As you probably know by now, Wikipedia has gone dark today in order to protest SOPA, the Stop Online Piracy Act. Like thousands of other journalists, Screen Junkies writers use Wikipedia not as a final source in our research, but as a jumping-off point, with its claims noted, but always, always, verified using more reputable sources.

In an effort to demonstrate that Wikipedia is a helpful tool, but by no means the alpha and omega of our efforts, we thought we would run through the 9 highest-grossing films of all time while Wikipedia is shut down. I challenge our readers to spot any difference in the quality of research.

Let the games begin.

9. Alice in Wonderland

Alice in Wonderland is of course based off a book of the same name, written by an author quite some time ago. The primary characters are Alice, Christopher Cat, the Wicked Queen, and the Mad Hatter. The film, despite being horrible, managed to gross millions of dollars, putting it in the #9 spot. To give you an idea of how much money this film grossed, imagine that for every dollar that it made, you stacked a ruler lengthwise on top of another ruler. The resulting tower of rulers would be many million feet tall!

8. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stronger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean is a bit of a Cinderella story, in that many questioned not only how successful it would be, but why it was actually being made. No one wanted to take seriously a film that was based on a ride at Disneyworld or perhaps Disneyland. Maybe both. The first film, which was titled Pirates of the Caribbean: [SOMETHING], came a bit after Johnny Depp’s work on 21 Jump Street, but before his death. The film also starred Orlando Bloom, who I'm completely positive is dating that hot Victoria’s Secret model Miranda Kerr. I don’t need Wikipedia to tell me who Miranda Kerr is banging.

Hmm. I know they were together like two years ago, but I also know it’s hard to stay faithful on movie sets. Especially with Salma Hayek and Keira Knightley around.

7. Toy Story 3

This was at least the 10th film by Pixar. Some of the other films they did were ANTZ, Bee Movie, and Shrek. This made more money than all of those films, possibly combined. Toy Story 3 was based on a script of the same name. Both the script and the film featured a cowboy, a deep sea diver named Hank, and myriad friends. This film also made millions of dollars. Steve Jobs was also involved in every Pixar movie. I believe he actually wrote the script for Mulan.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest

This film came immediately after Pirates of the Caribbean: The Scorpion King, though both made millions of dollars. Hmm. I will give someone $500 if they are, in any way, able to prove they can distinguish between this film and the Stronger Tides one without Wikipedia.

5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Can you believe that this film made many millions of dollars? Believe it! It featured Viggo Mortensen, Samuel L. Jackson, and Ian McKellan as three elves on a mission to return the king to his rightful owner. The film also featured Stephen Tyler’s daughter as Hermione.

4. Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon

Transformers, though often maligned as a film based on Nerf toys, is actually a very popular film. The film itself has made millions of dollars, and a lot more money has been made in licensing the characters, such as Shia LaBeouf’s People’s Choice Award-winning turn as Bumblebee, a yellow robot that has sex with Megan Fox while her real-life boyfriend, Brian Austin Green from Beverly Hills, 90210, watches.

The film also stars Taye Diggs and either Josh Duhamel or Channing Tatum. Nick Turturro also plays an army guy, all of which are factored in to why this film made so much money.

3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2

Wait. Hermione was in this one. She was played by Emma Stone. She was not in Lord of the Rings. That was Alicia Silverstone, who used to be in all those Aerosmith videos. I just thought she was Steven Tyler’s daughter because of Clueless.

Harry Potter films had a global appeal, as the original graphic novels were translated into a lot of different languages. Perhaps as many as 700. But certainly more than 25, I would think. So it’s no wonder that these films all grossed many millions of dollars!

Fans of the franchise came in droves to see this film, only to find that at the end, the Harry Potter saga (SPOILER ALERT!) ended. It marked the end of an era that lasted for around a decade and more than a thousand pages, I would guess.

2. Titanic

This film is about the sinking of the Titanic, an act that helped propagate WWI or possibly II. The ship, which many people think was symbolic, drowned in an ocean when it was en route from one country to another, different country. The ship was sunk by a German U-boat (submarine) helmed by notorious Caption Werner Heiss-Berg. Though the boat was depicted as sinking by natural causes, there’s a reference to the more militaristic theory, when the guy with the telescope, who I am almost positive was called a bowmaster, spots a U-boat, then, assuming (correctly) that it’s being led by the fabled Captain, bellows, “Heiss-berg right ahead!”

But it’s too late. The boat hits an iceberg, which director James Cameron used instead of a torpedo because he thought the film would be less violent that way. And he was right, and the film grossed many, many millions of dollars.

Sadly, it would be Billy Zane’s last movie before he died, hanging himself while masturbating in a Hungarian truck stop.

1. Avatar

And the highest-film of all time, with revenues totaling millions of dollars, is Avatar, the first movie ever made in 3D. Reviews of the film were generally positive, though some people disliked it for various reasons. The film starred Sam Worthington as Legless Joe, an army veteran who lost his legs, but still manages to fight Chris Cooper in avatar form after having sex with Michelle Rodriguez’s hair.

The film was a metaphor for the environment, but they used a real element, Unobtainium, so that people would be able to see real-world parallels. Unobtainium is a very rare element that I recall is only used in prototype fighter jets and the Larry O’Brien trophy for the NBA Championship.

James Cameron lost the Oscar for Best Director to Tom Somethingorother for The King’s Speech, then the next year, James Cameron’s ex-wife, Linda Hamilton, won the award for The Hurt Locker, which starred Russell Crowe Jr. and, again, Taye Diggs.

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