The US domestic box office figures for the first few months of the year may mean that 2014 will top $12 billion for the first time. But what are the films that people are flocking to see?

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The Kermode Your Verdict


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  • Comment number 27. Posted by ihatemanu

    on 30 Mar 2014 05:47

    just watched you reviewing the latest capt. America movie.
    I think you seem to have missed the point of the movie entirely. you say too many extended fight scenes with explosions, and not enough character detail. surely the fact is the movie is a comic book come to "life" with a rating of 12A , and aimed directly at that audience, who will never be concerned of 70's conspiracy theories. its all very well criticising a movie based on personal taste, but to be honest it comes across as thinking you are so clever it hurts.
    these films have value for other reasons, parents take their children to see this stuff because their kids WANT to see it. the pleasure for parents is seeing their kids enjoy themselves, not the content. I have never come away thinking about plot holes or cheesy dialogue, or what motivated someone to sprout wings.
    lighten up on kids movies, or get a childs opinion.

  • Comment number 26. Posted by CORNISH DARREN FEWINS

    on 27 Mar 2014 17:23

    Monkey King is fantastic, not as good as the book, not as lovable as the TV series, way better than Damon Albarn's operatic retelling.

    As for Mutiplex vs art-house, Art-House everytime. Usually cheaper than Multiplex, better service, more welcoming waiting area, staff who know their onions. That said, while the Manager of the Plaza in Truro (Stuart) is the Al Pacino of Cinemas, the Manager of World of Cine in Newport (Mo) is one of those rare Multiplex Managers in that 'he cares'.

  • Comment number 25. Posted by Berba_Was_King

    on 27 Mar 2014 16:12

    @24 - Really? I disagree, perhaps the problem though is that too many studios are chasing awards so release the sort of films you obviously prefer during a smaller period so everything is condensed.

    Means that in Jan/Feb in the UK every week there is an Oscar hopeful released to much hype and fanfare.

    Anyway, I'm looking forward to some 'stupid' blockbusters this year like Godzilla, X-Men, Interstellar, Edge Of Tomorrow etc not every blockbuster is Transformers 4!

  • Comment number 24. Posted by mike b

    on 27 Mar 2014 15:10

    I don't mind if US box office is up, so long as there is a trickle-down effect of the studios reinvesting that profit in smaller, more intelligent fare. They used to. Not now it seems.

    Only a collapse in the big tent pole movie stratagem will see true change. Then the public will rise as one and say 'No More!'. It will be like punk in '76. The crap stream needs to be staunched!!

  • Comment number 23. Posted by Durrall

    on 27 Mar 2014 10:46

    I took my two children aged 5 and 7 to see tinkerbell and found that compaired to the direct to DVD previous movies that this one seemed to have better production and graphics compaired to the previous ones. The kids loved it and I thought, well at least it's not the barbie movie!!!!
    I like the idea of my kids getting the chance to go to the local cinema, we treat it as a special day out due to the cost and a treat for them, the problem is finding the right film to go to. Frozen and films of this quality don't happen as often as you would like as a parent.
    I think if we get them intrested in cinema young then hopefully the industry will remain safe, and then we can work on making their choice of movie more select than say "Ride Along"!!!!!!!

  • Comment number 22. Posted by Berba_Was_King

    on 27 Mar 2014 09:04

    @18 & @20 - okay peace it is. But...

    @19 - Yes I do find Kermode a tad pretentious and annoying in all honesty plus I tend to find myself not agreeing with him at least 90% of the time whether it's his take on what makes a good trilogy or his lack of appreciation for The Wolf of Wall Street or for once proclaiming quite loudly in fact the The Exorcist is the Greatest Film Of All Time.

    Perhaps you don't remember that but I do, it was what he was 'known' for really, helped him stand out from other film critics. Something cynical about that imo.

  • Comment number 21. Posted by information1st

    on 27 Mar 2014 00:14

    With good reason there are a couple of arguments in this blog spiralling. It does sound like Dr. Kermode is attempting to champion the container (cinema) over the content (story), here?

