Saturday, January 12, 2013

#511. Box Office 2010

Now we're really entering recent territory.  2010 as you'll see had an explosion of computer animated hits on its hand, but there was also some dramatic material as well as plenty of franchises to keep audiences interested...

1. Toy Story 3 ($415 mil)
No Pixar hit pisses me off more than this one.  Basically a rehash of the first two movies, everyone gushed over it because Andy finally moves on permanently from his toys (otherwise known as exactly what the second one was all about, except without Andy) and thus a permanent transition is reached for Buzz and Woody (although exactly like the second one they encounter ruthless competitors, which is also what happened in the first one).  Anyway, there you go.  I'm the only person to ever shit on Toy Story 3.

2. Alice in Wonderland ($334 mil)
Another big beneficiary of the new 3D craze was Tim Burton's interpretation of the Lewis Carroll classic, prominently featuring Johnny Depp.  

3. Iron Man 2 ($312 mil)
I enjoyed this installment more than the first one, possibly because Sam Rockwell and Mickey Rourke were more compelling adversaries for Robert Downey Jr. than the generic general Jeff Bridges played in the first one.  Though the best part is the blatant franchise building as we have a glimpse at Howard Stark and thus hark to the Captain America era that would shortly enough be featured in another Avengers installment.  (Good year to be Bridges, though.)

4. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse ($300 mil)
Twinkly vampires and shirtless werewolves continue to fascinate people.

5. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1 ($295 mil)
What with Twilight copying the model and Peter Jackson splitting The Hobbit into three films, the decision to split the final Harry Potter book into two movies now stands as a precedent.

6. Inception ($292 mil)
Christopher Nolan's cerebral follow-up to The Dark Knight has all but replaced The Matrix in the popular consciousness.  Possibly because everyone assumes that there will be no sequels.  For me personally, it was great seeing Tom Hardy finally start to see some appreciation of his talent.

7. Despicable Me ($251 mil)
Steve Carell does a character in a computer generated film, though the basic features are obviously based on Alfred Hitchcock (which might be interpreted as the genesis of interest 2012 showed in two separate projects about the famed director).  This is another movie Pixar didn't do that probably does the Pixar model better without worrying about coming off artsy.

8. Shrek Forever After ($238 mil)
The fourth and presumably final Shrek tries to reboot the character to his humble origins.

9. How to Train Your Dragon ($217 mil)
I enjoyed Despicable Me very much, but this was my favorite computer generated cartoon of 2010, possibly because it captures the relationship between a boy and what might be described as his pet so perfectly, presenting a different interpretation of dragons and the Vikings who must learn to live with them.  Based on a series of young reader books that I would absolutely have enjoyed if I were a young reader (but simply haven't read because I have plenty of adult books to occupy me), so will probably be buying them for nephew Christmas gifts in the next few years.

10. Tangled ($200 mil)
For a time, it looked as if the partnership between Disney and Pixar would fall apart.  It was part of the reason ten years lapsed between Toy Stories.  So Disney did a version of its classic animation model in computer generated form and achieved pretty good success with it.

Other personal highlights:

12. Tron Legacy ($172 mil)
13. True Grit ($171 mil)
14. Clash of the Titans ($163 mil)
17. Megamind ($148 mil)
18. The King's Speech ($135 mil)
19. The Last Airbender ($131 mil)
20. Shutter Island ($128 mil)
21. The Other Guys ($119 mil)
22. Salt ($118 mil)
24. Valentine's Day ($110 mil)
25. Black Swan ($106 mil)
26. Robin Hood ($105 mil)
32. The Social Network ($96 mil)
34. The Book of Eli ($94 mil)
35. The Fighter ($93 mil)
36. The Town ($92 mil)
37. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time ($90 mil)
38. Red ($90 mil)
39. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief ($88 mil)
41. Unstoppable ($81 mil)
44. The A-Team ($77 mil)
48. The Bounty Hunter ($67 mil)
50. The Sorcerer's Apprentice ($63 mil)
53. The Wolfman ($61 mil)
54. Get Him to the Greek ($60 mil)
55. Resident Evil: Afterlife ($60 mil)
60. Takers ($57 mil)
64. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps ($52 mil)
65. Predators ($52 mil)
70. Cop Out ($44 mil)
73. Gulliver's Travels ($42 mil)
74. Death at a Funeral ($42 mil)
87. Devil ($33 mil)
88. Hereafter ($32 mil)
92. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World ($31 mil)
100. Machete ($26 mil)
109. The Losers ($23 mil)
112. Skyline ($21 mil)
113. The Next Three Days ($21 mil)
118. Remember Me ($19 mil)
131. Jonah Hex ($10 mil)
148. The Warrior's Way ($5 mil)
160. You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger ($3 mil)
172. I Love You, Phillip Morris ($2 mil)
175. Somewhere ($1 mil)
179. Cairo Time ($1 mil)
224. Ondine ($500 thou)
297. The Disappearance of Alice Creed ($100 thou)
316. Centurion ($100 thou)


PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

2010 was a down year for movies as far as I'm concerned. Iron Man 2 was the only one I saw in theaters and I was mostly ambivalent about it.

Did not really like Inception. The premise is just so ridiculously stupid. The point of dreams is that you don't feel pain and all that. Really I started to wonder if Christopher Nolan ever dreamed before because obviously none of these rules apply. It was just so dumb. But I do own it. What the hell, it was cheap and if you can turn your brain off it's a serviceable action movie.

Just to show how down this year was I've only seen 15 of these and most on Netflix long after the fact.

Tony Laplume said...

I still think the effect of the 2007 Writer's Guild strike had a larger effect than we think it did, and it's weird that no one that I know ever did a complete analysis of it. I'd argue that as late as 2010 we were still seeing the results in terms of what we were watching at the movies. It would explain why there were a lot more genre specific projects (and possibly why it's been so easy for Hollywood to rely on them ever since).

As far as Inception goes, I wonder if you dream, because I know in my most vivid ones, it absolutely feels real in every sense. They can be pretty persuasive. That's the whole point. When you're in the middle of one, it can be completely disorienting, absolutely convincing, even if you've never actually done what's happening to you. Then just imagine if someone makes a living crafting dreams to use them as messages to convince you of something. They already know how dreams work, what's effective in leaving a lasting impression. And so they exploit this to get certain results.

Well, like I said, it makes perfect sense to me. And the idea that waking up is the ultimate horror or release, that's the other side of dreams.


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