Spring's winners and losers
|Good (Metascore ≥ 61)||33 films|
|Mixed (40-60)||32 films|
|Bad (≤ 40)||15 films|
The appearance of Iron Man 2 in theaters this weekend also signals the start to the official summer movie season, for those of you keeping score at home. That also means, of course, that the spring season has ended, which provides us another opportunity to recap the year so far.
Spring was certainly a success in terms of box office performance; as we shall see later in the article, the past few months have seen a number of major hits, which have combined to make 2010 a record-setting year through its first four months.
We start, however, by looking for signs of quality movies among they year's releases so far. First up: how spring's crop of new films compared to titles released during the winter season.
|Median||Low / High Scores||Score Distribution|
|Spring Wide Releases (3/5 - 5/6)||43||22 / 75||22,34.5,43,56,75|
|Winter Wide Releases (1/1 - 3/4)||43||25 / 63||25,33,43,54.5,63|
|Spring Limited Releases (3/5 - 5/6)||59||30 / 85||30,49,59,73,85|
|Winter Limited Releases (1/1 - 3/4)||64||19 / 89||19,48,64,72,89|
The last time we checked in with you, at the end of the winter season, there were just two wide releases with generally positive reviews (and green Metascores). The good news now that several additional months have passed: we're up to eight good major releases. The bad news? There are only eight good major releases.
|1||The Ghost Writer||Thriller||77||7.1|
|3||How to Train Your Dragon||Animation, Family/Kids||74||9.2|
|5||Hot Tub Time Machine||Comedy||63||7.3|
|7||Youth in Revolt||Comedy||63||7.1|
|10||Diary of a Wimpy Kid||Comedy||56||6.6|
The French gangster film A Prophet is still the highest-scoring release of the year, just as it was at the end of the winter season. But there are plenty of new additions to the limited release high score list, including fellow import Vincere and Banksy's street art documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop.
|1||A Prophet||Foreign, Crime Drama||90||8.8|
|3||Exit Through the Gift Shop||Documentary||84||7.7|
|4||Neil Young Trunk Show||Documentary||83||n/a|
|6||The Secret of Kells||Animation, Family/Kids||82||7.1|
|8||The Secret in Their Eyes||Foreign, Drama||81||9.6|
|9||IMAX: Hubble 3D||Documentary||79||n/a|
At the other end of the quality spectrum, our list of 10 worst films hasn't actually changed that much since we published a similar list at the conclusion of the winter season, at least at the very top -- er -- make that the very bottom. New additions to the list include Furry Vengeance and The Bounty Hunter.
|1||To Save a Life||Drama||19||6.5|
|2||Crazy on the Outside||Comedy||21||6.0|
|3||Bounty Hunter, The||Action, Comedy||22||2.6|
|4||When in Rome||Comedy, Romance||25||6.5|
|5||Furry Vengeance||Comedy, Family/Kids||25||3.0|
|6||Spy Next Door, The||Action, Comedy, Family/Kids||27||6.5|
|8||Black Waters of Echo's Pond, The||Horror||31||3.0|
|9||Letters to God||Drama||31||5.6|
|10||Repo Men||Sci-Fi, Action||32||5.1|
Money matters: Spring's biggest successes and flops
The year's biggest success story so far -- by a wide margin -- is Tim Burton's 3-D take on Alice in Wonderland, which is the spring season's (and 2010's) highest grossing film at $330 million domestically and over $936 million worldwide. In fact, the year's top three earners so far were all released during the spring, and all were 3-D titles: Alice, the animated children's fantasy How to Train Your Dragon, and the Clash of the Titans remake. Alice also has the year's biggest opening weekend (at least for a few more days) at $116 million.
Spring had its share of misfires as well. Despite decent reviews, the $100 million thriller Green Zone has earned under $79 million worldwide, with less than half that coming domestically. That film looks like a hit, however, compared to the sci-fi action flick Repo Men, which eked out just $15 million during its theatrical run. Also among the box office losers, appropriately enough, was The Losers, which has grossed a meager $19.6 million in its first two weeks of release.
It's still a bit too soon to tell if Furry Vengeance is officially in the "flop" column, but the comedy's $6.6 million opening weekend certainly points in that direction. And though the inexpensive Kick-Ass will surely be profitable -- it has earned $73 million worldwide so far -- it is unlikely to achieve the major hit status that its pre-release buzz seemed to predict. Another movie that failed to live up to its buzz was the R-rated comedy Hot Tub Time Machine, which has earned only $48 million to date.
Here are the year's highest grossing new films to date:
|1||Alice in Wonderland ||Mar 5||53||5.3||$330,035,358|
|2||How to Train Your Dragon||Mar 26||74||9.2||$193,856,228|
|3||Clash of the Titans ||Apr 2||39||4.9||$155,145,720|
|4||Shutter Island||Feb 19||63||7.1||$126,589,829|
|5||Valentine's Day||Feb 12||34||5.1||$110,483,474|
|6||The Book of Eli||Jan 15||53||7.5||$94,793,571|
|7||Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief||Feb 12||47||5.4||$88,039,123|
|8||Dear John||Feb 5||43||6.1||$80,014,842|
|9||Date Night||Apr 9||56||4.9||$75,059,709|
|10||The Bounty Hunter||Mar 19||22||2.6||$64,235,282|
While revenues from all 2010 releases are slightly behind the pace of last year's films released through the same date, total domestic revenue collected this year is up by over 5%, thanks to December release Avatar, which continued to do big business in early 2010. Without that bump from James Cameron's blockbuster -- which has earned over $463 million during 2010 -- this year's total figures would be well behind the 2009 amount.
The good news for studios and cineplexes, however, is that the industry has rebounded from a sluggish winter, thanks mainly to hits both expected (Alice in Wonderland) and surprising (How to Train Your Dragon), as well as a boost in average ticket prices. In fact, last month was the highest-grossing April of all time, and 2010's spring season was the highest-grossing spring of all time. The news should get even better during the summer months, when expected blockbusters like Iron Man 2, Toy Story 3, and Shrek Forever After should continue 2010's record-setting pace.
|Year||New Films (2010 releases only)||All Films (including 2010 grosses of '09 releases)|
What are your favorites?
Have you seen any good movies yet this year -- or any terrible ones? Let us know in the comments section below.