Box Office Predictions: July 28-30

As July draws to a close this weekend, we have two new entries attempting to knock Dunkirk off its #1 perch. They are the animated pic The Emoji Movie and Charlize Theron action spy thriller Atomic Blonde. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/the-emoji-movie-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/atomic-blonde-box-office-prediction/

I’m expecting The Emoji Movie to post a debut in the upper 20s – not as high as The Angry Birds Movie from last summer ($38 million) but better than this summer’s Captain Underpants ($23 million).

As for Atomic Blonde, I’ve been consistently revising my projection down since last Wednesday. Even though the pic is getting decent reviews, I’ve gone from $26 million down to high teens. That would likely give it a third place showing (depending on how far Girls Trip drops).

Neither of those openings may be enough to keep Dunkirk from the top spot. I anticipate the critically heralded Chris Nolan war drama to experience a rather small decline in the mid 30s range (more on its opening below).

Girls Trip, coming off a terrific debut, may also experience a smallish decline. The comedy of the summer should benefit from an A+ Cinemascore rating and strong word of mouth. I have it pegged at a 40s dip.

Spider-Man: Homecoming should round out the top five. And with that, my top 5 projections for the weekend:

1. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $32.8 million (representing a drop of 34%)

2. The Emoji Movie

Predicted Gross: $28.4 million

3. Atomic Blonde

Predicted Gross: $18.6 million

4. Girls Trip

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million (representing a drop of 44%)

5. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Predicted Gross: $12 million (representing a drop of 45%)

Box Office Results (July 21-23)

Dunkirk landed on top debuting with a strong $50.5 million (surpassing my $44.7M prediction). Topping the $47 million debut of his last effort Interstellar, look for Nolan’s latest to experience rather meager declines throughout August.

Girls Trip broke the R rated comedy curse of this summer with a magnificent $31.2 million opening for 2nd place, topping my $27.3M estimate. Its budget is only a reported $30 million, so there’s likely champagne bottles popping over at Universal Pictures.

Spider-Man: Homecoming was third with $22.1 million, a tad above my $20.6M projection for a three-week tally of $251 million.

War for the Planet of the Apes dropped significantly in its sophomore frame, placing fourth with $20.8 million (I said $23.5M). The third franchise entry in the Apes saga has taken in $98 million.

While the debut news was celebratory for Dunkirk and Girls Trip, the same cannot be said for Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets. The Luc Besson mega-budgeted science fiction spectacle premiered to a weak $17 million in fifth place, in line with my $17.8M prediction. Look for it to fade quickly stateside while hoping to make some of its budget back overseas.

And that does it for now, folks! Until next time…

Oscar Watch: Detroit

Detroit is one of those pictures that’s been earmarked for an Oscar Watch post ever since its announcement. After all, this is the third collaboration between director Kathryn Bigelow and screenwriter Mark Boal. The first was 2009’s The Hurt Locker and it won Best Picture and made history when Bigelow was the first female to win Best Director. Boal won Original Screenplay and the film received three other technical victories. Their follow-up, 2012’s Zero Dark Thirty, received Picture and another Screenplay nod for Boal, though Bigelow was surprisingly not nominated. It also won Sound Editing and was nominated for overall Editing. These collaborations also resulted in a Best Actor nod for Jeremy Renner for Locker and Best Actress nom for Jessica Chastain for Zero Dark.

So it goes without saying that their third teaming merits awards chatter. That picture is Detroit, which opens on August 4. The period drama recounts the Algiers Hotel incident during the city’s riots of 1967. The review embargo lifted today and early notices are positive (it’s at 100% at the moment on Rotten Tomatoes). For those who say the August release date could be problematic, don’t forget that Hurt Locker hit in the summer as well. That said, some critics have said it doesn’t quite measure up with the first two Bigelow/Boal efforts. If there’s any acting attention, perhaps John Boyega could here his name bandied about in Best Actor. There may be a better chance for costar Will Poulter in Supporting (he’s said to be a standout).