    It may be good if cinemas provide a social-cultural form for people to enjoy stories with; seems to owe it's roots to the group's storytelling after dark in are pre-historic and early historic pasts, but it may be bad if the stories are like fast-food and people's waistlines are expanding too much and that includes feeding the children a poor diet? Once in a while a pizza or burger is delicious but they are high calorie foods and require a lot of exercise to even out the effects. Compare that to learning about food and eating a set menu with balanced ingredients for taste and nutrition. Do es the dame principle hold for stories, for art? There's a reletavism argument about people enjoying entertainment, but there's always a slide towards for example more nudity and sex, more violence and depravity, more banality and dumbed-down-ism (eg tropes and cliches) in societies: It's a struggle to work against this current and that's what is normally considered "good film-making".

    I kinda think people would do better reading stories to their kids than watching a lot of this stuff? Where did I put that dvd of Watership Down?!

  • Comment number 20. Posted by jayfurneaux

    on 26 Mar 2014 23:14

    I think the point is – as Dr K is trying to say – that cinema attendance is thriving.

    Despite what pundits say is a golden age of TV (Game of Thrones, House of Cards etc.), the lure of on-demand and pirated DVDs.
    I’ve long held the opinion that those that watch/swap pirated movies on DVDs are no threat to the movie industry; they can’t afford to pay cinema prices so turn to the grey markets.
    Subscription downloads, well they cost money, as does pay-per-view satellite (or just satellite).

    TV shows such as Game of Thrones, House of Cards etc. appeal to adults at the end of a day.

    It’s no surprise that family movies appeal so much; TV and Internet sites and games are so fragmented (as are many movie demographics) so something that a family can go together, with something that appeals to both adults and children is bound to score well.

    Pixar, Dreamworks & Blue Sky showed Hollywood the way; Disney has finally scored a well-deserved catch-up hit with Frozen (expect a sequel).

    3D/48fps/Imax remain gimmicks to attract an audience. A good movie will live on for decades on smaller, more basic screens.

    Ride Along? Don’t forget that Hollywood generally doesn’t cater for the (large) black demographic in the USA. When something targeted at them comes along they turn out. It explains why the Wayans are so popular, despite the crassness of their movies.

    Occasionally there’s a cross over hit: Big Momma’s House perhaps? Eddie Murphy, Will Smith etc in their heydays.

    12 Years a Slave? A bit like a film about the great Irish famine being shown in Ireland. It’s a reminder of their history, but not exactly great entertainment. I wouldn’t expect it to do well.

    The biggest US Hispanic star at the moment? Danny Trejo on straight-to-DVD.
    It say a lot that Trejo - now in his late Charles Bronson shoot-em-up career phase and looking as if he sinks a bottle of teqila a night – is the best Hollywood can offer a large US Hispanic demographic.

    The most profitable Chinese movie this year has been The Monkey King, based on the classic myth of ‘Journey to the West’. (Big stars: Donnie Yen, Chow Yun-fat etc.)
    Monkey King had the highest-grossing opening day in China, surpassing Iron Man 3. I doubt reading this will ever watch it.

    The argument about multiplex vs art-house will rumble on. Which is more worthy?
    Well, Jaws, Star Wars, Godfather, Raiders of the Lost Ark etc were all mass market hits - and yet are still regarded as classics. Other box office hits of those years are largely forgotten; likewise the art-house movies; cream rises and gains a reputation, the rest sink into obscurity.

    This is a little like the debate as to whether reading Harry Potter will encourage children to read more widely. For some it will, for the rest, well at least their reading something.

    PS. WSV vs Berba_Was_King
    You’ve both made your points. Take a break now. Chill. Walk away.

  • Comment number 19. Posted by WSV

    on 26 Mar 2014 20:42

    @10 Berba_Was_King

    So according to you, I'm pretentious, Martin Amis is pretentious and so, it seems, Steve McQueen is pretentious too. I suspect you think that Mark Kermode is also pretentious for being a film academic and critic; but then I suspect that in your mind anyone in the world who doesn't agree with you is pretentious. I can't be bothered to reply properly to you as it clearly would be a waste of effort, so I'll conclude by suggesting you buy a mirror.

  • Comment number 18. Posted by CORNISH DARREN FEWINS

    on 26 Mar 2014 20:27

    Thanks for the heads up regarding John Landis. I don't want to dis Max so will withhold judgement. Still looks interesting. Hey ho.

    Can the two people arguing on this Blog leave the squabbling to Mark and Simon. The Movie Doctors do it so much better. You both have some validity in your views but it's getting just a touch tiring. Hope you two can solve your differences.

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