Cinema: The battle of the blockbusters
Summer's over and the figures are in - Dennis Lim reports from New York
Sunday 15 September 1996
Of the winners Independence Day is comfortably in front (a final US gross of at least $300m looks certain), with Twister a strong runner-up ($238m). As of Labor Day, the official end of summer, three others had crossed the $100m mark: Mission: Impossible ($176m), The Rock ($130m), and, surprisingly, Eddie Murphy's retread of The Nutty Professor ($121m). Eraser, Phenomenon, The Hunchback of Notre Dame and A Time to Kill are all edging towards nine figures. After the folly of Waterworld, thrift is the watchword - thrift by Hollywood standards, at any rate - and the $100m Eraser tops the budget list.
The highest profit ratios usually come from art-house breakthroughs, and though nothing matched last year's extremely cheap and inexplicably well-received The Brothers McMullen, there were a few small films that stood their ground, notably Emma, the summer's most lucrative limited release, and Trainspotting, much hyped and a hit in the cities. The most richly deserved indie success, though, was John Sayles's Lone Star, the beneficiary of a publicity campaign that didn't hesitate to play up the minor role of the suddenly very hot Matthew McConaughey.
The old order of stars has every right to feel threatened, with once- safe formulae - Demi Moore undressing (Striptease), Jim Carrey mugging (The Cable Guy) - backfiring. Next summer, the studios will be grateful for the safety net traditionally provided by sequels: attractions include follow-ups to Jurassic Park and Speed, and the fourth Batman and Alien movies. !
Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites
TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 2 North Korean prison officers 'cooked prisoner's baby and fed it to their dogs', more horrific accounts from UN report reveal
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
- 4 Antonio Martin shooting: Police and protesters clash over teenager's death just five miles from Ferguson, Missouri
- 5 British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Secret Cinema showed The Great Dictator at protest secret screening, following Sony's The Interview cancellation
Best underrated Christmas movies: From Trading Places to While You Were Sleeping
Cruel Woman in Black prank sees cinema-goers terrified by movie poster - watch their reactions
Game of Thrones season five: First preview clip shows a beardy Tyrion, a moody Cersei and a distressed Arya
Angelina Jolie 'didn't eat much' in sympathy with actors who had to lose weight for Unbroken
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever