State of the Union: Summer Blockbusters If you’re a pessimist, Summer is dead. If you’re an optimist, Summer lasts all year. If you’re a Hollywood executive, you don’t know when to release your movie. The trends are changing. The age of the mega-explosion-action movies existing only in summer is over. Oscar bait is no longer reserved for winter releases. America is continuing a downward spiral in movie consumption. Sequels are greenlight by the strength of their global presence. Cinematic adventures are adapting to the new landscape…and this is a great thing for fans. Summer 2014 is criticized as a soft season for the industry. Despite name brand sequels, like Transformers, Spider-Man and X-Men it is underperforming when compared to 2013. This doesn’t even take into account the expanded presence of 3D and inflation. Doom-and-gloom analysts would tell you that this is because of an increased usage in streaming, video games or quality television; that Hollywood is failing because of a lapse in desire to see cinematic adventures. As a highly respected armchair analyst myself, I say nay. Source: the-numbers.com The current slate of movies aren’t that great. The market is straightening itself out. Anecdotally, my friends and I planned on seeing Transformers: Age of Extinction in theaters…until we discovered that it was two hours and fifty minutes. I’ll sit through a dumb action movie for an hour and a half, but not a Godfather length of time. Man-on-the-street reviews are swaying opinions and helping fans avoid trash. Avengers: Age of Ultron and Episode VII are going to do gangbusters. The hype train is powered by an arc-reactor and jumping into hyper-speed. These movies will easily clear one billion dollars, and could dethrone Avatar as the reigning champion. These are universes that people are passionate to be involved in. Jaws might have been the first Summer blockbuster and kicked off a marketing campaign to lure kids on vacation into theaters, but these epic movies have outgrown one season. The Lord of the Rings, Matrix and Harry Potter films released in the winter. What was once reserved for movies looking for an Oscar nod, now find themselves sharing the spotlight with sci-fi and action films. Instead of piling the largest releases on top of each other, studios adjusted their strategy and distribute films throughout the year. After six episodes premiering in May, Star Wars will venture into a December release. Will it suffer? I doubt it! The largest releases of 2014 are still ahead of us: The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies, Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Interstellar and potentially another sleeper hit like Gravity. The age of “Summer Blockbusters” is over. But another epic movie, is probably coming out this Friday. Level Up, Friends!