2012 was a curious year for movies. To look at a year in movies at a glance we often turn straight to blockbusters and in the case of 2012 it may seem as if it really wasn't that great a year. Then you begin to drill down deeper and even films that divided the audience created large amounts of discussions, and beyond blockbusters there were plenty of middle ground to small-budget indie features that were quite powerful.
As far as discussion pieces go, here on RopeofSilicon a lot of time was dedicated to divisive films as The Grey, Prometheus and Looper. A conversation involving the ending of The Grey was quite popular, I posed theories on Looper's theme more than once, the Zero Dark Thirty torture controversy was annoying, but necessary and the movie that probably generated the most conversation was Prometheus, of which I wrote a massive six-page exploratory article. Yet, none of those three films even made my top ten. To me, that says something...
It tells me, around these parts at least, that on a medium such as the Internet people are finally developing the ability to rationally discuss movies without pounding their fists on the table and insulting those that disagree with them. A movie can be every bit as valuable for what it isn't as it is for what it is. Granted, there are some films that don't live up to any real measure of artistic standard, but for the most part we only focus on those films for the brief moment in time they are in front us, then turn our attention back to those films that inspire us to think beyond what we saw on the big screen. It was that level of thinking turned 2012 into a record-breaking year.
Yes, 2012 was the highest grossing year at the domestic box-office as sales climbed above $10.8 billion. But, more importantly, ticket sales actually increased more than 5%. With a projected 1.36 billion tickets sold we are still shy of peak levels reached in 2002 at 1.6 billion tickets sold, but the diversity of films that gained attention this year proved audiences are open to watching more than just blockbusters at the cinema.
That said, the blockbusters did quite well in their own right. While there were some flops such as Battleship and John Carter, here's a look at the highest grossing films of 2012 both domestically and worldwide courtesy of Box-Office Mojo:
When you move beyond the top ten, however, you find success stories such as 21 Jump Street making $201.5 million worldwide on a $42 million budget, Magic Mike making $167.2 million worldwide on a $7 million budget and the French phenomenon, The Intouchables racking up over $420 million worldwide. There's a lot of success to be found in 2012 and I hope to shed a little light on some of it and hope you'll join me in the comments.
And so we come to this year's RopeofSilicon Awards. This is the fifth year I have offered up what I believe to be the "best" of the year in a variety of the traditional categories from Best Actor and Actress, quotes, posters and more.
I started doing this in 2008 as a way of putting a final touch on the prior year and giving us all a chance to discuss our favorite performances and films from the previous year. The Oscars tend to recognize the more generally accepted "best" from each year, but there are always those performances and films that mean something a little more to the rest of us for whatever reason and I like taking this time for just such exploration, both on my end, but just as much to read about your favorites.
Next week I will be launching the voting process for you to nominate your ten favorite films from 2012 in an attempt to come to a conclusion on a aggregate reader-decided top ten for the year. For now, join me for a look back at what I believe were some of the best performances, best direction, score, ensemble, quotes, posters and more from 2012 and let's get it started with this year's poster collage. Just give it a click for a much larger version and then click through to page two where the awards begin.
Now click on through to the following pages where you'll find my picks for Best Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Score and Director along with my favorite quotes from 2012, favorite posters, worst posters and a collection of montage videos from around the Internet.