All Summer Sixteen
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Summer at the movies was filled with highs and lows, but at the box-office it was mostly lows, literally, as audiences didn’t flood the movie theaters as they used to. So what did the cinema offer that it failed to attract audiences?
The summer began on a hopeful note with Captain America: Civil War, as we saw our favorite Marvel heroes battle each other on the big screen with newcomer Black Panther, and the return of everybody’s friendly neighbor Spider-Man. Horror movies, whether they were good or bad, managed to make millions at the box-office; but it was The Conjuring 2 and The Shallows that scared audiences with poltergeists and sharks. Animated films were another success with Seth Rogen’s raunchy Sausage Party drawing an appetizing crowd with adults, while The Secret of Pets staring Louis C.K and Kevin Hart drew in the other half with kids; but, it was Pixar’s Finding Dory that got both young and old audiences to come together as it became the highest grossing film of the year.
Hollywood gave its usual dose of sequels, reboots, and remakes and ended empty handed. Sequels underperformed as they failed to surpass its predecessors; while they weren’t all terrible and made a modest amount of money, it didn’t reach the quota that movie studios were hoping for with films like Star Trek Beyond, X-Men Apocalypse, Jason Bourne, and Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising. Other films like The Nice Guys, Kubo and the Two Strings and The BFG earned praise from critics but bombed at the box-office. Among the film franchises Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows performed poorly at the box-office and with critics, but, unlike other franchise potentials in the similar position, it still has a chance for a third installment thanks to its merchandising. Hooray? While Ghostbusters caused quite the uproar before its release, Suicide Squad caused a bigger rift between fans and critics as it received the same polarizing reception like the previous DC movies Batman v Superman and Man of Steel. Let’s hope next year’s Wonder Woman can deliver a more welcoming DC film.
You would think after The Lone Ranger, Transcendence and Mortdecai, filmmakers would learn that just because you have Johnny Depp in your movie it doesn’t guarantee a success, the people behind Alice Through the Looking Glass learned this the hard way as it crashed and burned at the box-office. Franchise potentials like Ghostbusters and The Legend of Tarzan didn’t earn enough money for a second film, though in the case in WarCraft, it was a hit in China and rumors have emerged of a possible sequel with the catch that it won’t be released in North America due to its dismal performance. Independence Day: Resurgence failed where Finding Dory succeeded in capturing the nostalgia and spirit of its previous film as it also crashed and burned on arrival; but, none tanked harder than Ben-Hur and Matthew McConaughey’s Free State of Jones. Both films joined the list of 2016 box-office flops with Gods of Egypt, Zoolander No. 2, The Brothers Grimsby, and The Huntsman: Winter’s War; films that no one saw or remembered ever coming out this year.
While it’s true that this summer was filled with less hits and more misses the fall and winter season look promising with Doctor Strange, Star Wars: Rogue One and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find The.. Summer 2017 will give us Spiderman: Homecoming, Despicable Me 3, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, and War of the Planet of the Apes. Not to mention a fifth Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean film. (sigh). Lets hope they do a better job than what we got this year.