How the Most Anticipated Comedies of 2010 Fared

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We’re highlighting films that were heavily hyped at the beginning of 2010, the ones everyone planned to see at some point, and how they did in retrospect, at the end of the year. As much as some were looking forward to hearing Broken Social Scene’s score in It’s Kind of a Funny Story, that movie doesn’t really count, as it probably took you a second to remember what it’s about. Ditto with The Kids Are All Right, which was one of the best comedies of the year, but no one knew they wanted to see it when the calendar changed from 2009 to 2010, and Shrek Forever After, the quietest recipient of $740 million ever.

Youth in Revolt

Released: January 6

Rotten Tomatoes: 69%

Gross Revenue: $19 million

The buzz surrounding the release of Revolt, based on C.D. Payne’s hilarious novel, was that we were going to see Michael Cera in a way we hadn’t before. But if he did change, no one was there to see it; it barely made its money back. Arrested Development in 2012, am I right?

Did it deserve the hype? No.

Valentine’s Day

Released: February 12

Rotten Tomatoes: 17%

Gross Revenue: $213 million

Has a film’s Rotten Tomatoes rating and total gross ever been further apart? It’s always nice to see famous people taking pay cuts to appear in a movie they want to be a part of, but not when said famous people are George Lopez, Ashton Kutcher, Taylor Swift, and Jessica Alba, among seemingly hundreds of others. Can’t wait for New Year’s Eve!

Did it deserve the hype? Ugh.

Cop Out

Released: Feburary 26

Rotten Tomatoes: 19%

Gross Revenue: $55 million

There will always be something relatively amusing in a Kevin Smith movie. Thing is, this wasn’t a Kevin Smith movie; he only directed the film, while Mark and Robb Cullen wrote the thing. It’s actually kind of amazing that a pairing of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan wasn’t funny. I don’t mean to be so hateful against the comedies of 2010…

Did it deserve the hype? Sadly, no.

Alice in Wonderland

Released: March 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%

Gross Revenue: $1 billion+

Oh yeah, that’s why I am. I went to see Alice on opening day, hoping for a return to form for Tim Burton (and because I think Mia Wasikowska is really pretty). Instead, I saw a downright awful film; so painfully unfunny and expensive looking. This was especially disappointing because Alice is one of my favorite stories. I’m not sure who I hate more: Burton or Johnny Depp. The most hyped comedy of the year turned out to be the year’s worst film, too.

Did it deserve the hype? I hate Hollywood.

Hot Time Tub Machine

Released: March 26

Rotten Tomatoes: 64%

Gross Revenue: $61 million

I’ll just get right to it: Did it deserve the hype? Nope.

Date Night

Released: April 9

Rotten Tomatoes: 68%

Gross Revenue: $152 million

There were a few good gags in the film – mainly ones involving Mark Wahlberg and James Franco – but when an 87-minute movie feels long, you know there’s something wrong. If someone can make a great action-comedy film again, they’ll deserve all the hype, buzz, money, women, whatever they can get.

Did it deserve the hype? Sort of.

Kick-Ass/Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%/81%

Gross Revenue: $96 million/$47 million

Both heavily hyped, both ultimately considered failures, especially Scott Pilgrim, even though I think they’re two of the better movies of the year. Thing is, they were hyped for non-mainstream success reasons: Kick-Ass because it had a swearing 13-year-old girl in it, and Scott Pilgrim because it looked and felt like a video game. I did see a lot of Hit-Girls and Scott Pilgrims on Halloween, if that means anything, though.

Did they deserve the hype? Yes!

How to Train Your Dragon/Toy Story 3/Despicable Me/Megamind/Tangled

Rotten Tomatoes: 98%/99%/82%/71%/88%

Gross Revenue(s): $494 million/$1 billion+/$539 million/$229 million/$232 million

These films are grouped together for an obvious reason: they’re all animated. But, going back 12 months, it would have seemed foolish to have Toy Story 3 in the same category as How to Train Your Dragon – and while Pixar’s finest film yet was also the best of the group, the four were nearly as good. Looking back at all the films of 2010, one thing becomes clear to me: 2010 was the Year of the Great Animated Movie.

Did they deserve the hype? Yes!

MacGruber

Released: May 21

Rotten Tomatoes: 47%

Gross Revenue: $9 million

Everyone was talking about MacGruber in May, so what the hell happened? It only made $9 million. All talk, no game, MacGruber was this year’s winner of The Film That Gave America Blue Balls.

Did it deserve the hype? Nope.

Sex and the City 2

Released: May 17

Rotten Tomatoes: 16%

Gross Revenue: $288 million

I didn’t want to see it, you didn’t want to see it. But a lot of people did, and that’s how a movie about four menopausal women traveling to Abu Dhabi for no discernable reason makes $288 million. For many, this was the movie event of the season. Sigh.

