Summer's best and worst in movies
Published: Friday, August 10, 2012
Updated: Friday, August 10, 2012 19:08
As the summer heat plagues Omaha, many students flock from the outdoors into the coolness of the movie theater to enjoy a bucket of popcorn, a cold drink and some classic entertainment.
This summer’s key players in the box office have been superhero movies.
In addition to receiving nearly universal acclaim, “The Dark Night Rises,” the third part in director Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy, brought in more than $160 million in the first weekend alone. The film starred Christian Bale, Joseph Gordon-Levitt (“500 Days of Summer,” “Inception”) and Tom Hardy (“Inception”).
After “Spider-Man 3” received poor reviews in 2007, Marvel Studios decided to revamp the series. “The Amazing Spider-Man” stars Andrew Garfield (“The Social Network”) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Emma Stone (“Easy A”) as Parker’s girlfriend, Gwen Stacy.
“The Amazing Spider-Man” has grossed almost $250 million in the United States since opening. Boyd Van Hoeija of Variety called the film “slick, entertaining, and emotionally involving.”
“The Avengers,” a superhero movie featuring Marvel Comics characters such as The Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.) and Captain America (Chris Evans), remains the top grossing film of 2012, earning almost $1.5 billion worldwide by the end of June.
Although superheroes are clearly bringing in the cash, Omaha has been fortunate enough to have some select screenings over the past few months.
“Moonrise Kingdom,” a film directed by Wes Anderson (“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Royal Tenenbaums”), chronicles pre-teen “Khaki Scout” Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and his plans to run away with his newfound love, Suzie Bishop (Kara Hayward), who lives on the small island where Shakusky is camping. The movie also features big name stars such as Bruce Willis, Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman. Christopher Orr of The Atlantic wrote that the movie “captures the texture of childhood summers, the sense of having a limited amount of time in which to do unlimited things.”
There have been several other box office hits this summer, including “Men in Black III,” “Ted,” “Snow White and the Huntsman” and Pixar’s “Brave.”
Just as in any other market, though, some movies sink instead of swim.
“LOL,” starring Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore, made only $46,000 on its opening weekend in the United States, averaging at less than $450 per theater. Currently, the film has lost approximately $3 million.
Another flop is “Rock of Ages,” an adaptation to the Broadway musical of the same name. The film ended up grossing less than $40 million, thus failing to meet its $75 million budget.
Though summer has had its share of releases, fall and winter have sure box office hits, such as “Skyfall,” the James Bond sequel starring Daniel Craig due out in November or “The Hobbit,” the prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy due out in December.
With the summer sun blazing, some movies have prospered while others have failed. Regardless, seeing a film with friends, family or a date remains a classic way to spend a summer evening.