by Blaine Payer ’18
With the end of 2017 quickly approaching, movie lovers are eager to buy their tickets in hopes of ending this year in film with a bang. Now that they have survived what some may consider to be one of the most disappointing movie summers in years, it is finally time for Hollywood’s final haul for the year where they release everything from superhero blockbusters to hopeful Oscar contenders.
To give credit where credit is due, not every movie from this past summer was a flop. For every King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, there was a Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 or Wonder Woman to pick up the slack.
Overall, there were many films that turned out to be all-hype and no payoff, leaving a sour taste in fatigued movie-goers’ mouths by September. Luckily, September and October were redeemed by hits like Taylor Sheridan’s neo-noir/western Wind River and everyone’s new favorite horror movie, It—which boasts a horror movie record of $666.6 million worldwide.
However, come February when the Motion Picture Academy’s votes for the 2018 Oscars are due, few members are going to remember films from September or anytime earlier. Late October to January is the prime time to release films for Oscar consideration. The previous two Best Picture winners, Spotlight (2016) and Moonlight (2017), were both released in November, assuring that they would be fresh in the voters’ minds come January.
This year, Hollywood’s art house sector is coming in full swing with star-studded coming of age stories like Call Me By Your Name and Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut Lady Bird, both of which have already received a great deal of critical attention.
In an unsurprising turn of events, the Marvel, DC, and Star Wars universes are also dropping their payloads at year’s end with three of the most highly-anticipated releases of the year. The Zack Snyder-helmed super-project Justice League has been three years in the making and plagued by setbacks and concerns, the greatest of which being Ben Affleck as Batman and Snyder himself dropping out as director halfway through shooting.
DC has yet to see the success that Marvel has had with its mega-hits like the Avengers series, leaving Justice League with some pretty big shoes to fill. Marvel is already dabbling in success this year with Spider-Man: Homecoming and the soon-to-be hit Thor: Ragnarok, which has been certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes based on pre-screenings and is anticipated to make quite the global haul in the box office.
Despite whatever success Marvel and DC have this fall, it will unquestionably be dwarfed by Disney’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, set for a Dec. 15 release. 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens shattered expectations with a $1.7 billion run, successfully reigniting the fire of the Star Wars franchise for a new generation of movie-goers. While this year’s Rian Johnson-helmed project may not have the same nostalgic impact of its predecessor, its odds of disappointing are low, for the series’ fan base seems to keep growing everyday.
2017 has been a tough year in many ways, but at least now we can all look forward to enjoying the cream of the crop that Hollywood saves for the late fall. This fall is going to have something for everyone, so now all that is left to do is dig up our old lightsaber toys, bust out a box of tissues, and get ready for the best time of the year for movies.