Did it deserve the hype? Nope.

Get Him to the Greek

Released: June 4

Rotten Tomatoes: 73%

Gross Revenue: $91 million

It’s likely we’ll look back in 15 years, and wonder why Jonah Hill and Russell Brand were big-name comedy acts. But for now, they’re both making relatively reliable comedies, and they bring out each other’s best qualities in Greek. People looked forward to seeing this film because they liked Forgetting Sarah Marshall, and the scene-stealing Sean “Diddy” Combs. The fuzzy wall scene is one of the funniest things I saw this year, so for that alone:

Did it deserve the hype? Yes!

Grown Ups/Dinner for Schmucks/The Other Guys

Rotten Tomatoes: 10%/51%/77%

Gross Revenue: $270 million/$86 million/$168 million

At a certain point during the summer, hyped big-budget comedies all blur together. While The Other Guys was clearly the best of the three, none were really memorable, and all will probably show up on HBO at some point. They’re the kind of movies you have on in the background when you’re doing something else.

Did they deserve the hype? I guess?

Machete

Released: September 3

Rotten Tomatoes: 72%

Gross Revenue: $40 million

When a movie only costs $10 million to make and the idea originally comes from a fake movie, and goes on to make four times its budget, you can’t consider that a bust. Plus, it was basically a cult hit before it was even released; that’ll bode well for DVD sales. Danny Trejo had the year’s most quoted line: “Machete don’t text.”

Did it deserve the hype? Yes!

Easy A

Released: September 17

Rotten Tomatoes: 87%

Gross Revenue: $72 million

Emma Stone’s stock has risen considerably since appearing in Superbad and The House Bunny in 2007 and 2008. Although she only appeared in two films this year (Easy A and, ugh, Marmaduke), she’s got four projects scheduled to be released in 2011, including Justin Timberlake’s Friends with Benefits, followed by that movie about a man who’s evidentially a spider in 2012. As for Easy A, well, it wasn’t Mean Girls. It did pretty well financially, and Emma’s even nominated for a Golden Globe (although that means absolutely, considering Alice in Wonderland is up for Best Comedy), but it didn’t have the cultural impact Mean Girls had.

Did it deserve the hype? Sort of.

You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger

Released: September 23

Rotten Tomatoes: 46%

Gross Revenue: $23 million

The prospect of a new Woody Allen still (somehow) is an event, of sorts – but did anyone actually see this movie? It made only $3 million here, while internationally, especially Europe where everyone still loves Woody, it’s pulled in another $19 million. Stranger got some of the worst reviews of Allen’s career, so let’s just forget it happened and look forward to Midnight in Paris, starring Rachel McAdams, Kathy Bathes, and Owen Wilson.

Did it deserve the hype? No.

Life As We Know It

Released: October 8

Rotten Tomatoes: 29%

Gross Revenue: $92 million

If you’re a Splitsider reader, you definitely didn’t see because, y’know, you have good taste. But even those who don’t read Splitsider, the poor bastards they are, probably didn’t see this literal Katherine Hiegl/Josh Duhamel shit-fest, either; it made only $92 million, well below the $205 million for The Ugly Truth. Maybe people are finally learning?

Did it deserve the hype? No.

Jackass 3D

Released: October 15

Rotten Tomatoes: 62%

Gross Revenue: $168 million

No matter your thoughts on Jackass, you must agree that this film was EVERYTHING it promised to be. It made a lot of money, critics didn’t hate it, and best of all, it briefly made Ryan Dunn a household name again.

Did it deserve the hype? Yes!

Due Date

Released: November 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 40%

Gross Revenue: $192

It would have been impossible for Todd Phillips’ Due Date to replicate the success of The Hangover, an once-in-a-lifetime breakout comedy hit. Sadly, instead of trying something different, Phillips made basically the same movie, with elements of his past films, this time with Robert Downey, Jr. There’s a road trip and Zach Galifianakis and women who do nothing but nag. Due Date made a lot of money, but admit it: you were probably disappointed in the finished product.

Did it deserve the hype? Sort of.

Morning Glory

Released: November 10

Rotten Tomatoes: 54%

Gross Revenue: $30 million

Harrison Ford, please, just stop. When you make a $40 million and can even bring back that much in, you know it’s time to call it quits. Which actor has tarnished their career the most with their role choices over the past two decades: Ford, Pacino, or De Niro?

Did it deserve the hype? No!

Little Fockers

Released: December 22

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%

Gross Revenue: N/A (When you make a $40 million film, and can’t even bring that much back in…)

There’s your 2010 in comedy, folks. The moral of the story: Jay Roach is awful, and can Pixar release a movie every year?

Did it deserve the hype? Nooooooo!

Josh Kurp lived up to the hype this year.