The second installment of the Pirates of the Caribbean series, Dead Man’s Chest saw the return of Johnny Depp as the lone adventurer Jack Sparrow. Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley also reprised their roles for the Oscar-winning sequel, which grossed $400 million more than the first Pirates film, The Curse of the Black Pearl.
The Dark Knight
Worldwide Gross: $1 billion
Coming three years after the release of 2005’s Batman Begins, The Dark Knight centers on the battle between Batman, played by Christian Bale, and the film’s leading villain – the Joker. Heath Ledger, who posthumously received an Oscar for his performance in the film, played the role of the criminal mastermind set on conquering Gotham. The Dark Knight Rises, the last of the Dark Knight trilogy, was released in 2012.
Worldwide Gross: $919.8 million
In the second film of the four-part franchise, Shrek and Donkey travel to Far, Far Away to meet the parents – Fiona’s parents, that is. Following their marriage in the 2001’s Shrek, the ogre couple fights to find a “happily ever after” with the King and Queen. Shrek 2, which features voiceovers from Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and Cameron Diaz, was nominated for two Oscars in 2005.
Despicable Me 2
Worldwide Gross: $914.5 million
In the follow-up film to 2010’s Despicable Me, former evil mastermind Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) is recruited by the Anti-Villain league to fight off another criminal in town. Chaos and comedy ensues as Gru meets new partner Lucy Wilde (voiced by Kristen Wiig) and struggles to protect his three daughters and loyal minion companions.
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Worldwide Gross: $878.9 million
Chamber of Secrets, the second film of the Harry Potter franchise, follows Harry, Ron and Hermione as they return to Hogwarts and uncover the mystery behind a series of unforeseen attacks occurring at school. Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson star in the early 2002 film and all subsequent releases of the seven-part series.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Worldwide Gross: $836.3 million
Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox reprised their roles as Sam Witwicky and Mikaela Banes for the action, sci-fi sequel to the original Transformers film. In the Revenge of the Fallen, Sam Witwicky is forced back into the ongoing war between the Autobots and Decepticons following a futile attempt to lead a normal life.
Worldwide Gross: $783.7 million
Peter Parker, played by Tobey Maguire, returns as hometown hero Spider-Man in this action sequel. Now facing off against deranged scientist Doctor Otto Octavius, Parker struggles to maintain the suit and protect his love interest, Mary Jane Watson, played by Kirsten Dunst.
The Matrix Reloaded
Worldwide Gross: $742.1 million
Keanu Reeves and Laurence Fishburne return to the fictional world of Zion in the follow-up to 1999’s The Matrix. The Matrix Reloaded raked in $91 million its opening weekend, and made a worldwide total close to $300 million more than the original film, which won four Oscars in 2000.
The Twilight Saga: New Moon
Worldwide Gross: $709.8 million
New Moon, which stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, follows Bella Swan as she explores her conflicted interests with Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black. The second installment of the vampire-themed Twilight series saw an increase of $300 million in box office sales from the first film released in 2008.
Kung Fu Panda 2
Worldwide Gross: $665.7 million
Now well-versed in martial arts, Po the Panda sets out to protect the people from a deadly weapon threatening to overtake China in the sequel to 2008’s Kung Fu Panda. Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Lucy Liu, David Cross, Jackie Chan and Seth Rogen voice the main cast of this Oscar-nominated animation film.
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