Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.AvengersBatmanBlack PantherCaptain AmericaDaredevilDeadpoolDoctor StrangeIron ManLuke CageMythologySpider-ManStar WarsSupergirlSupermanThe FlashWonder WomanX-Men 2016 in Review: The Year the Good Guys Weren’t So Good written by Robert Reineke January 2, 2017 2016 was a year of conflict among , there was a very contentious election in the United States, the controversial Brexit vote in the United Kingdom, and that conflict rippled across movie screens particularly in the superhero genre. Colleague fought against colleague in a Civil War, a xenophobic Batman tried to murder the alien Superman, and mutants fought sometimes allies. If superheroes were fighting other heroes, they were anti-heroes like Deadpool, or a selfish jerk like Doctor Strange. Even the bad guys were recruited to be heroes in a Suicide Squad. Contentiousness wasn’t limited to just the screen as the internet fought fiercely over an all female GHOSTBUSTERS and then found out that the world didn’t end, one way or another, after it came out. Admittedly, we all came together to complain about an underwhelming Summer and to cheer the young heroes of STRANGER THINGS. It might not have been until post-election that things settled down, perhaps reflecting that we were finally getting movies we wanted, full of self sacrifice for the greater good. So, after the long preamble, let’s get to the year. It would be wrong to assign blame to the superhero genre for divisiveness. After all, the year started out with “feel bad” films like THE HATEFUL EIGHT and THE REVENANT. And then the biggest surprise of the year hit in February with DEADPOOL. Ryan Reynolds had been given chance after chance and he finally cashed in with a huge hit. I think many of us thought that DEADPOOL would be a solid hit, albeit wondering if the R-rated nature might hold it back. But, it kicked down every door and became one of the very biggest hits of the year. Who said the solo superhero film, albeit with guest appearances by Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead, was dead? DEADPOOL was a film that fully embraced its R-rating, it’ fourth wall breaking zaniness, and the anti-hero nature of its lead character. It’s decidedly adolescent in its ideas and styles, but that’s its strength. I bet there are a ton of 12 year olds who think its the “best movie ever”. It was rewarded for that. Looking at it at the end of the year, there is a question of just how repeatable it is. Let’s face it, the origin / revenge plot is as rote as can be, no matter how much it comments on it. Its shock value likely goes down on repeat viewing. And its attempts at visual style mostly ended with the opening credits. It’s certainly not a great film, if we’re judging films on things like style, depth of theme, and the like, but it was certainly a great time at the movies. Things were looking up. It didn’t hurt that February and March were also filled with genre friendly films like THE WITCH, 10 CLOVERFIELD LANE, and one of the biggest hits of the year in ZOOTOPIA which kept expectations up, even if GODS OF EGYPT bombed. Proceeded by a massive marketing campaign, the hype train for BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE was truly massive. And then the reviews came out. There was a lot said about BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE in the last year. It’s easy to forget though that it was a massive box office hit even if it didn’t reach the $1 billion range that Warner Bros. rightfully should have expected. Still, compared to what real bombs looked like, see the summer of 2016 for numerous examples, I expect that Warner Bros. has a nice spot of black ink on their books related to the film and fears about the DCEU not continuing are completely unfounded from a dollars and cents perspective. There’s no question though that the critical and audience reaction is not what Warner Bros. wanted and it certainly was the instigation for change. No question, the bulk of the blame fell on Zack Snyder for the morose tone, all over the park performances (which movie was Jesse Eisenberg in?), and undisciplined favor of ultra-violence as cool as fun when it turned out to be off-putting. He also was initially blamed for a muddled edit, but the extended edition that was later released indicated that Warner Bros. insisting on a run time was likely more to blame. That said, despite the critical pile-on, there are some interesting ideas going on in the story and some obvious strengths of craft that are brought to the table that I think warrant more than outright dismissal of the film. For one of the first times in the genre, the 9/11 imagery is actually grappled with as we see the anger and grief of Batman transform itself into xenophobia and violence before he finally rights himself reflecting America’s own foreign policy post 9/11. Snyder also brings a host of big screen imagery to bear, no one compared BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE to television. Wonder Woman’s entrance was also met with universal praise. Snyder’s ambitions were in the right place and there was certainly thought put into the film, but it wasn’t quite what people wanted, even if they did turn out in droves. While everyone was losing themselves over what WB would do, besides collect a bunch of money, Disney continued their winning ways with THE