Science Fiction Films

Film & DVD / Video Top Ten Charts

Concatenation's annual Science Fiction & fantasy film (movie) calculation. In our earlier years this was derived from the UK/European weekly film & video/DVD rental top ten charts.   From these we have looked at only the fantastic film entries and so have compiled the overall SF & fantasy fantastic film top ten for each year ( 12 months to Easter) up to 2004/5 after which time we used the weekly UK cinema box office takings to score rankings (again for the 12 months up to Easter which is when Britain and some other countries hold their annual gathering of the SF clans).   Because cinema box office takings are not the best guide for SF film enthusiasts, each year we have also included 'other worthies'.  Whether you have missed seeing some of what many consider the best, or are simply looking for a film to rent for the evening, or indeed planning a film programme for an SF convention, these top ten listings and their linked mini-reviews may well help you. (For a more detailed explanation as to how the top ten works see the small print below.)

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2012/13 Top Films

  1. Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part 2) (12A)
  2. Dark Knight Rises (12A)
  3. Men in Black 3 (12A)
  4. The Avengers (12A)
  5. The Amazing Spiderman (12A)
  6. Prometheus (12A)
  7. Wreck-It Ralph (12A)
  8. Para Norman (18)
  9. Looper (12A)
  10. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (12A)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2012/13.

2011/12 Top Films

  1. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (12A)
  2. Rise of the Planet of the Apes (12A)
  3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 (12A)
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (12A)
  5. X-Men: First Class (12A)
  6. Thor (12A)
  7. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (12A)
  8. Underworld: Awakening (18)
  9. Captain America: The First Avenger (12A)
  10. Contagion (12A)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2011/12.

2010/11 Top Films

  1. Toy Story 3 (U)
  2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (12A)
  3. Inception (12A)
  4. Iron Man 2 (12A)
  5. Shrek Forever (U)
  6. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (PG)
  7. Megamind (PG)
  8. Gulliver's Travels (PG)
  9. Tron Legacy (PG)
  10. Resident Evil: Afterlife (15)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2010/11.

2009/10 Top Films

  1. Avatar (12A)
  2. Angels and Demons (15 uncut)
  3. Star Trek (12A)
  4. Terminator Salvation (12A)
  5. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince (12A)
  6. 2012 (12A)
  7. Up (U)
  8. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (12A)
  9. District 9 (12A)
  10. New Moon (12A)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2009/10.

2008/9 Top Films

  1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (12A)
  2. Batman: The Dark Knight (12A)
  3. Watchmen (18)
  4. Hancock (12A)
  5. WALL-E (U)
  6. Iron Man (12A)
  7. The Incredible Hulk (12A)
  8. Inkheart (12A)
  9. The Day The Earth Stood Still (12A)
  10. The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (12A)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2008/9.

2007/8 Top Films

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At The World's End (12A)
  2. Harry Potter: And The Order of the Phoenix (12A)
  3. The Golden Compass (PG)
  4. Spiderman 3 (12A)
  5. I Am Legend (PG)
  6. Transformers (12A)
  7. Fantastic Four: The Rise of the Silver Surfer (PG)
  8. Jumper (12A)
  9. Stardust (PG)
  10. 28 Weeks Later (18)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2007/8.

2006/7 Top Films

  1. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (12A)
  2. X-Men: The Last Stand (12A)
  3. Children of Men (15)
  4. Superman Returns (PG-13)
  5. Premonition (12A)
  6. The Prestige (12A)
  7. Scary Movie 4 (15)
  8. Deja Vu (12A)
  9. Ghost Rider (12A)
  10. The Illusionist (PG)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2006/7.

2005/6 Top Films

  1. Star Wars Episode III - The Revenge of The Sith (12A)
  2. War of the Worlds (12A)
  3. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (PG)
  4. Batman Begins (12A)
  5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (PG)
  6. Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit (U)
  7. King Kong (12A)
  8. The Fantastic Four (PG)
  9. The Descent (18)
  10. The Island (12A)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF & fantasy film releases in 2005/6.

