Call 2010 the year of the cartoon. Four out of the 10 highest-grossing movies this year were animated movies.

Toy Story 3

$1.06 billion

Not only was Toy Story 3 the highest-grossing movie of 2010, it was also one of the best-reviewed films of the year, receiving a score of 99 out of 100 on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from around the country. Disney Studio head Rich Ross would also like to see the film win a Best Picture Oscar.

Alice in Wonderland

$1.02 billion

Disney is the first studio ever to have two films cross the $1 billion mark in a single year. It helps that Toy Story 3 and Alice were both in ticket-hiking 3-D, but it doesn’t take away from the studio’s achievement. Alice earned 67% of its box office outside of the U.S.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

$831 million

The seventh Harry Potter movie looks like it’s on track to be one of the series’ highest earning. In just six weeks, it’s already brought in $831 million.


$825 million

The twisty dream within a dream within a dream movie from director Christopher Nolan was so complicated audiences might have stayed away. But instead it became the kind of puzzle film that everyone needs to see to be able to talk about it at the water cooler. It’s the only film on this list that isn’t animated, a sequel or a remake.

Shrek Forever After

$737 million

Despite earning $737 million Shrek Forever After didn’t exactly end the franchise on a high note. Because the film was the first Shrek movie in 3-D, it was expected to earn more, but on a global basis it is only the third highest-grossing Shrek film. A Puss in Boots spin-off is in the works.

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

$693 million

There’s no getting around the fact that the Twilight movies are huge money makers. The latest film earned its $693 million on a budget of just $70 million. The last book, Breaking Dawn, is being broken into two films. The first will hit theaters next November.

Iron Man 2

$622 million

The new movie wasn’t as well-reviewed as the first Iron Man, but it brought in more money. The first movie earned $585 million to Iron Man 2’s $622 million. Iron Man will next be seen in The Avengers, which will feature multiple Marvel heroes like The Incredible Hulk and Captain America.

Despicable Me

$539 million

Despicable Me was the most unlikely hit of the year. Made for just $70 million, the animated movie came not from Disney or DreamWorks but from Illumination Entertainment. The story of a bad guy who is turned good by the love of three orphaned girls clearly struck a chord with audiences.

Clash of the Titans

$493 million

Many people might assume Clash of the Titans was a flop because critics complained so bitterly about the subpar 3-D effects. But the film actually performed very well at the box office, which is why there’s a sequel in the works. That should hit theaters in March 2012.

How to Train Your Dragon

$493 million

Dragon opened weak earning a respectable but not outstanding $44 million its opening weekend. But the film continued to perform well at the box office for almost two months. Like the other animated films on this list, Dragon was in 3-D. A sequel is being discussed at DreamWorks.