TV and Entertainment - Ben Silverman
Summer Box office
Summer movies are always something that I look forward to. With time off from school and basically no obligations, I have an open schedule to binge my favorite Tarantino films and still make it to the premiere of The Lion King (2019). Usually, box offices during the summer are explosive compared to the box office during the school year, however this year it was very different. Don’t get me wrong, there were big hits that came out during the summer, but it was nothing compared to the past - there was no “Memorable Movie of the Year”, there was no huge ending, nothing about this year will make people say “Why couldn’t this movie be like that one in 2019?”.
Summer 2019 was the summer of remakes. The Lion King (2019), Aladdin (2019) and Toy Story 4 (2019) dominated headlines as Disney cashed in on nostalgia. Even though these moves didn’t necessarily disappoint, it was a far cry from the big hit releases that were expected, and I attribute this to the general dislike of remade movies - people just don’t like remakes. The fear of having a childhood movie redone and ruined often overcasts the actual movie, and with new political ideas and views, themes and motifs in huge classic hits can clash with what is deemed appropriate in modern day movies. As well, no remake is better than the original (excluding Spider-Man) - it’s close to impossible to trump the original vision of the director, and casting/script decisions can have a monumental impact, as seen in Aladdin after the controversial casting of Will Smith as the Genie
Joining the big boards was Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) and (although tentatively) Detective Pikachu (2019), perhaps the only two movies this year that shocked audiences and lead to huge hype for sequels and continuations of these characters/ideas, although since then Sony has killed our Spider-Man dream and there’s been no news of a followup to Detective Pikachu.
The new Men In Black (2019) movie was cheesy and was boring to watch, Godzilla was just a Michael Bay appreciation movie, Ma looked promising but ended up being another jump scare dump and Brightburn had a good concept with [relatively] poor execution, although it had some good character development and editing.
To be fair, there were a fair amount of sleeper films this summer. Ready Or Not (2019) was an excellent horror movie, with Samara Weaving, who also starred (and did excellently) in The Babysitter (2017) carried the movie to success. Ready or Not was an amazing opportunity for Weaving to show more directors and audiences what she can do. She did not disappoint, as she showed how much she can get into a role and make audiences “feel” like what they’re watching is a reality. She will be a very hot commodity very soon, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she co-starred or starred in a huge release in 2020.
Booksmart (2019) also rose up to be the hit comedy of the summer, but Annabelle Comes Home (2019) was the big surprise for me - even though it wasn’t a movie masterpiece, with cheap jump scares and a loose concept, I had a lot of fun laughing at the decisions made, and the ending was absolutely hilarious.
This year seems to have a timeshift. All the bad movies came out during summer, instead of during spring, and all the good movies are coming out in fall/winter instead of during the summer. It: Chapter Two (2019) has already smashed box offices (and I quite enjoyed it), Joker is one of the most anticipated releases in the last year, as well as Gemini (starring Will Smith and Will Smith) coming out later this year. Fans of Jessica Chastain also have a lot to look forward to, with her newest movie already in theaters while her next productions are already close to release. Eve (a spy movie) and 355 (another spy movie) are both in post production, with unstated release dates. Brad Pitt is also having a big year, with World War Z 2 announced and starring in Ad Astra, a sci-fi space movie that looks like Interstellar and Gravity had a party (but didn’t even invite Matt Damon or Hal). Lucy in the Sky is joining Ad Astra in the list of upcoming sci-fi space releases, and is already getting good pre-release reviews. As well, four more sequels of Avatar (everyone’s favorite alien movie) were announced, with Avatar 2 coming out in mid 2020.
Although a weak start to the year, I’m looking forward to a lot of releases. Even with the whole Spider-Man debacle between Sony and Disney, there’s lots of sequels and huge releases to be excited about. Some will disappoint, but there’s bound to be a good amount of hit film releases this year and it very well could shape out to be one of the best years for Hollywood in recent years.