Sunday, November 04, 2012

Direct Current #18/Box Office 1988

ITEM!  Star Trek Fan Companion - Enterprise 2x18 "The Crossing"
When I originally set up the Fan Companion blog, I wrote summaries of each season of every Star Trek series, outlining every episode worth watching and the relevant reasons why.  I'm now going back and writing about every episode.  This is an episode that I originally said you could skip by omission.  I've since changed my mind.

Read more here.

SOAP BOX

The year 1988 was a transition year for the decade at the movies.  Where was it going?  Well, maybe this will help:

1. Rain Man ($172 mil)
Tom Cruise strikes again, and Dustin Hoffman has his last big starring role.

2. Who Framed Roger Rabbit ($156 mil)
Animated movies once were and would be again a reliable staple as among any given year's most popular movies.  By blending live action into the mix, Roger Rabbit made them relevant again.

3. Coming to America ($128 mil)
Unbeknownst to anyone, Eddie Murphy was actually auditioning his '90s comeback by previewing the Klumps in this one.  As an '80s Murphy flick, it might have seemed pretty reliable.  As an example of his versatility, I think audiences weren't quite ready.  Well, I don't think audiences are ready now, either.

4. Big ($114 mil)
"Big" is what Tom Hanks' career became thanks to this one.  It's still odd to think how Hanks grew up right in front of us, maybe not from childhood, but the transition from just this to Forrest Gump is pretty remarkable (though the roles are pretty similar once you think about it).

5. Twins ($111 mil)
You want to know something funny?  This was Arnold Schwarzenegger's biggest hit to date.  He was known then and would continue to be known as an action star (and would actually have success in that role after this), but it took audiences seeing him in a new light to appreciate his talent.

6. Crocodile Dundee II ($109 mil)
It was all downhill from here, Paul Hogan fans, just so you know.

7. Die Hard ($83 mil)
With all due respect to the other movies thus far listed, this one has the most enduring reputation and impact, even considering the massive success of animated movies since Roger Rabbit.  I mean, Bruce Willis.  The dude still has yet to be acknowledged for the seismic impact he's had on movies.  He also single-handedly revamped the action movie.  Sayonara Charles Bronson, Clint Eastwood.

8. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! ($78 mil)
Leslie Nielsen completes the journey begun in Airplane! in becoming an institution as the best straight-faced funnyman in the movies.

9. Cocktail ($78 mil)
Well, here's Tom Cruise again.  Officially a megastar.

10. Beetlejuice ($73 mil)
Michael Keaton in his signature role.  He's essentially the earlier version of Johnny Depp.  Makes you wonder what would have happened to Johnny Depp if he'd stopped doing weirdo roles.  (Well, Depp's career before Jack Sparrow kind of solved that mystery already, didn't it?)

Other notable movies: Working Girl ($63 mil), A Fish Called Wanda ($62 mil), Scrooged ($60 mil), Willow ($57 mil; officially the first movie from the year that made an impact on me), Rambo III ($53 mil; proof positive that action movies had changed course), Oliver & Company ($53 mil; one of the last animated movies to fly relatively under the radar), Bull Durham ($50 mil; Kevin Costner establishing his way to the top, and his love of making baseball movies), A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: The Dream Master ($49 mil), The Land Before Time ($48 mil; led to about a billion sequels), Young Guns ($45 mil), The Dead Pool ($37 mil; Eastwood's final Dirty Harry actually features Jim Carrey), Dangerous Liaisons ($34 mil), Ernest Saves Christmas ($28 mil), Alien Nation  ($25 mil), Gorillas in the Mist ($24 mil), Police Academy 5: Assignment: Miami Beach ($19 mil), Friday the 13th Part VII ($19 mil), Cocoon: The Return ($18 mil), Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers ($17 mil), Big Top Pee-Wee ($15 mil), Arthur 2: On the Rocks ($14 mil; don't put off sequels that you can do today until tomorrow, Dudley Moore), School Daze ($14 mil), Poltergeist III ($14 mil), Stand and Deliver ($13 mil; so say we all, Edward James Olmos), I Gonna Git You Sucka ($13 mil; in which the Wayans thank you for your generous patronage), They Live ($13 mil; in which Roddy Piper runs out of chewing gum), Mystic Pizza ($12 mil; in which Julia Roberts debuts), Hellbound: Hellraiser II ($12 mil), Bloodsport ($11 mil; say hello to Jean-Claude Van Damme),Caddyshack II ($11 mil; take away Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Murray and lose all your audience!), U2: Rattle and Hum ($8 mil), The Last Temptation of Christ ($8 mil)

Source: Box Office Mojo

5 comments:

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Wow, I think I've seen all of those in the Top 10. Well, maybe not all of "Cocktail." But you're right that of all those "Die Hard" is the one with the biggest impact. Without it, Bruce Willis would have just been "that guy on Moonlighting."

Tony Laplume said...

He also had that pop song.

PT Dilloway, Superhero Author said...

Yeah that was the time when everyone (including Eddie Murphy and Don Johnson) thought they could be a pop star too. Some like David Hasselhoff unfortunately persevered.

MOCK! said...

Not just a pop song, but a couple of full fledged albums...errr...or so I heard...

MOCK! said...

I saw so many of those movies in the theater...and Die Hard is tops of my flickchart list...Rain Man, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, A Fish Called Wanda, Scrooged, Willow, Alien Nation, They Live are all in my top 100!

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