The Summer Box Office

The Summer Box Office

One For The Record Books

How Did The Summer Box Office Do?

Lloyd is putting on his Press Hat for this weeks movie review post. Last weeks Box Office was a bust and this week doesn’t look very promising either. Last weekend the Box Office pundits blamed poor moviegoer turnout on Hurricane Irene. Come on now, do you think we’re all stupid? Hurricane Irene may have slightly took its toll on moviegoers but she certainly is not fully to blame for the fact that a limited release movie – The Help – grabbed the number one box office spot just barely breaking the $14 million mark.

Reality is this – There’s nothing on the big screen worth seeing right now!

We are in a dead spot when it comes to movie releases. Through the years the money-hungry entertainment world has discovered the last couple weeks of August and pretty much all of September are throw away weeks. Statistically the numbers are down for people attending movies and that means nothing of real note hits the big screen. Of course you can’t blame the money-backers of movies to shy away from these weeks. After all, it’s smart business to not flood the market with top notch movies that people won’t see on the big screen because too many other things are going on. But, please stop spinning the news to make it look like something special is out there. The moviegoer paying big bucks to go to a movie these days do not appreciate being treated like dummies.

This weekend does not look much better when it comes to new movie releases. The Debt – which is the so-called big Labor Day Weekend release which came out on Wednesday – starring Helen Mireen is nothing more than a hyped limited release movie as it’s opening on less than 2,000 screens! The other wanna-be big Labor Day release is also another limited release flick. While Apollo 18 receives a big commercial push on TV, it’s only opening on 2,750 screens.

While both The Debt and Apollo 18 look promising, they are by no means opening in a wide release standing.

A Summer Rewind Review

Statistically, while movie attendance was at the third lowest level since 1997, this summer still set a new seasonal record when it comes to dollars made at the box office. As I’ve pointed out many times, higher average ticket prices boosted by the flood of 3D movies on the market sent revenues up. But, attendance was not near the record levels set back in 2002.

When it comes to summer movies – we’ve reviewed a total of 14 from the May 24th weekend through to Labor Day Weekend. That’s pretty much what is considered as the summer movie season. For us the summer movie season started with Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and ended with Spy Kids: All The Time in the World. Yes, there have been a few movies since the Spy Kids flick, but as already noted, most of those movies aren’t even note-worthy. I do find it interesting that the summer season started with two “fourth” movies. Johnny Depp reprises his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the fourth Pirate flick, while we see the return of the grown up original Spy Kids in the fourth film in that franchise as well.

The good…the bad…and the ugly…

Of the 14 summer movies for us – some were bad – some were great – others not-so-good. On Stranger Tides was surprisingly good. I went in saying; “Why another Pirates movie?” But came out saying; “Ranks up there with the first one.” When it comes to special effects, there was an overload of those during the summer. If you’re looking for special effects with little story line then you will enjoy Green Lantern, Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Rise of the Planet of the Apes. In the category of “Turn your mind off and enjoy the show” there’s Kung Fu Panda 2 and Cowboys & Aliens.  Last, but certainly not least in this quick rundown of summer flicks, Mr. Popper’s Penguins starring Jim Carrey was wonderful too. It’s nice to see Carrey back in the genre he does well.

When it comes to the best…

From the 14 movies we reviewed this summer 3 of them rose to the top when it comes to the best category of reaching the highest Lloyd rating. All three of these movies happen to be Family-Friendly and we gave them all at least 4 Lloyds. The Smurfs, Captain America: The First Avenger and Zookeeper grab the “Best in Class” award for us.

Of the three – when stacked up side by side – The Smurfs is probably the weakest. While it is a strong movie I have a feeling there’s also a sentimental pull to the movie too. I remember watching the Smurfs on TV so the idea of seeing them come to life on the big screen was just fun. Zookeeper with Kevin James is simply a fun movie too. Kevin James is great and we just love pretty much anything he does. He’s talented and can also pull even the worst movie out of the dumpster.

When it comes to our top pick for the summer season that leaves Captain America: The First Avenger. In the midst of a superhero-summer, Marvel out-did themselves, as well as others, with this introduction of The Avenger’s. Earlier in the year they introduced Thor which is simply a bad movie aimed at nothing more than introducing the character for next years reunion of Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Thor. Captain America does not disappoint when it comes to portraying comic book superheroes come to life on the big screen.

Enjoy the show!
Dr. Rus

About the Author

Dr. Rus has 30+ years experience in the field of communication. He takes this experience, and his passion to encourage others to positively effect their environment, when providing insight and movie reviews.