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HindustanTimes Fri,11 Jul 2014

The billion dollar babies of Hollywood

Samarth Goyal, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, June 08, 2013
First Published: 18:59 IST(8/6/2013) | Last Updated: 00:42 IST(9/6/2013)

Out of the 16 movies from Hollywood to gross more than one billion dollars till date, five released during the past one year. The first flick to touch the magical mark was filmmaker James Cameron’s Titanic (1997). The film has grossed over 2 billion dollars already, which includes the collection of its 3D re-release in 2012.

Interestingly, Cameron remains the only director to have two films, Titanic ($2.3 billion) and Avatar ($2.7 billion), qualify for the exclusive two billion dollar club. Following the trend, there have been numerous films, mostly big budget productions, which hit the jackpot at the box office.

From superhero adventures Iron Man 3, The Dark Knight Rises and The Avengers, to the James Bond film Skyfall, to director Peter Jackson’s Hobbit, here is a look at five films from 2012/13 which crossed the elusive billion dollar mark.

The Dark Knight Rises
The final installment in filmmaker Christopher Nolan’s Batman film series, starring actor Christian Bale in the titular role, created ripples after the infamous Colorado theatre shootings. However, the dark knight literally rose to cross the one billion dollar mark, making the film the highest-grossing in the franchise at the worldwide box office. The film, which also saw actor Tom Hardy as Bane and actor Anne Hathaway as catwoman, cost an estimated $250 million.

Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
HobbitGrossing over $1.1 billion in the 11th week of its release, the film, which is a prequel to the Lord of the Rings (LOTR) trilogy, joined its franchise kin in the $1 billion movie club. The Peter Jackson directed film made use of the the strong LOTR fan base in the overseas market in China, Germany and Britain, where it grossed over $700 million in tickets internationally. In the US, the film made $301.4 million to date.

Skyfall
In the latest part of the super spy series, James Bond, the iconic 007 agent finally became a ‘billion dollar man’. The 23rd part of the James Bond franchise made an estimated $ 1.1 billion dollars at the box office, making it the most successful Bond movie ever. The Daniel Craig action film also broke the record for the highest grossing movie of all time in the United Kingdom. The film made $300 million in the UK alone and made $800 million overseas.

Iron Man 3
In the third installment for the Marvel comic action hero, Iron Man 3 took just 23 days at the global box office to cross the one billion dollar mark. The film, starring actor Robert Downey Jr, pits an entire Iron Man army against evil forces. The 3D flick, which cost the producers an estimated $200 million, was directed by Shane Black. It has already turned out to be the most successful film in the Iron Man franchise, as Iron Man 2 grossed $623.9 million and the 2008 original took in $585.2 million.

The Avengers
The multi superhero project was a worldwide hit, as the Marvel heroes hit the 1 billion target bang on. The combination of Iron Man, Hulk, Captain America, and Thor collected a net worth of a whopping $1.5 billion dollars, making it a bumper hit at the box office. The breakdown was $60.35 million in the US and $88.88 million overseas. The Joss Whedon directed film now stands third in the list of all time highest grossers. It’s also the highest grosser of 2012.

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