Next Friday kicks off the blockbuster movie blur that accompanies each summer. With the onslaught of highly awaited sequels, comic book franchises and big budget action spectaculars, movie watchers thrive for the summer movie season.
Fandango recently released their Top 10 for most anticipated movies of Summer 2013, which is covered well here by fellow Examiner Jenny Sherman. Here in Salt Lake City; however, moviegoers tend to have a different palate when it comes to how they spend their money at the box office.
A poll was conducted of Salt Lake City and surrounding area moviegoers to gauge which of the major blockbusters are most anticipated, and which ones aren’t making the cut. After polling, both online and in person, it appears that Salt Lake City has some clear favorites…and they differ a little bit from Fandango’s national predictions.
With 22% of the total vote, J.J. Abrams’s second turn at the helm of the USS Enterprise has been marked as Salt Lake City’s fan favorite for the summer season, out ranking Fandango’s #1 pick of Iron Man 3. Star Trek Into Darkness has garnered the first place vote and is the most anticipated film for 2013. As one fan remarked at the Megaplex Theaters at Legacy Crossing, “I hated Star Trek until the new one came out a couple of years ago and now I’m totally addicted. I’m even re-watching the old ones just for fun.”
2nd Place: It was a close vote, but with 20%, the second most anticipated film for Salt Lake City goes to The Great Gatsby, though this isn’t really a surprise. This film is likely the first of the year to garner some serious Oscar buzz. The industry was taken by surprise when Gatsby’s release date was moved from December 2012 to Summer 2013, given that it was already garnering awards season talk for the 2012 season. Putting it in the midst of comic book legends and science fiction powerhouses is a risky move, but one that Utah is betting will pay off. Fandango’s second place pick, Star Trek Into Darkness was our #1.
3rd Place: The Lone Ranger, with 16% of the vote, over Fandango’s 3rd place The Great Gatsby. Utah has always had an affinity for all things Disney and given that the movie was filmed in Utah’s own Monument Valley and Moab probably doesn’t hurt either. Johnny Depp’s portrayal of Tonto, while garnering some backlash from the internet, is awaited with baited breath by Salt Lake City.
Surprisingly, The Hangover III ranks higher than some of the more heavily marketed competition, with 10%. When interviewing fans of the Hangover series, the general consensus was that even though the second film paled in comparison to the first, they are anxious to see how the trilogy wraps itself up. One fan said, “It’s comedy that you don’t have to expect a lot from. It kind of comes at you from all angles and it’s nice to be taken out of the seriousness of life for awhile.” Despite Utah’s conservative nature, The Hangover III is finding a home here and is more popular amongst Utah’s movie going crowd than Fandango’s 4th place Fast and Furious 6.
Monsters University, with 9% of the vote. Again, with Utah’s Disney addiction, it’s not a surprise that Mike and Sully are scoring high, especially with the younger audience. In fact, they picked Monsters Inc over Despicable Me 2 nearly two to one. While scoring 5th place overall, Monster University is far and away the #1 choice out of competitors Despicable Me 2 and Epic, the latter was hardly voted for at all. Fandango’s 5th place was our #4, so minimal variance noted there.
Rounding out the Top Ten
With the top 5 making up 68% of the voting public, the remaining competitors on the top 10 list have a lot of work to do. None of these films received more than 9% of the vote, ranging from 3-6% each. Man of Steel, The Wolverine, Iron Man III, After Earth and Fast and Furious 6. Interestingly enough the long awaited Riddick and Channing Tatem’s White House Down didn’t even get single vote, indicating Utah isn’t really looking forward to these films…or at least aren’t going to put them at the top of their priority list. Riddick is at the tale end of the summer season and hasn’t even really been advertised and we’ve already had our “attack on the White House” film with Olympus Has Fallen earlier this year, which could explain the Salt Lake City public’s lack of interest.
Still, as always, summer offers plenty of blockbuster entertainment and given the slate of films to be released, the studios should do fairly well at packing the megaplexes across the country.