Disney and James Cameron came out on top, while sad Keanu remains sad.
Winner – Disney
This was a banner year for Mickey and the gang. The studio’s distribution arm – Buena Vista – released hit after hit after hit, including four of the top ten highest grossing films of the year (and also number 11). Pixar continues to deliver, Frozen was a surprise success, and that decision to buy Marvel looks increasingly like money well spent.
Loser – 20th Century Fox
Fox, on the other hand, didn’t have a real hit in its roster in 2013. Beyond The Croods, which fared OK, there wasn’t much to smile about at Rupert’s entertainment division. The Internship belonged in 2004, Percy Jackson looks a pretty desperate attempt at a Harry Potter franchise, and what actually is The Counsellor? Nobody knows because nobody saw it.
Winner – James Cameron
Whilst he certainly didn’t invent 3D cinema (it’s been around in different shapes and forms since 1922), audiences credit James Cameron for the 21st century incarnation. Or, until just a few months ago, blamed him. Avatar was such a success, and the Chinese market so big on 3D, not to mention the inflated ticket prices, that Hollywood decided it wanted everything in 3D. It didn’t matter if it was 3Dified after the fact, and for no discernable reason. Such a policy made what was fun about the format tedious. But thank Alfonso Cuaron and his space thriller Gravity for bringing back the 3rd dimension. Cameron, obviously thrilled at this new development, has confirmed plans for a fourth Avatar film.
Loser – Peter Jackson
Our other 21st century visionary saw his brave new experiment end in failure. Last year, Peter Jackson attempted to revolutionise cinema by doubling the industry standard of frames per second – from 24 to 48. The Hobbit suffered for Jackson’s vision. It looked like daytime television; it made the audience feel a bit sickly. The gimmick was all but scrapped for the 2nd Hobbit film.
Winner – Movies that are dark
Zero Dark Thirty. Thor: The Dark World. Star Trek: Into Darkness. And that’s not all. Man of Steel had a shady palette, and Gravity was 90% black space. People like things dark, I guess. Blame Christopher Nolan.
Loser – Movies in which the White House is destroyed
This is now a genre. There were two films in 2013 in which the plot was simply that. Both White House Down and Olympus Has Fallen performed as averagely as you’d expect. The real losers here are filmgoers everywhere.
Winner – Slave movies
Django Unchained broke his chains, got the girl and blew up all the baddies. He also helped his Germanic cohort to an Oscar, as well as the film’s scribe. 12 Years A Slave looks a more harrowing tale, but you can bet that Solomon Northup will do equally good by his white costars (and, in all fairness, black director).
Loser – Native Americans
Already poorly represented on the big screen, Native Americans don’t even get cast in the few major Native American roles Hollywood provides. Johnny Depp played Tonto in The Lone Ranger, seemingly another Jack Sparrow with different face make-up. Also, the movie sucked.
Winner – Young actresses
Namely Jennifer Lawrence and Chloe Moretz. These young, talented ladies are the most popular actors on the interweb, and Lawrence, Hollywood’s darling of the day, is the industry’s most bankable star. She also won an Oscar and was hit on by Jack Nicholson (a lot).
Loser – Keanu Reeves
47 Ronin, his directorial debut, went horrendously over budget and looks like it won’t earn a fraction of that back. Poor Keanu. Sad Keanu.
Featured image: Universal
Inset images: Disney; 20th Century Fox; 20th Century Fox; New Line Cinema; Universal; Columbia; The Weinstein Company; Disney; Lionsgate; Universal