A look back over summer 2012’s blockbuster movies

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Last updated on December 10th, 2021

BraveSince Labor Day’s coming this weekend, marking the effective end of the summer movie season, I may as well look back now on this summer’s blockbuster films, and follow up on my post from May about how this summer’s films did or didn’t do, based on the “Jay Sherman” Test. For detailed box office information, see Box Office Mojo. Yes, some films are still in theaters, and thus their box office take can improve, but I’m just calling it as “hit,” “broke even” (if it seems slightly above or below its production budget) or “flop” as of this writing.


Movies that passed the Jay Sherman Test:

  • The Avengers: This summer’s biggest hit globally and domestically in terms of box office, even moreso than the final Batman movie.
  • The Dictator: A flop domestically (not breaking even), but seemed to be a hit internationally.
  • Battleship: Another flop domestically, but profitable with international take factored in.
  • What to Expect When You’re Expecting: broke even domestically, did well internationally.
  • Chernobyl Diaries: apparently a flop.
  • Battlefield America: a flop.
  • Snow White and the Huntsman: flop domestically, successful internationally.
  • Prometheus: about broke even domestically, hit internationally.
  • Rock of Ages: a flop.
  • That’s My Boy: a flop.
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter: a flop domestically, profitable with international take.
  • Seeking a Friend for the End of the World: a flop.
  • Brave: a big hit, though seems “Ice Age” is more popular internationally.
  • GI Joe: Retaliation: N/A; afraid “Batman” would do it in, this one’s been pushed back to a release early next spring (last I checked).
  • Magic Mike: one of this summer’s biggest hits.
  • People Like Us: seems to be a flop.
  • Savages: about broke even.
  • Ted: one of the summer’s biggest hits (unsurprisingly, given it’s by “Family Guy”‘s creator… meh).
  • Tyler Perry’s The Marriage Counselor Witness Protection: wrong film previously cited, but still, a big hit, at least among African-American audiences.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man: another big hit, especially internationally. I didn’t care for this one, however (preferred the previous films).
  • Neighborhood The Watch: despite the name change, it’s still a flop.
  • Hope Springs: not sure, but assume it’s done OK.
  • The Campaign: also not sure, but guessing it did OK as well.
  • The Odd Life of Timothy Green: ditto the above two (no production budget listed), but it’s supposedly been doing OK at the box office recently.
  • Paranorman: Cartoon Brew suggests it’s doing OK, but not stellar, given how stop-motion animated films tend to do.
  • The Expendables 2: seems to be doing better internationally than domestically, but still profitable.
  • Premium Rush: a flop.
  • 7500: N/A; apparently pushed back to 2013.


Movies that failed the Jay Sherman Test:

  • Dark Shadows: a flop domestically, but broke even internationally.
  • Men In Black III: a flop domestically based on production costs (despite Will Smith’s name), but a huge hit internationally.
  • Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted: a hit domestically and internationally.
  • Total Recall: flop domestically, breaks even with international take.
  • Sparkle: broke even.
  • The Dark Knight Rises: one of the summer’s biggest hits (unsurprisingly), though “The Avengers” is the top grossing superhero film domestically and internationally.
  • Step Up Revolution: broke even domestically, did much better internationally.
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift: successful domestically, huge hit internationally, surpassing even Spidey and Bats.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days: a hit.
  • The Bourne Legacy: doesn’t seem to be doing as well domestically, but successful enough internationally.


So out of the films that “passed” the test domestically:

  • Successful/broke even: 14
  • Flop: 12

For a success rate of 54%.

And out of the ones that “failed” domestically:

  • Successful/broke even: 7
  • Flop: 3

For a success rate of 70%. Hmm… no wonder Hollywood prefers formulaic films…

As for next summer, I’m guessing there’ll be plenty of sequels (probably from what came out over the previous several years), plus there’s the “Man of Steel” film finally hitting theaters, which for Superman’s sake I’m hoping isn’t a flop (or anything like the Nolan Batman movies)…

Anthony Dean

Anthony Dean is the owner of Diverse Tech Geek and Diverse Media Notes.

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