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2. Avatar Year released: 2009
Christmas Day take: $23.1 million
Ah, the film that launched a 3-D movie industry that nobody cared about nearly as much as they did about
Avatar. Those were heady days in during 2009 holiday season, when it seemed James Cameron's dream of more than a decade would finally transform 3-D from a gimmick to a moviemaking must.
The multidimensional colonial allegory turned out to be the exception to the rule, as studios slapped shoddy 3-D effects on just about anything that was animated or contained some small bit of computer-enhanced imagery. Perhaps last year's
Hugo was an exception, but its lukewarm performance at the box office made it very clear that it's going to be a long time until audiences see a 3-D film nearly as developed and dense as
Avatar or before 3-D is seen as anything other than an overpriced movie, home electronics and video game industry revenue generator.