So, according to Box Office, Tinseltown has had its most successful year of all-time, at least in unadjusted-for-inflation commercial terms, with the dream factory raking in $9.68 billion so far. Of course, much of that moolah comes from just a handful of films, among them Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, New Moon, Up, Star Trek, and The Hangover. I don’t think that’s a terrible collection of movies, though I can’t say I really loved any of them. The Hangover, for example, had a lot of great moments—but nearly all of them were revealed in the trailer (how much more fun would the Mike Tyson cameo have been if you hadn’t known it was coming?). Up never really lived up to the breathtakingly skilled pathos of its opening ten minutes. And I won’t bore you again with my thoughts on the absolutely wretched New Moon.

My two favorite movie-going experiences of the year were seeing Paranormal Activity without know a damn thing about it and seeing Sam Raimi’s damn-ably awesome Drag Me To Hell, about which I knew a lot but was still thrilled by the director’s long dormant horror-comedy chops. (And why that didn’t do better at the box office remains a total mystery to me.)

What about you? How many of the year’s big earners did you see? How many did you love? And what personal favorites were you amazed did not contribute more to Hollywood’s coffers?

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