2019 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report | Long Shot | A Dog's Journey | Aladdin

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2019 Summer Movie Pool - Final Report

 Long Shot
A Dog's Journey
Aladdin
Annabelle Comes Home
Avengers: Endgame
Brightburn
Child's Play
Dark Phoenix
Detective Pikachu
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Godzilla: King of the Monsters
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
Men in Black International
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood
Poms
Rocketman
Shaft
Spider-Man: Far From Home
Stuber
The Angry Birds Movie 2
The Hustle
The Lion King
The Secret Life of Pets 2
Toy Story 4
Uglydolls
Yesterday
Whenever I’m at Costco and I see the Halloween costumes up and the Oktoberfest beer out I know it must be Labor Day Weekend. That means it’s time to put away the sunblock and speedos and say sayonara to these summer films of yesteryear (which I guess it still this year, but that didn’t sound as good).

Summer 2019 came, it saw, and it delivered the biggest blockbuster film of all-time. Summer 2019 also delivered some disappointing downs. While there weren’t the usual huge, massive flops as in year’s past, many franchises delivered less than expected returns. Still, there was some space for modest returns for modest endeavors, and that can make both filmgoers and filmmakers happy.

Before we get to the final five films of the season, let’s bang the singing bowl, take a deep breath, and practice our mindfulness when discussing the films we’ve already forgotten.

The Pooped in the Punch Bowl Section (sorry, that’s as mindful as I can be about these ones):

- Poms really better hope Medicare doesn’t run out after all the bruising they took.

- Brightburn burned dimly.

- You know that saying about how Uglydolls make pretty profits? No one does.

- Stuber. I think that’s all I have to say about it. Stuber.

- Shaft got, wait for it… shafted!

- A Dog’s Journey to the FreeWithAds movie section on a Roku near you.

- Child’s Play put Chucky in the bargain bin.

- Long Shot had a budget of $40 million and they put all of that money on the screen with Seth Rogan’s nicely cropped beard.

- Angry Birds 2 lost $30 million dollars. I’d be pissed too.

The Keep Your Eyes Closed (Pretty Much Did the Best They Could with What They Had) Section:

- Did The Hustle get anyone into the theater thinking they were seeing the upcoming movie Hustlers?

- Little did little to be more than the two-week distraction it was.

- Crawl sounds better, but “Swim” was a more accurate title. I could run away if they were crawling.

- The Intruder was the old guy in the Dog’s Journey Home movie? I did not see that coming!

- Ma made $40 million more than it’s $5 million budget. The lesson, as always, more evil Octavia Spencer.

- Angel has Fallen will likely be the end of a trilogy most people didn’t know existed.

- Dora and the Lost City of Gold had the Boots to make it back to its production budget.

- On a side note, just put about every Indie film that was released and made about $20-$30 million would be here.

The Exhale (Surprise Success Zone) Section:

- Scary Stories to Tell In the Dark winning both audiences and critics? That’s scary.

- Good Boys went for a younger version of Superbad and made half as much money.

- Yesterday showed that even if we never had The Beatles, we’d still have Ed Sheeran, so I guess ob la di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra, la-la, how the life goes on.

The I WIsh You Well (‘Cause You Really Underdelivered) Section:

- Dark Phoenix only turned to ashes. It never rose again.

- Annabelle Comes Home and not as many people answered the door.

- Men in Black: International was sent back Men in Red.

- Godzilla: King of the Monsters wouldn’t even rule at Monsters University. It was almost $100 million short of the last Godzilla film’s gross.

- The Secret Life of Pets 2 must’ve kept it a secret that it was even coming out as it made $200 million less than Pets 1.

The Celebrate Who You Are (Because You’re Not a Top Five Film) Section:

- Rocketman only pales compared to the Bohemian Rhapsody outlier. As an R-rated docu-drama released in the summer season, a $100 million gross is Alright for Fighting.

- Once Upon a Time in Hollywood people could release long movies with lots of dialogue and those movies could make money. Quentin Tarrantino showed you still could.

- Detective Pikachu solved the case for how you could make another hit film series with Ryan Reynolds involved. This must be his evolved version.

