From 'Passion' to 'Da Vinci': The Hits of '04

Success in the world of entertainment is often measured in buzz, but what really counts is money, money, money.

Heirhead Paris Hilton (search) may be overexposed — in more ways than one — but most Americans skipped her potboiler "Confessions of an Heiress" for weightier fare, like the best-seller "The Da Vinci Code."

Interactive: 2004 Timeline

Likewise, a cartoon ogre made off with the most booty at the box office, but the year in films undoubtedly belongs to the controversial "The Passion of the Christ."

Click on the categories below to find out what was tops in 2004.

Top Movies | Top Albums | Top Singles | Top TV Shows | Best-Selling Books | Top Concerts

Top-Grossing Movies

Three animated films made the year's top 10 box office hits this year, led by "Shrek 2." But the biggest story in movies in '04 was also one of the oldest.

Mel Gibson's gamble on "The Passion of the Christ" paid off in a major way, grossing more than $370 million and making the Aussie re-import Forbes' most powerful celebrity.

1. "Shrek 2" — $436.7 million

2. "Spider-Man 2" — $373.4 million

3. "The Passion of the Christ" — $370.3 million

4. "Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban" — $249.4 million

5. "The Incredibles" — $232.6 million

6. "The Day After Tomorrow" — $186.7 million

7. "The Bourne Supremacy" — $176.1 million

8. "Shark Tale" — $159.3 million

9. "I, Robot" — $144.8 million

10. "Troy" — $133.3 million

Source: EDI FilmSource, 12/12/04

Top-Grossing Albums

R&B singer Usher (search) unloaded some revelations about his breakup with TLC singer Chilli (search) in his first grown-up effort, "Confessions."

Meanwhile, OutKast (search) further inflamed breakup rumors with their critically acclaimed, split-down-the-middle effort in 2004.

Britney Spears (search) moaned and groaned to the world what it already well knew — she's really not that innocent — in "In the Zone," while country star Toby Keith (search) showed his patriotic side in "Shock'n Y'all."

1. "Confessions" — Usher

2. "Speakerboxxx/The Love Below" — OutKast

3. "Closer" — Josh Groban

4. "The Diary of Alicia Keys" — Alicia Keys

5. "Feels Like Home" — Norah Jones

6. "Fallen" — Evanescence

7. "Shock'n Y'all" — Toby Keith

8. "In the Zone" — Britney Spears

9. "The Very Best of Sheryl Crow" — Sheryl Crow

10. "When the Sun Goes Down" — Kenny Chesney

Source: Billboard, 12/25/2004

Top 10 Singles

Usher proved he could get listeners bumping on the dance floor and belt out a sincere ballad at the same time with "Yeah" and "Burn," the top two hits of '04.

OutKast's ridiculously infectious "Hey Ya!" prompted the Polaroid people to exhort customers to please, don't shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Frat boys had plenty to bop their heads to as well, as Maroon 5 (search) and Hoobastank (search) dominated the pop/rock airwaves.

1. "Yeah" — Usher featuring Lil Jon and Ludacris

2. "Burn" — Usher

3. "If I Ain't Got You" — Alicia Keys

4. "This Love" — Maroon 5

5. "The Way You Move" — OutKast featuring Sleepy Brown

6. "The Reason" — Hoobastank

7. "I Don't Wanna Know" — Mario Winans featuring Enya and P. Diddy

8. "Hey Ya!" — OutKast

9. "Goodies" — Ciara featuring Petey Pablo

10. "Lean Back" — Terror Squad

Source: Hot 100 Singles and Tracks, Billboard, 12/25/2004

Top-Rated TV Shows

A group of forensic sleuths kept the most Americans glued to their TV sets in the 2003-2004 season, while a reality show pioneer proved the genre is no fad: "CSI" was the most-watched show, with the twice-weekly "American Idol" taking second and third place.

The Donald's gravity-defying hair didn't scare viewers away, and many readers are bound to be surprised that "E.R." is still on the air, let alone one of the year's most-watched shows.

1. "CSI"

2. "American Idol" — Tuesday

3. "American Idol" — Wednesday

4. "Friends"

5. "The Apprentice"

6. "E.R."

7. "Survivor: All-Stars"

8. "Survivor: Pearl Islands"

9. "CSI: Miami"

10. "NFL Monday Night Football"

Source: Nielsen Media Research

Best-Selling Books

"It" author of 2004 Dan Brown (search) made two showings in the hardcover fiction category, with the phenomenon "The Da Vinci Code" topping the list.

Seasoned thriller writers John Grisham (search), Stephen King (search) and Patricia Cornwell (search) also made the Top 10.

Though President Bush was re-elected, 2004 proved that Americans still love Bill Clinton (search). His infamously lengthy memoir "My Life" was the top nonfiction hardcover of the year, followed by a political satire by Jon Stewart (search) and "The Daily Show" crew.

Political tomes by Bob Woodward (search), Richard A. Clarke (search) and two Swift Boat vets also made the list.

Fiction Hardcover

1. "The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown

2. "The Five People You Meet in Heaven" by Mitch Albom

3. "The Last Juror" by John Grisham

4. "Angels & Demons" by Dan Brown

5. "The Rule of Four" by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason

6. "The Glorious Appearing: The End of Days" by Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins

7. "Trace" by Patricia Cornwell

8. "3rd Degree" by James Patterson and Andrew Gross

9. "Song of Susannah: The Dark Tower VI" by Stephen King

10. "Sam's Letters to Jennifer" by James Patterson

Nonfiction Hardcover

1. "My Life" by Bill Clinton

2. "America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction" by Jon Stewart and The Daily Show

3. "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward

4. "Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror" by Richard A. Clarke

5. "Unfit for Command: Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry" by John E. O'Neill and Jerome R.Corsi

6. "Big Russ & Me: Father and Son: Lessons of Life" by Tim Russert

7. "American Soldier" by Gen. Tommy Franks with Malcolm McConnell

8. "Deliver Us From Evil: Defeating Terrorism, Despotism, and Liberalism" by Sean Hannity

Source: Nielsen BookScan, 12/05/2004

Top-Grossing Concerts

Madonna's Kabbalah craziness may have gotten her some bad press in 2004, but the Material Mom raked in a whopping $125 million on her world tour, making hers the top money-making concert of the year.

Another '80s icon — Prince (search) — proved he was still funky on his comeback tour, ringing up $90.2 million this year.

1. Madonna — $125 million

2. Prince — $90.2 million

3. Shania Twain — $62.5 million

4. Simon & Garfunkel — $59 million

5. Metallica — $53.8 million

6. Bette Midler — $53.3 million

7. Sting — $52.4 million

8. Kenny Chesney — $49.3 million

9. David Bowie — $46 million

10. Toby Keith — $44.3 million

Source: Billboard, 12/13/2004