Marginalia, Graduate Blog

Battle of the Blockbusters

Conor O'Farrell

'Star Trek Into Darkness', courtesy Paramount Pictures

'Star Trek Into Darkness', courtesy Paramount Pictures

The last two summers have been disappointing for the movie business. The 2012 summer box office furthered the steady decline of former years by another 3%, with the lowest attendance in almost twenty years recorded, according to an LA Times article. Battleship, The Bourne Legacy, the historical action-horror Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Total Recall and The Expendables 2 were among the many big-budget spectacles that misfired. The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man and the surprise hit Ted are four of only eleven movies that grossed more than $100m domestically last summer, compared with 15 in the summer of 2011. With the recently released trailers for Man of Steel and Star Trek Into Darkness, the battle of the summer blockbusters has begun, with many vying for the coveted #1 spot. Here are what I predict will be the major players at this summer’s box office, and the blockbusters I’m most looking forward to seeing.

 

#5 ‘THE GREAT GATSBY’

'The Great Gatsby', courtesy Warner Bros Pictures

'The Great Gatsby', courtesy Warner Bros Pictures

In this Baz Luhrmann adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s great American novel, a Midwestern war veteran finds himself drawn to the past and lifestyle of his millionaire neighbor. DiCaprio and Luhrmann has proved a good combination in the past. Throw Carey Mulligan into the equation and you can’t go wrong.

Studio: Warner Bros Pictures | May 10th | Trailer

 

#4 ‘KICK-ASS 2’

'Kick Ass 2', courtesy Universal Pictures

'Kick Ass 2', courtesy Universal Pictures

The smash hit of 2010 was Matthew Vaughn’s Kick Ass, and now three years later Kick Ass and Hit Girl are back. With a new director at the helm.  It will be interesting to see how this film fares compared to the first, but if it’s even half a good it will still be worth a watch.

Studio: Universal Pictures | August 16th | Trailer

 

#3 ‘MAN OF STEEL’

'Man Of Steel', courtesy Warner Bros Pictures

'Man Of Steel', courtesy Warner Bros Pictures

Watchmen is one of the greatest superhero adaptations there is, so I’m really interested to see what Snyder does with this Superman origins story. And, considering Bryan Singer’s tragic efforts some years ago with Superman Returns, this franchise is in need of a decent reboot. Here’s hoping it’s a good one.  The recently released trailer seems promising.

Studio: Warner Bros Pictures | June 14th | Trailer

 

#2 ‘MONSTER’S UNIVERSITY’

'Monsters University', courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

'Monsters University', courtesy Walt Disney Pictures

By far my favorite Pixar film of all time, twelve years later the prequel to Monster’s Inc. finally hits our screens. With Billy Crystal and John Goodman back together, Monster’s University takes a look at the relationship between Mike and Sully during their school days, when they weren’t necessarily the best of friends.

Studio: Walt Disney Pictures | June 21st | Trailer

 

#1 ‘STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS’

'Star Trek Into Darkness', courtesy Paramount Pictures.

'Star Trek Into Darkness', courtesy Paramount Pictures.

I’m a huge fan of both J.J. Abrams and Star Trek – for our critical analysis of contemporary film & media class I’m writing a paper on postmodern resistance to traditional narrative technique, using his 2009 reboot as a case study – so needless to say the blockbuster I’m most looking forward to this summer is Into Darkness. Plus, it comes out the same day I hand in my paper and finish the semester. It’s fate.

Studio: Paramount Pictures | May 17th | Trailer

 

In terms of box office, Iron Man 3 will probably knock the rest of these out of the park, but I was never a fan so it doesn’t make my top 5. The others that will likely make up the top ten are White House Down, World War Z, After Earth, and Elysium. The one-to-watch, that might throw this all out of kilter, will be The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Trivial though this may seem, as a producer it’s imperative to be aware of industry trends, studio battles, and the big league players. With the decline in box office, try and pay attention to the marketing battles that ensue in the next couple of months. Plus, let me know how wrong you think I am, and what you’re most looking forward to this summer below, whether blockbuster movies or independent films.

Battle of the Blockbusters

The last two summers have been disappointing for the movie business. The 2012 summer box office furthered the steady decline of former years by another 3%, with the lowest attendance …

Cinema Art + Science - Creative Producing Conor O'Farrell, conor.ofarrell@loop.colum.edu
600 S. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 60605

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3 Comments

The Halfway Mark | Marginalia

curious, now that a little time has passed and many studio execs are wiping the tears from their eyes, how surprised were you of the bombs that came through this summer?

i also find it insteresting that Disney’s ‘the lone ranger’ wasn’t on your list. i sorta felt like that one popped up outta nowhere too. haha

    Forgive my delay in getting back. Because the industry regards summer box office as the time between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, I wanted to wait until that time had passed before making any further judgments. I have to admit I saw a shameful amount of films this summer, including only two of my predicted top five; ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Star Trek Into Darkness’. Though I did see Star Trek twice if that counts for anything.

    The biggest surprise for me was that ‘Kick Ass 2′ didn’t do better, given the success of the first film. Similarly I had thought any Channing Tatum flick would do better than ‘White House Down’ did, given his tendency to take off his clothes and that teenage girls make up a large portion of the market. Then again, it makes sense that teenage girls wouldn’t be so inclined to see an action/adventure film that by name is politically associated. Similarly, I would have thought they’d be all over Will & Jaden Smith’s ‘After Earth’.

    Of the four that made it into the top ten that I hadn’t predicted, I’m not sure how ‘The Conjuring’ got in there because I wasn’t that impressed, and I’m glad to see ‘The Heat’ made it in, as I’m as big a Sandra Bullock fan as you will find, and am very much looking forward to ‘Gravity’.

    SUMMER 2013 BOX OFFICE: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/seasonal/?view=calendargross&yr=2013&season=Summer