Whilst analysing the biggest releases of 2013, it is easy to discover what Hollywood believes to be its biggest money makers at the moment; with clear trends spanning through the multiple genres and styles it presented, Roobla explores some of the most prominent trends of the year.
The Superhero film has to be one of the most popular genres of the year, with Iron Man 3, Man of Steel, Thor: The Dark World and The Wolverine being included in the top 21 domestic grosses of the year. Robert Downey Jr’s portrayal of Iron Man garnered the highest domestic gross of over $400 million and appears to be the force behind Marvel’s increasing presence in the box office, with a further four adaptations planned for 2014. Rival DC Comics just had the one release this year, and announced the production of its highly anticipated Superman and Batman collaboration.
In 2014, watch out for: Marvel releases Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, X-Men: Days of Future Past and Guardians of the Galaxy.
During the last half of 2013, the increased popularity of the biography film/biopic became apparent, with the huge releases of The Wolf of Wall Street, The Butler and 12 Years a Slave and smaller, but popular Rush and Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom. Tom Hanks lead in the critically acclaimed Saving Mr Banks and Captain Phillips, perhaps further increasing interest in the genre.
Watch out for: Grace of Monaco and Chavez.
The Revival of 80s Superstars
While never really retreating from Hollywood, 80s action superstars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone and Harrison Ford were bigger figures in 2013. After a couple of appearances in The Expendable series, Arnie returned with a vengeance in popular releases The Last Stand and The Escape Plan, which also features fellow star Stallone. Sylvester increased his presence by also starring in Bullet to the Head and Grudge Match. Harrison Ford’s followed up to his 2011 performance in Cowboys & Aliens with some well received appearances in 42, Paranoia, Ender’s Game and Anchorman 2.
You can see the trio together in the 2014 release The Expendables 3.
The sense of the apocalypse was strong last year, with doomsday themes running through a varied range of genres. Brad Pitt faced zombies in World War Z, Tom Cruise was cleaning up after a nuclear war in Oblivion and Captain Kirk and Spock faced dangers from a different planet in Star Trek: Into Darkness. The apocalypse was also parodied in Edgar Wright’s The World’s End.
Often going hand-in-hand with apocalypse films, the science fiction film had a huge influence in 2013, including the universally acclaimed Gravity and popular releases Elysium, Star Trek: Into Darkness, Ender’s Game, Pacific Rim, Oblivion and the not-so-enjoyed After Earth.
Sci-fi’s popularity may continue in 2014 with Robocop, Interstellar and Divergent.
Although having a considerable influence throughout the whole of the 2000s, the adaptation is a significant trend of 2013, with some of the highest grossing films originating in novels. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire landed the #2 spot for domestic gross and honourable mentions include The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, World War Z, The Great Gatsby and The Wolf of Wall Street.
Veronica Roth’s Divergent has been adapted for a 2014 release and is predicted to be very popular.
The Female Lead
Pop culture website Vocativ released a report detailing how films with significant female characters made more money in 2013, and this is evident in the popularity of films with female leads. The admiration for Jennifer Lawrence further surged with the release of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and Sandra Bullock’s exceptional performance in Gravity garnered attention all over the world. The increasing female presence has also spread into animations with big releases Epic and Frozen featuring prominent female characters.
We can’t help but think that this is one of the best and most significant trends, signalling a change for better in Hollywood. What has been your favourite trend or theme of 2013?