Monday, October 29, 2012

Direct Current #15/Box Office 1985

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x15 "Cease Fire"
The second season of Enterprise is finally graced by an appearance from Shran!  Plus another franchise appearance by Suzie Plakson!  If you like Vulcans and Andorians, and who doesn't? you'll love this episode, which is almost like a prequel to the fourth season!

Read more here.

ITEM!  Comics Reader - Reading Comics #80 "Essential Wolverine Vol. 2 #2"
Larry Hama and Marc Silvestri make their debut in the next batch of issues from the collection, leading me to muse about several things besides the contents of the issues, including Savage Dragon and Image Comics, and also a bit about what's actually in the issues.

Read more here.


The decade was only getting warmed up.  1985 has some magic to work all its own, with some unique offerings demonstrating what filmmakers could accomplish with some fresh blood pumping through Hollywood.

1. Back to the Future ($210 mil)
Michael J. Fox!  That dude became almost a legend overnight, and all he had to do was make out with his mother!  Still one of the most beloved stars of our time, whether in the movies or TV (more TV these days, and another comeback in the offing!).  Spawned two sequel and the obligatory '80s animated spin-off, and an obsession and pop culture references that remain to this day.  Perhaps one of the few movies that could truly not be improved by a remake.

2. Rambo: First Blood Part II ($150 mil)
I don't know if you noticed, but the signature action stars of the '80s did not get that way overnight.  The first Rambo was pretty low-key.  It's the second one that explodes the character and admittedly puts him in a situation where lots of explosions occur.

3. Rocky IV ($127 mil)
Sly Stallone was a huge star, the biggest of the action stars.  It's no wonder that the Expendables movies revolve around him.  Here he succeeds in having two of the top three hit films of 1985, in two very different signature roles.  Though at this point Rocky is probably closer to Rambo than the Rocky seen in his first couple appearances.

4. The Color Purple ($94 mil)
The movie in which Steven Spielberg attempts to enter the world of more conventional material.  Obviously a huge hit, but I think it's been forgotten over time, and I'm not just saying that because I haven't seen it myself.  Features Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Oprah Winfrey, Laurence Fishburne, and is essentially the first time since the blaxploitation '70s where black actors are allowed to expand their craft and presence in film, pushing them forward to Spike Lee and onward.  Actors like Halle Berry, Denzel Washington, Will Smith, and Samuel L. Jackson owe their careers to this moment.

5. Out of Africa ($87 mil)
Robert Redford and Meryl Streep remain some of Hollywood's most visible icons, and this is probably one of the reasons why.  The movie that beat The Color Purple at the Oscars.

6. Cocoon ($76 mil)
Otherwise known as the movie where old people have all the fun.

7. The Jewel of the Nile ($75 mil)
The sequel to Romancing the Stone.  Perhaps also the point where people realized that Michael Douglas was not after all the new Indiana Jones.  Still, a game try of it!

8. Witness ($68 mil)
The movie that proved Harrison Ford wasn't just Han Solo and Indiana Jones.  Otherwise known as Ford becoming a legitimate box office star.  This is what Orlando Bloom desperately tried to duplicate twenty years later.

9. The Goonies ($61 mil)
I have not actually seen most of the movies in this Top Ten.  The Goonies included.

10. Spies Like Us ($60 mil)
Saturday Night Live was huge.  It made huge stars.  This one stars Dan Ackroyd and Chevy Chase.

Other notable films: Police Academy 2: Their First Assignment ($55 mil), Fletch ($50 mil; Chevy Chase again), A View to a Kill ($50 mil; last Roger Moore as Bond), European Vacation ($49 mil; Chase again!), The Breakfast Club ($45 mil), Pee-Wee's Big Adventure ($40 mil; say hello to Tim Burton), St. Elmo's Fire ($37 mil), Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome ($36 mil; Mad and Mel Gibson's biggest hit so far), Commando ($35 mil), Teen Wolf ($33 mil; Fox again), A Nightmare on Elm Street 2: Freddy's Revenge ($29 mil), Friday the 13th - Part V ($21 mil), Porky's Revenge (Part III) ($20 mil), Death Wish 3 ($16 mil), Return to Oz ($11 mil), After Hours ($10 mil), Once Bitten ($10 mil; Jim Carrey!), Brazil ($9 mil; oh, well, this may be a reason Terry Gilliam lost favor in Hollywood)

Source: Box Office Mojo


PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

So basically every movie was either Michael J Fox, Sly Stallone, or Chevy Chase? A lot of the stuff on there is pretty campy today.

Spacerguy said...

Back to the future sure put a new exciting spin on time travel when it hit the cinemas in the 80's. I wish I had a flux capacitor!

Tony Laplume said...

PT, that was the '80s! Spacer, everyone wants a flux capacitor, or a DeLorean!

Maurice Mitchell said...

85 was a great year in film Tony. Cocoon is kind of a forgotten classic for some reason.


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