2011 Summer Film Season
By Harry Kolk
Summer vacation is something every student looks forward to. Whether it be going away to camp, being hired for the time away from school, or relaxing at home with friends, summer is an important time of year for teenagers. Summer is also a major time of year for film production companies, as they all compete with releasing some of their biggest films to duke it out in a battle over box office results. When one thinks of a summer movie, they tend to think of major budgeted action blockbusters, raunchy R rated comedies, and the rare Oscar contenders that appear so early in the year.
What was so unique about this summer movie season was the surplus of R rated comedies, which usually don’t do as well as they did over the course of 4 months. Examples of successful R rated comedies among movie goers were The Hangover Part II, which became the highest grossing R rated comedy of all time, Bridesmaids, a sleeper hit that saw huge success in its later weeks of release, and Horrible Bosses, which stayed a strong contender in the box office for weeks. It wouldn’t be a summer movie season without sequels, and 2011 overall contained 27 sequels. Popular sequels among moviegoers were Pixar’s Car 2, Fast Five, and Kung Fu Panda 2. These films did not pull in the most impressive results at the box office though. Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 all went on to gross over a billion dollars each, shattering records everywhere.
Of course, not every film this summer enjoyed the huge success the filmmakers had hoped for, a popular example being Green Lantern, starring Ryan Reynolds. Green Lantern failed to impress both critics and audience, and its results showed. By the time of the DVD release, Green Lantern had just barley made even with its shocking budget of $200 million. The R rated comedies started showing less impressive results with audiences towards August. With films such as The Change-Up and 30 Minutes or Less ending their theatrical runs with mediocre results, and not much word of mouth.
Overall, the summer of 2011 has certainly been an interesting season at the movies. With three films breaking all time box office records, and unlikely movies enjoying larger success than originally projected all over the place, the movies were a popular place to be over the summer.