Iron Man 3 Box Office Prediction

There is one box office record that Iron Man 3 will not break when it opens this weekend, officially kicking off the 2013 Summer movie season.

It will not have the biggest opening weekend of all time. That honor belongs to The Avengers at $207 million and is highly unlikely to be broken this year.

It may not be the biggest sequel opening of all time, though it could be. The #2 largest opening weekend belongs to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 at $169 million. #3 belongs to The Dark Knight Rises at $160 million, with its predecessor The Dark Knight fourth at $158 million.

Clearly it will not have the all-time opening record for a film featuring a comic book superhero. And, obviously, it stands little chance of having the biggest opening for a movie with the character Tony Stark in it. The Avengers shall remain the one with that designation.

Having said all that, the third installment in the Iron Man franchise looks poised for a massive debut this weekend. It will unquestionably set the record for largest 2013 debut so far, likely crushing the $79 million debut by Oz the Great and Powerful. In fact, Iron Man 3 may well have the largest opener of the entire year. The only real competition would be Man of Steel or November’s Hunger Games: Catching Fire. 

The original Iron Man in 2008 surpassed industry expectations with a $98 million opening weekend. Its sequel in 2010 made a killing with a $128 million debut. Respectively, that represents the #24 and #11 all-time openers. Iron Man 3 is very likely to exceed both of those grosses this weekend and then some.

This is not because Iron Man 2 was a beloved entry in the superhero movie genre… it wasn’t. It’s because last summer’s The Avengers was. That movie was a phenomenon and its considerable coattails should propel Robert Downey Jr.’s return as Tony Stark to new heights. Iron Man 3 is likely to be the highest overall domestic earner of the trilogy.  The first topped out at $318 million and the follow-up at $312 million. It will definitely have the highest opening.

Another plus: reviews for the third installment are quite positive with some critics proclaiming it the best of the series so far and nearly all deeming it a vast improvement over #2. This all adds to the buzz of Iron Man 3 being a must-see event.

I just posted my Top Ten Superhero Movies of All Time in a separate piece. You can review it here:

https://toddmthatcher.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/top-ten-superhero-movies/

Could Iron Man 3 join the original Iron Man and The Avengers on that list? We shall see soon enough.

The possibility of Iron Man 3 having the 2nd largest opening of all time is real. Very real. It would need to debut higher than the final Harry Potter‘s $169 million. That could happen and I am inclined to go with that. Internationally, the picture opened higher than Avengers did last year. That was unexpected. We could all be surprised when the numbers roll in this coming weekend. Who knows? It could even reach Avengers level numbers domestically.

Ultimately, I’m predicting Iron Man 3 reaches the #2 all-time domestic opening. It may not and could fall under Harry Potter’s gross and even the grosses of the Nolan Batman sequels. To me, however, Iron Man 3 is moving forward with incredible momentum that should earn it the runner-up spot, second only to the full Avengers team.

Iron Man 3 opening weekend prediction: $172.4 million

On Wednesday, I’ll make my predictions for the top five this weekend. SPOILER ALERT: I’m going with Iron Man 3 at number one.

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2013 Comedy Summer Movie Preview: Vaughn&Wilson, McCarthy, Rogen, and Wiig

Every summer, we usually see a major breakout comedy that connects with audiences across the board. Last season, it was Ted which earned $218 million. In 2011, it was The Hangover Part II with $254 million, as well as Bridesmaids ($169M) and Horrible Bosses ($119M). In 2010, Grown Ups brought in $162 million. In 2009, the original Hangover grossed $277 million and The Proposal made $163 million.

This summer, there’s no shortage of contenders. The comedy winner could be The Hangover Part III and that film was already covered in my sequels blog post. However, that film faces serious challengers, particularly from two titles:

From Bridesmaids director Paul Feig comes The Heat, a buddy cop comedy starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. This is Bullock’s first headlining role since her Oscar winning turn in The Blind Side. Added to that, McCarthy is a hot commodity right now with her spring comedy Identity Thief well exceeding analysts expectations. The Heat could easily post Bridesmaids size numbers when it opens June 28th.

We also have The Internship, which reteams Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson. Their first collaboration was, of course, Wedding Crashers. That came out in the summer of 2005 and grossed an astonishing $209 million. If The Internship delivers, it could be a real factor in the top comedy discussions. It’s out on June 7th.

