I can understand how it may be hard to fathom that Hollywood did not have one of its best years during 2004. Sure,2004 a Bad Year for Movies? Articles the film companies were still able to pull in film revenues with a little over nine billion, but ticket sales were actually DOWN by a startling two percent. Now, I know this doesn’t sound like much, but it is! For the year of 2004, distributors were planning on conquering the box offices with films such as Troy, Alexander, The Whole Ten Yards, The Village and Van Helsing. However, all of these films flopped [Van Helsing is doing great with DVD though]. No matter how impressive the battles or sequences, audiences left the theatres feeling unsatisfied. So what was wrong with the films? And who saved 2004?
Four of the biggest hitters of 2004 came out of either CG animation or children’s tales. Shrek 2 began with a bang and was able to gross somewhere just under $450 million in ticket sales. Then we had Pixar’s The Incredibles, which proved that animated films with adult-style action and subject matter can still be successful [~$275 million gross]. Last of the animations was Spider-Man 2 [the fights were almost entirely animated]. I can call this an animation as the fight scenes were well animated and the film seemed to run like a perfect animated comic [~$370 million gross]. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, based of the ‘childrens’ book [I beg to differ], couldn’t lose with a darker atmosphere set up by Alfonso Cuaron [pulled in $250 million]. Obviously, the four listed films were expected to do well in the theatres and all three performed gracefully. But what about the films that nobody wanted or were afraid to touch?
The two films that were handled like boiling water were Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ and Michael Moore’s Fahrenheit 9/11. Even though these films caused a lot of tension amidst their distributors [Einstein was pissed!], the two films managed to pull just under a combined $500 million in ticket sales. So that would make five big blockbusters for the year; not nearly enough. While Passion and Fahrenheit were more than plesent surprises, what about the other films?