2012 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report | The Avengers | The Dark Knight Rises | The Amazing Spider-Man

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2012 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report

The Avengers
The Dark Knight Rises
The Amazing Spider-Man
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted
Men in Black 3
Ice Age: Continental Drift
Snow White and the Huntsman
Magic Mike
The Bourne Legacy
The Campaign
The Expendables 2
Dark Shadows
Great Hope Springs
The Dictator
Total Recall
The Odd Life of Timothy Green
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
What to Expect When You're Expecting
Rock of Ages
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
That's My Boy
Step Up Revolution
Neighborhood Watch
Katy Perry: Part of Me
Chernobyl Diaries
Piranha 3DD
Madea's Witness Protection
What do you get when you have a season that starts with the biggest superhero movie of all-time and ends with worst family film of all-time? You get the 2012 Summer Movie Pool!!!

Yes, some day scientists will look back and wonder how in the same time-span as The Avengers something like The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure was released. Thankfully, The Oogieloves were rewarded with the lowest per-screen average ever for a film opening on over 1,000 screens as it went on to collect about $673,000 in its whole five days of release. That's the kind of stuff we love to see during Olympic years... Record breakers!

Personally, I'm just confused behind the entire concept of the film. It seemed they wanted to make a live theater experience happen to a pre-recorded movie, where parents and kids would get out of their seats to dance and sing as if encouraged by the movie characters that aren't actually in the room with them to genuinely give their approval. This is why porn didn't really take off until the home video market. It's one thing to dance around the living room with your kids in the privacy of your own home, but it's another to drop 30 bucks and do it in front of strangers at a movie theater (unless you're Pee Wee Herman or Gilbert Gottfried, I suppose). Then again, it doesn't seem like anyone else would've been in the theater with you, so maybe I'm the one who's way off base here.

Back to the 2012 Summer Movie Season though... It's always nice to already have summer films on DVD before the season has even ended. Thanks for taking us home in style, Battleship, The Dictator, and especially Piranha 3DD which basically went straight to DVD to begin with after only opening in 80 theaters. Maybe if they'd opened on over 1,000 screens, The Oogieloves would've been denied their record breaking performance. Shudder.

Before we get the final Top Five of the season, let's take a moment to reflect on those films that have meant so much, or more importantly, so little to us over the past four months.

Films That Wilted in the Summer Heat - (Finished with less than $50 million)

Chernobyl Diaries - Dear Diary, today I wasted my Euro Pass by going to the industrial outskirts of Russia instead of sunbathing on topless beaches by the Mediterranean. I deserve to die.

Katy Perry: Part of Me - This is the part of me... where I charge you $15 to see me in 3D. Yeah!

The Watch - Given the star power, it's amazing this film wasn't watched by more people. Seriously, is this Vince and Ben's version of Father's Day, the forgotten about Robin Williams/Billy Crystal movie that basically cemented their "no one really wants to see these people as leads in a movie anymore" status? I can't tell whether I should start singing "Didn't we almost have it all" or "We could've had it allllllllllll eh allll... rolling in the deeeeeeep eh eep." Howie Mandell, these guys might be gunning for your America's Got Talent gig next summer... You've been warned.

Step Up Revolution - Ya know, I don't think this revolution will be televised. I can't even remember ever seeing a Step Up movie showing up on my DirecTV guide playing on any channel ever. How is that even possible?! Diggstown is still on pay cable movie channels 50 times a month, and yet no one's got time to show a Step Up movie? Someone better step up here.

The Odd Life of Timothy Green - It's odd how this movie even showed up here in August. During the three months when parents let their kids OD on candy and sugar, let's release a thoughtful, tender film like My Girl. These movies only work on rainy days on TV when kids have nowhere else to go and then they wonder why their parents are crying at the end while they've been completely bored the whole time... Uh, not that that's ever happened to me.

