The successes and failures of 2011's summer movies have taught us a lot. We've learned that there can, in fact, be too many superhero movies; that not even Pixar can bat 1.000 forever; and that the funniest comedy of the season can, despite sexist naysayers, star an almost entirely female cast. We've also learned that, as in real-life, every hangover is pretty much the same; that the best Steven Spielberg movie of the past five years was actually made by J. J. Abrams; and that (perhaps the biggest lesson of all) Michael Bay is the only director in the world who does better work when filming in 3-D.
With all the summer movies released, it's time to take stock of what we saw on-screen. Of the 10 most successful movies, only three were neither sequels nor remakes — and then two of those three were comic book adaptations. It seems we've gotten really (really) comfortable with sequels, reboots, and remakes... which, not coincidentally, is why we started ranking the originality of this summer's releases. You could say 2011 was the summer of comfort food.
However, plenty of the summer's failures were sequels, too. (Have we mentioned yet just how many there were?) Simply taking a movie from two years ago and moving the number at the end of its title up a notch wasn't a license for studios to print their own money. No weekend better exemplified this problem than the one we just passed (August 19-21), in which three sequels/remakes fought against each other and all failed miserably, bringing in a combined total of $30 million. By way of comparison, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 made more than that in its first three hours... which were after midnight.
What's on deck for Summer 2012? Come back next week for our look at the 25 Movies We'll Be Talking About Next Year.
*Not given Originality Meter score at time of release.