Opening against the Arnold Schwarzenegger actioner The Last Stand, Jessica Chastain's horror title Mama wound up handily winning the January weekend. The film, directed by Andres Muschietti and budgeted at $15 million, ended up with a worldwide take of more than $145 million.
'Olympus Has Fallen'
A March release date -- just several months before the bigger budget and similarly themed White House Down opened -- certainly played into the success of Olympus Has Fallen. The film, starring Aaron Eckhart and Gerard Butler, cost north of $70 million and earned more than $160 million globally.
Director Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers received mixed to favorable reviews upon its limited release before it expanded to more locations in March. The $2 million film, starring James Franco, Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez, ended its theatrical run with more than $31 million worldwide.
Generally favorable reviews and a breakout performance by Chadwick Boseman led the Jackie Robinson biopic 42 to be a solid performer at the U.S. box office upon its release in April. The film, also starring Harrison Ford, was written and directed by Brian Helgeland and budgeted at $40 million. The title grossed more than $95 million domestically.
'Now You See Me'
A heist film featuring magic that few observers thought would do big business ended up proving many wrong. Now You See Me, starring Jesse Eisenberg, surprised at the domestic box office and abroad. The Summit film, budgeted at $75 million, grossed more than $350 million worldwide.
In its debut weekend in June, The Purge surprised the Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn comedy The Internship at the box office. The high-concept horror title, starring Ethan Hawke, was made for just $3 million but eventually grossed nearly $90 million worldwide. In November, Universal and Blumhouse announced that a sequel will hit screens in June 2014.
James Wan's R-rated horror title, featuring Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson, scared up an impressive opening weekend take in July from the U.S. moviegoing audience. The $20 million film, which received generally positive reviews, ultimately grossed more than $315 million worldwide.
'This Is the End'
Positive word of mouth from critics and audiences propelled the Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg apocalyptic comedy to a solid run in the United States. The star-studded film, budgeted at $32 million, grossed over $125 million worldwide.
'Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain'
Kevin Hart's stand-up comedy title proved to be effective counterprogramming on a July 4 weekend that also saw the big-budget launches of Despicable Me 2 and The Lone Ranger. In total, the Summit Entertainment film managed to surprise observers with a gross of more than $30 million stateside.
'World War Z'
Bad buzz along with infamous production delays and reshoots couldn't sink Brad Pitt's political zombie epic World War Z. Better than expected reviews helped propel the Marc Forster-directed picture to a gross of more than $540 million worldwide. The brisk business for the title has helped along the development of a sequel. Paramount namedThe Impossible director Juan Antonio Bayona to helm the next installment.
'We're the Millers'
Despite receiving mixed reviews, the Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston starrer proved to be formidable at the late summer domestic box office. The Rawson Marshall Thurber film, budgeted at $37 million, surprised observers by grossing $269 million worldwide.
'Instructions Not Included'
In September, Instructions Not Included became the highest-grossing Spanish language film of all time in the U.S and broke records in Mexico. The comedy, directed by Eugenio Derbez, hit limited release in August stateside and resonated globally, earning more than $85 million in total.
The Alfonso Cuaron film premiered at the Venice Film Festival, captivated critics and achieved several box-office milestones. The $100 million film, starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney, has collected accolades and grossed more than $640 million worldwide since its early October stateside release.
'Lee Daniels' The Butler'
A legal back-and-forth over its title didn't hurt the Lee Daniels-directed Weinstein Co. awards contender when it hit theaters in wide release in mid-August. The film, based on a true story and starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, was budgeted at $30 million and has since taken in $160 million at the global box office.
Since premiering at Colorado's Telluride Film Festival in August, the $46 million drama has garnered generally favorable reviews and opened strongly in a wide release stateside a month later. The film, starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Paul Dano, has now earned more than $115 million worldwide.
The ripped-from-the-headlines story of Somali pirates hijacking a cargo ship has become a critically hailed awards contender that has also resonated with audiences. The $50 million Sony film, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi,has already hit $200 million in worldwide receipts and will continue to play in theaters throughout Oscar season.