In a bumper year for the movies – US$1.51 billion worldwide – the highest-grossing flicks of 2012 were a mix of the predictable, the sad and the occasionally startling. No surprise to learn the top three were The Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises and Skyfall, but after that things went a bit awry. In fourth place was Ice Age 4: Continental Drift – ahead of Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2 and The Amazing Spider-Man.
In seventh place was another children’s sequel, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, followed by The Hunger Games, Men in Black 3 and The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (which, of course, only came out in December). Bilbo was followed by Pixar movie Brave, naughty bear Ted, French film The Intouchables (which didn’t do well in the US but was a big hit elsewhere), Prometheus, Snow White and the Huntsman, Taken 2, Dr Seuss’s The Lorax, Titanic 3D, Journey 2: The Mysterious Island and Hotel Transylvania. One wonders how some of those made it onto the list, but at least they weren’t as bad as the last on the US domestic gross list. At No 655 was The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, a so-called fantasy comedy about singing, dancing juvenile delinquents from outer space.
- Another big Marvel franchise is looking for a leading man. The studio is on the hunt for an actor to play the lead role of Star-Lord Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy. Those considered so far include Zero Dark Thirty’s Joel Edgerton, Boardwalk Empire’s Jack Huston, Cloud Atlas’ Jim Sturgess, Lee Pace (Lincoln and The Hobbit), Eddie Redmayne from Les Misérables, Garrett Hedlund (Tron: Legacy), James Marsden (X-Men), Zachary Levi (Chuck) and Edgerton’s Animal Kingdom co-star, Sullivan Stapleton. Now, Joseph Gordon-Levitt has been added to the mix and could well be the winner.
- Guardians of the Galaxy first appeared in Marvel Comics in 1969 but didn’t get its own
series until the 1990s. Quill, the offspring of a human mother and an alien father, leads a group of superheroes protecting the solar system from an evil alien race. In the comics, the Guardians work with the Avengers, so there should be plenty of opportunities for cross-promotion between the franchises. In DC’s Dark Knight Rises, Gordon-Levitt was left to carry on the Batman legacy, but if he gets Guardians, he wouldn’t be the first to have a crossover role. Chris Evans was the Human Torch in The Fantastic Four before landing Captain America, and Ryan Reynolds was the Green Lantern for DC and Deadpool for Marvel.