28 July 2011

War of the Months: July

Well dear readers it's the final Thursday in July, which means it's time once again for the War of the Months, our year-long look at both the Critical and Box Office Trends for the films released in each Month of the Year. July is a nutty one. It's really the King of Months commercially but finding some real quality flicks may be tricky. Of course, it's all about fun, baby and July brings the rain. Hard. Needless to say, many July months have indelibly seeped into Pop Culture becoming part of our every day lives. Whoa. Let's Jump in!

Harry doesn't want July to end.

July: King of Months

July is this incredible month really. It's the ultimate Summer Month. It's the farthest away from school, that is. June is pretty cool but really there's just too much happening for people to concentrate on movies. When July rolls around though we're ready for excitement, thrilling action and romance as well as some quality Air Conditioned Theaters. It's become part of American Culture to spend July eating Hot Dogs, splashing in the pool and catching a flick with some friends and beers. It's beautiful. August is really too much of an afterthought. It's the dead month of Summer. We're still excited about getting some heat in July finally. We want to do stuff, and that stuff is movie stuff. Alright!

Rich. Like Ali Baba Rich.

The Top 10 July Weekends Ever include three of the Top 5 All-Time Weekends Ever. Nasty. The tops include Three Harry Potters, Two Transformers, a Pirates, a Batman, Spider-Man, Austin Powers and Simpsons. That list is the peak of the range, the cream of the crop, baby. Now, Spider-Man 2 (2004) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011) were both June Releases with weekends that spilled out into July. If we're being purists with only July Releases we'd end up including Planet of the Apes (2001) and Captain America (2011), which actually seems kind of bizarre. It's also incredible that three of the current Top 12 are 2011 releases, which may indicate that this year becomes one of July's best and therefore one of the best Months All-Time. Which is sick.

Joker Approved.
So clearly at this point you can tell that July has become Franchise Month. It's all about loud, crazy big movies, but the ones that do really well usually still have some quality to them. The Dark Knight (2008), Despicable Me (2010), Inception (2010), X-Men (2000) and Men in Black (1997) are all July Films that have done spectacularly at the Box Office as well as in my opinion.

Now the best July Ever (before this year) was 2010, which was aided largely both by the rapid business of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse along with the fantastic slow burn of Inception. There actually wasn't a whole lot else besides Angelina Jolie's Salt, Predators and Dinner for Schmucks which all did decent if not spectacular business. The afortmentioned Despicable Me also contributed to this month just barely edging out July 2007 for the Best Month All-Time at $1,319,393,415. It helps that 2011 has Five Fridays and with Cowboys & Aliens (2011) coming up I wouldn't be surprised if this goes down as the Best Box Office Month Ever. After all, July has absolutely dominated the Box Office in the Past Decade.

The Greatest July Movies Ever:

July is full of some pretty quality blockbusters. In the 80s and 90s almost every July Movie was an instant classic. There's the foundation of Franchises before they were Franchises here. Let's run through the Top 10, clearly the few best July Comedies of the Decade make it but beyond that the quality just isn't there. Take a peak:

#10: Step Brothers - 07/25/2008
#9: Inception - 07/16/2010
#8: Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy - 07/09/2004
#7: Aliens - 07/18/1986
#6: Back to the Future - 07/03/1985
#5: Forrest Gump - 07/06/1994
#4: Die Hard - 07/15/1988
#3: Saving Private Ryan - 07/24/1998
#2: Animal House - 07/28/1978
#1: Terminator 2: Judgment Day - 07/03/1991

There were a lot of close calls here. July has had some fantastic comedies such as Clerks II (2006), Wedding Crashers (2005), Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (2004), American Pie (1999), There's Something About Mary (1998), BASEketball (1998), Kingpin (1996), Clueless (1995) and Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993). Phew.

It's also full of awesome Action Flicks like Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Independence Day (1996) and True Lies (1994). I also like how July features both Sunshine (2007) and Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

So that's July, folks. It's an epic month to be sure. You can note the quality of most of the movies I've talked about though. It's this month were huge and awesome come together perfectly. These are wonderful times.

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