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The summer as I saw it. Ka-ching without a lot of booing

Paul Peterson

Well, summer officially headed out of town the other day so it feels like the right time to take a look in the rear view mirror at the summer in film, and see what worked and what didn’t.

I researched the worldwide grosses for a change. Usually I just report domestic so we see how the film did in Canada and the US but then I looked at the total gross and as slack-jawed Cletus once said, holy snappin’ Margaret, stand back. I don’t know how big this thing gets.
Try 1.5 billion dollars.
Ye,s Billion. That was The Avengers’ worldwide gross for just the theatrical release. Are you kidding me? It just seems surreal that a film would make more money than Belize. (That’s true – not the usual pseudo facts I throw out there)
It was a great movie, lots of fun and big bang for the buck so I think it’s fair to say this was the biggest film of the summer. Its DVD take could move it past The Cayman Islands. I’m just saying.
The Dark Knight rolls in at a tasty 1,066 billion. It was also really well done. I still find Christian Bale cloying and the whisper prince of secret identities but the whole film was so true to that darker vision from the graphic novels. Still I don’t really need my superheroes quite so tortured. Mix in a smile Bruce, Catwoman likes you.
3. Ice Age Continental Drift – 837 million. This was a shock I don’t know that this was the best animated feature of the summer, or even the best in the series but it kicked box office butt. In some ways this film is more profitable because you don’t have actors or sets and there’s no pesky back end or points for the squirrel. As  an aside, I just wish they’d take the hint and make more family stuff.  It pays.
4. The Amazing Spiderman – I remember thinking why bother and I know I said this in my column. Well look at the numbers and this year’s model made 748.5 million world wide so there’s my answer but in all fairness they had a different story to tell and they told it well. These are new times and I can’t think of another series that relaunched but I have to admit I’m looking forward to the next chapter.
5. Madagascar 3 – 627 mill. Again, see my previous comments about come on guys, give us more family stuff. I actually thought Brave was the most compelling animated picture of the year but it was dark and scary for younger kids and didn’t have anything cute and cuddly to attach to.
6. MIB 3 –  It’s hard to describe a film that did 624 million as a disappointment but it just didn’t have the legs. Too bad because it was so much better than the second one. They got time travel right and even threw in a little side trip to J’s back pages. The weirdest moment is at the end when it looks like Tommy Lee Jones is wearing a saggy Tommy lee Jones face mask. I kept waiting for him to pull it off and be the weird dancing Korean guy that has invased every aspect of the media of late, but no it was just the man himself.
7. Brave – An even half a billion. Not exactly what Disney/Pixar was looking for when they scoped it out but cute and cuddly sells. Turning your mom into a bear, not so much. Still this was one for the gr’ups and Pixar never disappoints in terms of cutting edge animation.
8 Ted – There are several things wrong with this film and 407 million things right. Seth MacFarlane’s initial foray into the world of film was a huge success and it’s not like his ego needed any further prompting so I’m sure there will be a Family Guy feature length among other things and in all fairness parts of this were funny. I find his voices a bit jarring but then I saw him on SNL the other night and he was very funny. It’s an adult comedy with a cute and fuzzy bear and this will cause some collisions  at the DVD store. I’ve stopped warning parents  about graphic language and situations. They just tell me they’ve seen worse at home. Nice skills dad. But I digress.
9. Expendables 2 – 269 million. Hopefully Stallone either got the boys to work for scale or he was able to pay them what they’re actually worth. Otherwise this movie is doomed to be in the red, which is too bad because it really is a bit of fun. It stars every action hero that ever murdered dialogue in the last decade and blows up more stuff than the guys on Duck Dynasty. I really do enjoy those gratuitous pop culture references.
10. The Best exotic Marigold Hotel – This has no place on the list really but when you get your own column you can correct this egregious error. I really liked this film and considering that it only cost 10 million to make and it grossed 46 mill that makes it an indy superstar.  Deal with it.
There were no clear bombs this year. I miss the days of the Love Guru or Catwoman.
Battleship was a bomb for me at all my theatres but it actually did 302 million worldwide which just proves what they say about flies and their dietary selection.
Finally, I was happy to see that That’s My Boy, Adam Sandler’s latest contribution to the cultural apocalypse lost money. It grossed 36m domestically and had a budget of 70. I’m sure the DVD will push it over 200m but maybe he’ll pay attention.The cat is funny. Do better.
That’s the summer as I saw it.
Ka-ching without a lot of booing. Not so bad over all.
Here’s comes the Christmas season. I can’t wait to tackle that list.
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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