Sunday, 6 February 2011

The Movie Blockbusters Return...

It’s been almost 3 years since we’ve had a year jam packed with blockbuster movie releases. By my counting the last year where we had a string of huge movies competing for the movie going publics imagination was in 2007! And to go with it a lot of Movie Marketing!

I mention this now because as the Super Bowl kicks off in America today, there are a string of movie studios lining up to show us their new movies with a tidal wave of new film commercials!

2011 is going to be the year the big, over-hyped, tent pole movies return to our screens. Some of you may not see this as a good thing, and I know these blockbusters movies don’t always have the best stories, but they contain some of best special effects, cinematography and action sequences around (which I love) and this means they have lots of money shots to fill movie trailers and other marketing material with.

You see I love movies, I love big summer blockbusters and I love the hype and lead up to their release, I constantly want to keep updated with every new trailer, poster, press release, rumour or photo that gets released. But we have had a dry spell (for at least three years) of a good load of huge movies which in turn produces lots of great marketing.

The last time we really had a year jam packed with big films was 2007. Seriously. Don’t believe me? Then here’s a little refresher... (Before we begin let me clarify, I’m not saying the below movies are amazing or works of art, but they are big movies and with big movies comes huge marketing budgets (they are also the types of movies I like and look forward to)).

2007 – let’s start with the big guns that dominated the start of the summer, Spider-Man 3, Shrek 3 and Pirates 3 all released in the month of May, unprecedented for three movies of this size to open so close to each other, but all ended up being very successful. We then had Transformers, I Am Legend, Ratatouille, The Simpsons Movie, 300, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Oceans 13, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Die Hard 4.0, The Bourne Ultamatum, The Golden Compass and Sweeney Todd (there were more but I’m not writing every film out!)

2008 - was still good with the likes of The Dark Knight, Iron Man, Quantum of Solace, Wall-E, The Incredible Hulk and even Indy4 (admittedly should never have been made, but hey there was some good marketing and hype leading up to it!), but you could see the numbers begin to dwindle. There were probably a few more, but they were all pretty forgettable... Most notably no new Harry Potter release...

2009 – Where it really begins to get bad (mainly attributable to the fallout of the 2008 Writers Strike I imagine), so we had Transformers 2, a new Harry Potter, Up, Star Trek and.... well... Watchmen was great but didn’t really make any money and does anyone really want to remember Wolverine, 2012 or Terminator: Salvation? Didn’t think so...

To really show how short 2009 was of huge spectacle movies, you only have to look as far as The Hangover, a great film but not the type of genre you usually see making almost half a billion dollars!

There’s obviously Avatar, a huge movie which came at the end of 2009 but therefore ended up making most of its money in 2010 so is a bit hard to pigeon hole as just a 2009 film.

2010 – Inception, Toy Story 3, HP7 Pt1, Alice in Wonderland and Iron Man2, big movies, big marketing budgets and very little competition... Another very poor year for tentpole releases.

Robin Hood, The A-Team, Tron: Legacy and Prince of Persia ended up being financial and critical disasters so the less said about them the better.

And even two of my favourite films - Scott Pilgrim and Kick-Ass, don’t really count as huge blockbusters, so less than 10 big films for the whole of 2010!

This brings me on to 2011, a truly mammoth year for big all singing and dancing movies, if you look at a calendar for the high budget movies that are coming out this year the list goes something like this...

(in date order)
The Green Hornet
Battle: Los Angeles
Sucker Punch
Scream 4
Fast Five
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The Hangover: Part II
Kung Fu Panda 2
X-Men: First Class
Super 8
Green Lantern
Cars 2
Transformers: Dark of the Moon
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2
Winnie the Pooh
Captain America: The First Avenger
Cowboys & Aliens
Conan the Barbarian
Spy Kids 4: All the Time in the World 3D
Final Destination 5
Real Steel
The Three Musketeers
Paranormal Activity 3
Puss in Boots
Happy Feet 2
Caesar: Rise of the Apes
Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Sherlock Holmes 2
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn
War Horse

Ok, some of these movie may (and probably will) end up being pretty forgettable, but that isn’t going to stop a hell of a lot of money being spent on marketing them and that’s the stuff I love.

2011 is an epic year for blockbuster movies, and this is really only the first half of a two year marathon of huge film releases, with 2012 seeing the The Dark Knight Rises, a new Superman, a new Spider-Man, the return of Bond, the first part of The Hobbit and a fully loaded Avengers movie (all in the same year may I add!!!).

The next couple of years are good for blockbuster film fans...


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