiles, in order, the highest grossing genre movies of the year. The earning numbers are what they’ve made to date, and as most of these are long out of theaters; they’re the final numbers. There is one big exception to this list, as we’ve purposely excised the latest Twilight “movie” from it. Those movies don’t deserve to make one penny, and should just be ignored. Other than that, here are the highest grossing genre movies of 2011:
#1 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 – $381 Million
The Harry Potter series ended perfectly this past summer with the second part of the final movie deservedly being the highest grosser of the year. For the final movie adaptation, Warner wisely decided to split it into two parts, which allowed it more room to breath and prevent more of the book from being edited out. It’s really something they should have done beginning at Goblet of Fire, but in reality it would have stretched the series to something like eleven movies.
As it is, the entire Harry Potter series spanned a decade and eight movies. Some people have compared the series to a Star Wars for this generation, and that is actually a really fair comparison. It’s doubtful that we’ll ever see a series done this well over eight movies and with all of them produced and released within ten years.
That quality control is what contributed to the finale being as huge as it was. Thanks to the good will the series built up with fans, coupled with the perfect ending to the series, the movie hauled in the cash and ended the classic series with a huge bang. It couldn’t have been a better end.
#2 Transformers: Dark of the Moon – $352 Million
Michael Bay’s third Transformers effects orgy turned out to be the best of the trilogy. It helped that unlike the second movie, this one actually had a story to go along with all of the action scenes. The second movie was produced during the Hollywood Writer’s Strike, so the way they “wrote” the movie was Michael Bay went to ILM and planned out all the action and effects shots, and then when the strike was over they filled in the gaps with a “story”.
That didn’t happen this time. While it is yet another hidden secret that ties Transformers to mankind’s past, they tied it to the Apollo program this time. I don’t think a single fanboy brain didn’t go supernova when they saw Buzz talking with Optimus Prime. That sort of thing should be put as a warning label on a movie like this, as some fanboys are getting on in age and their ticker just can’t handle something that awesome.
Out of the movie’s two and a half hour running time, nearly half of that is made up of the epic destruction of Chicago. Bay showed off his mastery of action in that last hour where it just keeps escalating to more and more awesome. The end, when Optimus Prime shows how much of a bad ass he is with just one arm, is worth the price of admission alone.