Superhero movie Iron Man 3 has topped the global box office for 2013, grossing a massive $1.2 billion (£734m) in a chart dominated by sequels.
The third instalment of the franchise was released in May last year, taking Iron Man’s total cinematic earnings up to $3.8 billion, if revenue from 3D spin-off movie The Avengers is included. These figures make Iron Man the most financially successful silver screen superhero ever.
Adapted from the Marvel Comics series, Iron Man 3 stars Robert Downey Jr as billionaire playboy, and skilled engineer Toby Stark, who creates a special suit of armour that enables him to save the world from crime. Gwyneth Paltrow plays his CEO girlfriend, Pepper Potts.
Animated comedy Despicable Me 2 took second place in the box office chart of 2013, which took $918 million (£555m) worldwide.
The blockbuster adaptation of Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was third, grossing $795 million (£480m).
In total, eight of the top 10 highest-grossing movies were either sequels or reboots.
Fast & Furious 6, starring the late Paul Walker, was fourth with $788 million (£476m), while Disney Pixar’s Monsters Inc prequel Monsters University was fifth with $743 million (£449m).
Completing the list were Man of Steel, Gravity, Thor: The Dark World, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and The Croods.
Industry statistics have suggested that 2013 takings at the US box office are projected to have reached $10.9 billion (£6.6bn), in what would be its most successful year to date. In 2012, US box office takings hit a record $10.8bn (£6.5bn).
"We rise and fall based on the strength of movies in the marketplace," Patrick Corcoran of the National Association of Theatre Owners told the LA Times. "After setting a record, it's nice to be able to set another one, even by a little bit."
Factors thought to have contributed to the revenue peak include the inflation of ticket prices, more expensive 3D tickets and the rise in popularity of Imax movies.
The top 20 global box office successes of 2013
1. Iron Man 3 - $1,215,439,994
2. Despicable Me 2 - $918,573,535
3. Fast & Furious 6 - $788,679,850
4. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire - $771,484,011
5. Monsters University - $743,559,607
6. Man of Steel - $662,845,518
7. Gravity - $652,394,288
8. Thor: The Dark World - $627,858,622
9. The Croods - $587,204,668
10. World War Z - $540,007,876
11. Oz the Great and Powerful - $493,311,825
12. Star Trek Into Darkness - $467,365,246
13. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug - $426,244,000
14. The Wolverine - $414,828,246
15. Pacific Rim - $407,602,906
16. GI Joe: Retaliation - $375,740,705
17. Frozen - $363,012,773
18. Now You See Me - $351,723,989
19. The Hangover Part III - $351,000,072
20. The Great Gatsby - $348,840,419
(Figures: Box Office Mojo)
Upcoming 2014 movie sequels
Upcoming 2014 movie sequels
1/4 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
This sequel to 2011 Planet of the Apes reboot, Rise of the Planet of the Apes picks up on earlier plot threads ten years later. Genetically evolved apes led by Andy Serkis' Caesrar are threatened by a band of human survivors of the devastating virus unleashed a decade earlier. Both sides are on the brink of a war to determine who will emerge as the Earth's dominant species. Due in cinemas on 11 July.
2/4 Transformers 4: Age of Extinction
The follow-up to Transformers: Dark of the Moon opens with humanity attempting to recover from the events of the last film. Cue yet more epic battles and dramatic adventures. Starring Mark Wahlberg, Nicola Pelta and Brenton Thwaites, Age of Extinction is released on 27 June.
3/4 The Expendables 3
Coming on 15 August is the third part of Sylvester Stallone's Expendables franchise. Barney Christmas, played by Jason Statham, will come face-to-face with Conrad Stonebanks whose mission is to end The Expendables team.
4/4 Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
The fifth instalment of the spooky franchise written by horror screenwriters Andrew Deutschman and Jason Pagan is due to hit cinemas in October 2014. After being ominously 'marked', Andrew Jacobs' Jesse is haunted and pursued by supernatural forces while his loved ones try to rescue him from their ghoulish clutches.
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