It’s not really a surprise that the summer box office underperformed this year, at least for me. I can remember scrolling through the upcoming movies section on Flixtser back in March and pre-selecting three movies that would get my butt in a theater. I pegged a few others for home viewing later (God bless Red Box), and that was that. I had a brief flare of interest in Valerian, but Fairfield’s own John Chambers expressed steep disappointment when I asked him what he though. I trust John’s taste pretty implicitly, so after hearing him out I decided not to bother. Apparently, most of North America didn’t either.
What were once pegged as surefire hits just couldn’t quite connect with their targets, though not for lack of trying. I saw plenty of advertisements for the most recent Transformers and Pirates of the Caribbean, but those franchises have both long since lost their glamour. They made money, if not as much as desired, which is more than can be said for the Mummy reboot. I get that expanded universes are a thing now, thanks to Marvel and Star Wars, but those have both been literally years in the making. D.C. and Universal serve as ample proof that you can’t just slap a universe together in one film and call it donesies.
In many ways I feel like the underperformance of the summer 2017 box office makes Wonder Woman’s domestic haul even more glorious. I’m not going to lie, it was a freaking relief that D.C./Warner Bros. didn’t butcher that film (all hail Patty Jenkins for sparing us what could have been a Green Lantern level disappointment). Mostly, I just feel like the movies that did well deserved to do well (Dunkirk and Baby Driver, for example), and the ones that fell short had it coming. I say “mostly”, because Despicable Me 3 has made a pretty obscene amount of money and I cannot for the life of me understand why people are so obsessed with the minions. Those films comprise one facet of the larger culture that I just can’t connect with, I guess.
I spent most of my summer at work, at school, or holed up in a coffee shop stressing out about work and school. I can remember summers in my teens where I went to the movies almost every weekend. I’d see seven or eight movies between mid May and August and thought nothing of it. As an adult, I’m much more discriminating. If I shell out for a full priced ticket and the movie sucks, then I am salty about it. The bulk of my friends are the same way, to varying degrees. I saw more movies in theaters this summer than the three I originally picked out, and I’m glad I splurged. What movies did you go see this summer? Where you disappointed, or happy with them? Feel free to sound off in the comments!