Now that summer is technically over, the season of Hollywood blockbusters has come to an end. There are plenty more excellent movies coming out this year (and there’s always holiday movies to look forward to), but the studios really went all out this summer with a great collection of films. There were some unexpected triumphs and some surprising fails, but no matter what you thought of the movies they were undoubtedly entertaining. Let’s take a look back at the winners and losers that have come out since Memorial Day Weekend, shall we?
The summer movie season started off with the surprising success of Men in Black 3. The formula for the Men in Black movies has always been a good one, but audiences shunned the second one and it had been so long since its release. However, people loved Josh Brolin as a young Tommy Lee Jones and this movie was well written and directed, as always. Then, in late June, audiences were treated to the annual Pixar release, Brave, that was pretty much a guaranteed success from the start. Depending on whom you ask, Pixar has never made a bad movie, and the secrecy surrounding the plot had fans chomping at the bit. Plus, Brave introduced the first female character and the first fairy tale in Pixar history, which made it feel more like old-school Disney. The very next weekend, Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane released his first feature film, Ted. While some people might’ve been hesitant to see a movie about and his living, breathing childhood teddy bear, the film was hilarious. The supporting cast was excellent, Mark Wahlberg was perfect for his role as a manchild, and it contained all the irreverent and poignant humor that MacFarlane is famous for. Another big animated movie this summer was Ice Age: Continental Drift. Animated sequels like Ice Age and Madagascar (which also did well this summer) have been successful in recent years thanks to fresh continuity in the story lines and the addition of likeable, fun characters. The final triumph for the summer should be no surprise, as it was the highest grossing movie of the summer and the 12th highest grossing movie ever, worldwide: The Dark Knight Rises. Christopher Nolan did such an amazing job with the trilogy and concluded an epic run perfectly, satisfying millions of viewers. He set a new standard for superhero films, and it’ll probably be a while before anyone tries to make a Batman film again.
They weren’t all bad; they just didn’t live up to the hype. The first two biggies came in the same weekend in the middle of June, and one wasn’t really a surprise. First, Rock of Ages had so much promise and so much buzz, but the film just couldn’t carry its success from Broadway over the big screen. The second was the wacky Adam Sandler comedy, That’s My Boy. Despite a good-looking cast punctuated by Andy Samberg and an attempt at recapturing the glory of Happy Gilmore, people seemed to still be turned off by recent less-successful films. Audiences tried to rally some faith going into the next weekend, when the highly anticipated (but highly unconventional) Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter was released. Even though the book (written by Seth Grahame-Smith, who also wrote Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – also in development) was hugely popular and the buzz was big, it might’ve just been too big of a concept for people to accept. Savages was the brainchild of acclaimed director Oliver Stone, and featured some of the most popular actors and actresses in Hollywood today. However, the film didn’t get a nationwide release, and audiences might not have been ready to handle a bizarre love triangle between Taylor Kitsch, Aaron Johnson, and Blake Lively. The final disappointment of the summer was the remake of Total Recall. While it was an ambitious project that only tried to improve upon the 80s classic with terrific special effects and a more serious storyline, audiences might’ve been turned off by the fact that Colin Farrell simply was not Arnold Schwarzenegger.
There you have it; the ups and downs of the summer’s major films. There are still tons of great movies coming up this year, so stay tuned to find out what Hollywood has in store for you. You can check the Eventful movie page here to see what’s playing and what’s headed to the theaters soon, or sign up for Eventful’s The Reel Buzz newsletter for the latest news sent right to your email. Oh, and keep reading this blog please.