These three titles are likely to have a healthy competition for the top spot (Grown Ups 2 is probably poised to earn between $100-$125 million and has also been covered in my sequels write-up).

There are plenty of other comedies that will attempt to bring crowds in. Two high-profile entries have yet to release a trailer: the road trip flick We’re the Millers (August 9) with Jason Sudeikis and Jennifer Aniston and Girl Most Likely (July 19), which brings us Kristin Wiig’s first starring role since Bridesmaids. 

Then we have This is the End (June 12), which has Jonah Hill, James Franco, Seth Rogen, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, and others playing themselves in an end of the world scenario. The trailers are pretty damn funny and I’m particularly looking forward to this one. End could be a major breakout player if it’s as funny as its potential suggests.

The Tyler Perry factory brings us Peeples (May 10) starring the very funny Craig Robinson, who also is featued in This is the End. It basically looks like the Tyler Perry version of Meet the Parents, which his name alone will likely mean solid grosses.

The coming of age flick The Way, Way Back (July 5) with Steve Carell received rave reviews at Sundance and is being looked at as a potential sleeper hit.

And Woody Allen brings us his movie a year with Blue Jasmine (July 26) with Cate Blanchett and Alec Baldwin. Two years ago, Woody had an unexpected hit with Midnight in Paris. However, last summer his To Rome with Love tanked. No trailer is available at press time.

All in all, there are plenty of comedies to choose from this summer. If some Hangover fatigue occurs (something which I believe is possible), don’t be surprised to see Bullock and McCarthy as the comedy champions of the season.

Top Ten Superhero Movies

Since the beginning of this century in particular, the superhero film genre has exploded with nearly all major comic book stars getting their movie… or in several cases, movies. Every summer now brings us 2 or 3 tentpole titles with superheroes as the headliner. The 2013 summer frame is no different. This Friday, we’ll see the eagerly awaited Iron Man 3. In June, the Superman franchise gets restarted with Man of Steel. In July, Hugh Jackman is back as The Wolverine. This November – a Thor sequel. Next summer, we see new entries in the Spider-Man, Captain America and X-Men franchises.

With all the talk in the movie world focusing on Mr. Tony Stark this week, I felt it was time to reveal my personal list of Top Ten Superhero Movies. I will start by saying this – I’m not a comic book guy. Nothing against them (far from it) but I simply never got into reading them. So my judgments are in no way based on faithfulness to the source material – a factor that fanboys understandably often use.

And with that said, here we go:

10. X-Men: First Class (2011)

After the disappointing 2006 X-Men: The Last Stand and underwhelming X-Men Origins: Wolverine in 2009, many including I were skeptical about X-Men: First Class in the summer of 2011. Those fears were quickly alleviated. Matthew Vaughn’s restart of the franchise has a cool 1960s vibe and terrific performances from James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender as Charles Xavier and Magneto. The sequel out next summer, which brings in the characters of the original trilogy with the new cast, sounds promising.

9. Watchmen (2009)

Based on Alan Moore’s beloved graphic novel, Watchmen is a dark and challenging experience that is a fascinating spin on the superhero genre. Director Zack Snyder gives us a visual feast and the fact that he’s directing this summer’s Man of Steel is reason enough to be excited.

8. Batman (1989)

I’ll always have a special place in my heart for the first Batman from director Tim Burton. Yes, the later Chris Nolan entries would be an improvement, but 1989’s original is a lot of fun  with Jack Nicholson hamming it up gloriously as The Joker. Batman would change the way movies were marketed forever and is in many ways responsible for opening the door for the flood of superhero flicks to follow.

7. Iron Man (2008)

No one was really sure how this picture would perform when it kicked off the 2008 summer movie season. We quickly discovered how flat out awesome Robert Downey Jr. would be as Iron Man/Tony Stark. The rest is history. It’s hindered a bit by a disappointing last half hour, but otherwise the first Iron Man is a triumph.

6. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

Sam Raimi’s Spidey trilogy got off to a strong start with the 2002 original, but it’s the sequel where Raimi was free to employ his trademark style. Spider-Man 2 is a blast as Spidey battles Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock. I was never a huge fan of Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man/Peter Parker, but the second installment in the franchise is a winner.

