You know Tony Stark mourning the world? Forget that. Everything is fine. As a matter of fact here are not one but two trailers featuring the lost in space and snapped Spider-Man:
That is for the US, here is the one for International Audiences:
There are some slight differences, but the biggest change for me is that they censored the joke at the end for the international teaser. Not sure why. But hey, Mysterio looks cool. Anyway, I guess we don’t need to watch Endgame now because it all turns out alright for the characters we love. Though I am guessing we still do loose a couple.
If you follow movie industry sites, one of the biggest stories is how well Warner Bros./DC’s Aquaman is doing. How the film is going to bank $1 Billion even though the lead character is often a joke, but you know what, this shouldn’t be that surprising. While indeed Aquaman has been the butt of a few jokes, you never need to explain the joke to anyone because Aquaman is a household name.
Aquaman came out in 1941, and he has been one of the most well-known heroes since. My Grandfather understands who Aquaman is and what he can do. He is the strong guy from Atlantis who can control/talk to fish. With every Marvel hero that hits the scene I have to prepare myself for all the questions, “Where did they come from? What are their powers? What other heroes do they hang out with? Why is there villain bad?” Now Marvel has been on such an amazing run that none of those questions stop most people from going to the movie, but not one person asked me about Aquaman. They just asked if I was going to see the movie opening night or wait a couple of weekends.
The other overriding theme you will hear is that all the DCEU films were such failures that Aquaman’s success is some sort of anomaly, but guess what? Except for China, Aquaman is doing almost the same amount of business worldwide as the rest of the DCEU movies. The average DCEU film, not counting Aquaman, did $750 Million worldwide, and that is with Justice League pulling the average down. Plus, Suicide Squad couldn’t be screened in China because it featured villains as the main characters, so it broke the moral media code of China Film Co. (the Chinese media importer), and it made $750 Million anyway. In other words, except for a movie that was visibly and aggressively orange, people have been turning out for the DCEU movies, so it should be no surprise that when one comes out un-tinted and fun looking with a hunky man as the lead, people showed up again. Add to that, China has a thing for mermaid movies (look it up), Aquaman looks more like the norm, than an outlier.
Considering the disappointment of Justice League, it was easy to get carried away with all the DCEU is doomed talk, but it turns out maybe people just don’t like orange unfinished movies. If proper care is taken, ‘A’ list superheroes will perform like ‘A’ list superheroes and make tons of cash. Which is to say, when Shazam only makes $600 Million the DCEU world is not ending, because ‘B’ list superheroes will perform like ‘B’ list superheroes and make slightly less cash. Just ask Ant-Man.
Amid Aquaman‘s box office domination there are two movies trying to do their best ‘Little Engine that Could’ impressions, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and Bumblebee. Spider-Man is doing better, and earning all the geek-cred, but Bumblebee is making it work too. While $168 Million worldwide (all financial data for this post was sourced from The-Numbers.com) after twelve days of release isn’t a lot, especially since past Transformers movies earned that in their opening weekend, if not more, it is earning favor with critics and audiences.
Bumblebee has a 93% from critics and an audience rating of 79% on RottenTomatoes.com. Over on Metacritic.com, it has a 67 from critics and a 7.5 from users, and to top it all off it got an A- from CinemaScore. Which means, most people would recommend it to their friends. All of which is miles better than the last Transformers movie. In other words, it is not lighting the world on fire box-office wise, but people dig it. Which should sound familiar to Batman fans.
Batman Begins only did $375 Million off a $150 Million budget , and while that is above the minimum return for a movie to eek out a profit at some point (2/1 box-office to budget), it probably didn’t cover advertising or distribution costs. Meaning it would have to get all that money back during home sales and selling movie rights to TV. Not to mention merchandising. Regardless of its box-office struggles, fans loved it. It was a Batman movie that treated Batman with some dignity. It told a grand story. It was everything Batfans had been wanting, and with the fans’ faith restored, the next two movies in the Dark Knight trilogy did over a billion worldwide each.
