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Can’t miss summer releases missed by a Country mile

Paul Peterson

Paul Peterson

So, at the start of the summer I always write a column guessing what the box office hits of the summer will be. It’s an imprecise sort of speculation and the only time I even reference it is on those rare occasions when I get something right.
This might be one of those occasions, but I’m too lazy to bother to refer back to it, so we’ll just take it as wondrous and new.
It was a surprising summer.
Viewers fought back. There was a definite uprising and the can’t miss crowd of releases missed by a Country mile.

The biggest surprises in terms of negative numbers was Adam Sanders family comedy not breaking 50 million. His grocery list usually commands 100 mill. Throw in that he was reunited with Drew Barrymore and who knew? It was actually a tolerability too.  Oh well.  Look for Grown Ups 3 next summer.  It burns. It burns.

Planes 2 limped in as well. The first wasn’t so big and while this was a better film it played too young.
So what did hit?
The biggest film of the summer is still going strong. The only film to break the 300 mill mark is the latest out of the Marvel comic stable, Guardians of the Galaxy.  It’s smart funny and really unique. I don’t normally go for overly complicated stories with a raccoon in the thread but this was funny. And exciting. I wasn’t familiar with the comic so this was all new to me. It’s really well done.  I recommend it.

Then there’s Transformers 4. It hit big in Asia. Rocking the Chinese box office rendered the North American take of 250 million pointless. Go figure. It was unwatchable. Not quite as terrible as TF3 but at a ridiculous 2 hours and 45 minutes, I’ve had shorter relationships. Gack. I like Mark Wahlberg but he needs to triple his vocabulary and learn the word no.

Angelina Jolie returned to prominence with Maleficent –  a very smart expansion of the Sleeping Beauty story.  It was dark and played older than Frozen but still performed well.

XMen Days of Future Passed was a really good film. It was the prequel to all the other versions and I liked it a lot.
At 233 million it under performed but it was a lot of fun.

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was 5th at 206 million. It was a good film, relatively well done, but it just didn’t light a fire under people. I just can’t cheer for our monkey overlords.

The next 2 films did about the same business 200 mill,  and both were bombs. The Amazing Spider-Man was a really good film that people are sick of and Godzilla just couldn’t suck enough.

22 jump st was a huge hit at 190 million. Cheap to produce, it had a few solid laughs and luckily they never take themselves too serious.

How To Train Your Dragon2 was a bit disappointing. It brought in a mediocre 175 large which was well below the original. One of the few real family shows this summer. I was shocked it didn’t do better.

Rounding out the Top 10 was Seth Rogans Neighbours. Funny, raunchy and incredibly inapproprite. It brought Seth back to hit status. His last couple of films have been tepid at best.

Just outside the 10 is the Fault In Our Stars. It grossed 124 million and cost 12 to make. I’m not a mathematician but I can add 2 plus 2 and get a sequel. Unless the one kid is still dead when they resume.

It really was a bust of a summer. Nothing really crushed. So if you see me working a freeway ramp with a sign Will project for food throw me a crumb will you?  Disney won’t and yes, I’m bitter.
As always, other opinions are welcome, but wrong.
That’s it for this week. The cheque’s in the mail and I’m outta here. Paul

Filed Under: News from Everywhere ElsePaul Peterson

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