That's My Boy - Adam Sandler, we really don't know what we're going to do with you. Maybe you pull it all back with an animated performance as a vampire in Hotel Transylvania and we learn to love you again, but it's almost like he's lost his bi-partisan status where the aficionados and slapsticks could enjoy some of his movies. Now he's left in the "have to throw everything at the wall" movies when we just want the sad sack that made us laugh back. This guy could do a remake of Kramer vs. Kramer and I bet he'd be amazing in it pulling off the funny, the tender, and the heart wrenching. Instead he's making Grown Ups 2.

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter - Given the success of the documentary 2016 Obama's America, I'm pretty sure if they'd just called this Abraham Lincoln: Socialist Muslim Hunter they would've had a better turn out.

Rock of Ages - This wasn't even a movie for the ages... And the less people remember AquaNet, Square Pegs, and shoulder pads, it's probably for the best.

What to Expect When You're Expecting - You should expect that any woman who's actually had to deal with nine months of feeling like a watermelon has squished all of her internal organs into her spleen, wants nothing to do with skinny, size zero actresses pretending they have a watermelon squishing all of their internal organs into their spleens.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days - Dear Diary, I used my Euro Pass to end up in Canada disguised as America for a live-action version of a book that features stick figure drawings. I miss the outskirts of industrial Russia.

Savages - Someday we'll all sit back and talk about how much we enjoyed the films of Oliver Stone. I just have no idea on when that days going to be... and I'd probably call in sick.

Films Whose Dough Forgot to Rise (Finished between $50 - $100 million)

Hope Springs - Hope may spring, yet like any good Slinky after it gets tangled, it never quite springs the same way again.

Total Recall - The only thing I recall about both of these movies is that they're based on the male protagonists deciding their life is unfulfilling while waking up every day next to Sharon Stone and Kate Beckinsale in their skivvies. Yes, this is a terrible life every heterosexual man would want to run away from.

The Dictator - The only thing this film will be remembered for is when Sasha Baron Cohen threw ashes on Ryan Seacrest at the Oscars... And that wasn't even in the film.

Battleship - Maybe director Peter Berg should've brought Calvin Harris and David Guetta in to remix his movie. They can make a hit out of anything Rihanna does.

Tyler Perry's Madea's Witness Protection - Way too many ownership issues with this title. Is it Tyler Perry's, is it Madea's, and since he's both, do they both own it? More importantly, if you were in witness protection, would you be protected from this movie?

The Expendables 2 - Sly and the family Stallone churn out another film of ridiculousness, but you have to love any movie where you leave going "Wow, Jean Claude Van-Damme was really good!" I'm pretty sure we're just grading on the curve here.

The Campaign - I was pretty confused by this one. Why wasn't it covered on The Daily Show? I turn to them for all of my political coverage. How was this one overlooked? Aasif Mandvi can't be that busy.

Dark Shadows - At this point nothing can cast a dark shadow over Johnny Depp. The same can't be said about Tim Burton.

The Bourne Legacy - Well, it wasn't as bad as when they made a Bond film with George Lazenby. However, it was on par with the Timothy Dalton Bonds which are usually met with, "Oh, this guy?!" whenever his films show up on a Bond marathon.

The Britney Spears Not a Girl, Not Quite a Woman Movies (Finished between $100 - $200 million)

Magic Mike - You know when sleeper films do well during the summer because they're actually good? Well, this is Magic Mike.

Prometheus - They say they're still going forward with the follow-up movie even though most people would like to forget they even made the first. When in doubt, always insult your fan base by saying, "If you didn't like it, it's just because you were too dumb to get it."

Snow White and the Huntsman - They say they're still going forward with the follow-up movie even though most people would like to forget they even made the first. Wait, didn't I just write this? One thing this film definitely accomplished is more eyes than ever on the red carpet premieres of Breaking Dawn Part Two.

Ice Age: Continental Drift - I'm still trying to recover from the thought of Nicki Minaj playing the daughter of Ray Ramano and Queen Latifa. In actuality, Nicki just played the wooly mammoth friend of Ray and Queen's daughter, but that was still a thought that kept me awake many nights this summer.