Note for the 2004/5 chart below: As per our 2004 editorial we have switched from video/DVDs to film.   This makes our top ten more topical than it did prior to 2004, yet not just retains but enhances its utility as a guide to what you might want to rent as it takes about a year for cinema releases to come out as a video or DVD. However because of the year gap between film and DVD release, to maintain continuity this Easter sees us cover both DVDs/video and film below. Two top tens in 2005 below for the price of one. Previous years, even further below, are video only.

2004/5 Top Films

  1. Van Helsing (18)
  2. Spiderman II (12)
  3. ScoobyDoo II: Monsters Unleashed (12)
  4. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (15)
  5. I, Robot (15)
  6. Day After Tomorrow (18)
  7. Haunted Mansion (12)
  8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (12)
  9. Aliens Vs Predator (15)
  10. Shaun of the Dead (12)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF film releases in 2004/5.

Because Easter 2005 sees us switch from top video/DVDs (below) to films (above) and because there is usually about a year gap between such releases, so as to maintain continuity, for this year only we are covering both the top films and, seperately, DVDs of the year. Though due to the narrowing gap between cinematic and DVD/video release there is some overlap in the films within each top ten.

2004/5 Top Videos/DVDs

  1. The Day After Tomorrow (Fox, 12)
  2. Van Helsing (Universal, 12)
  3. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Momentum Pictures, 15)
  4. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (New Line Cinema, 12)
  5. The Matrix Revolutions (Village Roadshow, 15)
  6. Gothika (Columbia Tristar, 15)
  7. Timeline (Paramount, 12)
  8. ScoobyDoo II: Monsters Unleashed (Warner, PG)
  9. Haunted Mansion (Disney, PG)
  10. Paycheck (Dreamworks, 12)
NOTE: And other possibly more worthy SF video/DVD releases in 2004/5.

2003/4 Video/DVDs

  1. 28 Days Later (Fox, 18)
  2. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Warner, 12)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (Warner, 12)
  4. The Matrix Reloaded (Warner, 15)
  5. Daredevil (Fox, 15)
  6. Die Another Day (MGM, 18)
  7. Terminator 3 (Columbia, 12)
  8. Star Trek: Nemesis (Paramount, 12)
  9. Solaris
  10. X-Men 2 (Fox, 12)
NOTE: And other possibly worthy SF releases in 2003/4.

2002/3 Video/DVDs

  1. Minority Report (Fox,12)
  2. AI: Artificial Intelligence (Warner, 12)
  3. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Warner, 12)
  4. Ice Age (Fox, PG)
  5. Men in Black II (Columbia Tr-Star, PG)
  6. Blade II (Newline Cinema, 18)
  7. Jeepers Creepers (Helikon SK, 15)
  8. Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone (Warner, PG)
  9. Mothman (Hekon SK, 12)
  10. Reign of Fire (Touchstone, 16)

2001/2 Video/DVDs

  1. Jurassic Park III (Universal, PG)
  2. The Mummy Returns (Universal, 12)
  3. Evolution (Columbia Tristar, PG)
  4. Unbreakable (Touchstone, 12)
  5. Pitch Black (Universal, 15)
  6. 6th Day (Columbia Tristar, 15)
  7. The Gift (Helkon SA, 15)
  8. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (Columbia Tristar, 12)
  9. Hollow Man (Columbia Tristar, 18)
  10. Red Planet (Universal, 12)

2000/1 Video

  1. The Sixth Sense (Hollywood, 15)
  2. The World is Not Enough (MGM, 12)
  3. Deep Blue Sea (Warner, 15)
  4. X-Men (Fox, 12)
  5. End of Days (Touchstone, 18)
  6. Final Destination (Entertainment, 15)
  7. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace (MGM, 15)
  8. Hollow Man (Columbia Tristar, 18)
  9. Galaxy Quest (Touchstone, 15)
  10. EDtv (Universal, 12)

