- The Washington Times - Friday, August 28, 2009

With kids heading back to school and summer drawing to a close, it’s time to take a look at three winners and two losers at the multiplexes for the summer season.

1. Paramount’s accountants — Paramount Pictures had a fantastic summer at the box office, racking up three-quarters of a billion dollars and counting on the backs of “Star Trek,” “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” and “G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra.”

2. The Hangover — The surprise hit of the summer, “The Hangover” wound up becoming the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time. Not bad work for a film produced on the cheap starring a largely unknown cast.

3. 3-D children’s movies — “Up” may have been the best movie of the summer, period, and it made serious coin to go along with critical plaudits. But it wasn’t the only 3-D kiddie flick to do well at the box office: “Monsters vs. Aliens” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” also rode 3-D up-charges to a solid haul.

4. Judd Apatow and Funny People — Critical reception was mixed, and audiences stayed away from Mr. Apatow’s latest feature, a big-budget, 2½-hour dramedy that examines life and love in an honest, realistic way.

5. Sacha Baron Cohen and Bruno — Mr. Baron Cohen failed to capitalize on the success of his surprise hit “Borat,” and audiences appeared tired of his shtick. Almost a quarter of the picture’s total gross came on its first day of release, with the box office crashing precipitously as the weeks progressed.

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