1. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire ($423 mil)
The second installment of this adaptation from the Suzanne Collins books marks the first time in the over thirty year span I've covered in this series where a movie featuring a female lead (Jennifer Lawrence) captures the top of the yearly box office.
2. Iron Man 3 ($409 mil)
The Avengers cycle rolls along with this first follow-up to The Avengers itself, Tony Stark attempting to figure out how to move on.
3. Frozen ($384 mil)
Animated movies have become reliably big business (Toy Story 3 and Shrek 2 are two recent examples of ones that reached all the way to the top). This is Disney rediscovering its own groove.
4. Despicable Me 2 ($368 mil)
The prevailing trend in these animated flicks is trying to learn how far you can push the canvas. This is one of the success stories, featuring a quasi-unlikable lead. Although apparently quite likable.
5. Man of Steel ($291 mil)
A movie that is fast becoming known as much for its upcoming sequel as for the controversy about its ending, which apparently solidifies this as a darker interpretation of Superman.
6. Gravity ($269 mil)
The Sandra Bullock love machine remains intact!
7. Monsters University ($268 mil)
This sequel to Monsters, Inc. changes pretty much everything about the concept except the central stars.
8. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug ($256 mil)
The high point of this Peter Jackson franchise was Return of the King winning the crown in 2003. Although I argue this is the best effort so far.
9. Fast & Furious 6 ($238 mil)
One of the unlikeliest successes stories in recent Hollywood lore was the increasing and continuing success of this series.
10. Oz the Great and Powerful ($234 mil)
May have broken the idea that only Judy Garland can sell the L. Frank Baum concept to broad audiences.
11. Star Trek Into Darkness ($228 mil)
Anytime Star Trek is a huge success is still pretty surprising to fans who remember when it became mainstream poison (ever more so) only a decade earlier.
12. Thor: The Dark World ($205 mil)
The fact that Thor can have not one but two successful movies is the true strength of the Avengers allure.
13. World War Z ($202 mil)
A lot of people worried a great deal that this movie wouldn't do well. It did.
15. The Heat ($159 mil)
Bullock strikes again, and Melissa McCarthy proves she's a box office draw.
17. The Great Gatsby ($144 mil)
Leonardo DiCaprio is a reliable draw now. This wasn't always the case. After Titanic he struggled a great deal.
18. American Hustle ($144 mil)
The success of this movie is a great testament to the continuing appeal of movies that don't feature blockbuster effects or animated characters.
20. Identity Thief ($134 mil)
Melissa McCarthy again, in a movie released prior to The Heat. She's most definitely a star.
22. The Wolverine ($132 mil)
Hugh Jackman became an instant star when he debuted this role in X-Men, but has always struggled to translate that into mass appeal when he stars on his own.
23. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues ($125 mil)
Honestly, it seemed at one point that Will Ferrell would have been far happier with all the promotional appearances as Ron Burgundy.
24. G.I. Joe: Retaliation ($122 mil)
Dwayne Johnson is in the same boat as Jackman, really. But he's found a reliable career folding into existing franchises.
25. Lone Survivor ($121 mil)
The mass success of this one was surprising, but there always seems to be a market for war movies actually about war.
26. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 ($119 mil)
The filmmakers behind these quirky movies got a much bigger hit on their hands with The Lego Movie this year.
27. Now You See Me ($117 mil)
One of the bigger surprises of the year.
28. Lee Daniels' The Butler ($116 mil)
A word-of-mouth smash.
29. The Wolf of Wall Street ($112 mil)
DiCaprio and Scorsese strike gold again.
30. The Hangover Part III ($112 mil)
Probably won't be another one, and I bet everyone's fine with that.
31. Epic ($107 mil)
Even though this is an animated movie more than a Colin Farrell movie, I still count this as a Farrell success. He gets so few of them.
32. Captain Phillips ($106 mil)
Tom Hanks is so reliable it's easy to take him for granted, but every so often he can still have a hit on his hands.
36. Olympus Has Fallen ($98 mil)
Of the improbable battle of White House movies, this Gerard Butler movie was the winner. And a rare winner for Butler as well!
37. 42 ($95 mil)
Baseball movies are an underappreciated genre. Maybe this one was more relevant as one of the many success stories of 2013 for movies featuring black leads.
39. Planes ($90 mil)
A surprise success for a Cars variant that wasn't supposed to be released in theaters.
40. Lone Ranger ($89 mil)
This seems like a fine opportunity to remind people Johnny Depp is not usually a huge draw outside the guise of Jack Sparrow.
44. Saving Mr. Banks ($82 mil)
Tom Hanks again, in a movie that I find vastly underappreciated. But it still made a good amount of money. And counts as another success for Colin Farrell, the mostly uncredited third lead.
46. White House Down ($73 mil)
The competition for Olympus Has Fallen.
47. Mama ($71 mil)
A number of horror success stories in 2013, including this one starring Jessica Chastain.
