Image from “Jurassic World”; Universal(NEW YORK) — 2015 had its share of box office blockbusters and busts, with all but two movies to date on the year’s top ten — the animated Inside Out and Matt Damon’s space adventure The Martian — being original titles, and not sequels or remakes. 

Five movies passed the billion-dollar box office mark in 2015, but Star Wars: The Force Awakens managed to break that billion barrier in record time — 12 days. The much-anticipated movie hit theaters on December 18 and immediately catapulted to the #7 position for the year in just its first weekend in theaters, earning more than $238 million domestically, and $518 million worldwide, but soon vaulted upward to the #2 spot, with a domestic take topping $600 million, and even more than that overseas.

New Year’s Eve, Disney reported the film had earned $629 million domestically, in just 13 days.  By comparison, that surpasses the $623.4 million total domestic gross Marvel’s The Avengers earned during its entire 2012 theatrical run.  Combined with Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ international gross earnings of just over $664 million, the film now boasts a total global take of $1.293 billion — and counting.

Here are the top 10 movies at the U.S. box office for 2015, along with their gross earnings, according to BoxOfficeMojo:

 1. Jurassic World — $652,270,625
 2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — $629,000,000  
 3. Avengers: Age of Ultron — $459,005,868 
 4. Inside Out — $356,461,711  
 5. Furious 7 — $353,007,020 
 6. Minions — $336,045,770 
 7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 – $257.1
 8. The Martian — $223,894,423  
 9. Cinderella (live-action remake) — $201,151,353 
10. Spectre — $196,249,955

1. Jurassic World — With Guardians of the Galaxy‘s golden boy Chris Pratt in the lead, the reboot of the blockbuster dinosaur series had a great shot of doing well, though few were bold enough to predict the movie would end up making more than $1.6 billion worldwide. The movie, which also starred Bryce Dallas Howard and Vincent D’Onofrio, scored more than $652 million in the U.S. alone.  

2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens — J.J. Abrams’ taking over for series creator George Lucas proved to be a huge smash for Disney, the parent company of ABC News: the movie made more than 247 million bucks stateside in its first weekend in theaters — debuting at #7 on the 2015 top-ten list. Just days later, it jumped up the ranks to number 6 with a haul of $325,438,146 and counting domestically, and nearly 690 million globally. In record time — 12 days — it managed to break that billion barrier, and vaulted upward to the #2 spot, with a domestic take topping $600 million, and a even more than that overseas.    

3. Avengers: Age of Ultron — The follow-up to Marvel’s superhero team-up wasn’t as universally well-reviewed as its 2012 predecessor, though fans came in droves to the tune of more than $459 million in the U.S. alone. Only in Hollywood could a movie that makes $1.4 billion worldwide attract whispers of a financial disappointment.  However, the original Avengers made more than $623 million domestically and $896 million worldwide for a finish of $1.5 billion. While Ultron didn’t clear as much cash in the U.S. as the original did, it made more overseas than the original did — more than $946 million. For the record, Walt Disney Studio Chairman Alan Horn literally laughed off the talk of an Ultron disappointment, saying in a Hollywood Reporter roundtable, “We are very happy with the more than $1.4 billion for Avengers 2.” 

4. Inside/Out — The Disney/Pixar movie with the unusual premise — each of our emotions are controlled by little characters inside our head: Anger, Joy, Sadness, Disgust, and Fear — managed to scare up more than $355 million in the U.S., and performed well overseas to boot, for a global finish of more than $851 million.    

5. Furious 7 — It’s safe to say nobody knew back in 2001 that The Fast and the Furious would still have gas in the tank 14 years later — let alone have its most recent two films score top-ten finishes in 2013 and 2015. The death of Paul Walker during a production hiatus of the seventh film turned Furious 7 into a tribute to the star, one completed with the help of his look-alike brothers and a little CGI magic.  Fans worldwide turned out in force to the tune of $1.5 billion. Furious 7 did so well that star Vin Diesel claimed “a new trilogy” is in the works. 

6. Minions — Another in the billion-dollar club for 2015 was the animated spin-off of the Despicable Me movies. While the gibberish-speaking, pill-shaped titular creatures were already popular, not many would have guessed “$1.1 billion at the box office” popular. The movie cleared more than $336 million in the states, but it more than doubled that take overseas, raking in more than 821 million bucks from foreign fans. 

7. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 2 — Released in November, as its predecessors have been, the final installment of the Hunger Games series again managed to shoot up to the top ten list in short order. By the time the ball drops its take will have grown, but as of press time the Jennifer Lawrence film made more than $257 million stateside and even more overseas, for a to-date haul of over $600 million. 

8. The Martian — As previously mentioned, one of only two films that wasn’t a sequel or reboot had the star power of Matt Damon and writer/director Ridley Scott behind it. The cerebral science fiction flick based on Andy Weir’s 2011 novel also starred Oscar-winner Jessica Chastain and Ant-Man scene stealer Michael Peña, and grossed around 221 million in the U.S. and more than 352 million overseas.

