While the summer of 2012 may long be remembered for its scorching heat and lack of rain, or for the twin juggernauts of The Avengers and The Dark Knight Rises, animated family films have been making some noise too. More than some actually. In the week before The Dark Knight Rises opened, Ice Age: Continental Drift was number one at the box office, Brave was number four and Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted was number 10! Throw in Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax which was still in a few theatres and ranked 35th at the box office, and you’ve got a pretty good streak of animated hits going. The upcoming (August 17) animated feature, ParaNorman, about a kid who can talk to dead people – a trick that comes in handy when zombies and ghosts attack – should keep that streak going.
Looking further down the road, in September Finding Nemo returns in 3D and Hotel Transylvania, featuring the voices of Adam Sandler and Kevin James, brings Dracula back for laughs. Tim Burton’s Frankenweenie, about a boy who re-animates his dog, launches just in time for the scary Halloween season. The animation season continues in November with Disney’s Wreck-It Ralph, the story of a video arcade character from the Donkey Kong era who is tired of being a bad guy and sneaks into another video game where he can be the good guy for a change. Thanksgiving weekend welcomes the final major animated movie of 2012, Rise of the Guardians.
There is no denying the appeal of animation, especially CG animation which has redefined the genre. While there is still a place for old fashioned hand-drawn animation like The Lion King, computer animation is the new King. Ice Age, Brave, Madagascar and Lorax rung up more than half a billion dollars at theatres in the US and Canada this year. That’s a whole bunch of tickets being sold, especially when you consider that a lot of the admissions are kids who are attending these movies at prices substantially less than adults. But, animation ain’t cheap. Many of these movies cost more than $100,000,000 to produce so they have to generate big returns at the box-office to be profitable to their producers. Still, animated movies have proven reliable money makers and as long as they continue to attract the huge audiences they have in the past, we’ll continue to see animation rule the box office many weeks of the year.
The rest of the month... When people aren’t glued to the telly watching the Olympics from London, they can find a good flick at the theatre. August starts with a rush when Total Recall hits multiplexes. Recall continues the recent trend of reinventing rather than remaking. This new Total Recall goes back to the original source material for its inspiration rather than the more campy Schwarzenegger version that sent its hero to Mars. In this one, Douglas Quaid, played by Colin Farrell, remains Earthbound, but still is not sure if he really is a spy or just a guy with a fake adventures implanted into his memory.
Diary of a Whimpy Kid: Dog Days continues the successful Whimpy Kid franchise while The Bourne Legacy tries to continue (early screening reports say successfully) the Bourne franchise without Matt Damon.
Will a movie called The Campaign catch on with moviegoers already fatigued by the election season, or will Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis as political rivals provide welcome comedy relief?.
August finally brings what might be the only chick flick or date movie for adults of the summer – Hope Springs starring Meryl Streep and Tommy Lee Jones.
The long hot summer continues with The Expendables 2 starring Sylvester Stallone, Whitney Houston in her last movie, Sparkle, Jennifer Garner in The Odd Life of Timothy Green and several others to round out August. For a peek at The Odd Life of Timothy Green check out this video.
Select Marcus Theatres in the Milwaukee area will be participating in the Odd Life of Timothy Green Sock Drive (yes, socks do play a role in the movie) now through August 24, to collect new socks that will be donated to the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions. For more information on the Sock Drive campaign, please visit the Marcus Theatres website.
Marcus Theatres locations participating in the Sock Drive:
- Minnesota: Oakdale Cinema, Oakdale and Parkwood Cinema, Waite Park
- Nebraska: 20 Grand Cinema, Omaha; Lincoln Grand Cinema, Lincoln; Twin Creek Cinema, Bellevue and Village Pointe Cinema, Omaha
- Ohio: Crosswoods Cinema, Columbus
- Wisconsin: Appleton East Cinema, Appleton; Bay Park Cinema, Ashwaubenon; Hillside Cinema, Delafield; Hollywood Cinema, Grand Chute; Majestic Cinema, Brookfield; Menomonee Falls Cinema, Menomonee Falls; North Shore Cinema, Mequon; North Town Cinema, Milwaukee; Renaissance Cinema, Sturtevant; Ridge Cinema, New Berlin; Saukville Cinema, Saukville; Sheboygan Cinema, Sheboygan; Showtime Cinema, Franklin; Southgate Cinema, Milwaukee; South Shore Cinema, Oak Creek and Value Cinema, Oak Creek
And... It’s been a hot summer so remember that a Marcus Theatre is a great
place to escape and see a movie in air-conditioned comfort!
Question: Do you prefer traditional or the new CG animated films?
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