Based on very early reaction, the Picture itself, Bigelow, and Boal look to be in the mix for nominations. Yet it doesn’t seem as slam dunk as eight years ago and maybe not even five years ago.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Dunkirk Movie Review

Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk has moments and plenty of them which are simply breathtaking. We expect the director of The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, and Interstellar to serve up a visual treat as he enters the war genre and he does. Yet I didn’t quite anticipate occasional moments of emotional resonance and the tight running time that keeps it moving at a brisk pace. This is an often epic experience in a truncated frame. That decision by the director and his editors allow Dunkirk to capture the fierce urgency of warfare told from three perspectives.

The film recounts the Battle of Dunkirk in Northern France in 1940. The British and their French allies are on the losing side of this particular conflict with the Nazis and evacuation plans are underway. Nolan chooses not to tell the events in a traditional or linear manner. Three stories are highlighted – by land, sea, and air. I list them in that manner because the land piece develops over a week’s time. Our action on the water happens in a day. The air portion is a matter of just an hour.

On land, we meet a number of soldiers desperately searching for escape while trying to help their wounded fellow countrymen. We also listen in on the strategies of the military higher-ups, led by Kenneth Branagh’s sturdy commander.

On the water, Mr. Dawson (Mark Rylance) answers the call to take his own boat to help pick up soldiers from the extraction area. He brings his son (Tom Glynn-Carney) and friend (Barry Keoghan) along with him. On their way to their destination, they come upon a lone soldier (Cillian Murphy) who is experiencing shock from a U-boat attack.

In the air, Tom Hardy’s Air Force pilot and two fellow fighters must furiously try to down Nazi planes bombing those waiting in the evacuation region, while keeping an eye on their own fuel.

All of this activity unfolds in just over 100 minutes in a picture you’d expect to run closer to three hours. Character development is at a minimum but that’s not a demerit. Dunkirk captures the hectic nature, uncertainty, and chaos of war. With Nolan at the helm and cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema behind the lense, it’s also filled with beautiful imagery on a beach filled with soldiers, on the expansive ocean, and in the clouds. The screenplay gives us just enough focus on its characters to make certain situations emotionally resonant. This especially holds true with the sea portion and Rylance’s determined skipper and Murphy’s battle weary soldier.

The time jumping element is one that would make Tarantino proud. That aspect adds an often fresh perspective to the well-worn WWII genre and its glorious and inglorious tales. By its conclusion, we marvel at personal acts by humans caught up in impossible situations in the fog of battle. In a week, a day, and an hour, Dunkirk expertly shows it.

***1/2 (out of four)

Top Ten Summer Music Hits of 2007: A Look Back

Today on the blog, I continue on with my listing of the Top Ten Summer Hits from years past. I’ve already gone over both 1987 and 1997. If you missed those entries, you can find them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/07/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1987-a-look-back/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/11/top-ten-summer-music-hits-of-1997-a-look-back/

On this Throwback Thursday, we travel back a decade to 2007 to find what was burning up the charts in a summer where comedies like Knocked Up and Superbad were making us laugh, the Transformers franchise was just beginning, and Spider-Man 3 was overwhelming us with too many villains and Tobey Maguire dancing.

As I have with these posts before, I’ll rank them on my own (not exactly refined) musical scale of 1 (summer bummer) to 10 (summer fire) and let you know whether or not said song resides on my Apple Music playlist.

Let’s get to it!

10. “Make Me Better” – Fabolous feat. Ne-Yo

Brooklyn MC Fabolous starting making hits in 2001 and this Timbaland produced and string heavy track featuring Ne-Yo is one of his biggest. Timbaland always delivers good beats. It’s decent, though nothing too memorable.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

9. “Bartender” – T-Pain feat. Akon

Like many of Mr. Pain’s tracks, this is made for careless nights at the club and in that sense, it’s perfect acceptable. Like some of those nights, however, you may have forgotten it by morning.

My Rating: 6

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

8. “Makes Me Wonder” by Maroon 5

The first single from Maroon 5’s long-awaited second album, this was actually their first #1 hit (a bit surprising considering the smashes from their debut release). It’s a catchy as heck pop concoction with Adam Levine’s fine vocals.

