2015: Year of the ‘Comeback’ or the ‘Never Coming Back’ Film?


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Over a year ago, I was about a month or so into writing reviews and features on films and cinema, and there was something about the upcoming release of excessive film reboots and remakes which really irritated me. For this reason, I wrote a piece on the four major blockbusters which were returning in 2015 and forecasted how I thought that they would perform, and essentially, how good they would be.

You can read the 1st article “2015: Year of the Comeback film!” right here: https://realtimewriteups.com/2015/01/01/2015-year-of-the-comeback-film/

In this follow-up feature, I look back at my views from last year and compare them with my views on the four films now that I have seen all of them at the cinema. By incorporating the use of box office statistics and online database ratings, I will also compare these films to their predecessors and get to the bottom of my previous question: “Has the world of film and cinema outgrown these names?”


The 1st Release: Jurassic World

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Release Date: 11th June 2015 (UK)

Looking Back At My Prediction:

Very excited about this one! A long success at the box office, proving that a dinosaur film still has a place as a Blockbuster – Only worry is a June release date which is very close to the Avengers: Age of Ultron release.”

Summary Following Cinema Visit:

I was blown away by this film and transported back to my childhood! The visual effects, lead character and extension of the original story had me excited throughout and the IMAX 3D experience definitely heightened the exhilarating chase scenes and dinosaur chaos! I admit, looking back on the film there are a lot of silly parts to the film, which perhaps hinder it for a lot of critics out there, but in all honesty, if you go into this film expecting anything deeper than excessive thrills and comedy, then you are entering JURASSIC WORLD as a narrow-minded analyst, and not as the big kid which this film is aimed at.

Breaking Down the Figures:

The above figures show that although JURASSIC WORLD may have surpassed JURASSIC PARK in terms of worldwide gross following its lengthy cinema spell, in terms of fan appreciation, it was not as well received, most likely because the novelty has worn off, the 2015 cinema demographic are less fascinated by CGI dinosaurs than the 1993 cinemagoers were, or alternatively, people were just not impressed with Colin Trevorrow’s efforts at trying to regenerate the JURASSIC franchise!

TRUTH: I worry that the landscape of films and cinema has left this type of the film in the 90s!

BRIGHT SIDE: Big kids like me are very excited for another Chris Pratt instalment in 2018!

RTWriteUps Verdict:

RTWriteUps_JurassicWorldRead Full Review Of_Jurassic World


 The 2nd Release: Terminator: Genisys

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Release Date: 2nd July 2015 (UK)

Looking Back At My Prediction:

A short-lived success at the box office, once again creating debate among Terminator fans whether it was actually a decent film or not!”

Summary Following Cinema Visit:

TERMINATOR: GENISYS surprised me! I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. I think Arnie was still brilliant and brought such a great amount of comedy to the feature. Emilia Clarke (Game Of Thrones) was good as Sarah Connor and Jason Clarke (Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes) was great as a twisted John Connor! Even Jai Courtney, who I truly dislike as an actor, was fairly good as Kyle Reese in this film, which made for a good chemistry, overall, between all of the characters! I quite liked the re-invention of the legendary ‘Judgement Day’ story, and it was a very brave thing to attempt, but I understand why many believe it was a bit over-complicated and unnecessary. Still though, it now sits as my 3rd favourite TERMINATOR film and that means it convinced me of its comeback! However I do not see any future for this franchise, and personally anymore films will seem very pointless.

Breaking Down the Figures:

The above figures show that TERMINATOR: GENISYS did not perform anywhere near as well as director Alan Taylor would have been hoping for. In terms of its performance against the other four films (with ticket prices adjusted to reflect ticket price inflation), it sits bottom of the table in terms of money earned. By comparing it with the all-time classic TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY, we can see why exactly some reboots/remakes should not be approached. It may be a simple buck for directors and production studios, but some things just should not be rebooted and I think this is a pretty good example of why Terminator 3, 4 and 5 should never have even been imagined.

I will not be looking out for or forward to another TERMINATOR film. It surprised me there is no doubt on that, but looking back at it, I still do not feel as though it was a film that needed to be in my life.

TRUTH: I think 2015 has shown that Terminators are now old news I’m afraid! Leave it in the 80/90s!

BRIGHT SIDE: Hmm… You might get to see Arnold Schwarzenegger a few more times as the loveable T-800? I’m clutching at straws here though.

