What Hollywood Learned This Summer

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2009 10:11 AM CDT
In this film publicity image released by Warner Bros., Zach Galifianakis, left, Bradley Cooper, center, and Ed Helms are shown in a scene from "The Hangover."   (AP Photo/Warner Bros., Frank Masi)
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(Newser) – Hollywood is in the middle of an illuminating summer. The season started strong, with Star Trek, The Hangover, and Up, before things seriously cooled off, reports the Los Angeles Times. Some big releases await, but here are some of the lessons learned so far:

  • Playability has eclipsed marketability: Films with good word of mouth, like The Hangover, have done well, while Terminator and Wolverine fell flat in their second weekends.

  • Adult, star-driven dramas are in trouble: From State of Play to Duplicity, ticket buyers have stayed away.
  • Critics can’t hurt you: How else to explain Transformers’ success?
  • Old formulas look, well, old: Eddie Murphy family comedies used to be money in the bank, but Imagine That was anything but. Will Ferrell's Land of the Lost was an even costlier flop.
  • Women make a difference: Half the audience for The Hangover and Transformers had a second X chromosome.
(Read more summer movies stories.)