My Rating: 8 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

7. “Beautiful Girls” by Sean Kingston

Jamaican artist Kingston scored a huge one hit wonder here with this reggae tinged ode to a girl he loves. The lyrics are really quite disturbing if you think about them at all, but summer songs are all about enjoying them with the top down and this pretty much delivers.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

6. “The Way I Are” by Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson

Grammatical issues aside, the second single from mega-producer Timbaland’s Shock Value album is a synth heavy standout jam. My goodness – this man was on fire in the mid 2000s.

My Rating: 8 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

5. “Buy U A Drank (Shawty Snappin’)” – T-Pain feat. Yung Joc

And now for the lead single from Mr. Pain’s second smash album. It’s another club anthem meant for quick consumption on a night out and it’s a notch above #9 “Bartender”.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

4. “Hey There Delilah” by Plain White T’s

The signature tune from these Illinois rockers, this track was inescapable a decade ago. The ballad’s rating here perhaps suffers from its overexposure, but it does get in your head.

My Rating: 7

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

3. “Party Like a Rockstar” by Shop Boyz

The first and only hit from these Atlanta rappers, “Rockstar” merged the sounds of hip hop and rock that first gained exposure two decades earlier with Aerosmith and Run DMC. It’s the most downloaded ringtone of 2007. It’s not “Walk This Way”, but it’s fun.

My Rating: 6 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

2. “Big Girls Don’t Cry” by Fergie

The fourth single off her debut album and the third #1 from it, Black Eyed Peas songstress Fergie slowed it down here with this ditty. Truthfully, it was never among my favorite tracks that were singles but maybe I just gravitated toward other hits like “London Bridge”, “Glamorous”, and “Clumsy”. Still it’s solid. By the way, if that guy Fergie is romancing in the video looks familiar – that would Milo Ventimiglia or Jack from TV’s “This Is Us”.

My Rating: 7 and a half

Is It On My Apple Music?: No

1. “Umbrella” by Rihanna feat. Jay-Z

Now we’re talking! One of Rihanna’s best cuts, this was actually rejected by Britney Spears. Oops. With a fine assist from Mr. Shawn Carter (who co-wrote), “Umbrella” features a towering beat and is one of the endlessly played tracks that somehow doesn’t get old. It deserves its accolades.

My Rating: 10

Is It On My Apple Music?: Yes

Well, that does it folks! The last ten, twenty, and thirty years of summertime hits. Next summer – get ready for 1988, 1998, and 2008. And hitting the blog within days will be reviewing the movie summers of 1987, 1997, and 2007. Stay tuned!

Atomic Blonde Box Office Prediction

Blogger’s Note (07/23): I am revising my estimate down from my original projection to a high teens debut.

Charlize Theron is in her second high-profile action flick of 2017 as Atomic Blonde hits theaters next weekend. The Oscar winner plays an MI6 agent teamed up with James McAvoy. The spy thriller costars John Goodman, Sofia Boutella, and Toby Jones and is directed by John Wick‘s David Leitch.

Blonde premiered this spring at the South by Southwest Festival to solid word-of-mouth and reviews have been mostly pleasing as it stands at 78% on Rotten Tomatoes. Theron appeared in this spring’s The Fate of the Furious and McAvoy is fresh off his blockbuster starring role in Split. 

Shot for a meager $30 million, the pic should have no trouble being a profitable venture for its studio. It could reach close to its budget in the first weekend, though I’ll estimate it falls a bit under that in the mid 20s. That may mean a debut in third place behind The Emoji Movie and the second weekend of Dunkirk, depending on how that opens on Friday.

Atomic Blonde opening weekend prediction: $18.6 million

For my The Emoji Movie prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/the-emoji-movie-box-office-prediction/

The Emoji Movie Box Office Prediction

If nothing else, Sony Pictures Animation’s The Emoji Movie will go down in film lore as having Sir Patrick Stewart provide the voice of what is commonly called the “poop emoji”. He’s one of several famous faces lending voice to those things we send on our phones all day. They include T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Sofia Vergara, Christina Aguilera, and Rob Riggle.

