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Tops In 2008 Most Popular Movies And DVDs

2 minute read | December 2008

Nielsen has issued a year-end look at the most popular trends among Americans during 2008, covering everything from the top TV programs to the most popular consumer packaged goods.

Up first: movies and DVDs. 

Action and adventure ruled the box office in 2008.  “The Dark Knight,” “Iron Man,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” were the top three box office earners this past year, taking in a combined $1.16 billion through December 7.

Among DVD releases, action and adventure flicks also fared well, with “Iron Man” and “I Am Legend” claiming the top two slots.  Several films geared toward younger viewers also cracked Nielsen’s list of top-selling DVDs: “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Enchanted,” “Wall-E,” and “Bee Movie.”

Top 10 Box Office – All Theatrical

RankFilm TitleDistributorCumulative Total (US$)Open Date
1The Dark KnightWarner Bros.$530,540,8857/18/08
2Iron ManParamount$318,313,1995/2/08
3Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullParamount$317,023,8515/22/08
4HancockSony$227,946,2747/2/08
5Wall-EDisney$223,704,2236/27/08
6Kung Fu PandaParamount$215,434,5916/6/08
7Madagascar: Escape 2 AfricaParamount$165,653,85211/7/08
8Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A WhoFox$154,529,4393/14/08
9Sex and the CityWarner Bros.$152,647,2585/30/08
10Quantum of SolaceSony$151,620,13411/14/08
Source: The Nielsen Company / The Hollywood Reporter (January 1 – December 7, 2008).
“Note: Data is for U.S. and Canada Only. Traditionally, box office sales see significant increases during the holidays, which are excluded from this data.

Top 10 DVD Sales

RankDVD TitleDistributorRelease Date
1Iron ManParamount Home Entertainment9/30/08
2I Am LegendWarner Home Video3/18/08
3Alvin and the ChipmunksTwentieth Century Fox Home Ent4/1/08
4EnchantedDisney/Buena Vista Home Video3/18/08
5National Treasure 2 : Book of SecretsDisney/Buena Vista Home Video5/20/08
6Wall-EDisney/Buena Vista Home Video11/18/08
7Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullParamount Home Entertainment10/14/08
8Sex and the City – The MovieWarner Home Video9/23/08
9Bee MovieParamount Home Entertainment3/11/08
10American GangsterUniversal Home Entertainment2/19/08
Source: The Nielsen Company (January 1 – December 7, 2008).
Note: Several key Q4 2008 DVD titles had not yet been released as of Dec 7. Data is based on aggregate disc unit sales, including Blu-ray and HD DVD. Data does not include sales from Wal-Mart, but most other sell-through retailers are included.

View the press release.

Relive the greatest hits of 2008 — stay tuned on Nielsen Wire for more Tops In 2008 coverage.

Look ahead to the new year with Nielsen Wire’s 2009 Industry Outlook series.

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