Friday, 13 January 2012

Top Movies of 2011

2011 was a disappointing year for movies, in both monetary returns and creatively; as a customer I was getting frustrated by the incessant onslaught of sequels or prequels or tie-ins and that grew to disappointment when viewing the final product. However fun they were, Thor and Captain America were nothing more but teasers for the main event this year, The Avengers. As each movie came out I began to see Marvel as the monolithic controller of entertainment that I hate.
So what were the top movies of 2011 in gross terms?

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
2. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
3. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 
4. The Hangover Part 2 
5. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides 
6. Fast Five 
7. Cars 2
8. Thor
9. Rise of the Planet of the Apes
10. Captain America: The First Avenger

Only one of those films is not a sequel, Thor, but it is a part of a greater franchise that will spawn sequels of its own as well as sequels of The Avengers. 

Let's take a look at the highest grossing movies of all time:

1. Avatar
2. Titanic
3. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2
4. Transformers: Dark of the Moon
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

Again, mainly franchises with the exception of Avatar and Titanic. What it does prove though is that though it may seem that audiences want more of the same winning formula, what does attract the mass audience is originality. What can be said about both Titanic and Avatar is the huge depth of character in relation to others in the list. This is a step in the right direction for writers who enjoy exploring character motives. 
While it can be said that Lord of the Rings had a huge array of impressive characters beautifully drawn and portrayed, the same can't really be said of Harry Potter and Transformers while at the same time managing to keep a straight face. 

We seem to be stuck in a never ending cycle of regurgitation; as audiences, most of us follow serials or soaps and this is being reflected in the movies. Just look at the listings for cinemas now and you will see Sherlock Holmes 2 and Mission Impossible 4. Next year we are promised Batman 3 (though it does look very good); GI Joe 2; Men In Black 3...the list goes on. The exceptions are Spiderman and The Avengers, but they are nothing new.

Where has creativity gone in the movies? Super 8 was a wonderful film and though it did well it did not reach blockbuster heights. We seem to have moved away from a time when a movie was driven by plot, character and excitement. We now seem to walking in with expectations set up from before and when that happens it is very easy to walk away with disappointment. 

But it is an industry; show-business. It's all about the dollar at the end of the day, so for every Trasnformers movie that grosses $300 million in the US alone, we get a charming indie movie with no pressure to perform that could win awards (The Artist). I guess we have to accept one to enjoy the other.

Grosses taken from www.boxofficemojo.com

Visit www.empireonline.com and www.imdb.com for more movie news and trailers.

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