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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

question of the day: Has this been the worst summer for movies ever, or does it just feel that way?

USA Today issued its Summer Movie Report Card this week, and the overall outlook isn’t great, no matter how sweetly the paper tries to spin it:

No one is sorrier to see summer draw to a close than Hollywood. After stumbling out of the gates early on, the film industry righted itself with a string of unexpected hits like Inception, The Last Airbender and The Expendables. Ticket sales heading into the Labor Day weekend are 4% ahead of last year’s pace, reports Hollywood.com. Sure, attendance is down 2% from 2009. But in this economy, movie executives are beggars, not choosers. Still, there were a few hiccups in what was otherwise a healthy summer, including flops from Tom Cruise and young superheroes.

What seems to have been so awful about this summer is that even the moderate financial hits have been, for the most part, ugly, boring, and creatively tapped out, even grading on the summer-blockbuster curve. So many movies were supposed to have been flat-out, no-caveats awesome, such as Knight and Day and Robin Hood. Others should have been dumb fun but were just plain stupid: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The Last Airbender is the clear frontrunner for worst film of the year (it’s hard to imagine anything coming up this autumn even matching its spectacular terribleness, never mind surpassing it). Only Despicable Me and Inception delivered on — even exceeded — their promise.

Am I alone in being happy to say farewell to the Movie Summer of 2010? Has this been the worst summer for movies ever, or does it just feel that way?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)



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