2010’s Top-Earning Movies: Like It or Not, 3-D Is King

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The lesson Hollywood should have learned this year? Have animation and/or 3-D, will rake in cash.

Box-office numbers for the year show that top-grossing films were either animated, in 3-D, or both. Pixar’s Toy Story 3, which was also named TIME’s best movie of the year, raked in the most cash. Four major moneymakers were in 3-D, and four were animated, though there’s some overlap. Tweens flocked to Harry Potter and Twilight, while action fans took in Inception and Iron Man 2.

(See the most pirated movies of 2010.)

Why are 3-D films dominating the list? For one, viewers couldn’t get enough of those funky plastic glasses, especially post-Avatar. But a big factor is that it costs the average moviegoer more to see a 3-D movie than to see a 2-D one. This increased ticket price leads to bigger box-office numbers.

(See the highest-grossing movie stars of the year.)

The top 10 highest-earning movies are:

  1. Toy Story 3, $1.06 billion
  2. Alice in Wonderland, $1.02 billion
  3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1, $831 million
  4. Inception, $825 million
  5. Shrek Forever After, $737 million
  6. Twilight Saga: Eclipse, $693 million
  7. Iron Man 2, $622 million
  8. Despicable Me, $539 million
  9. Clash of the Titans, $493 million
  10. How to Train Your Dragon, $493 million

(via Forbes)