Your Guide to Geek Hollywood: 2014 in Movies

2014 was an odd year for movies. The domestic box office was overall down, although that didn’t stop the amount of movies that were released. Yet despite the weaker earnings, one thing was clear this year: “nerd culture” dominated Hollywood. The top 10 box office hits were based on established franchises or nostalgia. Even the most critically acclaimed movies like Gone Girl couldn’t come close to superheroes.

Here are the top 10 domestic box office hits, clearly revealing the trend that movie-goers love these days.

10. Godzilla

Critics were split on the new film about the King of Monsters, directed by Gareth Edwards. It pulled in $200,676,069 at the box office and earned a solid 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. People were impressed by its 21st century upgrade, although a little disappointed by the small role Godzilla had in his film.

9. The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Sony’s second film in their Spider-Man reboot is notorious for several reasons. Despite making $202,853,933, it was given poor reviews across the board – to the point where Sony is now in talks with Marvel to pawn off Peter Parker. Also telling is the fact that Marvel would re-cast Peter Parker to move away from Sony’s dud, which is a shame because Andrew Garfield was one of the few great things about these two films.

8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

This film did surprisingly well, earning a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes and $208,545,589 at the box office. Its predecessor was received generally favorably, but it’s always a good sign when your sequel does better. It may not have gotten the same attention as some of the films on this list, but its position here is clearly well deserved.

7. X-Men: Days of Future Past

While fans may have their issues with this film, the 94% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and $233,921,534 at the box office shows that it was one of the most solid films of the year. Fox may not be able to compete with Disney and Marvel Studios, but they’ve clearly established X-Men as a franchise worth continuing. The success of X-Men: First Class also helped with reigniting the mutants’ popularity.

6. Maleficent

It’s not surprising that, despite earning a meager and frankly undeserving 49% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie is so high on the list. This film capitalizes on Disney’s most popular villain and a truly spectacular portrayal by Angelina Jolie. That being said, it was one of the best films of the year and subverted the original story’s themes in a progressive way.

5. Transformers: Age of Extinction

This film earned a shocking 18% on Rotten Tomatoes but still made $245,439,076 at the box office (and sits comfortably in the number one spot on the worldwide box office list). This all but guarantees another sludge through the Transformers franchise which is unfortunate when there are much better movies about giant robots (see: Pacific Rim). Still, it does reveal the media interest of the masses.

4. The LEGO Movie

Perhaps a surprising hit, this movie was enthusiastically received by critics and audiences alike. Who knew the little building blocks we played with as kids could make such a happy (and funny!) movie? It continued Chris Pratt’s presence as the hottest thing in Hollywood, and played to both kids’ and adults’ entertainment alike. After all, everything is AWESOME!

3. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

In my opinion, this was arguably a more solid film than Guardians of the Galaxy, and while it might not have come in at number one, but it earned a respectable $259,766,572 at the box office and an 89% on Rotten Tomatoes.

It’s the most mature Marvel film to date and really did justice to some fan-favorite characters, both returning and new. Perhaps the greatest addition to the Marvel universe, however, are directors Joe and Anthony Russo, who elevated this movie from its predecessor and we’re glad they’re staying with Marvel for future films.

2. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1

This is the franchise’s lowest opening to date at $289,356,110, and it also earned the lowest Rotten Tomatoes ranking of the franchise at 66%. Yet despite these numbers, its number two slot clearly shows that audiences are still excited for the Girl on Fire and it’s still a successful franchise for Lionsgate.

1. Guardians of the Galaxy

After its release, no one can be surprised that this film earns the number one spot, but had you asked anyone at the beginning of the year, it would not have been so clear. This was Marvel’s biggest gamble so far and it clearly paid off. The movie earned $332,657,316 at the box office and a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. For a team that was virtually unknown by the masses, the marketing of the film was highly successful and people were excited to see superheroes in a fun space opera. It also proves that Marvel can do no wrong with their movies right now. We’ll see if that streak continues.

This list is very telling, but doesn’t necessarily represent the cream of the crop from Hollywood this year. Animation put out some solid films with Big Hero 6 and How to Train Your Dragon 2. As mentioned, Gone Girl was one of the biggest films of the year, as was Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar. The sci-fi action film Edge of Tomorrow also did surprisingly well critically, but simply didn’t make an impact at the box office. It’s clear who the popular kids are of the Hollywood playground.

Furthermore, there are still some big releases at the tail end of 2014. The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies opened strong last Wednesday and Disney’s Into the Woods has received great reviews so far (and three Golden Globe nominations!) and we expect it will have a strong weekend when it opens on Christmas Day.

While the box office this year was down, we expect to see a jump in 2015 with some of the biggest films released, namely Avengers: Age of Ultron, Jurassic World, and of course Star Wars: The Force Awakens, which we predict will be the biggest films of the year.

Other notable 2015 releases include Mad Max: Fury Road, Disney’s Tomorrowland, Terminator Genisys, Marvel’s Ant-Man, the next James Bond film Spectre, the last Hunger Games film, and Fox’s The Fantastic Four which worryingly still has very little information about it.

So what were your favorite films of the year? Are you a fan of the dominance of superheroes? Let us know in the comments!



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