Bodechon’s Blockbuster Review: Summer 2012: The Year of the Superhero

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2012 has been an exceptional year for movies so far, with some of the most anticipated movies and biggest box office openings of all time. It has also been the year of comic book blockbusters which have smashed box office records left and right. With summer coming to a close I will review a few of 2012’s biggest blockbusters so far.

The Hunger Games – The first big blockbuster hit of 2012 was The Hunger Games (March 23) with a $152 million opening weekend, making the biggest non-sequel opening ever. The Hunger Games became the first film of 2012 to pass the $500 million mark worldwide. It is currently the 5th highest grossing film of 2012 with $684 million in box office sales.

Based on the popular book series, The Hunger Games opened with several positive audience reviews and an 85 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. What makes The Hunger Games’ success such a big deal is that it has a strong female lead and it prevailed in a mainly male-dominated box office. The Hunger Games’ heroine Katniss Everdeen isn’t a sex symbol but instead a strong female character who is driven by the need to protect her family, not the need to find a boyfriend like another certain vampire loving female box office star. Jennifer Lawrence is fantastic as Katniss Everdeen and we will be seeing a lot more of her as the success of The Hunger Games will spawn three sequels.

The Avengers – Dethroning The Hunger Games was the smash hit The Avengers (May 4) which destroyed box office records. It became the biggest opening weekend of all time with $207 million in ticket sales. The Avengers was highly anticipated and didn’t disappoint, it was loved by audiences and critics alike, with a 92 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Joss Whedon directed action flick assembled all of Marvel’s favourite superheroes: Iron Man, Thor, Captain America, The Hulk; all of which had their own solo movies to lay the groundwork for The Avengers. As of August The Avengers has grossed $1.4 billion worldwide making it the 3rd highest grossing movie of all time, the biggest opening of 2012 and the most profitable comic book movie of all time. Marvel fans rejoiced as it was announced that Joss Whedon will be back to direct The Avengers 2, coming in May 2015, I’m starting the countdown already.

The Amazing Spider-Man – Hollywood is all about remakes and reboots these days and The Amazing Spider-Man (July 3) caused a lot of talk and controversy when it was announced as a reboot. This is because the previous Spidey flick had just been released in 2007. After talk of a Spider-Man 4 with the original cast fell through a reboot was inevitable with the profitable franchise. Casting hot young stars Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield appealed to a younger generation and was to be a “darker and gritty” reboot. The Amazing Spider-Man opened with decent box office numbers of $72 million in ticket sales and a 73 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has gone on to be the 4th highest grossing movie of 2012 with $692 million worldwide. I personally enjoyed Andrew Garfield’s take on Peter Parker/Spiderman; he was witty and vulnerable and more like the comic book versions of the character. A sequel has been confirmed for 2014.

The Dark Knight Rises – Without a doubt the most anticipated film of 2012 was The Dark Knight Rises (July 20) the 3rd and final chapter in Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy, following Batman Begins and The Dark Knight. Starring Christian Bale as Batman, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman and Tom Hardy as Bane. The Dark Knight Rises certainly had a lot to live up to after the smash success of 2008’s The Dark Knight, which was also surrounded by the untimely death of Heath Ledger causing new brutal villain Bane to replace the Joker to face off against Batman. Fans have been eagerly awaiting the final conclusion of The Dark Knight and for many it did not disappoint. With a $160 million opening weekend, The Dark Knight Rises steamrolled the box office to become the 2nd highest grossing movie of 2012 with $897 million worldwide and an 87 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The Dark Knight Rises caused many heated discussions around the internet, some fans disappointed by the conclusion and then being defended by those who loved it. Personally I thought it was the perfect conclusion, and consider Nolan’s Dark Knight Trilogy one of the best trilogies of all time. The next question is, when will the inevitable Batman reboot come along?

(box office numbers cited from IMDB- Internet Movie Database)