'Avengers,' ‘Dark Knight' ‘Spider-man,' were among the summer's blockbusters - Omaha.com
go logo
article photo
article photo


'Avengers,' ‘Dark Knight' ‘Spider-man,' were among the summer's blockbusters
By Bob Fischbach

As far as Hollywood is concerned, school's start spells summer's end.

Time to tally up the winners, losers, surprise hits and bombs for the summer. The season's North American box office total of $4.1 billion is down a bit from 2011, though final figures aren't in yet.

It might have been worse, were it not for the phenomenal success of “The Avengers.” The movie packed with superheroes earned more than $1 out of every $7 in domestic revenue this season, a whopping $618 million. That seems like a natural cue to swing into the lists:


“The Avengers,” just shy of $1.5 billion in global box office, earned a 92 percent fresh (approval) rating from critics and 98 percent fresh from fans on the Rotten Tomatoes website.

Right behind: two more superhero movies from the comic-book pages. Director Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy capper, “The Dark Knight Rises,” hauled in $422 million domestic. “The Amazing Spider-Man,” No. 3 at $258 million, also garnered strong reviews and fan satisfaction. Two animated movies also scored with critics and fans, as well as at the box office. Pixar's medieval mother-daughter story “Brave,” at $230 million, was No. 4 for the season, and “Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted” revived the franchise, finishing No. 6 with $214 million.

Summer Movie Box Office (so far)

1. The Avengers, $618 million

2. The Dark Knight Rises, $422 million

3. The Amazing Spider-Man, $258 million

4. Brave, $230 million

5. Ted, $215 million

6. Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, $214 million

7. Men in Black III, $178 million

8. Snow White and the Huntsman, $154 million

9. Ice Age: Continental Drift, $153 million

10. Prometheus, $126 million


“Ted,” starring man-child Mark Wahlberg and his foul-mouthed teddy bear, proved the R-rated comedy is still alive and well. “Ted” earned $215 million, tons of outraged laughter and the summer's No. 5 spot. “Magic Mike,” Channing Tatum's male-stripper tale, was another R-rated winner, at No. 11 and $112 million.

Smaller-budget surprises included “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel,” at No. 21 — but a solid hit with older audiences. “Hope Springs,” in which Tommy Lee Jones and Meryl Streep get marriage counseling, earned an almost identical $45 million. “Moonrise Kingdom,” director Wes Anderson's tale of pubescent love, nearly matched them at $44 million and notched a 94 percent critic-approval rating. No. 40, “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” earning just $9 million, was still an overachiever, since it cost just $1.3 million to make.


“Men in Black III,” at $178 million and No. 7 for the summer, was OK, but not the sensation of the original. Kristen Stewart's kissing habits may make “Snow White and the Huntsman” more notable over time than its tepid-to-positive reviews, though it finished No. 8 at $154 million.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” ranked No. 9 and made $153 million, but only 39 percent of critics and 61 percent of fans on Rotten Tomatoes gave it a thumbs-up.

“Prometheus,” widely touted as a prequel to “Alien,” was visually arresting but had story problems, earning $126 million and a 10th-place finish. “The Bourne Legacy,” another action tale, had a decent finish and middling scores at No. 12, taking in $85 million — but was widely reviewed as inferior to the three previous Bourne movies.

“The Campaign,” another R-rated comedy in which Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis play politicians who go negative, earned a solid if unspectacular $65 million at No. 16.


Tim Burton got the Gothic vibe right, but his penchant for camp over story didn't play well with “Dark Shadows” fans. The Johnny Depp movie drew $80 million and subpar approval scores. A remake of “Total Recall,” another expensive special-effects vehicle, made $55 million and couldn't match the reviews of the 1990 original.

“Sparkle,” also a remake and Whitney Houston's last movie, earned just $19 million. Woody Allen's “To Rome With Love,” his followup to the Oscar-nominated “Midnight in Paris,” proved no match at $16 million.


Not every R-rated comedy did well. Adam Sandler's “That's My Boy” grossed out critics, who gave it a 21 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Two more comedy stars, Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn, bombed even worse. Killing aliens in “The Watch,” they earned a 17 percent from Rotten Tomatoes' critics.

“Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” proved dead shortly after arrival, finishing No. 27 at $37 million.

“Rock of Ages,” a musical starring Tom Cruise as an aging 1980s rock star, earned just $38 million and finished 26th. “Battleship,” an expensive digital-effects movie, took in just $65 million domestic, finishing 14th.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1269, bob.fischbach@owh.com

Contact the writer: Bob Fischbach

bob.fischbach@owh.com    |   402-444-1269

Bob reviews movies and local theater productions and writes stories about those topics, as well.

Read more stories by Bob

Contact the Omaha World-Herald newsroom

Copyright ©2014 Omaha World-Herald®. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, displayed or redistributed for any purpose without permission from the Omaha World-Herald.

Latest Stories

A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour
A saliva-inducing look at M's Pub's new happy hour

The downtown staple recently introduced a happy hour. And its menu's pretty amazing.

Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita
Dining review: If you're craving sushi, head to Benson's Taita

Chef Jose Dionicio has wisely refocused Taita on sushi, and the well-crafted small bites of fresh fish I tasted from his one-man sushi bar are delectable.

New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week
New Benson BBQ restaurant opens next week

Fusion BBQ, at 7024 Maple St., focuses on American style barbecue cooking melded with international cuisines.

Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing
Nebraska's best burger determined by folks who know about this kind of thing

The Nebraska Beef Council announced the winner of its Nebraska's Best Burger contest.

Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef
Rockbrook Village restaurant Taste has a new chef

Ryan Devitt will come to the restaurant as both a chef and partner to focus on farm-to-table style cuisine.

Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party
Over Easy will host a west Omaha block party

Over Easy is playing host to a west Omaha block party this summer.

Movie review: 'Transcendence' ends up quite ordinary
Movie review: 'Transcendence' ends up quite ordinary

“Transcendence,” a sci-fi thriller about an attempt to meld the human mind with technology, falls far short of transcendence. So far short I had to fight off sleep.

Dining notes: Dario’s has a new spring menu

Dario’s Brasserie in Dundee has a new spring menu, a new brunch menu and late night vittles.

Movie review: 'Bears' is cute — and so much more
Movie review: 'Bears' is cute — and so much more

"Bears" is exactly the sort of nature documentary we’ve come to expect from Disneynature, which rolls out a new nature documentary every year at Earth Day.

Movie review: 'Under the Skin's' sure to get under yours
Movie review: 'Under the Skin's' sure to get under yours

Quiet, cryptic and never less than creepy, here's a sci-fi that doesn't do the work for you. No character rattles off a paragraph or three of exposition and back story.

Movies Opening this week

Movie showtimes and theater listings

Read this!


Tonight in Prime Time
© 2014 Omaha World-Herald. All rights reserved