My Friends

Arrow Up

Arrow Up
Arrow Down
,
  • Fri
    19
  • Sat
    20
  • Sun
    21
  • Mon
    22
  • Tue
    23
  • Wed
    24
  • Thu
    25
SDAI Winter Exhibition Dec 19, 2014 This exhibition will include solo shows by local artists, a group exhibition featuring San Diego artists and Tijuana-based street artist PANCA will debut her large-scale mural in the entryway of SDAI. 73 other events on Friday, December 19
 
Sordid Tales
How can so many people be wrong about something for so long?
There She Goz
Children’s center is training tiny, adorable consumers
Seen Local
City takes a slow and careful approach to the public-art gem
News
Rosemary Summers succeeded in 2013, and her parents want justice
The World Fare
Kearny Mesa Chinese place serves the best potstickers and xiao long bao in town

 

 
Log in to use your Facebook account with
San Diego CityBeat

Login With Facebook Account

Recent Activity on San Diego CityBeat
 
Home / Articles / Arts / Film /  Comic-con and box-office receipts are in a serious relationship
. . . .
Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014

Comic-con and box-office receipts are in a serious relationship

Annual mega-convention has us thinking about the summer of 2015, which may be the biggest ever

By Glenn Heath Jr.
mad-max-fury-road-tom-hardy2 CREDIT warner brothers Tom Hardy in Mad Max: Fury Road
- Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

The stampeding arrival of Comic-Con awakens the "think piece" in a lot of film writers. Some preach the end of times, calling the annual four-day media extravaganza a death knell for modern culture. Others see it as the apex of creative publicity and geek fandom, a safe haven for fringe characters (both real and imagined) to flex their muscles. Many more opinions fall somewhere in between. 

I'm more interested in the capitalistic zeitgeist spawned by Comic-Con than the event itself. Ever since Steven Spielberg rang the initial summer-season dinner bell with Jaws in 1975, box office has been an essential indicator for success in a movie's lifespan. However inane, opening-weekend calculations dictate all. But the tide might be turning.

By all accounts, the summer-box-office season of 2014 has been a glaring disappointment. While things started off swimmingly in April with the Captain America sequel raking in the cash, it's been a downward spiral ever since. In June, the website Box Office Mojo chalked up the low totals to the lack of a blockbuster in the vein of Iron Man 3 or The Dark Knight.

What was once a lot of money now pales in comparison. Despite making upwards of $200 million, films like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and How to Train Your Dragon 2 have all underperformed, according to analysts' expectations. If that doesn't convince you of how bloated studio production has become, nothing will. The rest of 2014, sans the next entry in the Hunger Games series and the final (thankfully) Hobbit film, looks pretty grim, too. 

But those wishing for a paradigm shift and massive studio collapse, à la the late 1960s—this led to a renaissance in American filmmaking in the early 1970s—may need to slow their roll. The summer of 2015 looks like a safe bet to reinstall all the confidence Hollywood needs to keep churning out sequels, reboots and remakes at an alarming clip.

In fact, a year from now, fanboys might be in the midst of a mega-blockbuster onslaught, with each weekend unveiling a different monster on their targeted demographics. Fast & Furious 7 (April 3) gets the ball rolling, bringing a built-in fan base and a lot of publicity due to the untimely death of star Paul Walker. Adding director James Wan to the mix only amplifies the anticipation.

But muscle-car melodrama is only an appetizer for what's sure to be the main course of the summer season, The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron (May 1). The last film made $623 million domestically, and the sequel is primed to do even more business.

The most exciting release of summer 2015 is George Miller's Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15), starring Tom Hardy as the eponymous road warrior. It'll be interesting to see if modern audiences take to this dark dystopian series that hasn't been around for three decades. This year's Comic-Con attendees can get an early look in Hall H. 

Brad Bird's Tomorrowland (May 22), starring George Clooney, will undoubtedly transcend its theme-park-ride title. This is the same filmmaker behind The Iron Giant, The Incredibles and Ratatouille

Jurassic World (June 12), a reboot of The Fantastic Four (June 19) and Pixar's Inside Out (June 19) storm the gates in succession, giving audiences a wicked combination of counter-programming. 

Next July opens with Terminator: Genesis (July 1), back with Arnie in the lead, and continues with Marvel's long-awaited Ant Man (July 17). The season goes out with a whimper with Assassin's Creed (Aug. 1). 

What's the moral of the story? Despite having a lackluster—by comparison—go of things in 2014, the studios are masters at planning ahead. No matter how much I hate to admit it, we're going to be stuck with this comic-book trend for a while. 

Oh yeah, and I didn't even mention a little-known movie that's set for release in December 2015. It's called Star Wars. 


Write to glennh@sdcitybeat.com 
and editor@sdcitybeat.com.




 
 
 
 
 
 
Close
Close
Close