It raked in money like never before, in the process blowing box-office expectations out of proportion forever.
As a result, summer has become the season of big, high-concept blockbusters whose sole goal -- artistry be damned -- is to scrape up every last drop of disposable income. But don't get me wrong: I'm not here to lambaste Hollywood.
Let's be realistic -- it's a business. Besides, I like the occasional mind-numbing fluff as much as the next guy.
That doesn't mean CityBeat's film writers feel the need to pimp the summer's super-media-saturated sure bets in our summer movie preview package. (Though Cole Haddon does offer a feature on Spiderman 3 in the regular film section on page 61. Hey, what's an editor to do when it's practically the only film opening this week?)
Rodger Pille takes a look at which summer comedy -- the bastard stepchild of the season -- might distinguish itself from the rest. TT Stern-Enzi examines the lack of worthwhile high-profile women's roles -- a problem that likely goes back to the studios' slavish adherence to what it sees as its core demographic: teen boys.
Steven Rosen profiles what might emerge as the art-house hit of the summer, John Carney's sweet, music-laded Once. (It was reportedly made for just $50,000, probably the tab for Michael Bay's weekly massage expenses.)
Finally, I run through my 20 most anticipated movies of the season, many of which might get lost amid the behemoths of summer.