2011: Dud Year for Movies?
Friday, December 02, 2011
This year saw a record number of sequels, reboots, and spin-offs: of the ten highest grossing movies, only one, Bridesmaids, was entirely original.
Kurt Andersen talks with Sharon Waxman, editor of Hollywood business site The Wrap, about why 2011 ended up being a mediocre year for films. Waxman believes movie studios were more risk averse not because of the gloomy economy but because of competition from other entertainment media, especially from videogames like Call of Duty MW3, which had a record-setting release in November. That skittishness leads to more sequels because studios feel safer relying on known brands, Waxman says. "Anybody in movie industry will tell you: you need a brand to start with to grab moviegoers' attention. That's why you've seen Muppets come back. Why you've seen Smurfs come back. And they've done ok."
But Waxman is optimistic that the competition will push studios into a more creative phase. She points to Freddie Wong, who she describes as “a Tarantino-esque kind of videogame-aged style director. He became a hot property after making six-minute movies on YouTube and now everybody's after him to make a feature film. So the creativity is going to come from the margins.”
Here are the movies that topped Kurt's list (in alphabetical order):
- Another Earth
- Attack the Block
- Margin Call
- Our Idiot Brother
- Rise of the Planet of the Apes
- Super 8
- X-Men: First Class
He's looking forward to seeing:
- The Artist
- Barney's Version
- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo
- The Muppets
What was the most overrated movie of 2011? How about the most underrated?
Tell us in a comment below.