2014 is half over. And so far at the cineplex, next to nothing has made an impact. With "Transformers: Age of Extinction” making an impact much lower than all its predecessors. A handful of films released in what are normally quiet periods (“The Lego Movie,” “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”) made a splash that most summer releases can’t match. Independent film seems to trudge forward unfazed, but this all points to a disappointing conclusion: too many sub-par or mediocre films are hitting the theaters.
The wealth of mediocre big-screen fare is problematic. In lieu of having a handful of runaway successes that are also critical favorites, a wasteland of lackluster of easy come/easy go titles. Films that should be bigger at the box office are suffering from a lack of interest, causing films to have a brief time atop the marquee.
This isn’t an issue that befalls the studios only. Movies like “Godzilla,” “Edge of Tomorrow,” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” are strong features that request repeat viewings. With the rise in admission cost, and an oversaturation of advertising, it’s a wonder that some of these films open as well as they did. In addition to that, audiences don’t seem as excited about the releases. In past years, juggernauts like “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and other box office monsters blew past $200 million dollars and held the number one spot for weeks. Where it stands now, only five films have hit that mark, but are higher than $260 million.
So what is going to happen for the remainder of the year? “Transformers” was thought to be the likely contender for highest grossing film of the year. At least hit $300 million, which doesn’t look like a possibility at this point. Still, the possibility of a blowout success is there. But the feeling of a film or a handful of films being remembered a year from now is grim. We moving pictures are merely in a rut. It’s happened before and it will happen again. With luck, the elimination of lackluster filmmaking will set us right again. Until then, fill up the popcorn tub and enjoy the show. It may be a blast, but it could be a bust.