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Can Buzz Lightyear save the summer box office?

By APRILL BRANDON
June 16, 2010 at 1:16 a.m.
Updated June 17, 2010 at 1:17 a.m.

In "Toy Story 3," Buzz and company meet new friends, Lots-o'-Huggin' Bear and the Peas in the Pod.

As of right now, 2010 might go down in history as the year of summer lackluster movies.

The film industry is suffering through one of the biggest slumps in recent years, after a string of box office bombs. In fact, Memorial Day weekend attendance this year was the lowest it's been since 1993, according to a New York Times article. And so far this season, the box office is down $147 million from last year, according to Entertainment Weekly.

Just to give you an idea:

"Alice in Wonderland": No. 1 movie, so far, with $334 million

"Iron Man 2": Did very well, but not as well as the first movie

"How to Train Your Dragon": No. 1 animated movie of the year

"Sex and the City 2": Bombed and drown its sorrows in a Cosmo

"Killers": Bombed

"Get Him to the Greek": Bombed

"Prince of Persia: The Abs of Jake": Super bombed

"The A-Team": Bombed in a blaze of glory

"Karate Kid": Surprisingly did quite well

"Kick Ass": Did not

"Shrek Forever After": Did well, but not as well as the other three movies

"Robin Hood": Majorly bombed if you factor in the $200 million production cost

"Marmaduke": Super mega-hugely-bombed

"MacGruber": D.O.A.

This year's track record for movies is leaving many critics and reviewers wondering if movie-going audiences are just sick and tired of movie franchises and sequels. Other factors may be consumers balking at higher ticket prices and that this was a prime year for quality television series.

However, it may actually be a franchise that pulls Hollywood out of its slump. It may, in fact, be Buzz Lightyear that finally takes the 2010 summer movie box office (WARNING: Gratuitous movie pun ahead!) to infinity and beyond. Box office analysts are saying that "Toy Story 3" may be the best chance studios have to prove the downward cycle is broken, according to the New York Times. In 1999, "Toy Story 2" opened with more than $75 million when adjusted for inflation.

Beyond its name recognition and its long-anticipated release (more than 10 years), another thing the third sequel has going for it, is that it actually doesn't suck like so many other movies this year. Over at RottenTomatoes.com, a popular movie review site, 13 reviewers have all given rave reviews for "Toy Story 3," and it had a 100-percent rating for positive reviews.

Another hope to salvage this summer is the third movie in the Twilight saga, "Eclipse," which opens June 30. Although the movie is geared toward a niche audience (young females with a thirst for vampires), the first two movies brought in almost $500 million in domestic sales.

Alas, only time will tell if Buzz (with perhaps a bit of help from the sparkly vamp Edward) can save the summer.

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