Movies of 2007 bring box-office bucks

LOS ANGELES Paramount led the way at the box office for 2007, making more than $1.46 billion in grosses to date.

Warner Bros. followed with $1.26 million in receipts, and Sony was the third most bankable studio of the year, thanks in no small part to the number one movie of 2007, "Spider-Man 3."

Spider-Man's third big-screen go-'round swung into the top box-office spot, earning more than $336 million.

Spidey's darker spin shattered the franchise's own previous box office records, and now can claim to have the biggest opening weekend of all time.

In all, sequels proved to be gold for many studios. Along with "Spider-Man 3," the third installment of Shrek, "Shrek the Third," was an audience favorite, taking in about $321 million. The green one drew the largest opening weekend crowd ever for an animated movie.

And the third adventure for Captain Jack Sparrow and his "Pirate" crew's adventure to the world's end also performed well, earning about $310 million.

The third "Pirates" installment, "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End" earned less than its predecessors, but still landed the highest worldwide gross of 2007.

The other "three-quel" to land in this year's Top 10: Universal's "The Bourne Ultimatum," which finished the year with $227 million. Matt Damon's third turn as Jason Bourne beat out James Bond to become the top spy movie of all time.

Harry Potter and his friends at Hogwarts have gone way past the "three-quel" stage.

The Potter franchise came to the big screen for the fifth time with "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix," which earned $292 million, working its magic to become one of the most successful movie franchises of all time -- second only to "Star Wars."

Autobots and Decepticons waged a big-screen battle that led to "Transformers" becoming the biggest non-sequel moneymaker of the year. The summer hit took third place for the year, with a $319-million box-office take. Not surprisingly, a sequel is in the works.

The graphic novel-turned-epic adventure "300" was shot entirely in front of a green screen. And audiences loved it. The surprise hit of the year conquered the box office with the biggest spring opening ever, ending up with a $211 million total.

And Disney and Pixar's latest effort cooked up plenty of bucks at the box office. "Ratatouille" earned $207 million, making it the biggest "G"-rated movie of the year

And the new box office year is about to begin on a dark note. "The Killing of John Lennon" opens Wednesday. And the horror film "One Missed Call" hits theaters on Friday.


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