2017 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report | Wonder Woman | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 | Spider-Man: Homecoming

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2017 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report

Wonder Woman
Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Despicable Me 3
Cars 3
War for The Planet of The Apes
Transformers: The Last Knight
Girls Trip
Annabelle: Creation
The Emoji Movie
The Mummy
The Hitman’s Bodyguard
Alien: Covenant
Captain Underpants
Atomic Blonde
The Dark Tower
All Eyez On Me
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
The House
Rough Night
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Miley Cyrus may have come in like a Wrecking Ball four years ago, but this may have been the summer when it finally felt like we were all the ones hit by it. Four months of movies and yet most would be pressed to even name four movies that came out this summer. Big name after big name met with mediocre (yes, I’m being kind) reviews and lackluster results.

In some ways it was the perfect storm. Movie pundits could already write their “What Wrong With Hollywood” articles back in May before the films even opened. Most could see there wasn’t a lot of enticing offerings and as long as surprises didn’t exceed expectations, this was destined to be the lowest summer box-office total in years. Like a self-fulfilling prophecy, this all came to pass, which makes this one of those win-wins that’s like a lose-lose.

Still, we can hope this is just a blip. Pixar isn’t always going to give us another Cars movie to not care about. We should be done with Pirates and Transformers for another few years. Besides, in 2018 we’ll have even more superhero movies, another Jurassic World, and even a Han Solo solo movie. So let’s cut the cord on this mostly crappy season and look forward to the good times ahead, just like Miley Cyrus is just trying to sing songs now and keep her clothes on. That’s a win-win that’s a win-win!

The “Why Did They Even Bother” Section - $30 million and less range

- Cheap horror films can sometimes be summer silver (not gold, obviously, but silver ain’t shabby). This time they only got zinc as no one wished for Wish Upon and It Comes at Night never showed up.

- Detroit had plenty of publicity. It just couldn’t turn any of that into an interest in actually seeing the movie. In comparison, an independent movie like Wind River had 4% of that buzz, built-up strong reviews and word-of-mouth, and ended-up making more (and, editorial note, became the only movie I saw all August).

- Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul was supposed to be the start of the rebooted franchise. Now it’s the nail in the coffin of a series we’ll never see again. Safe to say, that new guy was NotAnyonesRodrick.

- R-Rated comedies are the bomb! Remember how great The Hangover, Bridesmaids, and Wedding Crashers were?! Instead, Rough Night and The House were just bombs. I want to believe this is the kind of stuff North Korea is really working on.

- The only thing nutty about Nut Job 2 was that they made it. Which is about the same you could say about Halle Berry’s movie, Kidnap. The only nutty thing about it was that they made it.

The “Aren’t You Supposed To Be Somewhere Else” Section - $40-$60 million range

- It’s amazing how much King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets have in common. They both were helmed by “acclaimed” directors who haven’t been acclaimed in a long time. They both had titles you’d never properly remember. They both cost over a $175 million to make (wha?!). Most importantly, everyone has already forgot that these films even ever came out. Well played, Guy Ritchie and Luc Besson!

- All Eyez on Me didn’t have nearly the eyez of Straight Outta Compton. I knew 2Pac’s rep would never recover after they released a song of his sampled with Bruce Hornsby and The Range.

- It took three famous blondes to make two tepid movies. Snatched wasn’t grabbed by anyone and Atomic Blonde had its power rating downgraded to a cigarette lighter.

- People seem to be all jacked about the new Stephen King movie IT. Unfortunately, nobody was buzzing about The Dark Tower which seemed less Stephen King and more like a “serious” Last Action Hero. No one wants a Last Action Hero, serious or not.

- What do The Rock, Ryan Reynolds, Samuel L. Jackson, and Zac Efron have in common? They could’ve all swapped movie roles between Baywatch and The Hitman’s Bodyguard and all ended-up with the same final gross. Seriously, would Baywatch have done worse with Samuel L and Reynolds? Would Hitman’s Bodyguard done better with The Rock and Zac? At least Hitman’s $30 million budget seemed appropriate and it doubled that with it’s gross. Baywatch was just gross.

The “To Be or Not to Be… Eh, Just Not to Be” Section - Big-Budget Busts and Blahs

- Kids films usually do great in the summer… unless those flicks feature underware, texting, or Mator. Captain Underpants, The Emoji Movie, and Cars 3 all under-delivered and under-performed expectations, which in Hollywood terms probably means they’re already green-lit for sequels. Huzzah.

