Since I took an extended vacation for the summer, lets go over this summers big winners and terribly sad losers:
Extinct franchises bring new life to dwindling box office
After a depressing 2014 summer box office, studios badly needed to up the ante this time around. Kicking off the summer rebound was George Miller’s return to the series that jumped started his career, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” Starring Tom Hardy as the title character, George Miller took us on a thrill ride audiences never wanted to get off. Adding the feminist arch with Charlize Theron’s character “Imperator Furiosa” had everyone begging for a spin off the moment her robotic arm hit the screen. The film has already won Best Picture from the International Federation of Film Critics. This writer would not be surprised to hear Mad Max mentioned during this coming award season.
Even though Mad Max had critics and fans buzzing, it was not even close to the money Jurassic World brought in. Definitely the king of the summer box office, Jurassic World had critics mixed but fans could not get enough. Director Colin Trevorrow brought die-hard fans back to their childhood in this fresh take on a once dead franchise. Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, and the terrifying Indominus Rex the film has made almost $2 billion worldwide and quickly granted a sequel. However, Trevorrow will be stepping away from the directors chair but will be staying on as executive producer. His next project will take him to a galaxy far, far away for Star Wars: Episode IX.
There’s a new “It Girl” in town and she’s raunchy as hell
This summer audiences were introduced to comedian Amy Schumer. Already a star on the Comedy Central sketch show “Inside Amy Schumer,” the funny lady expanded her resume by writing and starring in the funniest film of the summer “Trainwreck.” Judd Apatow directed the film which featured supporting cast of Bill Hader, Brie Larson, and Lebron James. However it was Schumer that owned the film and showed that the transition from small screen to film can be executed quite easily, all the way to a $105 million domestic take. Plus she received first Emmy for “Best Sketch Show” and vacationed with new BFF Jennifer Lawrence. I’d say this was the “Summer of Schumer.”
Finally a biopic for the new generation
After years of talk and production issues, Straight Outta Compton was finally released to the praise of both audience and critics alike. The story of how N.W.A was formed had the highest opening weekend for a music biopic of all time with $60 million. The film held the #1 box office spot for 3 weeks straight. There is also talk of sequels in the work exploring more of the west coast crew’s history.
Crowning of the new R&B king
This summer underground R&B singer The Weeknd finally got the recognition he deserves. He owned the radio this summer with his #1 single “I Can’t Feel My Face,” and was also named “Song of the Summer” by every major media outlet. His pulse pounding performance at the MTV Video Music Awards proved that he is here to stay. Oh and his sophomore album “Beauty Behind the Madness” shot all the way to number one and also was the second biggest debut of the year for a male artist. Make sure to catch him on tour this fall with opener Halsey.
Just because the word “Fantastic” is in the title doesn’t mean it will
One of the most highly anticipated films of the summer was Josh Trank’s reboot of “Fantastic Four.” With a fresh cast of Milers Teller, Michael B. Jordan, Kate Mara, and Jamie Bell as Marvel’s First Family, many were excited to see Trank’s vision after his debut hit “Chronicle.” Even with a promising young cast and massive marketing behind it, the film could not escape the wrath of both critics and fans. Both of which found the film messy and uninteresting. Rumors of behind the scenes disagreements soon surfaced with Trank himself sending and then deleting a controversial tweet on the day the film hit theaters. Many questions arise from this failure, the most important being, what will Fox Studios do with the property now and with Trank also being dismissed as a director on one of the rumored Star Wars spin-offs, is his career DOA?
The most talked about show of last year returned and boy do we wish it didn’t
True Detective debuted last year on HBO and quickly became the most talked about miniseries of the year. Between the amazing performances from leads Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson plus the amazing backdrop of Louisiana and the occult lifestyle going on inside of a church, it was easy to see how it became a runaway hit. When season two was announced many fans were curious as to who would takeover for Harrelson and McConaughey, producers upped the ante by bringing in huge stars like Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch. With this new start power fans and critics alike were both beyond excited to see this next chapter of True Detective. However, the essence from season one was lost on this new season. The acting came across as forced and the dialogue was sometimes unbearable. Plus many fans could of cared less about this seasons mystery. For a show that exploded in its first season, season two made barely a blimp on anyone’s radar. If HBO pulls the trigger on season three lets hope original show runner Cary Fukunaga helps bring back the essence of season one.
Tidal or Titanic
When Apple unveiled their new music streaming service, “Apple Music,” many insiders saw this as an early end to Jay Z’s streaming venture “Tidal.” Tidal had all the making for a successful streaming service using big artist to promote and put their music exclusively on the service. However with less than one million paid subscribers and losing their second CEO in a six-month span, Tidal looks to be sinking fast. Apple Music already has 11 million subscribers since its debut in June and seems to be steadily gaining steam on head honcho “Spotify,” which is currently the largest streaming service with 20 million paying members. Perhaps Hova should stick to his original blue print, rapping.