50. The Best Man Holiday ($70 mil)
The unlikely follow-up to a movie released in 1999.
52. A Good Day to Die Hard ($67 mil)
The biggest success of movies featuring action stars of the '80s.
58. Prisoners ($61 mil)
Another success story for the traditional adult drama.
59. After Earth ($60 mil)
M. Night Shyamalan learned along with the rest of us that Will Smith's hot streak is officially over.
62. Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters ($55 mil)
These movies are rarely huge successes.
69. Pain and Gain ($49 mil)
Probably the only time Dwayne Johnson will flaunt his muscles outside of an action role.
70. 12 Years a Slave ($49 mil)
Not a huge success, but a good amount for a movie with such difficult subject matter.
76. Riddick ($42 mil)
The problem of trying to create a blockbuster out of a movie (Pitch Black) that wasn't itself a blockbuster is that you have to try hard to make it a blockbuster. Keep trying, Vin Diesel.
82. Carrie ($45 mil)
First starring role for frequent scene stealer Chloe Moretz.
85. Blue Jasmine ($33 mil)
For anyone else this is not a huge success. For Woody Allen, this is a huge success.
87. Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain ($32 mil)
Probably helps explain his 2014 success.
92. Grudge Match ($29 mil)
Rocky vs. Raging Bull.
94. Kick-Ass 2 ($28 mil)
Jim Carrey's biggest success of the year. In his defense, he didn't actually star in any movies this year.
97. The World's End ($26 mil)
The conclusion to the Wright/Pegg/Frost trilogy.
100. Dallas Buyers Club ($24 mil)
101. Don Jon ($24 mil)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt's plan for world domination has taken into account that it will take a little time.
102. Her ($23 mil)
Remarkably, Joaquin Phoenix was able to survive I'm Not Here.
107. The Way, Way Back ($21 mil)
Jim Rash is trying to steal Joseph Gordon-Levitt's plan. Don't tell him.
120. The Counselor ($16 mil)
Cormac McCarthy is too old for his plan. He will bequeath it to the car Cameron Diaz humps in this movie.
121. Nebraska ($16 mil)
MacGruber goes straight. (Does not find a Stargate.)
123. Fruitvale Station ($16 mil)
Michael B. Jordan's calling card for Johnny Storm.
124. About Time ($15 mil)
Rachel McAdams will be traveling through time to find a massive hit in time travel movies.
126. Spring Breakers ($14 mil)
Became notorious. Still working on becoming a cult classic.
129. Out of the Furnace ($11 mil)
Casey Affleck is not Batman.
130. Dead Man Down ($10 mil)
Colin Farrell is not a huge box office draw.
137. Before Midnight ($8 mil)
The great indy love trilogy. But they should keep making these.
139. Machete Kills ($8 mil)
Not the box office, however.
146. The Bling Ring ($5 mil)
The latest from Sofia Coppola.
153. Much Ado About Nothing ($4 mil)
After all the chatter about Whedon's Shakespeare and to have only gotten this much in return...
160. The Fifth Estate ($3 mil)
This was a Benedict Cumberbatch movie, damn it. It should have made millions! Oh wait, it did. Just not a lot of them.
176. Oldboy ($2 mil)
Josh Brolin is awesome. But people don't like Spike Lee anymore. So Spike Lee is hardly about to make Josh Brolin a box office star.
178. Blue is the Warmest Color ($2 mil)
It is also a lesbian color, apparently.
179. Austenland ($2 mil)
It may be an Austenland, but it's an Avengers world.
184. The Iceman ($1 mil)
Michael Shannon is awesome! That's why everyone was so upset to see Superman kill him. Because otherwise he's not blockbuster material, alas...
197. Girl Most Likely ($1 mil)
Who would've thought that the biggest winner from Bridesmaids wouldn't be Kristen Wiig?
222. 56 Up ($700 thou)
This is the model the Before... movies should follow. Keep them going!
227. To the Wonder ($500 thou)
Terrence Malick apparently used up his box office clout with Tree of Life.
231. The Reluctant Fundamentalist ($500 thou)
The book was awesome. Glad there's a movie now, too.
243. Ain't Them Bodies Saints ($300 thou)
Casey Affleck only stars in movies with incredibly elaborate titles. Might I recommend Ain't Them Bodies Avengers?
283. Arthur Newman ($200 thou)
Emily Blunt. Why wasn't this movie a bigger success???
290. Midnight's Children ($100 thou)
Based on a book by Salman Rushdie. Can we get the Satanic Verses movie already???
313. John Dies at the End ($100 thou)
359. Byzantium ($80 thou)
Neil Jordan is pretty awesome. Here he has Gemma Arterton and Saoirse Ronan to work with.
361. Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon ($80 thou)
Didn't even know there was a second one. Still haven't seen the first one, though.
476. Dear Mr. Watterson ($20 thou)
A companion of sorts to the book Looking for Calvin & Hobbes.
Source: Box Office Mojo