Summer 2011: A Commercial Look

So how has this summer played for you at the cinema? Quality wise it’s been a bit of a rocky road. Despite the real guilty pleasure that was Fast 5; the summer period has been, in many eyes, a bit of a let down again. Sure Marvel brought us Thor and Captain America and we also had a revival of the X-Men and the launch of Green Lantern. Yet none of these were of stellar quality. Some were good, some treaded familiar ground and one in particular was borderline embarrassing.

The big films of the summer were fuelled mainly by sequels:  Pirates 4Hangover Part 2Harry Potter 8Kung Fu Panda 2Cars 2 and Super 8 (just kidding!). Again many of these didn’t go over well with the critics. But then what do critics know? Just look at the money flowing in!

There are ten films that have broken the billion mark at the box office (and with Avatar being the only one of these to break the 2 billion mark). Three of the films in this list were released this summer.

  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (1,041m)
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides  (1,033m)
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon (1,010m)

So how have the rest of the big hitters done at the global box office? Let’s look at those comic book movies again:

Thor (477m); X-Men: First Class (348m); Green Lantern (154m); Captain America (200m in 2 weeks).

How about the animated world?

Rio (479m); Kung Fu Panda 2 (610m); Hop (183m); Cars 2 (400m).

Or comedy?

Hangover 2 (577m); Bridesmaids (247m); Horrible Bosses (113m); Zookeeper (112).

And what else?

Fast 5 (604m); Super 8 (185m)

Now bear in mind that many of the above releases are still raking in that cash. And now Cowboys and Aliens and Smurfs have just opened at the top of the US chart.

Admittedly a few clunkers hit rock bottom:  Arthur (45m) and Sucker Punch (89m) didn’t do too well. But it looks like over all we, the public, are happy with what is out there. So happy in fact that we are willing, as a mass, to spend over £3 billion on a boring pirates movie, a Michael Bay film and the final Harry Potter instalment. Not to mention hundreds of millions more on the rest of the summer movies.  Now, would we really spend that much money if the films were bad? Or do we just ignore critics completely, as well as word of mouth, and go anyway? Or are we just really that bored in life in general that any distraction will do?

There are still a few more films left over before we hit the fall season where we can expect the likes of Spielberg and Scorsese to make an appearance. We will of course continue to monitor the heartbeat of the nation and its commercial response to the silver screen

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