The decade in review: 2015
By Julien Rodger
2015 was a standout year for following the box office. Jurassic World shocked by breaking the opening weekend with 208.8 million, then Star Wars Ep VII: The Force Awakens broke it again with 248.0 million. The Force Awakens finished as the all time highest domestic grosser at 936.7 million, while Jurassic World finished with an excellent 652.3 million. Avengers: Age of Ultron had a mildly disappointing 459.0 million compared to the first’s 623.3 million, with Marvel’s other film Ant-Man having a solid franchise starting run with 180.2 million. Furious 7 was one of the stories of the year with 147.2 million opening, 353 million domestic and 1.518 million worldwide. Other strong performances domestically included Minions 336.0 million, The Martian’s 228.4 million, Pitch Perfect 2’s 184.3 million and The Revenant’s 183.6 million. Pixar’s Inside Out was a comeback commercially and critically for them with 356.5 million, but The Good Dinosaur was one of their biggest flops in both categories with 123.0 million. 2015 had several mega flops in Fantastic Four’s 56.1 million, Terminator Genysis’s 89.8 million and Ted 2 only grossing 81.5 million after the first’s 218.7.
At the Oscars Best Picture came down to a three way race between Spotlight, The Revenant and The Big Short, the latter two which performed stronger at guilds. Other nominees included Mad Max: Fury Road, The Martian, Bridge of Spies, Room and Brooklyn. Spotlight pulled off the mild upset for the Best Picture win, while the Revenant won Alejandro Innaritu his 2nd straight Best Director and Leonardo Dicaprio’s first Oscar for Best Actor. Brie Larson in Room took Best Actress, while Mark Rylance for Bridge of Spies overtook pre ceremony favorite Sylvestor Stallone for Best Supporting Actor for Creed. Alicia Vikander won Best Supporting for The Danish Girl.
Quick hits for 2015 films:
The Hateful Eight – Quentin Tarantino followed his Western hit Django Unchained with another that’s less accessible due to being more bottled and more violent, but another quality addition to his resume.
Carol – The Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara lesbian drama was one of the biggest Oscar snubs, although both received nominations.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – After Ghost Protocol revived the series, another excellently reviewed MI film continued the momentum.
Daddy’s Home – One of Will Ferrell’s last real hits at 150.3 million.
Trainwreck – Another Judd Apatow directed success at the height of Amy Schumer’s popularity, and introduced John Cena as scene stealing comic actor.
Spy – Paul Feig and Melissa McCarthy led to another funny film and hit after Bridesmaids and The Heat.
Ex Machina – Continued Alicia Vikander’s banner year. This was the year Domhnall Gleeson was everywhere with this, The Force Awakens, The Revenant and Brooklyn.
Steve Jobs – A titanic performance by Steve Jobs could have won Best Actor in other years.
Joy – David O. Russell and Jennifer Lawrence’s third collaboration didn’t reach the heights of Silver Linings Playbook and American Hustle and is her last Oscar nomination to date.
Kingsman: The Secret Service – Matthew Vaughn’s style found its place in its soon to be three film franchise.
Sicario – Dennis Villaneuve’s drug war film became a cult hit and surprisingly led to a sequel.
Anamolisa – Charlie Kaufman returned with a stop motion film about depression.
Straight Outta Compton – The NWA biopic was a hit and may have helped lead to future films like Bohemian Rhapsody.
Spectre – The most recent Bond film didn’t reach the breakout heights of Skyfall.