Trending: The 2013 Summer Blockbuster of the Year
With Labor Day weekend and the change of the leaves (okay, that hasn’t quite happened yet), it’s time to put a bow on the Summer Blockbuster season. Since I had so much fun compiling my first “Trending” article, I thought I’d crunch the numbers to come up with the Summer Blockbuster of the Year award.
First, I narrowed it down to ten films. This was actually a pretty simple process. Any movie that released from May to August qualified. Then, I simply took the Top 10 grossing movies, since…let’s face it, finances are the true indicator (according to studios at least).
Those ten films are (in order): Iron Man 3, Despicable Me 2, Man of Steel, Monsters University, Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, World War Z, The Heat, The Great Gatsby, and The Conjuring.
Then, I came up with a set of criteria to compile a score. I broke the criteria into three categories: 1) Finances 2) Critical Reception and 3) Fan Reception.
In all, there are seven total factors:
1) Gross: Most people use this as the defining factor for crowning a winner. The most money = the winner. I refuse to only count this, but it is no doubt a factor.
2) Profit/Difference: I thought it’d be fun to include the profit (Gross-Budget) to help smaller budgets because, generally, bigger budgets equate to bigger box office payouts. That doesn’t seem fair to smaller movies that make a lot of money.
3) Rotten Tomatoes: Although I could spend a lot of time on the effectiveness of the Rotten Tomatoes score, I think it can be a good indicator on the general feel of a movie. If a movie is Fresh, it’s probably a good movie. If it is Rotten, it’s probably a bad movie. Simple as that.
4) Metacritic: Metacritic is a better indicator if you’re judging based on a score. They do a better job of incorporating how much a critic likes a movie, not just whether they like it.
5) IMDB: Moving away from critics and toward the fan voice, the IMDB score is one of the best user-submitted scores available because of its popularity.
6) CinemaScore: A more comprehensive polling technique called CinemaScore takes into account a few different factors, including overall experience, home video potential, and demographic information to give an overall “grade.”
7) My Score: This one is simply to incorporate my input into the equation. Unfortunately, I had to leave three spots blank (or “n/a”) because I didn’t see those films.
Below you can see how the movies fared:
As for the process, I ranked the movies 1-10 based on how they fit into the Top 10. For example, Iron Man 3 was the highest grossing film, so it received a 1 in that category. Alternatively, Star Trek Into Darkness was the best movie according to Rotten Tomatoes (87%), so it received a 1 in that category.
As you can probably tell, you want a low score.
Below you can find the 1-10 scores for each of the films:
After I had the numbers, I averaged the score and ordered them. Again, lower numbers are better. (And yes, I did average the three films I hadn’t seen by six categories instead of seven).
Here are the results:
10) The Great Gatsby (8.3) – This movie scored high (7 or higher) on every category except for My Score. So yeah, it probably deserved to be here.
9) The Heat (7.3) – Although I haven’t seen this movie, a small budget (and big profit) mixed with a good CinemaScore helped it out. However, it did score the worst IMDB rating of the bunch.
8) World War Z (6.9) – I actually expected this to be a little higher on the list, but the truth is: reviews weren’t great and audiences actually didn’t like it as much as the box office tally appears.
7) Man of Steel (6.3) – Again, I expected this movie to be a little higher. However, mixed critical reception killed its chances despite being the third highest grossing movie of the year.
6) Fast & Furious 6 (4.9) – The sixth installment smashed the others critically and financially. However, that doesn’t mean it outperformed movies from this year.
5) The Conjuring (4.2) – This horror movie is one of the biggest surprises of the year. It turned a huge profit while garnering great reviews.
4) Monsters University (3.7) – Not a big surprise here because Pixar is the best of both worlds. It always turns huge numbers and usually connects with critics. Its biggest downfall was the profit because it had a pretty big budget.
3) Iron Man 3 (3.3) – Big dollars and generally positive reviews made Tony Stark a frontrunner when I started compiling the data. Surprisingly, it didn’t do too well on IMDB, perhaps because of their handling of The Mandarin?
2) Star Trek Into Darkness (2.9) – As far as I’m concerned, this is my favorite blockbuster. However, I’m not the only factor, and it was ultimately passed up because of the profit (which, by the way, was the last factor I added).
1) Despicable Me 2 (2.6) – Across the board, Despicable Me 2 kicked butt. Interestingly, the thing that hurt it most was its critical reception (scoring 5 in both the Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic categories), but it scored 1s and 2s in the remaining five categories. This officially makes it the Summer Blockbuster of the Year according to us here at Film Equals!
How do you feel about the results? Would you have crowned Despicable Me 2 the champion? I guess I can’t argue too much since I created the formula.
Follow me on Twitter @jmacle