- I think with Alien: Covenant Ridley Scott broke his covenant with fan boys that he’d win them back after Prometheus. Instead he only found dumber humans to be killed off by GMO aliens. Maybe we can get him to use his powers for good and takeover the Transformers or Pirates franchises to run them in the ground for good too!

- Actually, Michael Bay and whoever Jerry Bruckheimer hired may have already done just that. Transformers 5 made $105 million less than its last outing and Pirates 5 was down $70 million doubloons. Maybe these franchises can become like those albums David Hasselhoff made… They’re only available overseas and no one in the U.S. even knows they exist. That’d be nice.

- It’s weird to use the phrase “You crapped the bed” when talking about a movie that features a monster wrapped with exactly what you’d need to clean that mess up, but The Mummy was the worst possible way for Universal to start it’s new movie series. For once, Brendan Fraser gets the last laugh… You go, Encino Man!

- Maybe no one has sued War for the Planet of the Apes for false advertising, but did they think the more appropriate title Prison Camp During the War for the Planet of the Apes was too long? Maybe it was just bad timing coming out a week after the “hot” Spider-Man: Homecoming and a week before the attention-grabbing Dunkirk, but the Apes dropped $60 million from their Dawn. No amount of special effects can change that.

The “Snack Sized Hits” Section
[These films didn’t set the world on fire, but stood out as making a great profit on their budget and offering alternatives to some of those unwanted big-budgeted letdowns]

- Take a bow The Big Sick (indie hit of the season), 47 Meters Down, Annabelle: Creation (the one horror film that stuck), Baby Driver, and Girls Trip. If we’d had some more films like that this summer, this season would’ve been a lot more fun for all involved.

The Top Five Films of Summer 2017

And now, because last Monday was Labor Day, here were the actual Top Five films of the season.

#5. Dunkirk - $181.7 million
Christopher Nolan’s WWII opus finally passed Pirates 5 to make the Top 5 in the final days of the pool. While this wasn’t the Saving Private Ryan “event” movie some thought it could be, it still well-exceeded more recent WWII flicks like Fury, Unbroken, and Hacksaw Ridge. Maybe it’s fitting that One Direction’s Harry Styles is in the film, as this is more like one of 1D’s solo songs. It’s like a hit, but it’s no Story of My Life.

#4. Despicable Me 3 - $259.2 million
The minions and Gru reunited and it feels so… been there done that. When you lose $110 million dollars between your second and third film, the ball got dropped somewhere and, boy, would I love to find that spot and the $110 million! However, we you stand alone as the only summer film in the $200 million range you must’ve done something right, even if that just means beating out Emoji Movie, Cars 3, and Captain Underpants… oh, and Nut Job 2!

#3. Spider-Man: Homecoming - $326.2 million
While still below any of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Mans, this series gained $125 million over the last Andrew Garfield misfire. Looks like it wasn’t just Peter’s suit that was upgraded! The connection to the Marvel Cinematic Universe felt right at home in Sony’s movie and I’m sure they’d love for someone else to keep coming in and making their movies for them… And hope someone else also stops them from their terrible “like’s make Spidey spin-off character movies” like Venom, Black Cat, and Silver Sable.

#2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2 - $389.7 million
I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. I am Groot. In English, the film most people picked to be the top film did exactly what people thought it would do, make around $400 million. Great job on doing exactly what was expected! Just like one of the random subplots taking over more of the movie than expected, it just so happened another film did even better. Groot happens.

#1. Wonder Woman - $409.5 million
Gal Gadot did Lynda Carter and the rest of the Wonder Woman fans proud with her performance, Chris Pine did Chris Piney things, and the rest all fell into place as director Patty Jenkins made sure the women of Paradise Island came-off looking like they athletic warriors they should be than extras from an 90’s Skinamax movie. It’s rare to have a “first time” film top any season list as sequels typically rule the roost. Wonder Woman join 2002’s Spider-Man as the only “first” films to top $400 million and WW bested Spidey’s total by $8 million. In a summer of mostly disappointments, Diana Prince shined the brightest.

by Matt Neuenburg on 09/09/2017

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Alien: Covenant, All Eyez On Me, Annabelle: Creation, Atomic Blonde, Baywatch, Captain Underpants, Cars 3, Despicable Me 3, Detroit, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul, Dunkirk, Girls Trip, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Rough Night, Snatched, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Dark Tower, The Emoji Movie, The Hitman’s Bodyguard, The House, The Mummy, Transformers: The Last Knight, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, War for The Planet of The Apes, Wonder Woman
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