JUNGLE BOOK in April. It was perhaps a little surprising considering that I’ve always been under the impression that THE JUNGLE BOOK was a Disney animated film that many people liked, but few loved, albeit there was certainly international appeal there as well as a great excuse to show off state of the art special effects. The sky’s the limit on box office for BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. At the same time, the cracks were forming for what would turn out to be a very disappointing Summer with THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER’S WAR crashing. Chris Hemsworth really hasn’t found a niche outside THOR which probably is an encouraging sign for him to come back to THOR. Meanwhile, Kristen Stewart seems to be enjoying a nice run with Olivier Assayas and outstanding critical reviews for CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA and the upcoming PERSONAL SHOPPER. Maybe not doing the sequel that nobody is excited for is the best course. Oh, yeah, GREEN ROOM also came out in April, back when worrying about neo-nazis was apparently something left to cinema in a really good, visceral, thriller with Anton Yelchin’s last lead performance. To me, it’s one of the underseen gems of the year. And then with much hype, CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR hit. Marvel’s Captain America: Civil WarL to R: Falcon/Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie), Ant-Man/Scott Lang (Paul Rudd), Hawkeye/Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner), Captain America/Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), Scarlet Witch/Wanda Maximoff (Elizabeth Olsen), and Winter Soldier/Bucky Barnes (Sebastian Stan)Photo Credit: Film Frame© Marvel 2016 Obviously, the biggest superhero film of the year, it was a massive hit with critics and audiences alike. It basically played right in the middle ground between CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER and AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON at the box office which is an extremely healthy showing by any standard. It introduced Black Panther to the big screen. It introduced Tom Holland as SPIDER-MAN to a lot of applause. And it continued the theme of the good guys fighting among themselves. The humor was on point and the ensemble was terrific top to bottom, with Robert Downey Jr.’s best Tony Stark performance in years. The big fight was all anybody would talk about for awhile. Admittedly, I wasn’t enamored of the film, while still thinking it was good, as everyone else. I found the Accords more a MacGuffin for the plot to turn on than anything defined enough to take sides on. And, frankly, I think Captain America’s objections basically amounted to “because S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by Hydra, we can’t trust any government agency to do what’s right” which amounts to a reductio ad adsurdum. CAPTAIN AMERICA: WINTER SOLDIER turned on freedom vs. security, which is an eternal conflict, while Captain America never really seemed to acknowledge concepts like authority and accountability as being valid in CIVIL WAR. Especially in the third act when it turns out Captain America had feet of clay and had been withholding information that Tony Stark deserved to know. Batman at least had a logical calculation to his actions, Captain America didn’t even have faith in his friend to properly digest important information in a controlled environment or in the value of due process and a court to assess guilt or innocence. And Marvel didn’t have faith in their ability to dramatize the decision to withhold this information, maybe because they knew it would make Steve look like a jerk. In many ways, the biggest decision affecting the whole plot and outcome of the movie occurs off-stage. Is that good drama? Couple that with a plot that hangs together through people not spending more than a couple of minutes really talking, despite days in between events and a ton of one liners, and some real hoops to jump through to set up the airport fight, why did Hawkeye and company not just head to Siberia to begin with, a fight with half the participants pulling their punches, several characters having no history with the others and no stake in the fight, and the questionable need for a Quinjet in the first place, doesn’t Hawkeye have any spy contacts adept at smuggling?, as well as the decision to basically leave the keys in the ignition and a full tank of gas, to basically negate the big airport fight for me as drama and just as a fun excuse for Marvel to throw a ton of crowd pleasing stuff on the screen. Undeniably, Marvel is very good at crowd pleasing stuff. But, in the end, to me this felt like a cobbled together concoction of fun beats rather than a story with a logical flow to it. Sharon Carter’s kiss scene, saved by an added bit of humor at the end, felt like a metaphor for my experience with the film as a whole. It was good, but it also felt like a mechanical hitting of notes without really bringing the drama and depth to make it really feel earned and consequential. But, I realize I’m well in the minority on that. And, at the very least, we can all agree that compared to what came after the Summer of 2016 started on a high note. And then there was over two months of disappointments, at least in live action. THE NICE GUYS, which was really fun btw, failed to