The summer of 2002 was the first summer after a challenging fall and winter for the world. This could account for why the top four movies of the year were sci-fi or fantasy pieces.

Chicago – Staring Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, Chicago dazzled audiences with it’s musical numbers. These days audiences await confirmation of Zellweger’s role of Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’ Baby.

Ice Age – The only fully animated film in the Top 10, Ice Age took us back to a time before people took control of the world. Ice Age remains a favourite of parents and children alike.

Men in Black II – Men in Black II saw the reuniting of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith in a less successful version of Men in Black. Men in Black III hit theatres in May of 2012. Is 10 years too long to rejuvenate a franchise?

Austin Powers in Goldmember – The last of the Austin Powers’ movies cast Austin Powers (Mike Meyers) traveling to 1975 to defeat the villain Goldmember. With the popularity of Meyers’ Shrek franchise, it is unlikely that Austin Powers will emerge any time soon.

Signs – The second aliens on Earth movie of the list, Signs had an unsuspecting Earth pillaged by an alien ship. My favourite memory of this movie is Joaquin Phoenix sitting with his tin foil hat. Signs also starred Mel Gibson, and the Rory Culkin the final chapter in the line of Culkin stars.

My Big Fat Greek Wedding – The cross-cultural comedy sensation of My Big Fat Greek Wedding became a pop icon of it’s own. The star Nia Vardalos tried to continue the movie into a television series in 2003 with limited success.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – The second successful installment in the Harry Potter series, Chamber of Secrets continued to inspire children to see the magic in everything. No one in 2002 would have assumed that Daniel Radcliffe would go on to star nude on stage a few years later.

Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones – Fans had waited three years for the release of Attack of the Clones after 1999’s The Phantom Menace. It didn’t hurt that between the two movies Ewan McGregor also starred in the brilliant Moulin Rouge!.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – The year wait between Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers was too much for fans. 2012 marks another franchise revival, where many of the actors from The Lord of the Rings will reprise their characters in this year’s The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

Spider-ManTobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst made pop culture history with their upside down kiss, and from that, two more Spiderman movies. The Amazing Spiderman, scheduled for release in July of 2012 has been recast with a new batch of younger actors.

2012 sees the rebirth of several of our favourite franchises from 2002. Will this year’s Peter Parker, Frodo Baggins and Men in Black be as successful as their forbearers?

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