- Hobbs & Shaw may have only been Fast or Furious in the states, but they took in over $500 million overseas. More importantly, the How Did This Get Made podcast about this movie had me guffawing out loud while walking my dog. It’s always great to be scaring your neighbors and the cars on the road by laughing at jokes they can’t hear.

- John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum may have given Keanu the juice he needs so they can now make another Matrix film. I think I’d just settle for a few more John Wicks.

And, now, finally, because today is Labor Day, here were the Top Five Films of the 2019 Summer Movie Pool…

#5. Aladdin - $354.5 million
I’m going to blame my kids on this one. They’ve turned into hardened, cynical teenagers (where could they have gotten this from?!) and when this trailer came on in April, all they could tell me is how this film was getting destroyed and hated-on because of the blue Will Smith genie. I saw Dumbo flounder and I thought this might be another Disney live-action misstep. Nope! Like a magic carpet, Aladdin kept soaring from Memorial Day through June. The “It’s not so bad” buzz kicked-in for the non-believers and when the competition turned out to be Godzilla, Dark Phoenix, and MIB: International, yeah, this film was going to make bank. Prince Ali, mighty was he.

#4. Spider-Man: Far From Home - $386 million
While the world may have to wait to see if Spider-Man is ever in the Marvel Cinematic Universe again, Spidey went out with a bang. Gaining $50 more million than 2017’s Homecoming, Far From Home was a nice cherry on top after the Avengers this summer. Perfect, no. Breezy, yes. Sure, the Endgame “blip” causes some problems moving forward in the MCU that aren’t really explained yet, but let’s just go with the “blip” and move on… and hope that Spidey wasn’t just a blip in the MCU.

#3. Toy Story 4 - $430.5 million
I think it’s pretty clear now that Woody and Buzz have a friend in all of us. It’s a franchise that has made over $3 billion worldwide over the past 25 years. Sometimes the movie geek in me wants them to stop making them because they’re going to “ruin” it one of these days, but they haven’t done it yet and obviously they’re better at it than I am. Forky becomes a revelation as the film progresses and anyone who’s ever been around a kid knows you never can predict what’s going to become the center of a child’s whole world. Sometimes, the Pixar sequels seem Paint-By-Numbers. It’s nice to see the Toy Story films are the exception to that.

#2. The Lion King - $523.5 million
Speaking of Paint-By-Numbers… Though critics couldn’t wait to pounce on this live-action remake, audiences couldn’t wait to lap it up. These days it may be cliche to call something a technical marvel, but holy crap, there are times during this film I wondered if I’ll ever see anything real again and would I care? Just put me in The Matrix, baby, if things are going to look as great as that. As for the movie itself, well, it was The Lion King. Sure, it’s got some things that don’t make a lot of sense… and they didn’t make sense in the animated version either. With an 88% audience approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I’ll assume those that wanted to like this film got what they wanted. Those that wanted to hate on it got the same. Regardless, Disney wins. Again. Long live the king.

#1. Avengers: Endgame - $858.4 million
There’s not much left to say about “the highest grossing film of all-time,” except that, not to be to Star Wars-ian for you, that’s all depending on your point of view. This whole “Let’s top Avatar campaign” never mentioned the fact that Avengers: Endgame is still $80 million behind Star Wars: The Force Awakens domestically. Look, we’re America. If Hobbs & Shaw made $2.8 billion around the world but only $200 million here, are we really going to call it “the biggest film in history?” It’s like being an American Track and Field star in Europe. No one knows who you are here. Regardless, Avengers was amazing in more ways than one. It dominated the season so completely that we almost forgot it was there. It opened so huge that there was still space for Pikachus and John Wicks to do well. Lastly, it was a film we could sit back and say, “Yeah, that film deserved #1” That’s probably the greatest feat of all.


by Matt Neuenburg on 09/02/2019

Movies Mentioned in this Post: Long Shot, A Dog's Journey, Aladdin, Annabelle Comes Home, Avengers: Endgame, Brightburn, Child's Play, Dark Phoenix, Detective Pikachu, Dora and the Lost City of Gold, Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, Men in Black International, Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Poms, Rocketman, Shaft, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Stuber, The Angry Birds Movie 2, The Hustle, The Lion King, The Secret Life of Pets 2, Toy Story 4, Uglydolls, Yesterday
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