5. X2 (2003)

Just like with the Spidey franchise, the X-Men franchise saved the best for second. I’m a big admirer of the original as well, but it’s X2 that excels. Bryan Singer would leave the franchise after this one, leaving Brett Ratner to helm the just OK third installment. Singer would go on to direct his own disappointing superhero movie, Superman Returns. He’ll return to the X-Men franchise to try and redeem himself with the First Class sequel, out next summer.

4. Superman (1978)

Richard Donner’s event pic is the true O.G. superhero flick, with Christopher Reeve well-cast as Superman/Clark Kent and Gene Hackman having a blast as Lex Luthor. The sequel is very good, too. However, the third and fourth installments were pretty bad.

3. The Dark Knight (2008)

Yes, I know it’d be #1 on many lists. We all know how awesome Heath Ledger is as The Joker and how exciting and tense the movie is. There just happens to be two others I’d put a little higher.

2. The Avengers (2012)

Bringing together Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Hulk, and Scarlett Johansson in that leather outfit turned out to be a masterstroke. Joss Whedon is now a God among fanboys because The Avengers delivered on every level, including having the largest box office opening of all time. The climactic battle sequence (Cleveland rocks!) is deliriously fun.

1. Batman Begins (2005)

As time has gone by, I’ve found myself partial to Chris Nolan’s first crack at the Batman legend. Don’t get me wrong – The Dark Knight is great and The Dark Knight Rises is solid, too (it almost made the list). Batman Begins gets my personal top spot because Nolan brilliantly reshaped the franchise with Christian Bale perfectly cast as Batman/Bruce Wayne.

And there you have it! Quibble away with my choices if you must. And let’s see if Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, or The Wolverine join the top ten when they debut over the next couple of months.

Box Office Results: April 26-28

It’s the calm before the summer season storm as the weekend’s new releases both came in below my fairly modest projections.

Michael Bay’s Pain and Gain with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took the #1 spot with $20 million, under my $23.8M projection. While the true crime action/comedy had a meager $25 million budget and looks to be profitable, this is a pretty soft opening. More discouraging signs lie ahead – it received a low C+ Cinemascore grade, indicating Pain will fade fast.

I was on the money with my projection for the second weekend of Tom Cruise’s Oblivion. The sci-fi thriller did dip below 50% in its sophomore frame with $17.4 million. My prediction was $17.3M. Gold star!

The Jackie Robinson biopic 42 was third in its third weekend with $10.7 million (just below my $11.5M estimate).

The weekend’s other new release was the ensemble comedy The Big Wedding. With mostly brutal reviews and a muted marketing campaign, not many RSVP’d for this Wedding. It tanked with $7.5 million and a fourth place showing. I was more generous and predicted it’d open with $11.2M. Oops.

Rounding out the top five was the animated The Croods, which took in $6.5 million (I said $6.6M, so gold star once again).

As mentioned, this is the calm before next weekend’s box office storm in the form of Tony Stark and Iron Man 3, which officially kicks off the summer season. Look for my post tomorrow on the blog with my projection for how it performs next weekend. And check out http://www.boxofficeace.com – where you can also predict the box office gross for Iron Man‘s third go-round at the multiplex!

Oblivion Movie Review

Tom Cruise stars in an innovative, thought-provoking, and often brilliant science fiction thriller that stands as one of the genre’s most satisfying entries of the 21st century. The movie I speak of is 2002’s Minority Report. However, this is my review of Cruise’s new sci-fi thriller Oblivion.

This is Tron: Legacy director Joseph Kosinski’s second feature and he certainly succeeds at making Oblivion a visually pleasing experience. The film is set in 2077 with Cruise as Jack Harper, a drone repairman stationed on Earth fifty years after a cataclysmic event made the planet uninhabitable. When not repairing those pesky drones, he also must contend with the Scavs, aliens who invaded the planet. He is teamed with Victoria (Andrea Riseborough in a good performance) on his mission, who also serves as his love interest. They are in the final days of their assignment and are scheduled to go to Titan, a colony with survivors that was established after the terrible Earth events. Harper is plagued by dreams that he believes are from his past life (all Earthlings had their memories wiped clean) and he often visualizes the same mystery woman, played by Olga Kurylenko. You’ll likely remember this actress as the main Bond gal in Quantum of Solace.

These dreams lead Harper to some startling discoveries that lead him to question all the events which have occurred over the past fifty years. This includes meeting not only that mystery woman, but also a team of Earth dwellers led by Morgan Freeman.

