2012 Summer Round-Up: Winners & Losers

Because Some Have To Win and Some Have To Loose

We’ve already taken a look at what lessons can be learned by the summer that was (check it out here), now here is the more straight forward and fun way to look back … The Winners and The Losers:

Winners:

1. Joss Whedon. The king of geeks. The king of the cult hits. The king of “cancelled too soon”. Now he is the king of the box office and has been made the king of the Marvel movie universe.

2. Christopher Nolan. Godfather Part III. Go watch it some time and you will be struck by a couple of things. First, it’s not as bad as you think. Second, it absolutely pales in comparison to the first two. The nature of ending a trilogy is that disappointment is the rule and even if you are OK, if the first two are great OK isn’t nearly good enough. Nolan can walk away from Batman with head held high because TDKR is much better than OK (even if not as good as TDK).

3. Charlize Theron and Chris Hemsworth. Theron followed what became almost the lead role in Snow White and the Huntsman with Prometheus and Hemsworth followed The Avengers with Snow White and the Huntsman. Apparently good looking, tall, blond people do well at the box office.

4. Sony. They had to make a Spider-Man movie in order to keep the rights, a hugely risky proposition where failure (1990’s post-Burton Batman movies) is more likely than success. Some have killed The Amazing Spider-Man but the fact remains it became the third highest grossing movie of the summer and nearly matched TDKR’s international box office totals. Emma Stone and Andy Garfield had great chemistry and for those who know what happens to Gwen Stacey in the comic books, the fate of those two playing out on screen could make for a great comic book movie.

5. Seth McFarlane and Mark Wahlberg. Ted, who knew?

6. Channing Tatum. Not only did his stripper past become a hit movie (insert rambling discussion of whether a female actor’s stripper past would hurt or help their career), the fact that they pulled GI Joe to insert more Channing Tatum into the movie says all that needs to be said about where he is in his career.

7. Wes Anderson. Moonrise Kingdom has now become Anderson’s biggest live action hit (The Fantastic Mr. Fox is still #1 in Anderson’s filmography). Not since his Rushmore, Royal Tenenbaums heyday has Wes Anderson been this hot. And that is a very good thing.

Losers:

1. Tim Burton. Dark Shadows didn’t hurt Burton as much as you think it did (nearly $250 million in box office world-wide) but his association, even if only as a marketing hook, with Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter did. This was the kind of movie that the Tim Burton name should have put people in the seats but either Burton’s name doesn’t mean what it used to or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Alice in Wonderland have changed significantly what that name means. No matter how you look at it any affiliation with one of the biggest bombs of the summer can’t be a good thing.

2. Vinve Vaughn & Ben Stiller (and Seth Rogen as a writer). Speaking of summer bombs, The Watch can make an exceedingly strong argument for bomb of the summer. Not only has it yet to crack $35 million at the domestic box office, it hasn’t even done $4 million internationally. Vaughn and/or Stiller above the title used to guarantee some box office, apparently it doesn’t any more.

3. Kristen Stewart. Forget the affair and all of the hype that has surrounded that, Snow White and the Huntsman changed their marketing to almost remove K-Stew entirely and focus on Theron and Hemsworth, and it worked brilliantly. She has been deemed so inconsequential to the success of the film that they are discussing replacing her for the sequel or making the sequel entirely a Huntsman movie. Not sure when the last time someone who starred in a summer hit can be viewed a loser, but Kristen definitely had a bad summer.

4. Tom Cruise, Adam Sandler & Cameron Diaz. Apparently we like them in specific kinds of movies and no longer trust them where ever they go (or do). Ultimately they simply all three made horrible decisions when they chose to make Rock of Ages, That’s My Boy and What To Expect When You’re Expecting, respectively.

5. Colin Farrell Doing August Remakes. This is sad to me, not because Total Recall was great (it wasn’t, although it wasn’t bad either), but Fright Night was really quite good last year. Sadly yet quite obviously there is simply no market for cult movie remakes starring Colin Farrell released in August. Let’s hope it doesn’t spell the end for him in all action movies.