The decade in review: 2013

By Julien Rodger

In 2013 the highest grossing films were The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (424.7 million) and Iron Man 3 (409.0 million, an impressive improvement over Iron Man 2’s 312.4) but the real story was Frozen making 400.7 million taking advantage of Christmas legs. Gravity had an impressive 274.1 film for an original film directed by Alfonso Cuaron, and Oz The Great and Powerful had an underrated 234.9 to finish in the top 10. The rest of the top ten was made up by Despicable Me 2’s 368.1 million, Man of Steel’s 291.0 million, Monster University’s 268.5 million, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’s 235.4 million, and Fast & Furious 6’s 238.7 million.

Along with Jennifer Lawrence at her box office peak with The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and American Hustle’s 150.1 million, it was a strong year for Leonardo Dicaprio with The Great Gatsby’s 144.8 million and The Wolf of Wall Street’s 116.9 million. Melissa McCarthy also cemented her star power with The Heat’s 159.6 million and Identity Thief’s 134.5 million. Comedies had a solid year between McCarthy’s films, a terrific 150.4 million for We’re the Millers and This Is the End made a solid 101.4.  It was also an impressive year at the box office for Oscar nominees with along with Gravity, The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle’s grosses Captain Phillips also made 107.1 million.

At the Oscars Best Picture went to year long frontrunner 12 Years A Slave, while Cuaron took Best Director for Gravity. The other Best Picture nominees were The Wolf of Wall Street, American Hustle, Nebraska, Captain Phillips, Her, Dallas Buyers Club and Philomena. The McConaughsaince was in full effect as Matthew McConaughey won Best Actor for Dallas Buyers Club along with and his cameo in The Wolf of Wall Street. Inexplicably Tom Hanks wasn’t nominated for either Captain Phillips or Saving Mr. Banks. Jared Leto won Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club, while Cate Blanchett took home her 2nd Oscar winning Best Actress for Blue Jasmine. Lupita Nyong’o won Best Supporting Actress for 12 Years A Slave, and then spent the next five years not being given any better roles than stewardess #2 in Liam Neeson movie’s or voice acting in Star Wars before re-emerging as a star.

Quick hits on other films released this year:

Before Midnight – Linklater’s series reaches middle aged crisis

Olympus Has Fallen and White House Down – Two White House attack movies, and they both performed solidly

Lone Survivor – A solid war hit from Peter Berg

Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues – A comedy sequel that delivered which is not easy to do (see Zoolander 2)

The Wolverine – Wolverine in Japan

Pacific Rim – Guillermo Del Toro’s big budget robot film

Spring Breakers – Harmony Korine’s experimental film was memorable if nothing else

Rush – Ron Howard’s formula 1 film showed he had a little gas in the tank left

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty – Ben Stiller’s adaptation of the short story

Now You See Me – A fun magic film

Frances Ha – A quality black and white indie from Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig

About Time – Richard Curtis’ time travel romcom

Prisoners – Denis Villeneuve’s first mainstream film

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