Here is a list of what I thought were the 10 biggest stories in movies for 2012. Since any kind of ranking would be hard I decided to go in chronological order. This is a mix of local and national stories.
2/26- The Artist wins Best Picture at the Oscars
At the start of every year the movie industry is still buzzing about the movies that came out the previous year and the Oscars are what everyone is talking about. This year provided a little history at the Oscars. The almost entirely silent black and white movie The Artist won Best Picture. While there was a little sound it is the first silent film to win Best Picture since Wings won at the first Oscars in 1929. The Artist was also the first entirely black and white movie to win since The Apartment in 1961 (Schindler’s List won Best Picture in 1994 which was mostly black and white but did have some color). My review is here. The Artist Movie Review.
March-The Times and Rosebud Cinema Close
Locally right after the Oscars it was reported that The Rosebud and Times Cinema were going to close the first week in March. It was a sad day in Milwaukee as they are one of the few independently owned and operated theatres in Milwaukee. The bank ended up foreclosing and a new owner bought it in May. By the end of the summer the Rosebud was back open and The Times Cinema just reopened. The Wauwatosa Patch had covered the story. Rosebud and Time to Close in March
3/9- John Carter Bombs
Disney will make this list a couple of times but for it's first appearance it is not for a good thing. On March 9th John Carter premiered and then promptly bombed. The movie cost $250 million to make and another $100 million to market and the final worldwide total gross of $184 and a majority of the gross was from overseas. As one of the biggest bombs in movie history there was a lot of finger pointing. The total failure of the movie to make money led to the resignation of the head of the studio Rick Ross.
5/4- The Avengers breaks records
A few weeks after Ross resigned Disney made almost the entire money they lost on John Carter in one weekend. Usually when records are broken it is by small amounts but when The Avengers made $200 million in 3 days it shattered the previous record of $169 million of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. Disney and Marvel Studios have been preparing for The Avengers for 4 year with 5 previous movies and it premiered to positive reviews and a rabid fan base. The movie had big expectations but no one could predict the amount of success it would have.
7/20- The Shooting in Aurora, Colorado
After the massive success of The Avengers all eyes were on The Dark Knight Rises. Could it equal the critical praise of The Dark Knight or the financial success of The Avengers? It premiered on July 20th with sold out midnight shows. That is when tragedy struck in Aurora, Colorado. A gunman went into a theatre and opened fire killing 12 and leaving a lot more wounded. For me Christopher Nolan summed it up with when he said “The movie theatre is my home, and the idea that someone would violate that innocent and hopeful place in such an unbearably savage way is devastating to me.”
8/19- Tony Scott commits suicide
Every year there are celebrity deaths that shock us. The biggest movie celebrity death shocker this year was the suicide of Tony Scott. Scott was known for directing action movies like Top Gun and Unstoppable and partnering with his brother Ridley Scott on the production company Scott Free. A few weeks before their production of the miniseries Coma premiered Scott committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. For someone that seemed to have a long career ahead of him the idea that he would take his own life makes no sense. It was rumored that he was just diagnosed with brain cancer but this was determined to be false and there is still no answer to why.
9/27-10/11 The Milwaukee Film Festival has biggest year yet
For 15 days the Milwaukee Film Fest entertained us with 225 movies. Previous years the festival had only been 11 days so it was a gamble increasing it to 15. The gamble paid off with the largest turnout for the film festival. There was a 40% increase in attendance over the 2011 Festival and more sold out shows than ever before. The Audience award winner was the documentary Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God about sexual abuse by priests. The movie had its US Premiere at the festival and director Alex Gibney was present as well as former students of the St. John’s School for the Deaf in St. Francis that were featured in the movie. With lots of local productions and plenty of special guests the festival was a lot of fun. Movie Review Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
10/13- New local bloggers
Just a few days after the Milwaukee Film Festival ended two guys in Milwaukee decided to follow their dream and start their own blog and Facebook page. My friend Chris and I started Delusions of Grandeur Movie Reviews blog and our own Facebook page at Milwaukee Movie Talk. While this is not really big news it was much talked about by my friends and thought I would take a moment to promote it. Maybe one day we will look back and see it as the beginning of something big.
10/30 - Disney buys Lucasfilm
Probably the biggest news story of the year was the purchase of Lucasfilm by Disney and the announcement of Star Wars Episode 7,8, and 9. This seemed to come out of nowhere and sent fans into a frenzy of speculation. George Lucas decided it was time to retire and sold his company to Disney who then announced that they would make a Star Wars movie every other year starting in 2015. The internet then went crazy with rumors about who will direct, what the story is going to be about, and who will star in it. The only thing we know for sure at this point is that the movies are based on Lucas’s own story lines and the first movie will be written by Michael Arndt who wrote Little Miss Sunshine and Toy Story 3.
12/14 The Hobbit is the first movie to show at 48 fps
The Hobbit was one of the most anticipated movies of 2012. After the massive success of The Lord of the Rings Peter Jackson was back directing. While 3D has been the big new thing in the world of movies Peter Jackson decided to take it up a notch and make the first movie shot and shown at 48 frames per second. The standard has been 24 fps and no one was sure how the higher frame rate would play. Well it got mixed reviews, but it is historical and we will see if it is just a gimmick or the future of movies. Movie Review of The Hobbit
So that's it. Lots of stuff happened this year. We started it off with a silent black and white movie and ended it with a 3D movie at 48 fps. What a year. Can't wait to see what 2013 has in store.