Friday, October 26, 2012

Direct Current #13/Box Office 1983

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x13 "Dawn"
The story may be familiar ("The Enemy" and "Darmok" from Next Generation alone), but the real draw in the increasing ability of Trip to stand out from the Enterprise pack, his second appearance in the season to dominate an episode.

Read more here.

ITEM!  Comics Reader - Reading Comics #79 "Essential Wolverine Vol. 2 #1"
Starting a look at one of those giant black-and-white collections, in this instance including classic Wolverine comics from 1990, featuring the unexpected pleasure of writer Jo Duffy.  How do these stories reflect Hollywood storytelling at the time?  Find out...

Read more here.

THE BEST OF WHAT'S AROUND

Dave wrote about a really awesome classic piece of art.

Collected Editions talks about the new Resurrection Man trade.

Mock!  shares the ______ of the creator of MadLibs.

PT Dilloway with another big announcement.

Kate O'Mara wonders what kind of writer you are.

SOAP BOX

1983 was another banner year at the movies:

1. Return of the Jedi ($252 mil)
The original Star Wars trilogy concludes six years after the release of the first film, in a lot of ways almost a generation later.  Maybe that explains why some fans still gripe about Ewoks the way some fans still gripe about Jar Jar Binks.  Anyway, Luke Skywalker defeats the Dark Side, another Death Star is destroyed, and Lando totally gets a scratch on Han Solo's beloved Millennium Falcon.  And he was told not to!!!

2. Terms of Endearment ($108 mil)
One of the reasons Shirley MacLaine and Larry McMurtry remained big names for years.  Also stars Jack Nicholson!  And perhaps a reason why some people still gripe that the most popular movies these days are all blockbusters...like the above movie.  The Ewoks killed the radio star!

3. Flashdance ($92 mil)
This one's responsible for a lot of stuff.  Making Jennifer Beals a household name.  And in a roundabout way, Channing Tatum.  This is the source of all those dance movies.  Thanks so much!

4. Trading Places ($90 mil)
Eddie Murphy's second hit tends to be forgotten.  I loved it when I saw it.  Also stars Dan Ackroyd and Activia, I mean Jamie Lee Curtis.

5. WarGames ($79 mil)
The movie that gave us the career of Matthew Broderick.  Well, I think most people would argue that the later Ferris Bueller's Day Off did that.  But this movie got here first.  This was technically the bigger hit.  But sometimes a movie makes it into pop culture lore on the strength of smaller initial popularity.

6. Octopussy ($67 mil)
Another Roger Moore installment of the James Bond franchise!  If you keep reading, you'll see the results for an unofficial entry featuring a slightly more distinguished Bond.  Surprisingly it doesn't make much less.  (Just to be clear, I'm talking about Never Say Never Again, and Sean Connery.)

7. Sudden Impact ($67 mil)
The fourth Dirty Harry movie, starring Clint Eastwood.  Go ahead.  Make a reference to that chair.

8. Staying Alive ($64 mil)
The sequel to Saturday Night Fever (which I suppose is a predecessor to Flashdance, but who's going to argue that it's Staying Alive and not Flashdance that inspired Footloose, Dirty Dancing, and Step Up?).  Even thought it was clearly a hit, this John Travolta sequel is considered an embarrassing flop to this day.

9. Mr. Mom ($64 mil)
The career of Michael Keaton kicks off!  The funny thing is that everyone thought Keaton was going to ruin Batman.  I'd say that history proves Batman more or less ruined Keaton.  Even though I haven't seen this or many of his other films, Keaton's career still intrigues me, and I plan to watch through it at some point.

10. Risky Business ($63 mil)
The career of Tom Cruise kicks off!  More enduringly popular than Broderick, and Keaton...Possibly more controversial than Ewoks!  But it's another indication that a hit can help launch a career.  It just depends how many more hits follow.  Cruise keeps them coming, you have to give him that.  Like Flashdance one particular sequence made this one popular (Cruise dancing in his underwear).  Unlike Flashdance, Cruise obviously trumps Beals.  Dancing in your underwear is fine.  Dumping water on yourself is apparently not.

Other notable movies: National Lampoon's Vacation ($61 mil), Superman III ($59 mil), The Big Chill ($56 mil), Never Say Never Again ($55 mil, 12 less for Connery than Moore), Scarface ($44 mil), The Outsiders ($25 mil), The Right Stuff ($21 mil), A Christmas Story ($19 mil), Monty Python's The Meaning of Life ($14 mil), Zelig ($11 mil), Smokey and the Bandit Part III ($5 mil)

Source: Box Office Mojo

2 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Not a lot to like about that list. I thought the Ewoks were cool at the time but at the time I was 6, so you know, kind of makes sense.

What they should do for the next Bond movie is get all the Bonds in there. Even George Lazenby. Do a total "Days of Future Past" thing. I mean sure Sean Connery isn't acting anymore, but just give him some money and he'd probably do it.

Tony Laplume said...

One of the things fans have always wanted to see if Connery as the Bond villain. There was a version of that in The Avengers (the Ralph Fiennes/Uma Thurman/John Steed/Emma Peel film, not the Joss Whedon/Marvel/Iron Man/Captain America/Hulk/Nick Fury film). But there was a lot of Joe Schumacher in that one. I still loved it.

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