It’s pretty much impossible to further describe the plot of Oblivion without revealing spoilers.  The screenplay is filled with twists and turns. And therein is where some problems lie with the movie. It took four writers, including director Kosinki, to come up with a script that is needlessly complicated. The way the story is structured, we as an audience are left constantly playing catch-up and trying to piece together what we’ve been told. At least it’s a positive that some of the plot points are explained in a monologue by the nation’s narrator-in-chief Morgan Freeman. Still, Oblivion‘s writers seem to think their script is much more clever than it really is. Truth be told, the movie is essentially a rehash of many other sci-fi pics. And while I mentioned its visually appealing look, even that look is derivative of countless other sci-fi entries from Minority Report to Mad Max. 

Cruise is solid as usual, though he has little chemistry with Kurylenko. His scenes with Riseborough fare better. Oscar winner Melissa Leo has a rather thankless role as a mission control operator. Freeman is, well, Freeman.

There’s plenty to like about Oblivion. Some of the sequences with Cruise at demolished landmarks like the Empire State Building work well. There are genuine moments of suspense with the Scavs and the drones, particularly in the first hour. Ultimately the screenplay hinders it from becoming a truly noteworthy genre title.

**1/2 (out of four)

2013 Summer Movie Preview: White House Down, 2 Guns and More

It’s Magic Mike and Django headlining one of the summer’s biggest action flicks, Roland Emmerich’s White House Down, out June 28th. Emmerich is known for being the director who knows how to blow shit up real good, as he’s proven with Independence Day and The Day After Tomorrow. 

This time around, the White House is overtaken by terrorists as secret service agent Channing Tatum must protect the U.S. President, played by Jamie Foxx. Plot sound familiar? It should. This spring’s Olympus Has Fallen seems like the same movie and it unexpectedly turned into a sleeper hit as it continues to inch its way past the $100 million dollar mark. Expectations are higher for White House Down and it’s likely to deliver potent numbers in the neighborhood of $140 million or higher.

Opening August 2nd is 2 Guns, with Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg pitted against a drug cartel. Both have had their share of success in the genre and as long as 2 Guns delivers even on a fairly satisfactory level, its numbers should be solid.

Paul Walker is bound to have a massive hit with the sixth Fast and the Furious pic (already covered in my sequels post). He’s got a smaller action thriller June 14th titled Vehicle 19. Judging from the trailer, it’s got Paul Walker in a car and that’s worked out pretty well before.

Another action genre entry is Getaway with Ethan Hawke and Selena Gomez which involves a kidnapping plot. It’s out August 30th and no trailer has been released at press time.

Coming next to the 2013 Summer Movie Preview – movies that will attempt to make you laugh (also known as comedies) and they feature Melissa McCarthy, Seth Rogen, Kristin Wiig,  and the re-teaming of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson.

 

2013 Summer Movie Preview: The Lone Ranger, The Mortal Instruments

My continuation of the 2013 Summer Movie Preview rolls on with two entries that hope to kick start potential franchises.

First up is The Lone Ranger, which re-teams the potent duo of director Gore Verbinski and star Johnny Depp. Debuting July 3rd, Ranger has the plum Independence Day weekend slot and, with it, high expectations. Verbinski and Depp collaborated on the first three wildly successful Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, a billion dollar franchise. Co-starring Armie Hammer as the title character with Depp as Tonto, you can bet Disney is hoping for another long-term franchise.

The film has suffered a number of setbacks. It was pushed back from its original December 2012 release date. There have been reports of budget issues – Ranger‘s price tag is reportedly a hefty $250 million. Interest will certainly be high among audiences. The big question is: can Ranger reach Pirates-level numbers? I’m not so sure. Anything below $200 million domestically would be considered lackluster, but it’ll have to deliver for audiences to reach considerably above that.

August 23rd brings us The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Based on a bestselling series of novels by Cassandra Clare, Instruments is clearly going after the Twilight audience. Sony Pictures is hopeful it’ll resonate with audiences in the way Twilight did and develop further films. I’ll confess I know nothing about the popular books this is based on. I do see the cast is filled with relative unknowns and buzz for the picture seems pretty quiet. Still, that could certainly change over the next couple of months.

Next up on the Summer Movie Preview: action/adventure films including titles from Channing Tatum and Denzel Washington.

