Obamanomics: Summer 2012's Box Office Numbers Flat

Obamanomics: Summer 2012's Box Office Numbers Flat

The Summer movie season is nearly over, and the bean counting has begun in earnest.

TheWrap.com reports the 2012 blockbuster season earned roughly the same as the 2011 model – maybe a few tickets less.

The record-shattering run of “The Avengers” and the tragedy surrounding “Dark Knight Rises” gave the summer an epic feel, but the numbers show that the box office will finish flat, or a little down from last season’s $4.4 billion haul.

All summer long, it was one big step forward, two back. While blockbusters “Men in Black 3” and “Amazing Spider-Man” sizzled, “Battleship” and “Total Recall” fizzled. When surprising hits like “Ted” and “Magic Mike” provided fireworks, there were too many equally eyebrow-raising duds, like “Dark Shadows,” “Rock of Ages” and “That’s My Boy.”

“Moonrise Kingdom” and “Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” broke out, but that was pretty much it at the specialty box office.

The summer’s report card doesn’t offer many firm and fast lessons. Yes, “The Avengers” and “The Dark Knight Rises” made a mint, as expected. But why did “Battleship” tank? When did Adam Sandler’s iron-clad box office appeal break down? And did the good, but not “Amazing” “Spider-Man” receipts tell us super-reboots are the wave of the future, or something to be avoided given the heavy costs involved?

The aforementioned indie hits could be a positive sign for audiences seeking more mature fare, but why didn’t “Ruby Sparks” get any commercial traction?

One thing’s for sure. If you’re going to greenlight a remake don’t let Colin Farrell get within 50 yards of the film set. He’s 0-2 after both “Fright Night” and “Total Recall.” Then again, the sorry showing of “Rock of Ages” suggest the whole nostalgia circuit is best left for aging bands hitting the road for old time’s sake.