The reported $50 million budgeted 3D computer-animated comedy isn’t the first pic based on something we associate with our iPhones and droids. That would be last summer’s The Angry Birds Movie, which debuted to $38 million. I don’t see Emoji quite reaching those numbers, yet I don’t see it as low as the $23 million earned out of the gate for this summer’s Captain Underpants, another non-sequel ‘toon.

I am forecasting this will basically fall between those debuts. In doing so, it may create a serious three-way battle for box office supremacy next weekend with the premiere of Atomic Blonde and the second weekend of Dunkirk. 

The Emoji Movie opening weekend prediction: $28.4 million

For my Atomic Blonde prediction, click here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/19/atomic-blonde-box-office-prediction/

Oscar Watch: Dunkirk

We are more than halfway through this grand experiment called 2017 and, thus far, there’s been no sure-fire contender for Best Picture released. There are some massive hits that’ll have their admirers calling for inclusion – Get Out, Wonder Woman, War for the Planet of the Apes, Logan. There are smaller films that stand shots – The Big Sick and The Beguiled. Truth be told, all of these titles are long shots for being nominated for the big prize with the possible exception of Sick.

However, this Friday looks to change the dynamic with the release of Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk. The World War II action drama had its review embargo lifted this afternoon and some of the critical reaction has been rapturous. It stands at 97% currently on Rotten Tomatoes and here’s a sampling of the praise: Entertainment Weekly calls it the best movie of the year so far. The Hollywood Reporter says it’s a masterpiece. indieWire says it’s Nolan’s greatest achievement.

Bottom line: it definitely looks as if Dunkirk will be nominated for Best Picture and that Nolan will find himself among the five in Best Director. The film could also play in a host of technical and down the line categories, including both Sound races, Cinematography, Editing, Visual Effects, Original Score, and Production Design. It probably won’t receive much attention in the acting slots and maybe not even Original Screenplay (the gloriously directed action is said to do the real talking here).

If Dunkirk is among the five to ten flicks nominated, it would be Nolan’s second picture to get recognition after 2010’s Inception. As you may recall, a lot of movie lovers cried foul when 2008’s The Dark Knight didn’t end up on the short list. With Dunkirk, it represents the first release of the year that seems more destined for Oscar attention than not.

My Oscar Watch posts will continue…

Box Office Predictions: July 21-23

Blogger’s Note (07/19/17): I’ve revised my Girls Trip number to $27.3 million, up from $20.3 million in original post below.

A trio of newcomers hit multiplexes this weekend: Christopher Nolan’s WWII action drama Dunkirk, Luc Besson’s sci-fi spectacle Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and raunchy and critically lauded comedy Girls Trip with Queen Latifah and Jada Pinkett Smith. You can peruse my detailed prediction posts on each of them here:

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/12/dunkirk-box-office-prediction/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/12/valerian-and-the-city-of-a-thousand-planets-box-office-predictions/

https://toddmthatcher.com/2017/07/12/girls-trip-box-office-prediction/

As I see it, Dunkirk should appeal to adult moviegoers ready for something other than sequels and reboots. I have it slated to debut at #1 with a mid 40s haul and it will likely play well in subsequent weekends through the month of August.

War for the Planet of the Apes should lose over half its audience and drop to second. More on its opening below.

The real battle could be for the three-five spots. Spider-Man: Homecoming may lose a bit over 50% in weekend #3 after a larger than expected dip in its sophomore frame. I believe Girls Trip has breakout success potential. While it’s been a weak summer for comedies, Girls is garnering solid reviews and I think it opens to just over $20 million.

In my estimation, that puts the massively budgeted Valerian in fifth. It could certainly top $20 million, but my gut has it under that figure. The pic should perform better overseas.

And with that, my top 5 predictions for the weekend:

1. Dunkirk

Predicted Gross: $44.7 million

2. Girls Trip

Predicted Gross: $27.3 million

3. War for the Planet of the Apes

Predicted Gross: $23.5 million (representing a drop of 57%)

4. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Predicted Gross: $20.6 million (representing a drop of 53%)

5. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Predicted Gross: $17.8 million

Box Office Results (July 14-16)

Critically heralded three-quel War for the Planet of the Apes dethroned Spider-Man for the top spot, earning $56.2 million. This falls under my $63.4M prediction. War played less like its predecessor Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which made $72 million for its start and more like 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which debuted with $54 million. While a decent showing, this is on the lower end of expectations for what War would accomplish.

