Summer 2011 Movies: The Best, The Worst, & Some Surprises

Published 4 years ago by , Updated September 6th, 2011 at 5:22 pm,

Best Surprise Hit – X-Men: First Class

rose byrne talks x men first class sequel 570x285 Summer 2011 Movies: The Best, The Worst, & Some Surprises

Matthew Vaughn’s rebooting prequel, X-Men: First Class, read as potentially fantastic on paper – a ’60s-set adventure full of political intrigue and young mutant drama – but concerns about its significant departure from both the previous X-Men movie and comic book continuity made many a fan wary about its potential quality. Those concerns were only amplified by a rushed production schedule and mixed marketing campaign that even left the film’s cast wondering if the project was a disaster in the making.

That First Class turned out as well as it did in spite of all those issues was a genuine surprise. It failed to reach the heights of box office success that its predecessors and fellow Marvel comic book adaptations managed, but still made enough worldwide to keep plans for a sequel alive. First Class also helped get the X-Men franchise back on track after two installments (X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine) which were given an overall lackluster reception.

Lastly, has there been a better onscreen “bromance” recently than that between young Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) and Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) in First Class?

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Most Disappointing Surprise Flop – Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark

Guy Pearce and Katie Holme in Dont Be Afraid of the Dark Summer 2011 Movies: The Best, The Worst, & Some Surprises

A remake of the 1970s made-for-TV cult classic Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark was never expected to be a box office smash, but Guillermo del Toro fans were definitely psyched to see this one. Just a day before its hit theaters, a red band trailer was released, hinting that it would be a spooky creature feature that boasted the sort of skin-crawling violence and horrific atmosphere that del Toro fans loved in his previous films. So what the heck went wrong?

It turned out that having del Toro write and direct your movie is a very different thing than having him co-write and produce. Not everyone found Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark quite as laughably bad as we did, but even its admirers seem to agree, there was definitely room for improvement. The box office returns have reflected that lack of enthusiasm, seeing how the film doesn’t look to even match its $25 million budget, as far as U.S. ticket sales go.

To further put it in perspective – Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark might not even outgross Apollo 18, when all is said and done. How many people saw that coming?

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Next: Best and Most Disappointing Animated Movies

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  1. No no not green lantern… Did you see Thor… That movie was trash

  2. The Green Lantern movie would have been more enjoyable had the director and screenwriters used the Silver Age Green Lantern comics as their main source of inspiration. Those particular issues were the products of people who were avid science fiction fans. Ryan Reynolds should have portrayed Green Lantern as a more resourceful and stoic hero.

  3. I will most likely not watch this year’s televised Oscar presentation but I can’t wait to see the ratings it generates in the North American market.I wonder how many Harry Potter fans will be willing to watch an awards event that ignores Alan Rickman’s outstanding performance in HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, Part 2. The final installment of the Lord of the Rings trilogy might have won a whole slew of Oscar statuettes but the last of the Harry Potter movies featured fine performances from the people who appeared in it.

  4. I wonder what was the percentage of those filmgoers who disliked last summer’s Thor movie because it was based on Marvel’s superhero character instead of the actual Norse god? And, I wonder how many of those people who wanted to watch a based that was based on the Norse legends are actually white supermacists? I tend to suspect that those Hollywood types who openly disparaged TRANSFORMERS 3 also disliked such movies as HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, part 2 and RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES,too.

  5. From the point of view of someone who has never read comics, nor cared to (as I’m a 32 year old single female), yet enjoys a good action flick, this movie was just fine. I won’t claim that it is the very best movie I’ve ever seen but it’s a solid 3.5-4.0 out of 5.0, in my opinion. It seems the biggest complaints are from those who are fans of the comics, but when you think about it, most of the world doesn’t faithfully follow comics, so if you’re able to separate the comic from the movie you’re likely to be satisfied with the film. In fact, I am looking forward to a sequel.