Men in Black 3 - Maybe I was a little too harsh about Will dusting off old franchises no one cares about anymore when this film came out. Given the imdb.com upcoming slate for The Fresh Prince is Hancock 2, Bad Boys 4, and I, Robot 2, I'd take a fleet more Men in Black movies over any of those.

The Outside Looking In Film

Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted - We need Al Sharpton or someone to get all up in someone's business about how a film featuring the catchiest song of the summer, "Afro Circus," misses the summer Top Five by $1.4 million. Were butterfly tickets sold in Florida theaters? I expect demands for recount starting in 3... 2... 1...

And now, because yesterday was Labor Day, here are your Top Five movies of Summer 2012!!!

#5. Ted - $216.1 million
There's no film that owes a bigger thank you to G.I. Joe: Retaliation being moved to 2013 than Ted. Originally scheduled to open a week before The Dark Knight Rises, Ted found the time to breathe before Spidey's July 4th debut and stayed as the summer adult alternative (or as adult as a walking, talking stuffed teddy bear can be) throughout the season. Though it always blows up things in the pool when a sleeper film cracks the ├╝ber-hyped, insanely-budgeted, wannabe blockbusters, it's always nice to have some surprises. And, as not a single pooler had Ted anywhere in their Top Five, I'd call this a surprise.

#4. Brave - $232.3 million
It may have not come in like lion, but it certainly didn't leave like a lamb. Pixar's Scottish tale played long through the season and passed Wall-E and Ratatooie's total grosses along the way, which, of course, includes last year's Cars 2 spinout. It's great to know the female empowerment spirit of 2012 which began with The Hunger Games and continued with Brave will end with the final saga of Bella Swan surrendering her humanity so she can be a vampire mama because everyone else is in the Pacific Northwest is so boring. Well played, Stephanie Meyer!

#3. The Amazing Spider-Man - $260 million
Spider-Man 3 won the Summer Movie Pool of 2007 and people thought it was broken. The Amazing Spider-Man made $70 million less five years later and Sony feels like they've got another hit franchise on their hands. Life is funny like that sometimes.

#2. The Dark Knight Rises - $433.2 million
It's pretty odd when some people consider a film that makes over $400 million a disappointment. Yes, being among the 15 highest grossing films of all-time is so embarrassing! No, it wasn't as epic as The Dark Knight and it didn't even come close to The Avengers' haul, yet if the next Warner Bros. non-Nolan Batman movie makes only $70 million less than The Dark Knight Rises, they will be dancing in the aisles way more than Sony is right now.

#1. The Avengers - $620.3 million
Joss Whedon had only directed one feature film in his life, a big-screen version of his TV show Firefly, when he was handed the reins to the biggest superhero movie of all-time. Defying almost all logic, Whedon delivered in a way almost no other comic-book movie achieves when they have too many heroes and villains. He and Marvel were rewarded for their efforts with the biggest gross ever for a superhero film. I love when cult favorites are given a chance with a big-budget franchise and they actually succeed (cause it doesn't usually happen). It worked for Sam Raimi and Peter Jackson with Spider-Man and Lord of the Rings. It's great to have Josh Whedon join their ranks.

by Matt Neuenburg on 09/04/2012

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Battleship, Brave, Chernobyl Diaries, Dark Shadows, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days, Great Hope Springs, Ice Age: Continental Drift, Katy Perry: Part of Me, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Madea's Witness Protection, Magic Mike, Men in Black 3, Neighborhood Watch, Piranha 3DD, Prometheus, Rock of Ages, Savages, Snow White and the Huntsman, Step Up Revolution, Ted, That's My Boy, The Amazing Spider-Man, The Avengers, The Bourne Legacy, The Campaign, The Dark Knight Rises, The Dictator, The Expendables 2, The Odd Life of Timothy Green, Total Recall, What to Expect When You're Expecting
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