This is the third full year of this blog’s existence and in 2013 and 2014, I posted six separate entries about actors and actresses that experienced terrific years during those frames. I’m doing the same for 2015, but for my first, there’s a twist. It’s not a specific performer that gets the honor of having a watershed year but rather a feeling. Nostalgia.
In 2015, we have witnessed franchises that began four decades ago and two decades ago become the defining pictures of this calendar year. We’ve seen the early days of a generational defining musical genre become the surprise hit of the summer. And next month, we are highly likely to see the year culminate in a nostalgic frenzy.
We begin in the summer when Avengers: Age of Ultron was widely expected to be the season’s largest grosser. That was until Jurassic World shocked everyone with the highest domestic premiere of all time with $208 million with an eventual $652 million haul. The franchise that Spielberg began sparked the interest of those who were wowed by its dinosaurs over 20 years earlier. They attended this new World and took their kids along with them.
This same summer saw another long time franchise that had stood dormant for 30 years get rebooted to acclaimed results and brisk box office when Mad Max: Fury Road took in $153 million stateside. George Miller (who helmed the original trilogy) brought his wild action set pieces to a whole new audience and gave fans one of the most heralded pics in the genre in years.
In August, a generation of listeners who grew up on late 80s and early 90s gangsta rap celebrated the release of Straight Outta Compton, which focused on the formation of NWA. It would make an incredible $161 million.
This past Thanksgiving weekend continued the reminiscent trend in the form of Creed. While it might be the seventh movie in the last near 40 years to feature the iconic character of Sylvester Stallone’s Rocky Balboa, the actor/director turned the reins over to upstart filmmaker Ryan Coogler. The results? A $40 million opening and the best reviews of the series since the Oscar winning original. Stallone could be well on his way to a Supporting Actor nod and Creed itself could find itself in the Best Picture mix.
Of course, not all attempts to tap our nostalgic nerve succeeds and it’s usually due to quality. This held true for Arnold’s summer return in Terminator: Genisys and the Vacation franchise being retooled with a younger set of Griswolds. And remember Jem and the Holograms from a few weeks back? Didn’t think so.
In less than three weeks, we will witness hyper drive when it comes to the subject of this post. That would be Star Wars: The Force Awakens. As you know, it marks the return of some of the most beloved film characters ever seen in the most famous franchise ever to reach the screen. It could very easily result in record breaking box office numbers all over the world.
2015 surely will be remembered in motion picture history as a year in which we collectively celebrated our film memories. And that makes this choice an easy one for my first of six posts of what we’ll remember about this year on the silver screen.