10 surprises that brought in some serious bank

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1. Pirates of the Caribbean

It was a movie based on a theme park ride, yet Walt Disney Pictures created Depp-fueled movie magic-the second-highest grossing of the year ($304 million).

2. Freaky Friday

This Walt Disney Pictures' remake could have gone wrong on so many different levels, but smart acting, writing and deft contemporary twists made it a charmer that earned more than $108 million and a place in soccer moms' hearts.

3. Elf

New Line couldn't sell the movie to corporate tie-in partners (except Ohio Arts' Etch A Sketch) but they're likely kicking themselves now as "Elf" drew in $130 million.

4. Scary Movie 3

Was it the Coors Twins, Pamela Anderson wisecracking about her infamous sex tape or a fresh set of sight gags that brought in the audience for this Miramax film?

5. School of Rock

Paramount entry became an unlikely fall hit, pulling in nearly $80 million domestically, fueled in large part by glowing word of mouth for Jack Black.

6. The Rundown

Universal's summer flick featuring World Wrestling Entertainment's The Rock had more going for it than bullying and biceps, bringing in a healthy $47 million domestically.

7. Spy Kids 3-D

The third in the Miramax series outperformed both earlier movies. Had a $111 million total U.S. take.

8. The Lizzie McGuire Movie

This fluffy low-budget movie brought in nearly $43 million.

9. 28 Days Later

With a tiny $8 million budget, this modern-day zombie flick from Fox Searchlight put a stake in summer. Box office in the U.S. alone passed $45 million.

10. The Italian Job

Paramount's taut action caper had story and weight, making it a tough sell against the typical mindless summer barrage. It pulled in $106 million.

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