Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows—Part 2
The eighth and final (sniff!) chapter of J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter series wowed Muggles worldwide, taking in $1 billion in only 19 days.
The Hangover Part II, Bridesmaids, and Horrible Bosses embraced their hard Rs, and audiences did too. Plus, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, and Jennifer Aniston proved ladies can be as delightfully dirty as men.
The adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-seller (which just hit one million Kindle downloads) has ruled the August box office and is on its way to the $100 million mark with an A+ CinemaScore, love from critics, and Oscar chatter for its strong female leads.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
Premiering with almost zero buzz, this prequel (featuring motion-capture maestro Andy Serkis) came out of nowhere to earn $256 million worldwide.
The fantastical romantic comedy Midnight in Paris is the 75-year-old director’s biggest box office hit of his 46-year career.
The solid superhero success of Thor and Captain America nicely sets the stage for the studio’s Avengers movie (due next year).
Remember Zookeeper? Mr. Popper’s Penguins? Spy Kids 4D? We don’t either. Those all underperformed at the box office, while Cars 2 was the lowest-grossing Pixar film in more than a decade.
We know! We love him too. But both Green Lantern and The Change-Up proved to be…let’s say underwhelming.
Glee: The 3D Concert Movie
Looks like Sue Sylvester’s plans have paid off — how do you sing ”b-o-m-b”?
Cowboys & Aliens
Neither Indy nor Bond could save this $163 million picture — starring Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig — from opening with a disappointing $36.4 million.
Conan The Barbarian
The big-budget action flick starring Jason Momoa opened in fourth place, earning a dismal $10 million.
Yes, you, America. Your summers would have been so much richer (and funnier) if more of you had seen Crazy, Stupid, Love, which — as EW pointed out many times — is fantastic. But we won’t whine about this any further. Unless you don’t buy the DVD.
Cable’s Freshman Dramedies
In the usual summer-TV doldrums, a few standout shows managed to find an audience. Kinda-funny-kinda-serious newbies Necessary Roughness and Suits on USA and Franklin & Bash on TNT will get a second round. Plus, MTV’s Teen Wolf will howl again next year.
The mixed-martial-arts competition finally gets respect from a big-time network, inking a deal with Fox to air live fights in prime time. Bonus: Its reality show The Ultimate Fighter is headed to FX.
A Few (Former?) Fan Favorites
Syfy announced it’s cutting loose Eureka after next season. AMC’s Breaking Bad is getting canned too, and will go out in style with a 16-episode closer. And TLC dumped ex-ratings queen Kate Gosselin — and all eight of her tykes — after four years on the network.