RTWriteUps Verdict:

RTWriteUps_TerminatorGenisysRead Full Review Of_Terminator Genisys


 The 3rd Release: Spectre

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Release Date: 26th October 2015 (UK)

Looking Back At My Prediction:

A box office success, which if written well, could lead to a 007 film, scoping an award due to its late release – (Best bet: Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz).”

Summary Following Cinema Visit:

When I looked back at my prediction for this film I actually cowered my head in embarrassment a little bit. How wrong I was! For starters, Christoph Waltz was one of the weakest and most underused villains to grace a 007 film. There is no doubting that it was a box office success and that it attracted a lot of attention, but personally I was pretty let down by SPECTRE! Do not get me wrong, it was still a good film, but I expected it to blow SKYFALL out of the water with an intelligent extension of the Daniel Craig story, but in all honesty the story, as well as Craig’s charm and ‘Bondness’ (Yes I created my own word there) just seemed to diminish in this film. One thing is for sure, 007 will not be winning an acting or directing award any time soon following this film!

Breaking Down the Figures:

It is clear that 007 is, and still will always be, a box office success, not just in the UK but globally also, and the above figures show us that the Bond obsession is likely to move with the times, whilst restoring a certain level of tradition that most films cannot. However, that being said, its ratings show that maybe it is time for Daniel Craig to pass his gun and those miniature trunks to somebody else, and kick off a new 007 series! It does not seem likely to catch up with SKYFALL’S incredible figures, but one has to keep in mind that SKYFALL was released around the London 2012 Olympics, and it received a hefty level of promotion around this event; with 2012 being such a big year for the UK we should have assumed that it would have been for 007!

I will always have a love for Bond films which will make me watch pretty much every film which is released at the cinema, however I have lost interest in Daniel Craig’s 007 and would not be too excited for another feature with him involved.

TRUTH: Bond is clearly still strong and always will be I think, but it is definitely time for Daniel Craig to move aside and let somebody else take on the title of 007!

BRIGHT SIDE: I am sure that there are plenty more Bond films in store over the next few decades!

RTWriteUps Verdict:

RTWriteUps_SpectreRead Full Review Of_Spectre


 The 4th Release: Star Wars: The Force Awakens

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Release Date: 17th December 2015 (UK)

Looking Back At My Prediction:

This film will be the film discussion of the year, especially towards the end of the year! I am very confident it will be a visual masterpiece, judging on J.J. Abrams’ latest work on Star Trek: Into Darkness (2013) which was incredible.”

Summary Following Cinema Visit:

I knew I would enjoy STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, but I had no idea I would leave the cinema thinking that it was one of the best films that 2015 had to offer! It was not simply a celebration of the STAR WARS franchise, but a complete rejuvenation of it, capturing everything brilliant about the original trilogy, which Episodes I-III unfortunately failed to deliver, and combining it with a smart storyline, infectious new characters and an exhilarating visual and emotional experience. STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS was superb, and I am completely ready for Episode VIII already!

Breaking Down the Figures:

To compare THE FORCE AWAKENS against the original film; A NEW HOPE, would be a bit of a useless comparison due to their release dates, and also due to how the demographic of the audience has changed in that space of time. I thought it would be more interesting to compare the two films which started two separate comebacks of the STAR WARS franchise. EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE would have been as eagerly anticipated by STAR WARS fans back in 1999, as THE FORCE AWAKENS was this Christmas just gone, but from the above figures, we can see how differently people view the two.

THE FORCE AWAKENS has almost doubled the worldwide gross that THE PHANTOM MENACE witnessed, and it isn’t finished yet. With the likes of IMAX and 3D now populating cinemas, fans are not just seeing this film once before it finishes its very long run on the big screen, but they are seeing it in as many forms as possible.  Most importantly though, fans are in love with this film! With a whopping 90% of viewers ‘liking’ the film, according to Rotten Tomatoes, clearly STAR TREK director J.J. Abrams has got it right here and maybe we are about to see the greatest STAR WARS trilogy since the original!

TRUTH: STAR WARS, weirdly enough, seems more of a present, alternative universe adventure opposed to the futuristic tale it used to be in the 70s and 80s. For this reason, among many others, STAR WARS appears to still be relevant in the world of blockbusters, and I think it will go on to be for some time!

BRIGHT SIDE: Errrrrrrm…. The Force! Does there need to be any other?

