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Analysis: A volatile summer for Hollywood

July 24, 2013 • Entertainment


This film publicity image released by Universal Pictures shows Jeff Bridges, left, and Ryan Reynolds in a scene from “R.I.P.D.” (AP Photo/Universal Pictures, Scott Garfield, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — On and off screen, it’s been a bruising summer for Hollywood.

Every weekend, the multiplex has been under siege like it has rarely been before. One after another, they have come: Big-budget, globe-trotting blockbusters backed, like goliaths with air support, by marketing budgets in the hundreds of millions.

As the studios have focused increasingly on the fortunes of monster-sized “tentpoles,” as they’re known in the trade, weekend real-estate in the summer months has become precious, fraught territory. In the season’s packed schedule, there’s little breathing room for the blockbusters: They need to open big, right away.

Some of these films have succeeded. Some have flopped. But more than most summers, the content of this year’s seasonal crop of spectacles has felt like a pummeling, leaving both moviegoers and some in the industry dazed from the onslaught.

Zombies swarmed over much of the planet in “World War Z.” Sea monsters rose from the ocean and battled giant robots in “Pacific Rim.” Superman’s Metropolis was haphazardly laid to rubble in “Man of Steel.” For the third time, Roland Emmerich destroyed 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in “White House Down.” A fiery Rapture engulfed “This Is the End.”

Studio balance sheets have been hardly less volatile.

The latest bomb came over the weekend with “R.I.P.D.,” in which Jeff Bridges and Ryan Reynolds star as ghost cops. The poorly reviewed Universal film opened with just $12.7 million, suggesting it Login to read more

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