Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Direct Current #16/Box Office 1986

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x16 "Future Tense"
One of the more interesting episodes from the Temporal Cold War arc features Tholians, speculations on the fate of Zephram Cochrane, and Archer finally trying to assert himself in a conflict that has nothing to do with him except at least two factions being obsessed with his role in founding the Federation.

Read more here.

SOAP BOX

What's up, Box Office 1986?  I bet you've got some fun stuff to share with us!

1. Top Gun ($176 mil)
Do you feel a need for speed?  Because that's what this film did for Tom Cruise's career, rocketed him to superstardom.  Critics still insist that the movie itself is pretty silly, but it's undeniably one of the most notable films of the past thirty years, and still as watchable today as it was when it debuted in theaters.

2. Crocodile Dundee ($174 mil)
Still the reason Australians are so popular.  Take that, dozens of Australian stars not named Paul Hogan!

3. Platoon ($138 mil)
Oliver Stone is still pretty miffed that Top Gun stole Platoon's thunder.  But he ought to be pleased that it's still his most successful film.

4. The Karate Kid Part II ($115 mil)
Unless you were Star Wars or Indiana Jones, big success in the sequel was not always guaranteed in the '80s.  Daniel-san is clearly the role Harrison Ford was meant to someday inherit.  Presumably as Grandpa Karate.  (How awesome would that be?)

5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home ($109 mil)
Save the whales, save the world.  It's sometimes forgotten, but the environmentalism of today was basically hatched by extreme concern for animal extinction of yesterday.  It's not surprising that a Star Trek movie was made out of it.  What's perhaps surprising is that it's still the second most successful Star Trek movie.  Clearly J.J. Abrams needs to talk with Al Gore.  He's practically already Khan.

6. Back to School ($91 mil)
I tell ya, Rodney Dangerfield gets no respect.  This was a much bigger hit than 1980's Caddyshack, but guess which film people actually remember?

7. Aliens ($85 mil)
Anyone who's still trying to figure out Prometheus only needs to understand Aliens.  Yes, it's by James Cameron, jumpstarted a career that wasn't so hot after the lackluster performance of The Terminator.  But it's also the first movie in the franchise that confused it for a horror series.  Prometheus is merely the first since the first one to try and break that cycle.

8. The Golden Child ($79 mil)
Another hit for Eddie Murphy.  But also one of the first you probably won't remember too well.  And hence the fact that his career has needed regular jumpstarts ever since.  He became Rodney Dangerfield!  I tell ya...

9. Ruthless People ($71 mil)
I think this one was a hit because of its connection to the creators of Airplane!, which may also explain why I had never heard of it before, even though it was clearly a hit film.

10. Ferris Bueller's Day Off ($70 mil)
Matthew Broderick in his signature role.  Kind of hard to live down when it's most definitely a youthful role, and you end up growing up to look like a manchild.  Is Broderick the new Mickey Rooney?  If so, why hasn't he exploited that yet?  Inspector Gadget doesn't count.  I think I'm going to solicit myself as Broderick's agent...

Other notable movies: The Color of Money ($52 mil), Stand by Me ($52 mil), An American Tail ($47 mil), Police Academy 3: Back in Training ($43 mil), Pretty in Pink ($40 mil), Three Amigos ($39 mil), Hannah and Her Sisters ($35 mil; still one of Woody Allen's biggest hits), Friday the 13 Part VI ($19 mil), Howard the Duck ($16 mil; here's how you get from George Lucas = can do no wrong to George Lucas = fallible), Labyrinth ($12 mil), Big Trouble in Little China ($11 mil), Manhunter ($8 mil; movie debut of Hannibal Lecter), Blue Velvet ($8 mil), The Name of the Rose ($7 mil), Highlander ($5 mil; just one of the many notable franchises that had a very small beginning), Tranformers: The Movie ($5 mil; apparently Orson Welles is no Michael Bay; *sigh*)

Source: Box Office Mojo

6 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Top Gun is cool as long as you nothing about jet fighters. Like there not being a MiG-28 and the many other implausible elements in it.

I thought actually "Prometheus" was a bad horror movie. Basically everyone in it acts like kids in a haunted house, especially those two cowardly scientists I nicknamed Shaggy and Scooby. Zoinks!

I think "Transformers: The Movie" was ahead of its time in being an animated movie with a fairly well-known voice cast with Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, Eric Idle, and of course Judd Nelson who was still a star back then. Pixar was a lot more successful with that 10 years later.

Tony Laplume said...

Prometheus is only half a horror movie, though. That's the whole point, just like Alien.

Pixar stole the Transformers gimmick. And every other animated film since.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

I forgot to mention Star Trek IV too, dang it. When I watched all six of the original movies on DVD it struck me how people love Star Trek IV and yet hated Star Trek V even though they're equally implausible. Going back in time for humpback whales to answer a killer alien probe? How is that any less ludicrous than finding "God" in the center of the galaxy? Plus Star Trek IV had all that cheesy 80s stuff going on, like the scene in the bus and whatnot. Though I did like the scene in the plastics company. "We can't tell him the formula to transparent aluminum!" "Why not? How do we know he didn't invent it in the first place?" Yeah, screw paradoxes and temporal prime directives!

Tony Laplume said...

It was a lighthearted Star Trek adventure. It fit the times. I've had similar problems with Wrath of Khan. Fans who were around at the time will probably always have an inflated opinion of it, simply for the fact that it was more satisfying than its predecessor, and made Khan himself into a far more notable character than he'd been in his original TV appearance. There have been better movies made since.

Spacerguy said...

I love Star Trek the Voyage Home. For the first time in Star Trek history fans get to hear Mr Spock cussing Kirk out who for his part tries to get him to lie also. Wonderful stuff.

Tony Laplume said...

A little too much LDS, unfortunately.

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