9. Cinderella — Director Kenneth Branagh’s live-action re-telling of the classic fairy tale flew under the radar for most of the year, but hoovered up cash while doing so — to the tune of more than a half-billion bucks worldwide. The movie, which starred Lily James as the maligned scrub girl-turned crystal-shoed princess and Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett as her wicked stepmother, made more that 201 million dollars in the U.S. and almost 543 million when worldwide receipts were tallied.

10. Spectre – A dogfight for the tenth slot with Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation ended with Daniel Craig’s latest — and possibly last — go ’round as 007 snagging the list’s last spot with a domestic take north of $196.2 million, and a worldwide haul of more than $850 million.

The Biggest Bombs of 2015
While each movie’s budget and overseas earning power determined how painful a swing and a miss each was, these are the movies that failed to connect with audiences in 2015.

Seventh Son — Dumped from the previous year into the hinterlands of February of 2015, this $95 million Jeff Bridges and Julianne Moore fantasy adventure film opened wide but earned a little more than $17 million in the U.S. Its foreign ticket sales drew the movie closer to break-even, however.

Jupiter Ascending — After their big-budget bombs Speed Racer and Cloud Atlas, the Wachowski Siblings needed a hit to return them to their Matrix glory days.  This wasn’t it. This muddled would-be sci-fi epic paired an elf ear-wearing Channing Tatum with a janitor-turned intergalactic princess played by Mila Kunis. Boasting a budget of around 180 million bucks, it earned a little more than $47 million in the U.S.  Overseas audiences added $136 million more to the pot, but the movie still ended its run in the red. 

Tomorrowland — A big-budget adaptation of a classic Disney ride had Oscar-winning director Brad Bird and Oscar-winning actor and producer George Clooney in its corner, as well as eye-popping visuals that boosted the movie’s budget to more than $190 million. However, the movie failed to connect stateside, earning under 100 million bucks, though another $115 million or so from Clooney’s foreign fans pushed the movie’s final theatrical take to nearly $210 million.

Chappie — Another bigger-budget swing-and-miss from Neill Blomkamp following 2013’s Elysium, the sci-fi movie about a friendly robot who has to stop a revolution — or something like that — made just $13 million in the U.S. against a budget of more than $31.5 million. 

Fantastic Four — A doomed project seemingly from the start, director Josh Trank was adamant about fundamentally transforming the quartet of Marvel heroes, and his “contemporary re-telling” of the superhero team managed to repel both die-hard fans and average moviegoers alike. Plagued by Internet sniping, expensive reshoots, and a reportedly aloof director whose off-set behavior allegedly got him fired from Star Wars: Episode VIII, Fantastic Four earned less than half its reported $120 million budget. Its performance was so poor it killed a slated sequel.  

Pan — A $150-million retelling of the early days of Peter Pan was panned by critics, and failed to fly at the box office despite the star power of Hugh Jackman, making a hair more than $120 million worldwide. 

Our Brand is Crisis — With a budget of nearly $30 million, even the likability of Sandra Bullock couldn’t sell audiences on this dark comedy about the underbelly of politics, which earned less than $7 million dollars theatrically. 

Blackhat — The Michael Mann film starring Chris Hemsworth of The Avengers as a hacker cost $70 million to make, but it earned less than $20 million worldwide.

In the Heart of the Sea — It’s too early to tell how much in the red the movie will end up, but there was even more bad box office news for Hemsworth later in the year, with another big-budget stumble for the actor and his Rush director, Ron Howard. In the Heart of the Sea, about the man vs. whale story that inspired Moby-Dick, cost at least $150 million to make, but debuted in U.S. theaters with a paltry $11 million.

Rock the Kasbah — While Bill Murray is arguably a national treasure when he’s on the loose in the real world, even his fans stayed away from this comedy, which made only a third of its $15-million budget in theaters.

Jem and the Holograms — This reboot of an ’80s cartoon about a girl band came and went from theaters in a seeming flash.  The movie made a little less than half its budget back — but the saving grace for Universal is the movie’s budget was only said to be $5 million.

We Are Your Friends — On a similar fail scale, the Zac Efron DJ movie suffered the indignity of having worst wide opening of the year, and earned less than half its reported $6 million budget.  

The Last Witch Hunter — Vin Diesel may have scored with Furious 7, but whiffed with this $90 million supernatural thriller. Diesel’s worldwide appeal did bring up the bottom line, but the movie finished with just $78.3 million in earnings.

The Walk — French daredevil Philippe Petit wowed the world by crossing the World Trade Center towers on a tightrope in 1974, but director Robert Zemeckis’ retelling failed to do more than basically break even globally against its $36 million budget.

Aloha — Cameron Crowe’s romantic comedy starred Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone — the latter as an Asian woman, which caused controversy — and made a little more than $26 million vs. a budget of $37 million.

Steve Jobs — Billed as Oscar bait thanks to Michael Fassbender’s Golden Globe-nominated performance of the Apple co-founder, the $30 million movie fizzed at the box office, with a take just shy of $18 million.

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Source: General Entertainment