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This article was published 30/8/2013 (1147 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The kids are back in school, the popcorn poppers are cooling off and the theatres they operate in are back on fall hours. So that's a wrap on this year's summer cinema season, that First of May-to-Labour Day epoch when movie budgets are big and theatre soft drinks are bigger.
The domestic box office was up to over $4.6 billion, a new record, according to Box Office Mojo. The international audience, which Hollywood has been pandering to of late (Pacific Rim), is flat.
Iron Man 3 made the most money ($408 million), Despicable Me 2 made over $350 million and Man of Steel, not a sequel, took in $290 M.
The Academy Awards are handed out in the dead of winter and typically honour only those films that are still fresh on everybody's mind -- prestige pictures and the fall and winter "awards season" movies. Summer movies deserve their own Oscars -- S'mOscars, we call them. Sort of like S'mores, without the marshmallows.
And here they are.
Best picture -- Fruitvale Station, one of just a handful of summer dramas, this one could make the real Oscars best picture short list.
Best actress -- Cate Blanchett, so broad, so theatrical, so frail and Blanche DuBois-like in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Another "real" Oscar favourite.
Best actor -- Forest Whitaker reminded us that the greatest weapon of the civil rights movement might have been dignity in The Butler.
Best supporting actor -- Steve Carell, playing bad in The Way, Way Back.
Best supporting actress -- Shailene Woodley, who turns the high school-drinking dramedy The Spectacular Now serious the moment she shows up.
Best movie you missed (or haven't had a chance to see yet) -- See above. Spectacular about covers it.
Worst movie you all saw -- Man of Steel. Yeah, I went there.
Best make-work project for his pals -- Joss Whedon's Much Ado About Nothing.
Worst make-work project for his pals -- Adam Sandler's Grown Ups 2.
Most riotous performance in a bad movie -- Jeff Bridges in R.I.P.D., edging Johnny Depp in Tonto: The Motion Picture.
Coming-of-age comedy you hope your kids won't emulate -- The To Do List.
Comedy you hope they will -- The Way, Way Back.
Best libation -- Beer, so vital to saving humanity in The World's End, such a grand social lubricant for romance in Drinking Buddies and a sea-monster repellent in Grabbers.
Best horror picture -- The Purge. "You're on your own" politics debunked by science fiction.
Sequels nobody asked for -- RED 2, Smurfs 2, Kick-Ass 2, Percy Jackson 2.
One drink over the line -- The Hangover Part III.
Worst timing -- White House Down, too soon after Olympus Has Fallen, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, good enough for April but a disaster in August.
Best popcorn pic -- World War Z with its ant-piles of zombies scrambling over walls.
Most violent -- You're Next.
Best car -- The Jensen Interceptor wheeled by Michelle Rodriguez through Fast & Furious 6.
Best farewell tour -- The Shaun of the Dead team takes one last bow together with The World's End.
Worst product placement -- Google in The Internship. Some say the passable Owen Wilson/Vince Vaughn comedy was stillborn thanks to its celebration of the hydra-headed tech company.
The Greatest Gatsby -- Leo, who made this one work and made it a hit.
Worst picture -- Disney's Planes, the nadir of a weak summer for children's animation.
Biggest bomb -- R.I.P.D. lost even more money than The Lone Ranger. Which is saying something.
-- McClatchy-Tribune News Service