Want a monster in the movie biz? You need a monster.

Variety just released their report on the the 250 top grossing films in the US in 2008.  Take a look at the top 10, and see if you notice some of the same trend that I did.

1.  The Dark Knight
2.  Iron Man
3.  Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull
4.  Hancock
5.  Wall-E
6.  Kung Fu Panda
7.  Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
8.  Twilight
9.  Quantum of Solace
10.  Horton Hears a Who

Every single of one of these films, the biggest domestic blockbusters of 2008, is a fantasy.

And in every single one, the main character 1) is male and 2) possesses super-human abilities or isn’t even even human!

The regular people films, like Juno, don’t start to appear on the list until the next ten.

Interesting, no?

So if you want to make a lot of money in the movies, produce a super-hero type fantasy with a male lead, right?

Well, yes . . . and no. Remember, these are gross sales, not net profit after expenses.

Sure, Dark Knight took in $531 million domestically.  But it cost $185 million.  That’s a profit of $346 mill, or 187% domestically.

Juno, our darling #18 on the list, took in $112 million domestically at an initial budget of only 6.5 million.  That’s a profit of 105.5 million or 1623%.

One made a lot of cash.  One made a lot of profit.

Looking just at the Broadway productions, which would you rather have running on Broadway right now . . . Shrek or In The Heights?

Tomorrow we’ll look at the biggest grossing Broadway shows of 2008.  We’ll see if there are any of the same trends.

Related Posts


Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.