open. Disney had one of the few real blemishes on their record with the unwanted sequel ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS. And then X-MEN: APOCALYPSE hit. Just look at that poster, 12 characters and no real focus. (Incidentally, that’s my big fear about INFINITY WAR.) Even more so, the film really failed, despite a just reset timeline, to go anywhere really new with the X-Men. We got our obligatory, and unnecessary, Wolverine cameo. We got even more famous X-Men in little more than cameos with little in the way of personality. The big climax was essentially people standing around and pointing their arms. And we still had Magneto as reluctant villain / ally. They felt the need to re-motivate Magneto with the deaths of more family members. And they felt the need to insert Quicksilver to try to recapture the lightning of the best scene of the previous film. And it wasn’t the first time that we watched mutant fight mutant, but with it being unclear whether these were willing participants or merely mind controlled slaves, it didn’t provide much for dramatic tension. What was new, Oscar Isaac, didn’t work either. Admittedly, I’m more meh on it than anything else. I know Sean isn’t shy in expressing his opinion on it though. There is a talented cast here after all and the X-Men will always have an interesting mix of powers and looks. But, if someone wanted to argue this is the worst superhero film of 2016, despite what Rotten Tomatoes would say about BvS and Suicide Squad, I wouldn’t necessarily disagree with it. At least I felt most other superhero films were trying, even if they weren’t succeeding. It didn’t get much better for awhile. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES: OUT OF THE SHADOWS which was relaunched as something of a surprise hit completely dropped the ball in its second go round, despite the general consensus being that it was better. China couldn’t even save WARCRAFT. And INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE may have put an early stake into the idea that the nostalgia blockbuster is really a thing. THE CONJURING 2 and CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE were nice hits for Warner Bros. mid-budget slate though. But, Disney via Pixar would prove that they were owning the year with FINDING DORY which turned out to be a financial triumph. I think everyone thought it would do well, but this was certainly at the high end of expectations. Critical expectations too. July proved equally tough for all comers. THE LEGEND OF TARZAN was nothing special at the box office, but that exceeded all expectations for folks that were expecting one of the biggest bombs of the year. THE BFG proved to be perhaps the biggest bomb of Steven Spielberg’s career, albeit I think he’ll survive. Animation proved strong again with THE SECRET LIFE OF PETS, although it looks like we’re also nearing the end of the line with the ICE AGE franchise. Horror also proved resilient with THE PURGE: ELECTION YEAR being very timely and later in the month with the sleeper LIGHTS OUT. And then perhaps the most talked about movie of the year on the internet hit. Ghostbusters Abby (Melissa McCarthy), Erin (Kristen Wiig), Holtzmann (Kate McKinnon) and Patty (Leslie Jones) surrounded by ghosts in Times Squares in New York in Columbia Pictures’ GHOSTBUSTERS. Looking back on GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) from this vantage point the question I have is, people really wanted to die on that hill? The other question I have is, don’t all the haters feel silly for concentrating on the gender of the cast instead of on Paul Feig and an obviously cobbled together script? The biggest criticism I can level at the film is that I can see how hard all the actresses are working to improv something funny out of a mess of a script when ideally a comedy should appear effortless. The biggest praise I can give to the film is that sometimes they’re able to pull something out of nothing, whether it’s Kate McKinnon’s goofy reactions or Leslie Jones actually wrestling out of nothing something of an actual character. Nobody’s childhood was ruined by the film, but I’d like to have seen the version of this film that started with a good script. Unfortunately for a lot of people that were really putting an effort in, it ended up being a big money loser. I’ll continue that lament with STAR TREK BEYOND which with a lackluster ad campaign, a tough spot in the schedule, and apparently no faith from the studio was left to take it on the chin, despite being from my perspective the best of the reboot movies. It was refreshing to me after so many films of good characters fighting among themselves, to see the whole crew pull together and contribute to defeat a bad guy. A bad guy with drones devoted to his singular will vs. a crew of diverse, free willed individuals showing that their diverse skills and friendships were a strength, not a weakness. After JASON BOURNE kind of fizzled, despite the return of Paul Greengrass and Matt Damon, the common refrain was that everyone was waiting for SUICIDE SQUAD to save the summer. BATMAN: THE KILLING JOKE even got a day in the theater, to surprisingly good box office, but lousy reviews. BAD MOMS managed to settle in to find a niche and spawn a sequel, but nothing changed the narrative that was building on how much SUICIDE SQUAD was needed. ********* Before we