And it's over. With labor day behind us, school back in session, and Riddick the only major movie release of the week we have officially come to the end of the summer movie season. As we transition away from large explosions, big movie budgets, and box office brawls why don't we take a look back at the summer that was and everything that went along with it.
The summer started early this year with what would eventually be the biggest movie of them all. Iron Man 3 came out and proved that Robert Downey Jr. in a metal suit really puts butts in seats. We went from assuming Avengers would be the all encompassing money-maker, and a possibly exit by Downey, to realizing who really makes the bucks. Things may change as we have to wait to see how Thor 2 and Captain America 2 do now that they're both more established with audiences. Maybe this is a Marvel wide money maker and not just a Tony Stark thing. Iron Man 3 stopped it's collection with $1.2 BILLION worldwide box office.
The ladies man superhero wasn't the only winner out of May. We also had Fast and Furious 6 (my first DBOX experience, worth it) and Star Trek Into Darkness both of which did just north of $200 million at the domestic box office. While Fast and Furious 6 made much more worldwide both did very well for themselves. It shouldn't be too big of a shock however since all three of the films discussed so far were established to movie goers. You could trust your movie ticket was well spent since you knew what kind of movie you were diving into.
After Earth wasn't so lucky. Despite the force behind it (Will Smith, Gary Whitta, and M. Night Shyamalan) the movie wasn't received well by critics and after a disappointing opening weekend it was instantly labeled a failure. Don't believe the hype however, After Earth went on to collect $200 million worldwide which would cover the film's budget and post a profit of about $60 million. Not bad for a so called flop.
This year the money of June seemed to have the biggest question marks among its releases. First up was The Internship, a comedy starring the duo of Vaughn and Wilson that didn't do well with critics or at the box office. It seemed to set up an unhappy atmosphere sick of formulaic comedies where This Is The End would fail. Instead This Is The End went on to make nearly $100 million just with domestic audiences and will soon see a re-release probably to open the film up to the much needed foreign box office.
Soon after was the biggest movie most people weren't sure about, Man of Steel. It has been years since Superman Returns and nerds everywhere were hoping for a new Superman movie they could love. While Man of Steel was mildly received by critics it was happily taken in by viewers who shoved $290 million at the film before it finally left theaters. You may not have loved the film but you'll certainly be getting more Clark Kent in the future as well all know about the upcoming Superman vs. Batman film.
Another question mark was World War Z. Already known for pre-production troubles and re-shoots none of it seemed to matter. Garnering $200 million domestically put World War Z among the best for this summer and proved zombies were still a thing.
Nothing in June could withstand what was coming however and it might even explain some missteps for early July. Monsters University landed in theaters and wouldn't leave without all of your money. Taking home $264 million domestically and $715 million worldwide says a lot about what Pixar can still do.
July was a month of disappointments. And the biggest and most talked about happened only 3 days into the month. The Lone Ranger was easily the biggest movie of the summer before it came out. Marketing for the film was everywhere and if you weren't hearing about this film you should consider yourself lucky. Poised to make Disney a brand new franchise it could bank on now that the Pirates movies seemed a bit long in the tooth. And then it was released. Early reports weren't good and once the opening weekend ended it was clear this movie was a failure. Going into the opening weekend Disney was quietly expecting a $70-$100 million opening only to face the reality of landing just short of $30 million. Finishing with a worldwide total of $239 million might seem decent it only just covers the reported budget of $215 million not to mention the potential behemoth of a marketing budget. It isn't Water World but Lone Ranger fell flat on its face for everyone to see.
We moved on to Despicable Me 2, which garnered more money than Monsters University with $800+ million worldwide, and Grown Ups 2 which made more money than it could ever deserve. Finally we all got ourselves a treat. A fun movie experience with nothing but giant robots and monsters which would go on to get itself $400 million at the worldwide box office. Pacific Rim was a worry for movie geeks who wanted both Del Toro to do well but get to see a world embrace something as crazy and robots vs. monsters. I can only hope we get a sequel or a series of copy cats giving us what we need.
Despite the gift of Pacific Rim we were in store for more flops. Turbo, Red 2, and then RIPD all came out with lackluster showings. Turbo only barely went over $150 million worldwide, Red 2 should be happy it made it north of $100 million, and RIPD should be happy it made any money with $64 million worldwide. Luckily July wouldn't leave us entirely with a bad taste in our collective mouths. The Wolverine couldn't be worse than Wolverine: Origins and luckily it was much better than expected. While it wasn't something to rave about to everyone you saw the film was watchable and fun, a Wolverine film we all wanted years ago.
The summer gets to it's hottest point and yet movies tend to start cooling off in August usually. Maybe a season of spending movie on buttered popcorn and snow caps is too much for everyone's wallets. This August started to break down early with 2 Guns, Percy Jackson, and Elysium all middling at the box office and in quality. We would have the wade through early Oscar bait like The Butler and Jobs before ending the season on a couple of high notes.
Sure The World's End and Kick-Ass 2 might not be the best films of the summer but summer movies are about fun, and these two were certainly that. You can't look at their box office numbers just yet since both came out towards the tail end of August and it's only just now September. Both films do seem to be doing well with fans and critics alike. I've only seen Kick-Ass 2 so far and was surprised at how good the movie was in a new environment where our heroes can be dark and violent.
While it may all be done don't think there aren't movies left this year. We still have to wait out and see which movies will become the Oscar movies we talk about early next year. Not to mention there is plenty more to still be released. Gravity, Carrie, Ender's Game, Thor 2, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Oldboy, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug, Anchorman 2, and 47 Ronin all still have 2013 release dates. So don't worry, the taste of stale popcorn, manufactured butter, and sugary soda won't be leaving us too soon.