Believe it or not, we are closing the summer movie blockbuster season. Just like summer itself things move fast during the dog days of August. As we move forward into the fall we also like to look back at past summers at the movies. For this one we are going to go back one decade to the summer of 2012.
We’ve broken the box office down for a few categories including the best movie of the summer, movies that won Oscars, flops and any popular kids movies. So pull up your favorite video clip of former President Barack Obama on your iPhone 5 as we head back to the summer of 2012 at the box office.
Summer Action: Action films usually dominate the summer movie season and 2012 was no different. Just like in 2002 the top film at the box office involved superheroes. Leading the way that summer was Marvel’s highly anticipated film The Avengers. For the first time on the big screen Marvel’s superheroes all joined forces in one film and it did not disappoint. The record setting film ended up taking in more than $620 million at the box office (source: boxofficemojo.com). It was a landmark Marvel movie moment for the franchise. The Avengers remains one of the top grossing Marvel films at the box office. It finished almost $200 million ahead of The Dark Knight Rises, the last Batman film to star Christian Bale as the caped crusader. Sadly, the film’s release was marred by a tragic mass shooting at a Colorado movie theater. 2012 also featured the Spider-Man franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man finished 3rd at the box office. Other action films that made an impact were Men In Black 3, Snow White and the Huntsman and The Bourne Legacy.
Surprise Summer Hit: Ted. Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane jumped to the silver screen in 2012 with Ted. The raunchy buddy comedy was MacFarlane’s directorial debut. The combination of Mark Wahlberg and a hilarious storyline of a real life teddy bear (voiced by MacFarlane) that symbolizes immaturity and coming face-to-face with growing up and adulting. Mila Kunis was also cast as the love interest and the film featured plenty of gags, generational pop culture references and a Boston setting as an ode to MacFarlane’s New England roots. The movie delivered on all fronts and even produced a sequel that featured legendary quarterback Tom Brady.
Summer Flop: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. When we first saw a commercial for this movie it seemed like an SNL skit or a parody along the lines of Scary Movie. That would have seemed more plausible than what this movie actually was which combined science fiction and a period piece into one strange tale . The film is based off a novel and the title says it all- Abraham Lincoln hunts vampires. 10 years later and we’re still not sure who this film was made for. Was it for historians? Sci-fi fans who also liked 19th presidents? Maybe Ulysses S. Grant: Zombie Hunter would have worked better but we can’t say for sure.
Something For The Kids: Disney’s Brave was the top kids movie at the box office, bringing in more than $230 million (source: boxofficemojo). The trend of Disney dominance continued in 2012 with Brave finishing the season as one of the top movies at the box office. Madagascar 3 and Ice Age: Continental Drift also finished in the top ten that summer, grossing more than $214 million and $156 million respectively (source: boxofficemojo).
The Summer Belonged To… Superheroes. 2012 was another big step for Marvel with The Avengers and the top 3 films of the summer all featured superheroes. The superhero movie trend started in 2002 and reached new heights in the summer of 2012. A trend that continued for years to come.
Oscar Buzz: Summer films were mostly shut out at the Oscars. Brave won for Best Animated Feature and Paranorman was also nominated. The Avengers received a Best Visual Effects nomination too but did not win.
There’s a recap of the summer of 2002. In our next installment we will look at the summer of 1997.