continue on with the year in movies, I think we need to take some time to talk television. There’s no question in my mind that the show of the year in regards to the type of shows we focus on here was STRANGER THINGS. Consciously a throwback to the early 1980s, it played like a throwback to Steven Spielberg and Stephen King with more than a dash of John Carpenter as we watched a bunch of ordinary kids get caught up in a supernatural thriller after the disappearance of one of their friends. I’ve written previously how much I like to see ordinary characters deal with the extraordinary, with JAWS as my example, but it seems I’m not alone in this age of the superhero as the audience responded in a big way. That said, while there’s a ton that’s compelling about STRANGER THINGS, I hope they take a step back for season two and consider some things. There were more than a few times that I felt that they were on the wrong side of the line between homage and rip off. Some of the homages, like the constant shots of the night sky evoking Vilmos Zsigmond’s cinematography on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND really had nothing to do with the story. There certainly were plenty of needle drops that felt really obvious. And if you’re going to decorate the rooms to reflect geek culture of the time, maybe remembering the junk would make it more authentic instead of the things that have a following over 30 years later? I can practically guarantee you that nobody in small town Indiana of the early 1980s had a poster for THE EVIL DEAD on their wall and THE THING was still working its way back from massive box office failure in 1982 (opening the week after E.T., the EXTRATERRESTRIAL). For that matter, you have to wonder if any of these kids saw E.T.. So, I think STRANGER THINGS is a good show, that could perhaps be a great show with more “and give me a pack of Camels” and less geeky shout outs. But, it’s one of the things that brought us all together in 2016. And nobody really complained that there was a lot of fat and dead ends on its structure. The same could not be said of other television shows in the age of binge watching when critics were actively wondering if showrunners were more worried about the overall binge watch than making sure each episode advanced a story, had a new conflict, etc. LUKE CAGE probably got the most heat in regards to that, but it was a complaint that was certainly heard in regards to DAREDEVIL and WESTWORLD. Mind you, those were still among the better reviewed shows of the year, but the idea that if you’re going to shoot individual episodes then you should make them worthwhile in their own right I think is a good one. Breaking down a 10 hour movie arbitrarily into 10 parts doesn’t make a whole lot of sense after all. Network television had its own set of issues. MARVEL’S AGENTS OF S.H.I.E.L.D. is still going strong, but was bumped to a late prime time slot where it struggles to stay relevant in the ratings and attract more than the hardcore. GOTHAM and LUCIFER are doing fine in the ratings, albeit only by the standards of Fox and GOTHAM is certainly taking it on the critical chin. Meanwhile, the CW, joined by SUPERGIRL, continues to turn more and more of its lineup over to superheroes with success, by the CW level, but still a fraction of the big successes. It is notable though that the CW shows have been quite a bit brighter in outlook than Zack Snyder’s take on the DC superheroes, this is the network where a superhero will bring ice cream cones for a superheroine and her friends, and that seems to be something that at least a portion of fans are championing for the DCEU films. ******** In one sense, SUICIDE SQUAD was the savior of the Summer, opening to box office records and showing relatively good legs. Whether that was from audiences thinking it was a good movie, inherent interest in the characters, the diverse cast, weak competition, or some combination of all those factors is hard to say, but it turned out to be one of the big hits of the year. What it didn’t do is silence the voices saying that Warner Bros. was in disarray as it was clear that there had been massive tinkering in the editing bay and it was savaged by the critics. Does critical consensus matter? Maybe not, but it’s at least something concrete to point to when gauging how audiences will react. Especially when we’ve seen that they’re willing to walk away from franchises this year if they weren’t satisfied with the last one. On the other hand, we’re still getting TRANSFORMERS movies. Would that it were so simple. Leaving aside the struggle of SUICIDE SQUAD to build a narrative without the seams showing, it did hit upon one of the formulas for the remainder of the year, a group of not quite good guys that come together and sacrifice for the greater good. It’s a formula that goes back at least to SEVEN SAMURAI, and a direct remake which we’ll get to, and it still works. In particular, it worked for Margot Robbie who clearly came out of SUICIDE SQUAD a fan favorite and in a position to launch her own female-centric superhero film. I tend to think that the cast saved a mess of a film, but I do think that the central idea of the film has proven to be sound, even if handled better elsewhere. Still, if you were going to make a case for the best month of the Summer, August would be it, with PETE’S DRAGON and KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS, despite only okay box office, being among the biggest critical hits of the Summer and KUBO still being in the BEST ANIMATED FEATURE picture. We also had good solid hits in SAUSAGE PARTY and DON’T BREATHE with a positive critical reception as well. Sure, BEN-HUR bombed, no surprise given that there was no star or other hook for a remake of a movie that nobody under 35 knows, but it probably was the month that saved the Summer from clearly being the “worst Summer ever”. Even September, which is traditionally not a big month with school starting, was full of high profile releases. SULLY continued WB’s streak of profitable mid-budget fare although STORKS was kind of a miss for them. THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN rode again and kind of continued Sony’s underwhelming streak for this year, it perhaps confirmed that Denzel Washington is still a star that can open a film, but a $90 million western proved to be a tough sell and it doesn’t look like the supporting cast made much of a difference. Peter Berg brought a band of roughnecks dealing with a disaster in DEEPWATER HORIZON and it really didn’t do much at the box office. BLAIR WITCH failed to stir up much in the way of nostalgia, although with a reported $5 million budget I don’t anyone was complaining much as it turned a profit. Maybe the most applicable film from September was MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN, directed by Tim Burton and starring Eva Green, which was sort of an X-Men riff managed a not too shabby $282 million worldwide. That’s a film that probably turned a profit, but probably not enough of one to mandate a sequel. It’s also a film that despite that made very little ripples in the pop culture, despite generally good reviews. I’m curious about it although I didn’t manage to catch up with it. As a digression, September was the time I was swamped in a film festival. There’s perhaps not much in the festival circuit that’s of particular interest here, but a few films that I did catch were the Italian superhero film THEY CALL ME (JEEG ROBOT) and THE LOVE WITCH. I doubt THEY CALL ME JEEG ROBOT will get much of a release before hitting home video, but I think many people here may enjoy it with it’s kind of grounded UNBREAKABLE approach to the superhero aspects combined with some Voerhoeven-esque satiricial elements. You can read my review here. In October, THE ACCOUNTANT continued WB’s mid-budget win streak and you won’t find much more of interest to this site. Except for the one night release of BATMAN: RETURN OF THE CAPED CRUSADERS, which I found pretty delightful, October was a hodge podge of early Oscar fare and various action movies the studio wasn’t confident enough to be released in more competitive seasons. But, it was the calm before the last big push of the year. Source: Marvel Studios DOCTOR STRANGE continued Marvel’s winning streak at the box office and with the critics. And, honestly, it was a solid hit with me. Marvel pitched it as a flawed man finding his way, but I found that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange was more bark than bite in that regard. And it’s certainly true that Marvel’s “formula” definitely felt overly familiar along with a villain that never develops any sort of relationship with the hero. But, Benedict Cumberbatch and a deep ensemble were all terrific, it was a cut above most Marvel films in terms of cinematography, it had some great Ditko inspired special effects, and had a climax that subverted the usual formula and meant something in terms of completing the character arc than our hero could outpunch a similar opponent. JJK It wasn’t long again before Warner Bros. and J.K. Rowling got back into the Harry Potter game, although I have to say that a prequel without a major Harry Potter character in sight was a funny way to go about it. I won’t get around to it until it hits home video, but it was the first time this year that a Warner Bros. blockbuster experienced both financial and critical success. The fact that apparently there was some comment on American xenophobia in there, actually seems appropriate too. There were two major winners among studios at the box office this year and one was Warner Bros. Their big blockbusters that they needed to hit big did return big box office returns even if they were less than Warner Bros. was hoping for in the case of BATMAN V SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE, they had a slew of mid-budget hits, and their misses were of the variety of THE NICE GUYS and THE LEGEND OF TARZAN, both of which may eventually see a profit. (L-R) Jeremy Renner as Ian Donnelly and Amy Adams as Louise Banks in the film ARRIVAL by Paramount Pictures November didn’t stop there either as Denis Villeneuve’s ARRIVAL proved to be the smart science fiction film that many adults were apparently waiting for. There’s a bit of CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL in ARRIVAL as it tells the story of a first contact situation where the solution is to communicate not just with a truly alien species but among mankind. There’s more to it than that, along with an admirable restraint by Denis Villeneuve who would rather focus on the reactions of people than on throwing special effects at the screen, but it’s all anchored by a tremendous performance at the center by Amy Adams. In a year of divisiveness and violence, here was a film that committed to a story of bridging divides. I’d be remiss if I also didn’t mention MOANA which took a different tack on the Disney princess formula. We all say that we want to see more than just familiar brands and Disney was able to deliver on the idea and was well rewarded for that. It was another big triumph in a year full of triumphs for them. Finally that brings us to December, and I think we all know what movie has dominated the conversation and box office this month. Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryL to R: (Felicity Jones) & (Diego Luna)Ph: Film Frame©Lucasfilm LFL I’ve no idea what the original conception of ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY actually is. The final product that appears on screen is noticeably different than what the trailers were advertising. But, Disney is apparently a lot better at this kind of reshoot repairs than other studios which might be one of the reasons that they’ve been so successful this year as the third act of the film really works. That said, while the film has a terrific third act, I’m not sure it added a whole lot to STAR WARS that wasn’t already in an opening crawl. The ensemble saves a lot of thinly written characters and even then there’s no real scenes where the characters really interact, perhaps due to the reshoots. The first half of the film is full of incident but not much for actual plot progression and the villain is overshadowed in the second half by Tarkin (I’m in the ugh camp on that decision) and Vader. Some of the fan service bits, I’m talking about R2D2 and C3PO here mostly, seemed shoved in to no real effect. But, there’s a lot to like also, although I’m not sure if in the long run ROGUE ONE will be more of an expansion pack than a new standalone direction to be explored. Still it’s heartening to see that STAR WARS is still one thing that can bring all us together. It capped off the year for Disney who may have just had the greatest year ever for a major studio. They had hits from Disney animation (ZOOTOPIA and MOANA), Disney live action (THE JUNGLE BOOK), Pixar (CHASING DORY), Marvel (CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR and DOCTOR STRANGE), and Star Wars (ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY). They had a few bumps in the road financially with ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS, THE BFG, and QUEEN OF KATWE but their hits were massive. The other big winner in December was Illumination Studios and SING. I don’t have any real interest, but they’ve emerged as a legitimate rival to Disney / Pixar and have basically left Dreamworks animation behind. I’d probably prefer Laika or Aardman moving up to that #2 slot myself, but there’s no arguing that Illumination isn’t doing something right. We also have the other big attempt at heady science fiction this year in PASSENGERS which seems to not have quite made a smooth transition from a $30 million mid-budget film to $100 million blockbuster with major stars attached without being to be able to disarm some of the problematic aspects of its premise. It probably will make out okay once overseas money is thrown in, but it’s kind of limping along here. Jennifer Lawrence has shown some ability to open star vehicles with JOY, AMERICAN HUSTLE, and SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK on her resume so she should be alright, but it’s probably a sign that Chris Pratt isn’t the main draw to things like GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY and JURASSIC WORLD with the returns on THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN not showing much of a bump either. It’s probably a sign that he’ll be open to renewing his Marvel contract. Hollywood managed to set a record for box office this year, but considering how much they spent, I’d be surprised if the overall industry set any sort of record for profits. Disney, Warner Bros., and Illumination came out of the year in good shape, the other studios took some hard financial lumps. Quality wise it was a rough year for blockbuster entertainment, but hopefully 2017 will be a less divisive year and it already looks like there’s a lot to be optimistic about in the coming year. Hopefully that promise proves to be true, as I’d like some good escapist entertainment after a bruising 2016. 2016 in Review: The Year the Good Guys Weren’t So Good was last modified: January 2nd, 2017 by Robert Reineke Related 1 comment 0 Facebook Twitter Google + Pinterest Robert Reineke previous post First look at Disney•Pixar’s ‘Coco’ next post Disney teases Doctor Strange along with new/returning baddies in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ You may also like S.H.I.E.L.D. on the Cover of EW August 21, 2013 The New AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON Trailer... January 12, 2015 Goddard Gets DAREDEVIL November 12, 2013 New ‘TDKR’ Poster- Catwoman Breaks The Bat May 25, 2012 Marvel & STAR WARS Pair Up For... July 28, 2014 Skye Draws Avengers Comparisons In New MARVEL’S... March 20, 2015 Legendary Pictures Posts New MAN OF STEEL... April 5, 2012 Christopher Miller & Phil Lord Tapped To... July 7, 2015 First X-MEN: DAYS OF FUTURE PAST Footage October 24, 2013 X-MEN: APOCALYPSE Coming 2016! December 5, 2013 Adrian Edmondson Great write up Rob . We need more articles like this on this site .