The Avengers (2012) cleaned up! Not only did the film rake in enough money to become the second highest grossing film of all time, but the movie lived up to its expectations. Disney made up for the flop that was John Carter, and saved their massive bank. The Avengers was well reviewed, number one at the box office for several weeks, and started the Summer on a great path.
Little did audiences know that The Avengers incredible start would provide audiences with one of the few watchable films from this month. May provided numerous box office flops. and all of them were a mess in terms of quality. Dark Shadows, Battleship, What to Expect When Your Expecting, and The Dictator all were financial failures, and sucked the life out its audiences. Men in Black III escaped the poor quality of the second film, and while it did out perform the other films had the box office the film did well.
May drummed up some quality films with two small gems in Moonrise Kingdom, and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Both films had much smaller theatre counts than many of the summer releases, but they both had some pretty solid box offices. Kingdom is one of the best reviewed films of the year, while Hotel had middling reviews it still was a breath of fresh air compared to the other low brow material.
I was pretty excited about June, there were a lot of films on my radar that may not have looked like Oscar calibre films, they looked like they would still be fun. Unfortunately I faced a bit of a letdown.
June started with Snow White and the Huntsman, the film was a flop creatively (although Charlize is one of the fairest in the land), but performed solidly at the box office. Who knew that not long after we would find out how K-Stew got the part, what an awful miscast.
I skipped both animated films from this month, but both Madagascar 3 and Brave performed excellent at the box office. I heard some mixed things about both films )in regard to the quality. This is the year of Abraham Lincoln as well, and while I am intrigued to see Daniel Day Lewis portray this former president, I had no desire to see him as a vampire, and most of America did not either.
Prometheus proved to be ethereal, the film pulled me in with the concept of directing a film that tied back to the lore of the Alien films, but could not gain massive audiences once people figured out the film was just as cryptic as Lost.
America and critics did not love rock and roll. Rock of Ages which could have had mass appeal, was a commercial and critical flop, proving that musicals need more than relate able songs. Adam Sandler appeal has also been fading as well. People did not want to watch him player a loser dad to someone who was not much younger than him in real life in That's My Boy.
June had its share of small films released, To Rome with Love, and Beasts of the Southern Wild. Allen fell flat with a change of location from Paris to Rome, and could not charm audiences or critics with his film. Meanwhile Beasts has done the exact opposite, and has garnered a lot of buzz which could carry the film to numerous Oscar nominations. Proving quality wins over the name.
June closed things out with two different things strippers and a teddy bear. Magic Mike worked magic on audiences and critics (although I thought it was terrible) proving that Channing Tatum to be one of the biggest stars of the year. Seth MacFarlene took his own magic from television to the big screen with Ted, and had the largest R rated box office of the year (so far). June had a much more interesting end than beginning.
July 2012 proved the theme of the summer was super heroes. The reboot of the Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man did not match the original series, but made hefty some of money, and bested the quality of the original as well (in my opinion). The much anticipated conclusion to the reboot of the Batman franchise was finally released 4 years later, and while The Dark Knight Rises was not as good as The Dark Knight, nor will it make as much money, the film was solid, and still will make a massive amount of money.
The rest of films from July feel like a blur to me, while Ice Age made money, the film never floated my boat, skipped. Oliver Stone's Savages seemed to go up in smoke, get the munchies, and forget where it was. Step Up should really go with the straight to DVD track like Bring it On. The biggest failure was The Watch, which was panned by the critics, but their marketing campaign failed them even more, and the film did not fill any seats.
August is the month that starts to slow things down with less explosions and hodgepodge of random films. August is the island of misfit toys for the "ideal summer film." The Bourne Legacy tried to change this by attempting to change things up with a new story for the the franchise. The film fell flat on its face with critics (the first time in the franchise), and has not performed well at the box office. Total Recall tried to capture the fun of the original film , but never quite got there either. Ironically the film sequel about a bunch of old school action stars has been the film which has had more people talking, and doing better at the box office.
With only three films containing major action/explosions the rest of August was like a grab bag ranging from Premium Rush (a pseudo action flick) to Hope Springs with Meryl Streep, both which got decent reviews, but under performed at the box office. The Campaign filled the role of the token comedy, which also had decent reviews, but no one seemed to interested in the schtick. Lawless tried to be the first serious drama/Oscar contender leading into September, but looking at their opening weekend numbers the film has garnered only solid reviews, and poor box office receipts, which means forget it! How can you forget the kids? August has give us Paranorman, which has not given the same numbers as Ice Age, but seems a shoe in to a major contender for the Animated feature Oscar.
As the Summer drew to a close I was plagued with the concept that year and year out Hollywood rebukes the concept of making the film experience fun by attempting to try and win audiences over with cheap ploys. Hollywood has started to lose this battle as box office numbers, and film quality go down. The average audience viewer can't afford to see a terrible film because of a major celebrity, they have to be choosier. The summer of super heroes has proven that these are bankable enough, but that depth matters as well. Many of the smaller films paid off for the companies proving that audiences never want to thinking (per say), but they do want something good making them feel like leaving the warm summer sun was worth their time.