As Kansas City’s movie summer flickers to a screeching halt let’s reflect on what approximately $4.4 billion in North American ticket sales bought moviegers at the nation’s boxoffices.
Here then my take on the endless summer of 2011
First there were the this summer’s three major sleeper hits
Translation: Pictures that far exceeded expectations and where great word-of-mouth built their ongoing performance
* Judd Apatow’s BRIDESMAIDS written by and starring Kristen Wiig. This one started out totally as a chick flick. But once the guys discovered it they loved it just as much!
* The Woody Allen written and directed comedy MIDNIGHT IN PARIS with Owen Wilson.
* THE HELP which made its debut on the weekend of August 10 in the # 2 slot and has shot up to claim # 1 status ever since. Something that almost never happens.
Biggest Summer Surprises (in a good way)
* RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES with James Franco.
* HORRIBLE BOSSES starring Jason Bateman, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis.
* CRAZY, STUPID, LOVE with Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone and Julianne Moore.
Biggest Summer Disappointments (in a bad way)
* Cameron Diaz as BAD TEACHER
* Kevin James as ZOOKEEPER
* Tom Hanks as LARRY CROWNE
* Ryan Reynolds and Jason Bateman’s THE CHANGE-UP
Best Summer Action Flicks
* Vin Diesel’s FAST FIVE
* Ryan Reynolds as GREEN LATERN
* Chris Evans as CAPTAIN AMERICA
Summer ‘Tentpoles’ That Delivered As Promised
* HARRY POTTER AND THE DEADLY HALLOWS-PART 2
* PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES
* TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON
Summer ‘Tentpole’ Flame-Outs
* COWBOYS AND ALIENS
* CONAN THE BARBARIAN
Best Summer Family/Animated Films
* KUNG FU PANDA 2
* CARS 2
Most Overlooked Summer Entry (i.e. deserved to do much better than it did)
* J.J. Abrams nostolgic Steven Spielberg tribute adventure SUPER 8
Best Specialty / Art House Summer Entry
Terrence Malick’s TREE OF LIFE starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain.
Best Picture Of The Entire Summer And Sure-Bet 2011 Oscar Contender!
(drum roll, please)
* THE HELP based on Kathryn Stockett’s best selling novel of the South during the 60’s with knockout performances by Viola Davis, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone, Bryce Dallas Howard and Jessica Chastain.
Agree or disagree, that’s my bottomless popcorn box in review and I’m sticking with it