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Tops In 2008 Most Popular Movies And DVDs
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Tops In 2008 Most Popular Movies And DVDs

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

Rank Film Title Distributor Cumulative Total (US$) Open Date
1 The Dark Knight Warner Bros. $530,540,885 7/18/08
2 Iron Man Paramount $318,313,199 5/2/08
3 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Paramount $317,023,851 5/22/08
4 Hancock Sony $227,946,274 7/2/08
5 Wall-E Disney $223,704,223 6/27/08
6 Kung Fu Panda Paramount $215,434,591 6/6/08
7 Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa Paramount $165,653,852 11/7/08
8 Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears A Who Fox $154,529,439 3/14/08
9 Sex and the City Warner Bros. $152,647,258 5/30/08
10 Quantum of Solace Sony $151,620,134 11/14/08
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

Rank DVD Title Distributor Release Date
1 Iron Man Paramount Home Entertainment 9/30/08
2 I Am Legend Warner Home Video 3/18/08
3 Alvin and the Chipmunks Twentieth Century Fox Home Ent 4/1/08
4 Enchanted Disney/Buena Vista Home Video 3/18/08
5 National Treasure 2 : Book of Secrets Disney/Buena Vista Home Video 5/20/08
6 Wall-E Disney/Buena Vista Home Video 11/18/08
7 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull Paramount Home Entertainment 10/14/08
8 Sex and the City – The Movie Warner Home Video 9/23/08
9 Bee Movie Paramount Home Entertainment 3/11/08
10 American Gangster Universal Home Entertainment 2/19/08
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.