2013 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report | Iron Man 3 | Despicable Me 2 | Man of Steel

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2013 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report

Iron Man 3
Despicable Me 2
Man of Steel
Monsters University
Fast & Furious 6
Star Trek Into Darkness
World War Z
The Heat
We're the Millers
The Great Gatsby
The Conjuring
Grown Ups 2
The Wolverine
Now You See Me
Lee Daniels' The Butler
The Hangover Part III
Pacific Rim
This is the End
The Lone Ranger
2 Guns
White House Down
The Smurfs 2
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
The Purge
After Earth
The Internship
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
Kick-Ass 2
The World's End
You're Next
2013 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report

Four months doesn't seem like much in the history of time, but when we started this pool the most shocking thing Miley Cyrus had ever done was not wear her seatbelt in the Hannah Montana movie. Now we've got Prince Harry playing the role of Scar in The Lion King, Kris Jenner getting divorced for ratings, and my son asking what Taylor Swift is doing on a country radio station. To paraphrase what Ferris Beuller once said: Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while... you're probably better off.

Before we get to the official Top Five Films of the season, let's recall the pretenders of the season by strolling down memory lane because some of us are asthmatic and most of us can't even remember what we had for lunch yesterday.

All The Way May

There was no question that this pool was front-loaded. Seven films from May crossed the $100 million mark, more than any other month this year. While two of them achieved a Ninja Warrior-esque Total Victory to make the Top Five, here's what happened to the others.

- The Great Gatsby was great at getting kids to go to a movie based on a book that didn't involve vampires or zombies. Of course, if the movie had either of those elements, it would've done tons better.

- Peeples found no peoples to go see it

- Looks like Darkness was the last place people wanted Star Trek to go Into as the 2009 buzz had receded by 2013. If they wait another four years before the next film, it'll be Star Trek Into Senior Dinner Discount.

- The synonyms for the word Epic are heroic, long, grand, monumental, and Homeric. I think the only one that fits this movie is Homeric if the Homer in question is from The Simpsons. Doh!

- If nothing else, The Hangover Part III succeeded in finally ending this series. The performance parallels between The Matrix and The Hangover franchises are so similar, I want Mike Tyson to clock me so I can forget I ever noticed.

- After Earth Will Smith lined up I, Robot 2, Hancock 2, and Bad Boys 3. That's how terrible it was. It's taking three times of going back to the well to get back on track.

- Now You See Me was the first in a magical number of sleeper hits this year. Now if these Vegas magicians could just make Carrot Top disappear.

June Blooms

Obviously it was Puig Mania sweeping the Think Blue! Dodger Nation that caused only four films to cross the $100 million mark in June. Two films survived to reach Top Five status and the rest treaded water instead of splashing new paths.

- The Internship did not lead to a paid position.

- The Purge surged as a low-budget success story which scared the big-budget blow-hards.

- If The Internship didn't show Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson that their (literally) Old School routine was getting tired, the new school of Seth Rogan, Jonah Hill, & Company proved it as This is the End did twice as well for half the price.

- World War Z delivered Brad Pitt his biggest hit ever. Of course, you realize, this means sequel.

- The Heat was probably the quietest $157 million hit ever. Seems like a missed opportunity they didn't have Sandy and Melissa cover "The Heat is On" during the end credits.

- White House Down made $25 million less than Olympus Has Fallen and only cost $80 million more to make. Sounds like the way things normally work out in Washington.

July Sighs

Here's where things really started to head south. Only one film climbed out of these murky waters to make the Top Five. The rest sunk to the bottom like a lead zeppelin.

- The Lone Ranger is alone in the biggest gap between budget and actual money earned category. The next time Disney tries to sell you something from "The Team That Brought You Pirates of the Caribbean," remember it's the same team that brought you Prince of Persia, Sorcerer's Apprentice, and now this mess.

- Grown Ups 2 seemed to grow less than the last one. Is Grown-Ups 3 when the gang moves back to a CBS Monday night sit-com?

- There was no hanging on to this Pacific Rim. When going for Independence Day levels of ridiculous, at least give us known B-level entities like Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman to pull for. You didn't go full Randy Quaid!

- I get how the people at DreamWorks thought Turbo was very different from Cars, but couldn't they see that every parent was going to see this as Cars 3?! Especially in a summer where there already was another Cars spin-off with Planes, Turbo never should've been let onto the track.

- R.I.P.D. was D.O.A. before its E.T.A. Second only to The Lone Ranger in the biggest gap between budget and actual money earned category. There's no peace in that rest.

- RED 2 would've been better off passing itself as a deluxe version of Taylor Swift's Red album. And, by the way, it's 11 years since Chicago. Catherine Zeta Jones is no longer an X-Factor to gain interest in your movie as Rock of Ages, Playing For Keeps, and Ocean's 12 can attest.

- The Conjuring conjured a fantastic $135 million and proved once again when I try to guess what's going to be a hit, that's when I pick Charlotte's Web to be my #1 film.

- It's so sad. People love Hugh Jackman but no one loves The Wolverine movies. Batman can survive being morose because the villains are colorful. Wolverine only seems to battle bad-guys in a grim-off.

The August Blues

One of the more painful summer months we've had in a long time. Only a few films stood out and the rest were walked on.

