Transformers: Dark of the Moon 's opening day was perfect--perfect for a totally imperfect movie season.
And, no, nobody's picking on Green Lantern here. Well, nobody's only picking on Green Lantern here.
Consider these bummers of the Hollywood summer:
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1. 3-D Anything and Everything: The sky-high ticket prices, the dimly lit screens, the crappy conversions, the oversaturated market--you name it, and moviegoers are done with it. Since the long-ago days of Avatar, 3-D flicks have gone from making most of their money from 3-D theaters to Johnny Depp's Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides making most of its money from 2-D theaters. Lotsa luck, Harry Potter. (One point of hope for the wizard: The new Transformers is actually doing great in 3-D.)
2. Superhero Movies: The truth is, a lot of people liked Thor and X-Men: First Class; the further truth is, Captain America looks promising. But then you get a flick like Green Lantern to remind you--and the voice of cartoon Superman--that transporting the DC and Marvel universes in their entirety to the big screen isn't nearly as cool as your 9-year-old self thought it would be. "All these superhero movies seem exactly the same to me," Tim Daly told our Marc Malkin.
3. Karma's on Vacation: Disappointed in The Hangover Part II? Left feeling cheated--or like you've seen a rerun? Tough. The sequel's grossed in excess of one half-billion dollars worldwide, yes, more than the original. (And if you thought you'd wriggle out of taking the rugrat to see Cars 2 because the reviews were lousy, think again.)
4. More Flicks Aren't Like Bridesmaids: Let's see, a movie that's not a sequel, not a superhero movie and not a 3-D movie. This summer, that leaves a precious few, and probably explains why Bridesmaids, Super 8 and Bad Teacher have all done better than expected at the box office.
5. No Star Trek 2! As much as Super 8 has been loved, and as much as J.J. Abrams no doubt had to get his Steven Spielberg movie out of his head, and onto a screen, the throwback sci-fi movie is a big reason why Chris Pine's Captain Kirk hasn't taken a victory lap yet for 2009's success. Call it the ultimate letdown: Hollywood makes a movie that you want to see sequelized, and then it doesn't make it.