Box Office Predictions: April 26-28

Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson look to nab the top spot at the box office this weekend with Pain and Gain. On Monday, I wrote a post outlining my thoughts on how it’ll open. The full rundown is linked below and I’m projecting a $23.8 million debut.

https://toddmthatcher.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/pain-and-gain-box-office-prediction/

The weekend’s other newbie is The Big Wedding, with its all-star cast. Again, my Monday post on its box office viability is linked below. I’m going with $11.2 million.

https://toddmthatcher.wordpress.com/2013/04/22/the-big-wedding-box-office-prediction/

As for the holdovers, the big question is how well Tom Cruise’s Oblivion holds up in its second weekend. It opened last weekend to an impressive $37 million debut. There are some signs of trouble brewing: it received a weak B- Cinemascore grade and it now has direct competition for the male audience with Pain. A drop of over 50% is a strong possibility.

42 and The Croods should experience relatively minimal declines and remain in the top five. And with that, my predictions for the last weekend before the BIG summer movies start rolling out:

1. Pain and Gain

Predicted Gross: $23.8 million

2. Oblivion

Predicted Gross: $17.3 million (representing a drop of 53%)

3. 42

Predicted Gross: $11.5 million (representing a drop of 34%)

4. The Big Wedding

Predicted Gross: $11.2 million

5. The Croods

Predicted Gross: $6.5 million (representing a drop of 31%)

Updates will be posted throughout the weekend with the full wrap-up Sunday!

What About Bob?: The Decline of De Niro

Twenty years ago, as I was just beginning to develop my love of film that has only grown through time, I was given a book about the films of Robert De Niro. It wasn’t just about his most famous picturesIt devoted extensive chapters to each and every one of the films Mr. De Niro had made up until that point which (at the time) was his first quarter century on the silver screen. It’s called The Films of De Niro by Douglas Brode.

For most of my life, when people ask me who I believe is the greatest actor of all time – my answer is De Niro. Unfortunately, this answer has little to do with – oh, let’s say the last 15 years or so of his career. At least.

At a certain point (especially with the dawn of the 21st century) Mr. De Niro simply seemed to stop caring about what movies he chose to do. Whereas a film lover used to anticipate each De Niro performance to see what this brilliant actor would do with each successive role, this ceased to be the case in relatively recent history.

I will not extensively go over the first 20-30 years of his career where we saw one amazing performance after another. We know the pictures are many. Mean Streets. The Godfather Part II. Taxi Driver. The Deer Hunter. Raging Bull. The King of Comedy. Midnight Run. GoodFellas. Cape Fear. Heat. Casino.

The slide may have started in the late 90s/early 2000s with two wildly successful comedies that were both good. Analyze This in 1999 and then Meet the Parents in 2000. They both turned De Niro into a briefly bankable comedic actor. His attempts to capitalize sometimes worked (Meet the Fockers was an enormous hit, even though I felt it didn’t hold a candle to the original). However, most of his follow-up comedies were mediocre at best: the lame Analyze This sequel Analyze That, the wasted opportunity buddy cop flick Showtime with Eddie Murphy, and the dreadful third entry into his franchise Little Fockers. 

There were way too many instances during the last few years where my reaction was: “Why is De Niro doing that?” Some examples: two substandard horror/suspense flicks – 2004’s Godsend and 2005’s Hide and Seek. A poorly received re-teaming with Al Pacino in 2008’s Righteous Kill. Being part of the critically reviled ensemble piece New Year’s Eve in 2011. Playing second fiddle to both Jason Statham in 2011’s Killer Elite and 50 Cent in 2012’s direct-to-DVD Freelancers. Worst of all, in most of these titles, De Niro doesn’t even seem to be trying.

The big ensemble rom com The Big Wedding, opening this weekend, seems destined to join the growing list of forgettable De Niro films and performances. You never know. Maybe it will be the greatest wedding themed comedy of all time. Maybe it will be an influential De Niro performance that is studied and revered. Maybe it will be the best thing Katherine Heigl has done since Seth Rogen accidentally got her pregnant. Maybe it will be Diane Keaton’s best performance in a romantic comedy since the brilliant Annie Hall 36 years ago. Maybe I’ll get offered millions of dollars to take this blog public this weekend. You never know.

