So we just finished telling you why the Summer of 2009 was the season of bad movies. Now, as if to validate our point (sarcasm alert) Variety has just announced that the Summer of ’09 has set a new record as the highest grossing summer of all time at the U.S. domestic box office.
So there you have it, folks, it’s official: Hollywood has no reason to ever hire good writers, produce good scripts, or offer us anything better at the multiplex than what Michael Bay can half-envision.
The numbers of course tell a deeper tale than that, so if you’d like to find out just how the heck this summer managed to break the box office bank, here’s the breakdown:
Top earners for the season were Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen ($399.4 million), Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince ($294.3 million), and Disney/Pixar’s Up ($289.6 million). We all know why the franchise players made bank (it certainly wasn’t because the newest installments were great films in and of themselves) and Pixar is a proven brand that happened to offer a truly exceptional film. Other crap sequels that helped fill the piggy bank: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($193.3 million), Angels and Demons ($133.4 million) and Night at the Museum 2 ($176.5 million)
There were also some unexpected boosts to the box office this year, thanks to Warner Bros.’ breakout hit The Hangover ($270.2 million) and the Sandra Bullock / Ryan Reynolds rom-com, The Proposal ($160.2 million).
Rounding out the Summer ’09 box office cash pile were reboots/relaunches of popular franchises. On that front you had Star Trek ($256.7 million), Wolverine ($179 million), Terminator Salvation ($125.3 million) and G.I. Joe ($133.4 million and counting).
This really must be just a cruel joke being played by God, IMHO. You have he Writers Guild of America strike back in 2007, during which the scripts for a lot of these films were forced to go into production half-cooked (or less), and what’s the moral of the story? What’s the grand example that the talented writers in Hollywood can hold up to the studios? “Hey, you better treat us right, otherwise we’ll stop working and you’ll end up making more money than you ever have before!”
Pretty short soapbox to be standing on.
It’s also arguable evidence of the (snooty) stereotype that the average American moviegoer has the cerebral capacity of a third grader. Just looking at the numbers I have to wonder just how so many people could be so entertained by so much crap. It once again raises a question one of our readers put to us back in June, after the release of Transformers 2: Is there really a difference between movies like The Dark Knight and TF2 when both films start pulling in crazy bank? How much does quality count?
It was an intriguing topic before, but after hearing that the Summer of 2009 will go down as a the “best” summer at the movies ever (from a profit standpoint), it’s now a raging debate. Expect Screen Rant‘s post about it soon.