2012 was another blockbuster year for superhero flicks. This summer saw the launch of a brand new Spider-Man franchise with The Amazing Spider-Man (73% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the conclusion to Christopher Nolan’s epic Batman trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises (87%).
The Cast of The Avengers Assembles
The Dark Knight Rises is on its way to a $500 million domestic box office gross, but it is unlikely to surpass this summer’s truly heroic feature: Marvel’s The Avengers (92%) which stars not one but six Marvel superheroes and has grossed more than $617 million domestically and $1.49 billion worldwide, securing third place in the All Time Worldwide Box Office.
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2012 has been a great year for Joss Whedon. Best known for creating the cult smash hits Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Firefly, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog, the writer/director has had two critically acclaimed films hit theaters in 2012.
Screenshot from The Cabin in the Woods by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon
Whedon’s first film of the year, The Cabin in the Woods (co-written and produced by Whedon and directed by Drew Goddard), was filmed in 2009 and then shelved for two years when MGM Studios filed for bankruptcy. The genre-bending satirical horror film was eventually bought by Lions Gate in 2011 and ultimately released in April 2012. The film (which stars Thor’s Chris Hemsworth) has grossed more than $60 million internationally and received a 90% certified fresh rating from RottenTomatoes critics who called it original, inventive, and “the canniest genre deconstruction since Scream“.
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A year ago, the world watched as Kate Middleton and Prince William married in a stunning real-life fairy tale wedding, and six months later, Rapunzel was crowned an official Disney Princess during a coronation ceremony at Kensington Palace.
Screenshot from the animated short Tangled: Ever After, image copyright Disney
Now the world can finally see the spunky, formerly-blonde princess get her own happily ever after when she marries Flynn Rider (aka: Eugene) in a brand-new animated short.
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Promotional image from The Muppets, image copyright Disney
Walt Disney Pictures released ten feature films in 2011, including three foreign films and the re-release of the animated smash The Lion King (1994) in 3D. The films were a mixed bag of big budget spectacles and nostalgic charmers. Mars Needs Moms bombed, On Stranger Tides was critically panned (but grossed more than $1 billion worldwide), and The Muppets and Winnie the Pooh were two of the most acclaimed films of the year.
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For more than sixteen years, Pixar Animation Studios has dominated 3-D animation, releasing eleven bona fide critical smash hits (and a twelfth film, Cars 2, the only Pixar feature to score a rotten tomato). Pixar’s Toy Story and Cars franchises are huge moneymakers, and the studio is looking to score again with the prequel to Monsters, Inc., Monsters University, which is set for release on June 21st, 2013.
Poster for Pixar's Brave (2012), image copyright Disney
But nestled between the recent run of prequels and sequels is this year’s Brave, a fairy tale set in ancient Scotland, and Pixar’s first original feature since 2009’s Up. Brave is also Pixar’s first feature to star a female character (see Pixar’s greatest female characters here) and is the studio’s answer to the Disney’s “Princess” franchise. In true Disney fashion, Princess Merida is a spunky redhead who defies her parents and refuses to follow tradition – sound familiar?
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