RTWriteUps Verdict:

RTWriteUps_Star Wars

Read Full Review Of_Force Awakens


To conclude on my previous article and the main basis of this one, in my opinion, there are two (STAR WARS & JURASSIC WORLD) of the four film franchises which have managed to prolong their existence in the world of blockbusters, successfully this year, capturing the brilliance of the originals, but transporting them to a more current and modern approach, not just in the sense of movie-making, but also in story-telling.

This, however, I know is just one view of many, and unfortunately I doubt that the JURASSIC franchise follow up in 2018 will receive the same level of admissions that it received last year. I enjoyed TERMINATOR: GENISYS more than I thought I would and SPECTRE less than I thought I would, but with these two films I left tired of the whole concept of these two franchises, whereas with JURASSIC WORLD and STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS, I left wanting more!

In Hindsight

Obviously, when I wrote this article last year, I may have glazed over a fair few ‘Comebacks of 2015’ and just decided to focus on the big four names out there. However there are also other reboots out there which definitely deserve to be recognised as Comeback Successes and some as Comeback Failures. See my list of these below:

The Other Comeback HIT of 2015! 

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Comeback MISSES! (According to myself and IMDb)

Please note that out of these below films I have only seen Fantastic Four, Vacation and Poltergeist, so please do not take the labelling of the other films as ‘Misses’ as my personal opinion, I am simply judging that by IMDb… Although I would probably leave those 3 films thinking the exact same.

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On to 2016!

So, with 2015, personally, being the year of the comeback, what will 2016 hold?

So far, we have seen some incredible, Oscar worthy performances, and some outstanding films which will live on in our minds forever. It seems as though we may be seeing more originality in 2016 opposed to the decline in it that we experienced in 2015, however, in terms of blockbusters, just around the corner we have the usual onslaught of comic book films. The majority of these are taking a much darker and anti-hero approach, including the likes of DEADPOOL in February, BATMAN V SUPERMAN in March, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR in April and then SUICIDE SQUAD in August, and apart from BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, I am very optimistic about the direction in which Marvel and DC are heading. Hopefully I will be proven wrong about BvS!

However, personally, 2016 could well be the year when kids’ films define the year’s box office success! With blockbusters from Disney including THE JUNGLE BOOK, Disney Pixar’s long awaited sequel FINDING DORY and Steven Spielberg’s THE BFG hitting our big screens this year, once again, two of the pioneers in story-telling; Roald Dahl and Walt Disney are being celebrated this year in live action form, and I have a feeling it could lead to a pretty special year of cinema.


Thank you so much for making it to the bottom of this article, but now, let’s hear from YOU! 

What were your Comeback Hits and Misses of 2015?

What are your must-sees for 2016?

Get involved in the discussion and let us know…


26/01/2016

Written by Nicholas Price, Founder of Real-Time Write-Ups

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One thought on “2015: Year of the ‘Comeback’ or the ‘Never Coming Back’ Film?

  1. Completely agree with Jurassic World and Star Wars, less so with your original thoughts on Terminator, it was a mess, but each to their own. Regarding 2016 I’m actually excited for superhero movies again. “Again”? you ask. Well, to be frank I’m pretty bored of the Avengers and this year our only glimpse will come in the form of Civil War, which as a stand-alone Cap Am film, looks pretty slick.

    DC is where I’m at. I have long been an advocate of DC films, the potential to delve into the darker elements and the originality their storylines serve up. Marvel have almost done to death the origins of their characters and will probably continue to do so. Batman vs Superman may be fairly divisive given the trailer n’all but I’m excited for a new Batman and I genuinely think it could be pretty great. Suicide Squad has been on my radar since rumours began circulating around Jared Leto potentially playing The Joker. Since then a lot has developed and it’s safe to say the majority of the moviegoing public are on board and with Ayer at the helm rightly so.

    Deadpool will shake the system big time. Redefining what a superhero movie can do is exactly the burst of originality it needs and I’m super excited to see how it turns out, my prediction: pretty well.

    Regards to Children’s films I think The Jungle Book will find a healthy adult following, likewise The BFG given the new live-action approach of Disney and other studios. Finding Dory has a lot to live upto given the hype surrounding it but I don’t doubt it’s potential to fill the boots of Nemo one iota.

    All in all I think 2016 will be a great year and offer a few surprises along the way. Superhero films will dominate blockbuster season but superhero fatigue will start setting in around August/September and give the Oscar contenders their spotlight.

    Now THAT’S a big comment.

    Like

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