It's no wonder that bigger vfx and more attention-grabbing 3D animation are predicted for 2008: Last year they continued to dominate the record-breaking $9.62 billion box office, which also saw Universal Pictures posting its biggest domestic and global grosses ever ($1.099 billion and $2.133 billion, respectively). The top 10 featured three animated hits (SHREK THE THIRD, RATATOUILLE and THE SIMPSONS MOVIE) and six vfx-intensive blockbusters (SPIDER-MAN 3, TRANSFORMERS, PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END, HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX, 300 and I AM LEGEND).
Leading the way with $336.5M was Sony's SPIDER-MAN 3 (with bar-raising vfx by Sony Pictures Imageworks). Paramount/DreamWorks' SHREK THE THIRD followed in second with $322.7M. Close behind in third with $319.2M was Paramount/DreamWorks' TRANSFORMERS (with innovative hard surface rendering by ILM). Fourth place belonged to Disney's AT WORLD'S END, which collected $309.4M and boasted more innovative vfx from ILM). Warner Bros.' HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX chased the fifth spot with $292M and Double Negative leading the vfx charge this time out among the Soho contingent. Universal's THE BOURNE ULTIMATUM settled for sixth with $227.4M (and seamless vfx from The Senate, CIS Hollywood and Lip Sync Post). Sliding into seventh was Warner Bros.' surprise hit of the year, 300, which grabbed $210.6M, thanks in large part to next-gen vfx from Animal Logic, Buzz, Hybride, Hydraulx, Lola and others. Eighth place went to Disney/Pixar's RATATOUILLE with $206.4M. Warner Bros.' I AM LEGEND took ninth with $206.1M (and vfx from Imageworks). And Fox's THE SIMPSONS MOVIE occupied 10th with $183.1M. Box office info provided by boxofficemojo.com.