1 Guardians of the Galaxy BV $329,390,224 4,088 $94,320,883 4,080 8/1 –
2 Captain America: The Winter Soldier BV $259,766,572 3,938 $95,023,721 3,938
3 The LEGO Movie WB $257,760,692 3,890 $69,050,279 3,775 2/7 9/4
4 Transformers: Age of Extinction Par. $245,439,076 4,233 $100,038,390 4,233
5 Maleficent BV $241,200,085 3,948 $69,431,298 3,948 5/30 –
6 X-Men: Days of Future Past Fox $233,921,534 4,001 $90,823,660 3,996
7 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Fox $208,433,412 3,969 $72,611,427 3,967
8 The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Sony $202,853,933 4,324 $91,608,337 4,324
9 Godzilla (2014) WB $200,676,069 3,952 $93,188,384 3,952 5/16
10 22 Jump Street Sony $191,484,389 3,426 $57,071,445 3,306
This is a list of the top ten films of 2014 so far; the figures show the gross takings, opening weekend takings etc. It is an American chart, but also holds good for the UK too, with one exception. I don’t know about the top foreign language films, as I am just discussing films in English for this post. Three things come to mind when perusing this list. Comic book franchises, pointless remakes, and a lame comedy. I am also mindful of CGI, green-screen technology, and the use of extensive make-up, and graphic effects. There are toy and model collecting franchises in there; as well as marketing opportunities, for everything from Burgers and theme-parks, to T-shirts.
I have some concerns, and some questions. Where is the acting here? What happened to originality, new ideas, good scripts, and plots? This is a burgeoning trend, and it shows no sign of abating. Comic-based blockbusters, with their right-wing messages, eye-popping 3-D, and endless sequels. Is this all we can expect from now on from the big studios? Have audiences become so mindless and thoughtless, that this is all they really want to watch? Is the recycling of old themes for younger generations the new golden age of film-making? To be honest, I despair of it all.
Where are the edgy directors? Does anyone ever want to take chances anymore, or has the power of profit reduced this industry to little more than a conveyor belt of crap? Even if you don’t want the independent thoughtful dramas, witty comedies, and abstract visions of the past, what about the epics? Where is the new David Lean, the modern Orson Welles, or even a John Ford for the 21st Century? Is it simply that they cannot get funding for their projects, and that nobody will read their scripts? Or are the big studios dictating what the public can watch, as it generates the most dollars for them? Perhaps I am wrong. Maybe the audiences have changed. They no longer want to think about what is on screen, as they munch through their snack foods in ‘ambient light’, updating their social media status on their smartphone, occasionally glancing at the film, distracted by a large explosion.
You may have the answer. You may well have your own opinions. But for me, the truth is simple. I am falling out of love with films. At least those in English.