Friday, November 30, 2012

Direct Current #28/Box Office 1998

ITEM!  Comics Reader - Teen Titans #0
I completed my collection of New 52 Zero Month spotlights on Robin once I realized that this issue was among them.  Tim Drake, the third Robin, has been camping out in this series, and finally gets to flex his wings a little.

Read more here.

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - The Next Generation 1x6 "Where No One Has Gone Before"
An early bright spot in a season that is otherwise awash in too much misery, this is an unexpected new classic that gives Wesley Crusher a worthy turn and introduces the Traveler, whose importance is far greater than some fans may realize.

Read more here.



SOAP BOX

1998 was one of the first years where I didn't just see one or two movies in theaters, but rather started to catch them on a more regular basis.  It was a pretty interesting year to began that.

1. Saving Private Ryan ($216 mil)
Perhaps the fact that it was the top draw (other than all those months that 1997's Titanic continued to reign supreme at the start of the year) is one of the reasons so many people still can't understand how this lost the Best Picture to Shakespeare in Love at the Oscars.

2. Armageddon ($201 mil)
You can thank this movie both for Michael Bay's blockbuster career as well as Aerosmith and thus Steven Tyler's later success (it gave them their first #1 hit).

3. There's Something About Mary ($176 mil)
Too much importance was placed on the fact that the Farrelly brothers directed this.  It was not a success because of the Farrelly brothers.  It was because of Ben Stiller.  His rise to superstardom is proof of that.  And also because of Cameron Diaz, the eponymous Mary.

4. A Bug's Life ($162 mil)
The Pixar era is transformed from a Toy Story phenomenon to a continuing series of hits.  Although I think this is one of the weaker efforts.

5. The Waterboy ($161 mil)
For many people, this is the start of Adam Sandler's career, which may explain many things about his subsequent career.

6. Doctor Dolittle ($144 mil)
Eddie Murphy scores another big hit by revamping another old one.  Although this became a franchise just like Nutty Professor, I wonder if his fans actually remember this one.

7. Rush Hour ($141 mil)
Jackie Chan in his biggest hit, but mostly thanks to the fantastic and totally unexpected chemistry with Chris Tucker, who later decides that he's made enough money on this success, and doesn't work so much.

8. Deep Impact ($140 mil)
This was a time for disaster movies.  This was one of those, and also an indication that rival Hollywood projects don't always cancel each other out.  Basically a variation on Armageddon.

9. Godzilla ($136 mil)
The originators of the disaster phenomenon decided to make this.  And then got back to disaster movies.

10. Patch Adams ($135 mil)
Robin Williams the last time wide audiences saw him and the role that made critics start to hate him.  Good stuff, though, and also the secret origin of Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Other notable releases: Lethal Weapon 4 ($130 mil; adds Chris Rock and Jet Li! saw this in theaters, absolutely loved it), The Truman Show ($125 mil; I think after critics decided they wouldn't reward this performance, audiences stopped taking Jim Carrey seriously; long one of my favorite movies), Mulan ($120 mil; another unorthodox Disney animated flick, and the secret origin of Eddie Murphy's transformation into genius voice-over actor), Shakespeare in Love ($100 mil; I absolutely adore this movie, so I will never complain about its controversial win), The Mask of Zorro ($94 mil; another movie I love), Antz ($90 mil; the rival to A Bug's Life, and essentially the only animated Woody Allen flick), The X-Files: Fight the Future ($83 mil; at the time this franchise was huge, and this was the first indication of its limits), Star Trek: Insurrection ($70 mil; not the best but still an entertaining entry in another sci-fi franchise), Blade ($70 mil; the secret origin of Marvel's movie age), Lost in Space ($69 mil; the movie that finally took the top of the box office from Titanic did not have much more to crow about, though I love it), Life Is Beautiful ($57 mil; a fascinating oddity), U.S. Marshals ($57 mil; the indirect sequel to The Fugitive starring Tommy Lee Jones), The Man in the Iron Mask ($56 mil; the first indication that Leonardo DiCaprio would not be an automatic box office draw following Titanic), Snake Eyes ($55 mil; love this Nicolas Cage effort), What Dreams May Come ($55 mil; Robin Williams goes surreal and hardly anyone follows), Halloween: H2O ($55 mil; much ballyhooed revival putting the typical late '90s focus on the stars, including original franchise star Jamie Lee Curtis), Meet Joe Black ($44 mil; among my favorite Brad Pitt movies), The Negotiator ($44 mil; another favorite), Primary Colors ($39 mil; last great John Travolta movie?), Out of Sight ($37 mil; first great George Clooney, last great Jennifer Lopez?), The Thin Red Line ($36 mil; return of Terrence Malick after many years), A Night at the Roxbury ($30 mil; an early effort to make a movie star of Will Ferrell), Elizabeth ($30 mil; helping make Cate Blanchett a star), Spice World ($29 mil; Spice Girls meet their X-Files), The Avengers ($23 mil; based on the British TV show; will always be my favorite movie with this title), The Big Lebowski ($17 mil; not a big hit, but a big cult hit), Dark City ($14 mil), Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas ($10 mil; even rabid Terry Gilliam, Johnny Depp, and Hunter S. Thompson fans can't save this one's reputation), American History X ($6 mil; Edward Norton's best movie), Celebrity ($5 mil; Leo DiCaprio also starred in this Woody Allen movie, which obviously was not titanic at the box office), Pi ($3 mil; secret original of Darren Aronofsky), Wide Awake ($200 thou; secret origin of M. Night Shyamalan)

Source: Box Office Mojo

2 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Actually I think the secret origin of Philip Seymour Hoffman was Scent of a Woman back in 1993. He was also in Nobody's Fool in 1994 as a bumbling cop who shoots at Paul Newman and gets punched out.

The only thing about Shakespeare in Love that pissed me off was that Judi Dench or whoever it was won the best Supporting Actress for being in like 8 minutes of the movie. I think that was the year Kathy Bates was nominated for Primary Colors and she should have won. I mean she was actually in the movie as a supporting actress, not as a cameo.

Other than that, I remember this was a shitty year for movies. I remember ranting about disaster movies on a website at the time. I can only stand one or two of those and then I'm done.

Tony Laplume said...

I thought 1998 was an awesome year for movies! But then, I think of it for everything BUT disaster movies.

I haven't seen "Scent of a Woman" (most of it) or "Nobody's Fool," so I wouldn't know about that. But PSH shot to a far greater significance because of "Patch Adams." I guess because it made so much money, people finally noticed him, even though the very critics who hated the movie started liking him in everything else.

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