The 5 Biggest Box-Office Smashes of the Summer
5. Trainwreck ($202 million) — Once again, a female-led comedy becomes the sleeper hit of the summer, and once again, a million think pieces are written about how well women can perform at the box office, and once again, no doubt, studios will continue to ignore THE EVIDENCE RIGHT IN FRONT OF THEIR FACES (see also, the $130 million that Pitch Perfect 2 made, and the $105 million made by Spy). And who was the surprise break-out star of the summer? LeBron James?! What? Who saw that coming?
4. Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation ($242 million) — Edge of Tomorrow may not have been as big a movie as it deserved to be last summer, but try as we might, we can’t keep Tom Cruise down. He makes stellar action pics, and he does a lot of his own stunts, and that sequence where Cruise hung on to the side of a plane as it took off was pant-shittingly incredible. Rogue Nation may not have made as much money as The Avengers, but it was actually a better action flick.
3. Inside Out ($256 million) — The Pixar brand has taken a hit in recent years thanks to the proliferation of sequels, so it was nice to see an original idea come out of the studio again. It also helped that Inside Out was the best Pixar flick since Toy Story 3. It was also the most well-liked Pixar film among adults since The Incredibles.
2. Jurassic World ($273 million) — No, we didn’t like it as much as we thought we would, and yes, the new car smell on Chris Pratt finally began to fade a little (and the bungled press tour didn’t help matters), but we all still showed up out of curiosity, the kids got a kick out of it, and we were slightly entertained for two hours. Who cares about a script when dinosaurs SMASH?
1. Avengers: Age of Ultron ($713 million) — Although not quite as good as the first installment, The Avengers: Age of Ultron nevertheless managed to surpass the first movie’s record-breaking grosses by nearly $100 million, beating out Titanic for number two on the all-time domestic list (it’s still fell short of Avatar). The numbers were even more impressive worldwide as it became only the third film ever to cross the $2 billion mark. The marketing synergy of the Marvel universe may, at times, be grating, but you can’t say it’s ineffective.
The Biggest Busts of the Summer
5. Ted 2 ($69 million) — You tricked us into watching your talking Teddy bear stoner comedy once, MacFarlane. You can’t pull that dead rabbit out of your butt flap again. Maybe MacFarlane thought all the film’s casual homophobia would generate enough controversy to stir some interest, but even the meatheads were like, “The fuck, brah? It’s 2015!”
4. Aloha ($53 million) — It seemed like a nice idea to counter-program a romantic comedy against the a lot of action spectacles, but it didn’t quite pay off for Cameron Crowe’s first film since 2011’s We Bought a Zoo. The star power of Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski and Bradley Cooper was no match for The Rock’s San Andreas. Unfortunately, despite modest reviews, Crowe’s older audience prefers to wait until Netflix. Expect Aloha to find a wider following from home viewers. Also, IT WAS A REALLY GOOD MOVIE, I DON’T CARE WHAT YOU GUYS SAY.
3. Entourage ($42 million) — Turns out, the douchebag demographic isn’t quite as large as HBO had hoped, and the unmerciless reviews didn’t help matters much. Interest in the series itself had waned by the end of its run, and the four-year gap between the series and the movie completely killed it.
2. Terminator: Genisys ($103 million) — Why won’t this franchise get it through its damn head: We. Don’t. Care. Anymore. Yes, Genisys was slightly better than the last two installments, but it’s still mired in a mythology that we’ve lost interest in, and Jai Courtney has about as much star wattage as 67-tear-old Arnold Schwarzenegger. Give it up, folks.
1. Fantastic Four ($91 million) — Turns out, there was a reason that marketing for this film was held back. Fantastic Four may have had a nice, young talented cast, and director Josh Trank may ultimately prove how good he is, but he didn’t manage to pull that off here. It was a bad script, poorly executed, and at the end of a long summer of action/superhero flicks, another retread is the last thing we needed.