THE BIGGEST SURPRISE SUCCESSES OF 2012
I think we all knew The Avengers was going to make a ton of money, but I don't think anymore projected $623 million and change. Still, the biggest surprise goes to Magic Mike. Who knew director Steven Soderbergh had it in him? Who knew the women would come out in droves? As you can tell from some of the breakout and comeback stars listed above, Magic Mike really came out of nowhere to surprise. Kudos go to Skyfall setting huge new James Bond records, Chronicle making one of the best superhero movies ever on a shoestring budget, and 21 Jump Street actually being turned into a successful comedy after being a dramatic TV show.
1. Magic Mike
2. The Avengers
5. 21 Jump Street
HONORABLE MENTION: Much like The Avengers, I don't think anyone was fearing a lack of success from The Hunger Games, but to outperform EVERY Harry Potter and Twilight movie (including the latest finale of both franchises) is a huge victory worth mentioning on its first movie out. Both highly-anticipated sequels are on the way.
DOUBLE DUTY AWARD-- These are the folks putting in the most overtime this past year. These were the faces you saw all year.
1. Ben Affleck-- He may have only made one movie this year, the outstanding Argo, but he directed and starred in it and may just have earned himself a double Oscar nomination for Best Actor and Best Director. Affleck keeps getting better with each directorial effort.
2. Matthew McConaughey-- Starred in Mud, Killer Joe, The Paperboy, Bernie, and Magic Mike within the calendar year and is looking at a possible Oscar nomination.
3. Channing Tatum-- Starred in The Vow, 21 Jump Street, Magic Mike, Haywire, and 10 Years (and almost G.I. Joe: Retribution) in the calendar year and named "People"'s "Sexiest Man Alive."
4. Joseph Gordon-Levitt-- Starred in Looper, Lincoln, Premium Rush, and The Dark Knight Rises in the calendar year, with the possibility of becoming the next Batman.
5. John Goodman-- The former Roseanne star was busy this fall, appearing in major supporting roles with Trouble With the Curve, voice work in ParaNorman, Argo, and Flight. When combined with last year's notable parts in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and The Artist, he's becoming an extremely dependable role player. He could very well fit in the "Comeback" category for all of this as well.
HONORABLE MENTION: This special slot goes to the entire cast of Les Miserables for acting AND singing to pull off the huge movie musical. Most of that lead cast (Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Amanda Seyfried, and Eddie Redmayne) save for Hugh Jackman do not have formal vocal experience. They sing their little hearts out right there while the camera roles. Unlike most movie musicuals, no voice-over dubbing was used. What was sung on set is what makes it into the movie.
Locally, many of these movies are still playing at your local west side Chicago movie theaters. Be sure to check out showtimes and buy advance tickets from Fandango. Those that are on DVD and Blu-ray can be found at your local Redbox and Blockbuster locations here in the city. Enjoy a movie or trailer tonight!