I am not saying the next solo Transformers movie will make a billion because people liked Bumblebee, but I am saying that Bumblebee is earning a lot goodwill, and that has a history of being rewarded. Not to mention Bumblebee was made with a very modest $100 Million budget, so it doesn’t even have as much to make back as Batman Begins did. Meaning, I think Paramount has a lot to be optimistic about going forward with the Transformers franchise. Provided that they continue to make quality movies.
Bird Box has the unfortunate problem that it is the second sense-based monster movie of 2018, so it will be compared to A Quiet Place regardless of the fact it is a different movie with different themes, and that will hurt it because A Quiet Place is a much better movie. Bird Box is not bad, but it also isn’t good. It is held up by a creepy atmosphere, and an excellent performance by Sandra Bullock. It is let down by too many early characters and at least thirty minutes of padding.
Bird Box tells its tale in two timelines. One with a blindfolded Malorie (Sandra Bullock) rowing down a river with two children to hopefully find safety, and one with a pregnant Malorie trying to survive while the world falls apart because everyone is apparently committing suicide.
Both timelines go on a little too long, but the river journey is far more interesting. Sadly, we spend more time with the earlier story of surviving the end of the world. It suffers from a flaw a lot of horror movies have, where they stuff it with too many people we know not to get attached to and sticking around too long once the premise has been established. One thing is common between them though, and that is they are anchored by a Sandra Bullock at the top of her game. Without her this movie would have fallen apart. I don’t know how much they paid her to be in this movie, but she was worth every penny, and I hope she is getting a couple of bonus checks.
Everyone else in this movie is kind of just there. John Malkovich chews as much scenery as he can, but there is only so much he can do with what he is given. Lil Rel Howery is kind of funny, but he doesn’t have enough time to establish himself. Trevante Rhodes only exists so Bullock has someone to have an adult conversation with. I will give props to the two kids, Vivien Lyra Blair and Julian Edwards, they managed to hit their marks and not be distracting.
Bird Box is just an okay movie, and since it is on Netflix, you may find it worth watching. Which I guess is why it is the perfect Netflix film. It is two hours of content that people will not feel bad about watching, and since it is included with their service, I am not going to actively dissuade people from seeing it. I just hope Bullock’s next movie will better utilize her talent.
I had ton of fun at the movies this year, and since the box-office set records, I am guessing a lot of you did too. This year instead of picking the ‘best’ movies like I am some kind of Oscar voter, I am just picking my most memorable ones. The ones that stuck with me. Here they are in reverse order!
You don’t get a good thrilledy every day, or even once a year, so when Paul Feig creates one with two fantastic leads, I think it is worth watching. While I am not sure this movie will end up on a lot of people’s lists, I found it fascinating, and it shows how talented people can make something that shouldn’t work, work. Also, it makes me want a martini.
I laughed so much at Teen Titans Go! To the Movies. The jokes came fast and furious, and it showed that you don’t just have to be crass to make a superhero comedy. You can also use a lot of poop jokes, or just make fun of the state of the DCEU. On top of all that the songs were catchy. I don’t know what it says that my favorite DC movie this year was an animated farce, but here we are.
This movie was soooooo good, and Marvel finally had a villain that was smart and had some moral high ground. Then in true Marvel fashion they killed him…. Hey Marvel, quit killing all your bad guys! Especially the good ones! I guess they are getting a bunch of new rogues from the Fox merger, but Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) was fantastic. He was the first MCU villain who I would watch a solo movie about.
It turns out the loving and wonderful person that Fred Rogers was on screen wasn’t an act. He really was that person, and his love made the world a better place. He let us know that we are all special and loved, and his show was a safe space for us all. There has been a Mr. Rogers shaped hole in the world since he left us, and ‘Won’t You Be My Neighbor?’ reminded us of that.
I never thought I would pick a Spider-Man movie to be my favorite film, but here we are on the last day of 2018, and Spider-Verse is the movie I can’t get out of my head. Everything about this movie was so well done. When I think about Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse it is literally just a list of superlatives. Better yet, it is still in the theaters, so there is time for you to get out to your local multiplex and see it.
That was my very flawed list, I would love to hear yours, or just have you tell me why I am wrong. Until next year!