- The Smurfs 2 will thankfully put a nail in this illustrious film franchise, yet it never answered the question of why they got Britney Spears to sing the end credit song when Katy Perry was already involved as the voice of Smurfette. Did she say, "Look, you can have my voice, but you're not getting my moneymaker?"

- 2 Guns needed some more ammunition as it didn't even generate the typical Denzel returns.

- Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters found a very shallow ocean as its audience. Demi-gods are only half the men they need to be.

- Disney's Planes didn't fly very far off the ground. I can only hope the flight keeps getting delayed and I continue to avoid watching it with the fam.

- Much like last year's The Bourne Legacy, Elysium failed as the August tentpole to keep people pouring past the turnstiles. Without an anchor, most of the other films were adrift.

- We're the Millers was the exception as the "anything different is good" logic worked to its advantage.

- Kick-Ass 2 got it's ass kicked and the sooner the movie posters come down, the sooner my youngest son can stop getting away with saying ass because it's in the title of the movie.

- Those with paranoia think other people are trying to get them. It turns out, no one was trying to get Paranoia.

- Lee Daniels' The Butler had the poster of an HBO movie but the box-office of a legit late summer hit.

- Let this be a lesson to all wannabe book-into-movie franchises. Just go with a simple title for the first one and you can get all fancy if you're a hit with the second. You've lost me by the colon when you throw out a The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones title and apparently I wasn't the only one you lost.

- The World's End may be the end of the Edgar Wright/Simon Pegg pairing, but hopefully not the end of me brainstorming how to reenact the movie's 12 pint pub crawl without my wife killing me first.

- You're Next wasn't the next surprise horror hit which is more surprising to me than The Purge and The Conjuring doing so well.

So, because yesterday was Labor Day, here were the Top Five Movies of the Summer!!!

#5. Fast & Furious 6 - $238.7 million
So much for the series peeking with Fast 5. Obviously the resurrection of Michelle Rodriguez's Letty made all the difference. As any fan of Lost Season 2 will tell you, what we need more of is Michelle Rodriguez. I can't wait until Walker & Diesel get their honorary Oscar in 2040 as this generation's Crosby & Hope or Abbott & Costello. Walker & Diesel even just sounds like a great TV show name. Someone's got to make this happen after The Rock officially takes the championship belt from them, which he'll eventually lose to Brock Lesner and John Cena around Fast 12.

#4. Monsters University - $264.2 million
Pixar is still packing them in, but they've got to be careful with this sequel-itis. We've seen where that's taken DreamWorks. Mike & Sully went back to school and it took them two-thirds of the movie before they learned how to become the characters we liked in the first place. What was supposed to be a neck-and-neck battle with the minions for the top family movie of the summer became a TKO after the first week. The film certainly did well enough to graduate, just not with honors.

#3. Man of Steel - $290.3 million
It's a bird! It's a plane! It's... not Superman? Zack Snyder's film went out of its way to not call Clark Kent by his superhero name for most of the movie and then introduced the famous moniker in a completely throwaway scene. You can't throw away Superman's name... He's Superman! It's not just an aside or "Uh, we're calling him this until we come up with something better." Why does this guy keep getting pushed around? He can't even star in his own movie anymore as Batman gets to upstage him in the next film. No wonder Supes goes crazy in the Injustice series. By film three he'll be going by the name Eh-He'll-Do-In-A-Pinch Man

#2. Despicable Me 2 - $355.7 million
As soon as I heard those three year-old toddlers behind me talking along in Minion-Speak while watching Despicable Me 2 I knew this film was going to be babysitting kids for years to come. While not adding much new, it didn't feel forced and left folks happy and ready for more... more in the 2014 Holiday Movie Pool, to be exact. The minions will have their own spin-off Minions movie and given how the kids (and some adults) fawn over them, that's just going to be more of giving the people what they want. Despicable.

#1. Iron Man 3 - $408.6 million
Iron Man 3 was like a good meal you forgot you ever had. Seriously, it feels like this movie came out four years ago, not four months. Writer/Director Shane Black amped-up the snark and self-deprecating humor while keeping Robert Downey Jr. in check from becoming the side-show he was in Iron Man 2. In a way, it was the perfect post-dinner dessert after last summer's The Avengers. The challenge will be for the upcoming Thor and Captain America films who'll need their own momentum and can't rely on being the first Marvel movie after the biggest one in history. If this is the final stand-alone Iron Man film, which it appears will be, Tony Stark finally gets to go out on top and win a Summer Movie Pool.

by Matt Neuenburg on 09/03/2013

Movies Mentioned in this Post: 2 Guns, After Earth, Despicable Me 2, Elysium, Epic, Fast & Furious 6, Grown Ups 2, Iron Man 3, Kick-Ass 2, Lee Daniels' The Butler, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Now You See Me, Pacific Rim, Paranoia, Peeples, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Planes, R.I.P.D., RED 2, Star Trek Into Darkness, The Conjuring, The Great Gatsby, The Hangover Part III, The Heat, The Internship, The Lone Ranger, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, The Purge, The Smurfs 2, The Wolverine, The World's End, This is the End, Turbo, We're the Millers, White House Down, World War Z, You're Next
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