It’s that time of the year again, to think about gifts.  If you’re thinking of stocking stuffers of the film variety, then check out the top 10 films of 2010, though there’s still December to contend for and Harry Potter may just pull rank and displace a number on the way. At 200 million so far for its 10th day, Harry and the Deathly Hollows are pulling in around 50 million per week, but dropping, which would put it at approximately 310 million probably by the end of December. Not enough to win the house cup, but maybe just enough to defeat some vampires and maybe a comic legend. The Karate Kid will also have to look out for competition from the next Chronicles of Narnia installment: The Dawn Treader. After all, C.S. Lewis is classic. Who knows, though, so here’s the top ten of 2010… for now:

10. The Karate Kid – 176

Wax on, wax off. Lines made immortal by Mr. Miyagi and some teenagers going through heavy times. The Karate Kid brings back memories of Three Ninjas and Twin Dragons; kids who have a sage mentor full of ancient wisdom, who will teach them the skills and bring out the heart: fight the bad guys, win the girl. Classic scenario with a bit of a modern twist, with Mr. Miyagi  being the always friendly face of Jackie Chan and the son of Will Smith, playing a young 10-year-old with a serious, kung-fu wielding playground bully. Decent tribute to the original karate kids.

9. How to Train Your Dragon – 217

It’s no surprise, but I love this movie and the general public agrees. It’s been said before, but sweeping views, a young man whose fierce friendship with a mystical creature, and muscular Irish accents; what more could you ask for in terms of something a little different?

8. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 – 220

The second to the last installment. It’s an end of an industry. It will reintroduce Harry Potter to generations to come. Every film has been good since the beginning. Sure, with a little bit of choppy flow at the beginning, but it picks up speed and more fans along the way. People may still think that the book is better than the movie (it nearly always is), but I’ve heard it much less, and that is cause the movies are getting that good. J.K. Rowling has had heavy input in the movies since the beginning, so if she approves, then there’s no reason why the general public should not as well.

7. Shrek Forever After – 238

I may have groaned a little when they said they were announcing the fourth Shrek, but the movie was pretty good. Who doesn’t love a fat cat? More good lessons for the kids about appreciating what you have got and the family you have, with the same humor that works on kids and adults.

6. Despicable Me – 249

Megamind tried to reach the predecessor that was Despicable Me and failed. The bad guy needs to be the good guy here, and there are three orphans to help him – plus an army of cute googly-eyed, pill-shaped creatures as minions.

5. Inception – 292

So, this is a mind rhymes-with-luck. It does a pretty good job of it and has big name actors galore. If you like sci-fi, action, and thriller rolled into one, it does the job, packaged with some graphic (effects-wise) scenes. Mostly, though, it’s a mind-boggler.

4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse – 300

To each their own. There are twilight teens and twilight moms, and if you’re not one of them, that’s OK. I admit, I watched the movie, but I’m a movie buff, so it’s not particularly impressive. I will tell you that the first half the movie progressed like the whole first movie, with the choppy sentences and awkward pauses that made many movie-watchers want to cry havoc. It picked up in the second half.

Fun fact to pass the time: Bella and Jacob were the most popular names for the year of release, according to Yahoo. There are your twilight moms. Toy sections now have Twilight board games and twilight action figures. Those are for the tweens and teens.

3. Iron Man 2 – 312

Robert Downey, Jr. delivers and Don Cheadle is an awesome wingman. Tight action sequences to good beats mixed in with movie hotties and a rival corporation. As fast-paced as the first Iron Man and a good lead in to the League of Avengers, if the bigwigs decide to go through with it.

2. Alice in Wonderland – 334

If the Sci-fi channel can add some funk into the Wizard of Oz, and 2011 looks to be injecting some village hunting to Little Red Riding Hood, a little revamping of Alice In Wonderland seems pretty tame all considering. Tim Burton’s wonderfully loony interpretation of Alice, except she’s grown up and this is her second time back to Wonderland – and she’s going to fight. The imagery alone is enough to dazzle, if Depp and Burton working together again wasn’t enough.

1.   Toy Story 3 – 414

I was in Japan for the release of this and even I heard how good this was. The news traveled almost as fast as the untimely and unfortunate passing of the King of Pop. You can thank what has been called the “biggest Disney animation feature’s” popularity to both old-timers, middle-agers, young-twentiers, and children: basically all ages, all genders, and all races. Toy Story 3 ranks as number 2 in all time animation box office hits with $414 million, 26.2 million away short from taking the crown from Shrek 2. Without CG, to boot.

Beside bringing back the lovable characters and voices of Woody, Buzz Lightyear, Mr. Potato, and T-Rex, to name a few, it introduces new, colorful characters and ends with heartfelt, string-tugging feel-good conclusion that reminds moviegoers why Disney’s so good.

It would seem that about 7 of the 10 movies above are driven by kids, their parents,…. or the kid at heart: Toy Story 3, Shrek, Despicable Me, Harry Potter, How to Train Your Dragon, and Karate Kid. Those are the stats for now, but we’ll see how December changes the game.

Home Culture Top Grossing Films of 2010…as of November