It’s been a tough go lately for the film industry, which is facing ever-lower box-office revenues. But some hits — and even some misses — have pulled in serious money since May. This summer hasn’t exactly been loaded with female roles, said Brandon Gray, president and publisher of Box Office Mojo, an online movie publication and box-office tracking service. Past summers saw big numbers and career boosts for Kirsten Dunst in both “Spider-Man” films, Cameron Diaz in both “Shrek” films and even young Drew Barrymore in “E.T.” “Go back to the golden age of Hollywood; women took top billing more often than not,” said Gray. “Today, it’s Tom Hanks, Jim Carrey, Will Smith.” Still, according to total gross domestic revenue figures tallied between May 1 and Aug. 7, a few beauties have come out winners, such as Katie Holmes and Angelina Jolie — perhaps because their personal lives have been splashed across every tabloid, like Daisy Dukes-wearing Jessica Simpson, whose “The Dukes of Hazzard” snagged the number-one spot in revenues this past weekend.
- Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith
Total Gross Domestic Revenues*: $377.9 million
While even diehard fans were disappointed with the first two installments, critics said director George Lucas more than made up for them in this third and final installment. At the Cannes premiere of “Revenge of the Sith,” Natalie Portman sported a shaved head for her upcoming film “V for Vendetta.”
- War of the Worlds
Total: $224.6 million
In late July, Entertainment Weekly dubbed 11-year-old Dakota Fanning the “Most Powerful Actress in Hollywood,” noting she already commands $3 million a picture. “War of the Worlds” took July 4th by storm, with just over $77 million in revenues over the holiday weekend.
- Batman Begins
Total: $199.1 million
What’s bigger news: Batman himself, Christian Bale; Katie Holmes, or Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes together? Right. The TomKat story of the summer can only help the momentum of “Batman Begins,” which gives viewers a better understanding of how Bruce Wayne becomes Batman.
Total: $189.1 million
The season’s animated hit, “Madagascar,” involves a group of escaped zoo animals who embark on an adventure across the ocean to Madagascar. Petite star Jada Pinkett Smith’s character, Gloria the hippo, acts as a mother figure to the other animals and tries to keep them out of trouble.
- Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Total: $181 million
“Angelina Jolie is the actress of the season, in terms of lead female roles,” said Box Office Mojo’s Brandon Gray. The movie got mixed reviews, though Jolie’s Versace dress at the film’s premiere certainly didn’t hurt any. But is it the film or Jolie’s and Brad Pitt’s personal lives that’s attracting moviegoers?
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
Total: $169.4 million
Johnny Depp, who portrays Willie Wonka in his latest hit, has had the ability to choose characters who are offbeat, wacky and entirely lovable — think “Edward Scissorhands” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,” the latter earning Depp an Oscar nod.
- The Longest Yard
Total: $156.4 million
The original 1974 version starred Burt Reynolds, who also appears in this remake. “The Longest Yard” is the story of prison inmates who form a football team to play the guards. Adam Sandler’s fan base surely helped box office revenues, especially since the movie received poor reviews.
- Fantastic Four
Total: $144 million
Jessica Alba just keeps getting hotter: The 24-year-old appeared earlier this year as a stripper in the film “Sin City,” and more recently, she plays Sue Storm, the Invisible Woman, in “Fantastic Four.” While the movie has generally taken a critical beating, Alba managed to revel in the publicity.
- Wedding Crashers
Total: $143.6 million
It’s been gaining momentum since its release in mid-July, making it arguably the summer’s comedy breakout. Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson compete for scene-stealing moments in the film, but kudos also go to the female stars, particularly Rachel McAdams and a briefly nude Jane Seymour.
Total: $82.5 million
“This is one of the real female-driven films of the summer, starring both Jane Fonda and Jennifer Lopez in one film,” said Gray. “It’s J.Lo vs. Hanoi Jane.” Gray noted the film also has a premise people can relate to, dealing with the anxieties of being accepted by in-laws.
- Herbie: Fully Loaded
Total: $63.5 million
The media’s never-ending craving for Lindsay Lohan 24/7 surges onward: In addition to her movie release, Lohan’s drastic weight loss and her parents’ court battles have kept the tabloids occupied for months. Lohan donned a Valentino dress for the movie’s premiere in Hollywood.
Total: $61.3 million
Though it hasn’t fared as well as expected, “Bewitched” still attracted plenty of viewers, thanks in part to its top-rated stars, Nicole Kidman and Will Ferrell. Kidman was radiant in white Yves Saint Laurent when she arrived for the premiere in New York.
- Cinderella Man
Total: $60.7 million
One of the year’s first Oscar-touted films, starring Renée Zellweger and Russell Crowe, was trounced days after its June premiere by the likes of “Batman Begins” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” Zellweger appeared at the premiere in Carolina Herrera, who also designed her wedding gown.
- Kicking and Screaming
Total: $52.6 million
It must be difficult for Will Ferrell to keep track of all his movie releases over the last few months. With lead roles in “Kicking and Screaming” and “Bewitched,” and a noteworthy bit appearance in “Wedding Crashers,” Ferrell is on a roll — or a role, this summer.
Total: $52.5 million
Critics of “Crash” were impressed by how the film delves into racial tolerance and forces its multi-ethnic characters to face their fears. Sandra Bullock, who married reality TV star Jesse James at a ranch in California wine country in July, was one of many notable names in the cast.
- Kingdom of Heaven
Total: $47.4 million
Set in the 12th century, “Kingdom of Heaven” centers around a blacksmith-turned-knight (Orlando Bloom) who helps defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders. The film certainly hasn’t been as well-received as Bloom’s past efforts, like “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy or even “Troy.”
Source: Box Office Mojo. *Total gross domestic revenues as of Aug. 7, 2005.