Spider-Man: Homecoming fell a steep 61% for second with $44.2 million (I was higher at $55.2M). Spidey’s full inclusion into the MCU has amassed $207 million in its first ten days.

Despicable Me 3 held up a bit better than my projection in third with $19.3 million (I said $17M). The Dreamworks animated three-quel stands at $188 million in three weeks.

Baby Driver was fourth with $8.7 million (I said $7.8M) and its total is at $73 million. Surpassing the century mark looks within its grasp.

Kumail Nanjiani’s well reviewed romantic comedy The Big Sick expanded nationwide for a fifth place showing of $7.5 million. My prediction? $7.5 million! I would expect solid word-of-mouth will have this experiencing fairly small drops in upcoming weekends.

Wonder Woman was sixth with $6.8 million (I went with $6.1M) to bring its startling gross to $380 million. Barring some sort of totally unforeseen late summer surprise, it now appears as if Gal Gadot’s spin-off pic will be this season’s highest earner (something that was practically unthinkable just a couple of months ago).

Debuting in seventh was horror entry Wish Upon, which failed to scare up much business with just $5.4 million (I said $5.9M).

And that will do it for now folks! Until next time…

The Fate of the Furious Movie Review

The Fate of the Furious is our eighth – yes, eighth – installment of a franchise that it would have been ridiculous to imagine there being that many entries. We’re a long way from the original 16 years ago that was sort of a drag racing rip-off of Point Break, or Point Brake as I deemed it in my review. That said, a common thread among the series is its willingness to be knowingly ridiculous while weaving in endless monologues about the importance of family.

The formula took on a different tone in predecessor Furious 7, which admirably managed to deal with the death of franchise stalwart Paul Walker in its conclusion. In that sense, Fate ushers in a new chapter. New characters are introduced, old ones are rehashed, and the level of silliness is brought to a level not quite seen before. Yes, cars go fast here. However, part 8 owes more to James Bond flicks when they were less grim (think Roger Moore era with a quarter billion dollar budget).

As I’ve written in previous Furious critiques, plot is secondary but here’s what you need to know: Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel) has turned on his team. Sort of. He’s being forced to team up with criminal mastermind Cipher (Charlize Theron), who evades authorities in the air on an invisible plane. See what I mean? Isn’t that the kind of villain 007 might battle in the late seventies? Now on the wrong side of justice, Dominic and Cipher must go against Dom’s “family”, including wife Letty (Michelle Rodriguez) and the familiar players played by Dwayne Johnson (whose goofy character is still good for some funny and bizarre moments), Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, and more. Part 7’s main villain Jason Statham is more of a team player this time around and even Oscar winner Helen Mirren turns up as his mum. Statham is granted a fight scene towards the end where he has to be delicate with some cargo he’s carrying (you’ll see what I mean). The scene is genuinely humorous and quite well choreographed.

The plot is all an excuse for the massive action spectacles and globe trotting we’ve become accustomed to and we have it here in Cuba, New York City, and Russia. The climactic sequence set on Russian frozen tundra employs the usual expensive vehicles, but we also are treated to tanks and submarines. Remember the ice action in Pierce Brosnan’s Bond flick Die Another Day? Think that, but it’s not embarrassingly awful.

Our Furious sagas rise and fall on the ability for us to check our brains at the Universal logo. By the third act, I’d succumbed once again to its cheesy charms. Maybe one day this series will truly stall like it briefly did in 2006’s Tokyo Drift. Not yet though and that’s some kind of testament to its durability.

*** (out of four)

Ranking the Superhero Summers

We’re past the midway point of the 2017 summer box office and one thing is clear: it’s been a rather terrific season for the superhero flick genre. In fact, there’s a very good chance the summer’s top 3 earners will belong in that classification. That’s not the first time this has happened (more on that later), but it’s still pretty remarkable.

