Paramount's 100th anniversary year was definitely not a year to remember. The studio basically opted to sit out the summer blockbuster season, shifting its lone big-budget entry (G.I. Joe: Retaliation) to a spring 2013 release window. The result was an anemic 2012 slate that featured few commercial or critical hits. After five years of finishing first or second in box office market share, Paramount dropped to last place among all major studios in 2012. Only two of its 12 releases cracked the $100 million mark domestically, and those two films weren't even produced by the studio (both were DreamWorks animation titles distributed by Paramount).
Paramount was also the only major studio without a best picture nomination this year. That's not surprising given that just one of the studio's 2012 releases—the Robert Zemeckis-directed Flight—earned positive reviews. By comparison, in 2011, nine of the studio's 15 films received positive reviews, and not a single one finished with a red Metascore. Paramount's average Metascore dropped from 64.0 two years ago (tops among all major studios) to just 48.4 last year. If we could sum up the studio's year in one word, it would be "disaster."
The somewhat disappointing Rise of the Guardians marks the end of Paramount's distribution deal with the suddenly struggling DreamWorks Animation (whose films will be distributed by Fox in the future); instead, Paramount is planning to produce its own animated films in house under its new Paramount Animation label. Both Guardians and the third Madagascar film were Paramount's top-grossing releases last year, however, and without any films due from the new animation unit until 2014 at the earliest, 2013 could be another rough year for Paramount.
However, there are some encouraging signs for the studio: namely, a lot of strong early buzz for 2013 releases Star Trek Into Darkness and Anchorman: The Legend Continues. And films from Martin Scorsese (The Wolf of Wall Street) and the Coen brothers (Inside Llewyn Davis) could even improve Paramount's standing with critics, though neither one has a firm release date at the moment.
|Film||Studio||Domestic Gross*||Metascore||User Score|
|Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted||DreamWorks Animation||$216,391,482||60||6.3|
|The Dictator||Paramount Pictures||$59,650,222||58||6.1|
|Katy Perry: Part of Me||Paramount Pictures||$25,326,071||57||4.3|
|Rise of the Guardians||DreamWorks Animation||$100,572,857||57||7.5|
|Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away||Paramount Pictures||$12,452,869||51||6.1|
|The Guilt Trip||Paramount Pictures||$36,532,001||51||6.8|
|Jack Reacher||Paramount Pictures||$78,784,201||50||6.2|
|Paranormal Activity 4||Paramount Pictures||$53,921,300||40||4.6|
|Fun Size||Paramount Pictures||$9,409,538||37||5.4|
|A Thousand Words||Paramount Pictures||$18,450,127||26||4.4|
|The Devil Inside||Paramount Pictures||$53,261,944||18||2.5|