Luckily, us Bob fans have seen a silver lining just in the past year and it was, of course, called Silver Linings Playbook. His supporting role opposite Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence earned De Niro his first Oscar nomination in 21 years (since Cape Fear). It was a breath of fresh air to see Bob playing a well-written role opposite first-rate actors in a picture of supremely high quality. That had become a rarity in recent years.

It’s discouraging to think of that conversation when the latest generation of moviegoers discuss the greatest living actors today. They mention legitimate names like Day-Lewis and Crowe and Washington and Depp and Downey, Jr. and Penn and Gosling and DiCaprio. And if I were to chime in with De Niro, they might say, “What about him??” What About Bob? Thank goodness a certain Oscar-nominated film came out last year to remind them. And, frankly, remind myself.

John Hughes, Harold Ramis, and John Landis: The Kings of 80s Comedy

The 1980s era is considered a golden age of comedy for many, including yours truly. The reasons are plenty – this time period saw the emergence of several “Saturday Night Live” stars into the world of film, including Bill Murray, Eddie Murphy, Chevy Chase, John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd, among others. Stars from SNL Canadian counterpart “SCTV” had alums such as John Candy and Martin Short make their break onto the silver screen. And legendary comics like Steve Martin and Robin Williams made some of their best cinematic contributions during this era.

Dig a little deeper, though, and there’s no question that three names in particular – John Hughes, Harold Ramis, and John Landis – may be more responsible than anyone for the abundance of memorable comedies in this era. Between these three artists, their directorial and writing contributions to over two dozens titles between 1978-1993 define that time. In some cases, their participation in certain projects overlapped and they sometimes worked together. Looking back at the list of films these three participated in during a relatively short time frame is astonishing. And I mean seriously astonishing.

We’ll begin with the late John Hughes because he was the most self-contained unit of the trio. Between 1984 and 1989, Hughes directed and wrote the following six pictures: 

Sixteen Candles

The Breakfast Club

Weird Science

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Uncle Buck

I know, right? What an output. Added to that, Mr. Hughes wrote some movies he didn’t direct. They are:

Mr. Mom

European Vacation

Pretty in Pink

The Great Outdoors

Christmas Vacation

Home Alone

Incredible! And that’s just one of the three dudes I’m talking about! Hughes also wrote the original Vacation, which was directed by…

Harold Ramis. You may know him best as Egon Spengler in Ghostbusters. More recently, he played Seth Rogen’s dad in Knocked Up. Great performances aside, Ramis is one of the greatest comedy directors and writers ever. During the era in question, Ramis directed:

Caddyshack

Vacation

Groundhog Day

How’s that for three classic comedies? Mr. Ramis also wrote or co-wrote:

Animal House

Meatballs

Stripes

Ghostbusters

Back to School

Ramis’s writing work on the brilliant Animal House was assisted by equally brilliant direction from John Landis. In addition to that, Landis also directed:

The Blues Brothers

Trading Places

Spies Like Us

Three Amigos

Coming to America

That’s three immensely talented men responsible for the bulk of a wonderful era in comedy. Oh sure, there were others. Ivan Reitman directed Ghostbusters and its sequel and also directed Schwarzenegger’s hit comedies Twins and Kindergarten Cop. The team of David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker brought us Airplane!, Ruthless People, and The Naked Gun. Franz Oz directed Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and What About Bob?

Hughes, Ramis, and Landis top the list, however. Without them, we wouldn’t know:

The Griswold family…

Or Ferris Bueller…

Or Sonny&Cher waking Bill Murray up every morning…

Or Delta House and Faber College…

Or The Blues Brothers…

Or Kevin McAllister taking on Harry and Marv…

Or “It’s in the hole!” and “Be the ball”…

Or “He slimed me…”

Or Randy Watson singing “The Greatest Love of All” with his band Sexual Chocolate…

Or “You mess with the bull… you get the horns”…

I think you get the picture. When we look at what’s followed in the comedy genre since then, there are names in more recent time periods that stand out. Judd Apatow. Adam McKay. Wes Anderson. Todd Phillips. Kevin Smith. The Farrelly Brothers. Ben Stiller.

From the late 70s to the early 90s – it was Hughes, Ramis, and Landis. And we’re all lucky for that. And we’ve laughed hard (many times) because of them and will continue to every time we catch Bluto in the commissary. Or Neal Page trying to make it to Thanksgiving dinner. Or the hilarious car chases with Jake and Elmwood. Or…

Or…

Or…