This got me thinking – what have been the greatest and worst superhero summers of this 21st century? After all, it was the summer of 2000 that got the superhero genre alive and kicking again and it’s never let up. 17 summers ago, it was the release of X-Men that helped revive a genre that had hit a low point three summers earlier with Batman & Robin. In 2002, it would be Spider-Man that would set the opening weekend record and ensure that no summer following would be missing some comic book character headlining. **2001 is the only summer of this century in which there’s no superhero pic.

This leads to my newest list: ranking the superhero summers with explanations provided below. We’re talking 17 summers, so I’m counting down from the worst to the best in my humble opinion.

17. 2009

The Movie: X-Men Origins: Wolverine

Just one flick in this particular summer. The Marvel Cinematic Universe had just kicked off the year before, so there was no follow-up ready. Instead, we got Wolverine’s first spin-off and it’s the worst of the whole bunch by a significant margin.

16. 2007

The Movies: Spider-Man 3, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

The third Spidey entry closed the Sam Raimi/Tobey Maguire on a very weak note and the Four sequel was none too impressive either (to be expected after a middling at best predecessor).

15. 2010

The Movie: Iron Man 2

Tony Stark’s return to the screen after 2008’s juggernaut suffered from being overstuffed with two many villains, etc… One of the lesser MCU entries.

14. 2006

The Movies: X-Men: The Last Stand, Superman Returns

Two pics that failed to meet expectations – The Last Stand suffered a big quality drop-off after the second X and Superman Returns (the first Supes flick in nearly 20 years) couldn’t live up to the hype.

13. 2015

The Movies: Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Fantastic Four

Disappointing as it featured two of the weaker MCU entries and a seriously misguided Fantastic Four reboot.

12. 2013

The Movies: Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, The Wolverine

IM3 was an improvement over part 2, The Wolverine was an improvement over Origins. Man of Steel? A letdown in many respects, just like Superman Returns.

11. 2004

The Movies: Spider-Man 2, Catwoman

Would probably rank higher because Spidey 2 is arguably the best of the bunch, but loses points due to the catastrophe that is Halle Berry as Catwoman.

10. 2016

The Movies: Captain America: Civil War, Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse 

A mixed bag. Civil War is one of the finer MCU pics, Squad is that mixed bag, and Apocalypse was a major disappointment.

9. 2003

The Movies: X2: X-Men United, Hulk

X2 is perhaps the strongest X entry, but Ang Lee’s Hulk (while having its moments) was often a pretentious bore.

8. 2000

The Movie: X-Men

Only X-Men in this summer, but it deserves props for kicking off the genre in a major way once again.

7. 2002

The Movie: Spider-Man

Even more than X-Men, Sam Raimi’s first Spidey ensured a heaping of genre entries for years to come.

6. 2014

The Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy, X-Men: Days of Future Past, The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Guardians was pure joy, Past was a solid X pic. Loses points for the mess of a Spidey sequel.

5. 2005

The Movies: Batman Begins, Fantastic Four

OK, so Fantastic Four was not so good. Yet this is in my top 5 because Batman Begins not only kicked off the heralded Nolan trilogy, but it’s my personal fave superhero pic of the century.

4. 2011

The Movies: Thor, Captain America: First Avenger, X-Men: First Class

Though not of these flicks are great, they’re all solid in my view. Thor and Captain helped usher in the MCU era as we know it and First Class rebooted its franchise in a pleasing way.

3. 2012

The Movies: The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, The Amazing Spider-Man

Avengers is the granddaddy of MCU, Rises ended up the trilogy in a mostly satisfactory manner while Spidey was a slight letdown (though miles better than its sequel). As referenced earlier, these 3 pictures would mark the highest 3 earners of that season.

2. 2017

The Movies: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming

Three highly entertaining and well-done entries that marked the first super-heroine success.

1. 2008

The Movies: The Dark Knight, Iron Man, The Incredible Hulk, Hellboy II: The Golden Army

The Dark Knight is considered by many to be the genre’s artistic peak and Iron Man was a fine start to a franchise that just keeps charging along. Incredible was a more satisfying (though still flawed) Hulk pic than five years earlier and Guillermo del Toro brought his visual splendor and humor once again to the Hellboy series. A rather easy pick for #1.

Or is it? What are your thoughts on the superhero summers?