1999/2000 Video

  1. The Matrix (Warner, 15)
  2. The Truman Show (CIC, PG)
  3. Antz (CIC, PG)
  4. Wild, Wild West (Warner, 12)
  5. Armageddon (Warner, 12)
  6. Virus (Universal, 18)
  7. A Bug's Life (Disney, U)
  8. Star Trek: Insurrection (Paramount, PG)
  9. The Faculty (Touchstone, 15)
  10. Small Soldiers (Touchstone, 12)

1998/9 Video

  1. Starship Troopers (Touchstone, 18)
  2. Deep Impact (CIC, 12)
  3. Tomorrow Never Dies (MGM/UA, 12)
  4. Alien Resurrection (Fox, 18)
  5. Sphere (Warner, 12)
  6. Lost in Space (Entertainment, PG)
  7. Godzilla (Columbia Tristar, PG)
  8. Contact (Warner, PG)
  9. Armageddon (Touchstone, 12)
  10. X Files Movie (Touchstone, 12)

1997/8 Video

  1. The Fifth Element (Fox, PG)
  2. Men in Black (Columbia Tristar, PG)
  3. The Lost World (Universal, PG)
  4. Star Trek: First Contact (Paramount, PG)
  5. Space Jam
  6. Mars Attacks (Columbia Tristar, PG)
  7. The Relic (PolyGram, 18)
  8. Batman and Robin (PG)
  9. Event Horizon (Paramount, 18)
  10. Space Truckers (PG)

1996/7 Video

  1. Judge Dredd (Guild, 15)
  2. Waterworld (Universal, 12)
  3. Golden Eye (MGM/UA, 12)
  4. Loch Ness (Polygram, PG)
  5. Apollo 13 (Universal, PG)
  6. Independence Day (Fox,15)
  7. Lord of Illusions (MGM/UA, 18)
  8. The Net (Columbia Tristar, 12)
  9. Tremors II: Aftershocks (Universal, 12)
  10. Virtuosity (Paramount, 15)

Prior to 1996/7 the print edition of the Science Fact & Fiction Concatenation (since 1987) used to carry film reviews.

The Small Print. -- The aim of this top ten is to give you a good selection of SF and fantastic films to either download, rent or buy.   The top ten is calculated by looking at the UK/European weekly film box office (since 2005) and/or DVD/video rental charts (since 1997 up to 2005).   SF and fantasy films are then noted within each of the 52 weekly charts between Easter weekends. (Easter being the date of the New Zealand and British SF Eastercons and the US Westercons.)   If a film comes number '1' it is given a score of 10.   If a film comes number '10' it is given a score of 1, and intermediate ranks are scored appropriately.   This may seem like a lot of work   - it is -   but it is far less work than doing weekly or monthly charts and reviews, besides which there is not the volume of mass market films to warrant a more frequent approach.

Aside from the top-tens being a chart of consumer and not SF fan or fantastic film buff rankings, this way of calculating the film top ten smoothes popularity across the year.   Consequently it does not reflect gross box-office or rental revenue.   Weekly box office revenues for films released in the run up to Christmas, as well as those in the summer holiday months, tend to be far higher than at other times of the year.   Furthermore a film may be taken any time off of cinema general release for DVD/video rental and then again released for TV broadcast and direct DVD/video sales.   This limits the time they can make box office sales.   Consequently a hugely popular film that has a higher gross box office taking for the year can score lower in our top ten than another film released at a quieter time of year but which stays in the charts for more weeks.   Yet again a film coming out in the Spring before Easter will see its box office taking straddle Easter with its points divided between two of our yearly top tens.   If this happens we usually mention it in the linked mini-review to explain its apparently anomalous ranking.

Because of this last, and because some films go straight to DVD/video, and not least because some films take a while to permiate public awareness (hence do far better as a DVD than a film), or even because fantastic film buff tastes differ from the average person in the street, we also list 'other possibly more worthy films' at the end of the annual mini-reviews.

This service covering SF films complements The Science Fact & Fiction Concatenation's coverage of Science Fiction books, science & non-fiction SF books, and its seasonal Science Fiction news.

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