This weekend marks the end of the first half of 2012. Let’s gander back at some big and small screen lessons learned so far:
Channing Tatum is a movie star: The jury was out on this until recently, but it’s definitely Tatum Time. His romance “The Vow” earned $125 million in February, his comedy “21 Jump Street” made $138 million in March. This weekend he has the male stripper movie “Magic Mike,” which is leading the week in terms of advance sales. The thing about Tatum is he seems up for anything — action movies, dance flicks, comedy, romance.
Lena Dunham is a genius: “Girls” was rightfully the most discussed new show of 2012, and seeing how Dunham writes, directs and stars in it she is the most unlikely It Girl in years. Hardly your standard Hollywood beauty queen, Dunham has become the voice of the “whatever” unemployed-yet-entitled generation by stripping herself bare (often literally) on the screen. And the girl is all of 26.
There will be hits: So far in 2012, 11 films have exceeded $100 million in domestic grosses.
There will be mega-hits: But only three films have passed $200 million. “Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax” reached a quite healthy $212 million. But the other two have been stunners. “The Hunger Games,” which opened in March and has yet to close, has earned $403 million. Which would sound huge except sometime Thursday “The Avengers” will cross the $600 million mark domestically, and be only the third film ever to do so. So far, big is BIG in 2012.
As a comparison, the top movie of 2011, the final “Harry Potter,” made $381 million.
And there will be mega-misses: “John Carter.” “Battleship.” “Dark Shadows.” ‘Nuff said.
Whedon matters: The writer director of “The Avengers” also had the year’s best horror flick by far, “The Cabin in the Woods.” Suddenly all the long-time fans of the creator of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” (me included) feel vindicated. Joss Whedon, take a bow.
Mark Duplass is the hardest working man not in Hollywood: Sometimes a person being everywhere is a coincidence of release schedules. But sometimes people are just doing that much. The indie writer-director-actor has already appeared in two films (“Safety Not Guaranteed,” “Darling Companion”), he’s in two more opening here this weekend (“Your Sister’s Sister” and “People Like Us”), and he and brother Jay wrote and directed “Jeff, Who Lives at Home” in March. He also produced “Safety” and “Sister.” And he and Jay have “The Do-Deca Pentathlon” coming in July. It’s exhausting just reading about this guy.
The documentary is dead: Seriously, has anybody even seen one this year? Michael Moore, your form needs you.
Oscar is a fall/winter sport: You can say this any year, but usually there are a couple of possibilities by now. At this point I see nothing except maybe some tech categories.
Then again, I’m sure the impending release of “Step Up Revolution” will change all that.