Chris Hicks: Meet the new movies, same as the old movies

Published: Sunday, Jan. 19 2014 5:35 p.m. MST

Andrew Garfield stars as Spider-Man in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."


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What with Sunday's Golden Globes and the Academy Award nominations that were announced on Thursday, along with the opening of the Sundance Film Festival, it’s hard not to have movies on your mind this week.

But you’ll be reading enough about those events elsewhere, so let’s instead take a look at what the most successful movie trends were last year and what’s coming up over the next few weeks and months.

Do superhero and animated films still rule? Did sequels and remakes and comic-book adaptations and fantasies and raunchy comedies dominate the 2013 box office once more, and are we doomed to see the same kind of things yet again this coming spring and summer?

Well, yeah! What are you thinking?

Here are the top 10 box-office results for 2013, both North American and foreign (according to Box Office Mojo), ranked by domestic earnings:

1. “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” (Domestic: $413 million/foreign: $433 million)

2. “Iron Man 3” ($409 million/$806 million)

3. “Despicable Me 2” ($368 million/$567 million)

4. “Frozen” ($317 million/$394 million)

5. “Man of Steel” ($291 million/$377 million)

6. “Monsters University” ($268 million/$475 million)

7. “Gravity” ($256 million/$414 million)

8. “The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” ($242 million/$566 million)

9. “Fast & Furious 6” ($238 million/$550 million)

10. “Oz The Great and Powerful” ($234 million/$258 million)

As you can see, six of the top 10 are sequels (“Hunger,” “Iron,” “Despicable,” “Monsters,” “Hobbit” and “Fast”), one is a remake (“Man of Steel”), one is a reworking of an oft-filmed tale (“Oz”) and three are animated features (“Despicable,” “Frozen,” “Monsters”). Actually, you could make a good argument that all 10 are actually more than 50 percent animated.

Filling out the top 20 are “Star Trek Into Darkness,” “Thor: the Dark World,” “World War Z,” “The Croods,” “The Heat,” “We’re the Millers,” “The Great Gatsby,” “The Conjuring,” “Identity Thief” and “Grown Ups 2.”

Although there are no R-rated movies in the top 10, there are three in the second 10 — No. 15, “The Heat,” followed by No. 16, “We’re the Millers,” and at No. 19, “Identity Thief,” all three of them raunchy formulaic comedies.

And we should note that because “The Hunger Games,” “Frozen” and “The Hobbit” are still in first-run theaters earning money, their positions in the top 10 might change before they are through. In fact, no one would be surprised to see “Frozen” vault up to the No. 1 spot before it plays out.

And what’s coming over the next few months? Same old, same old.

Except for a couple of unexpected major-studio gambles, a pair of biblical films: “Son of God,” an expanded version of one episode of last year’s hit TV miniseries “The Bible,” which aired on the cable History Channel; and “Noah,” with Russell Crowe in the title role of this big-budget, special-effects-driven epic about the Bible’s most famous end-of-the-world story.

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