The awards season is upon us. The 2012 MTV Video Music Awards will take place this Sunday, and many big names are being touted as possible winners. The nominations were unveiled this week, and the biggest one was no surprise: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian’s wedding anniversary video, “Bound 2,” scored a record-breaking 17 nominations. The clip, which sees the newlyweds tied up and forced to endure a string of torrid one-liners from West, has amassed a whopping 131.8 million views on YouTube.
As expected, the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards are shaping up to be one of the most high-profile events of the year. With so much hype surrounding it, it’s no wonder people are taking notice of Robert Pattinson, who has been nominated for two awards. If you’re unfamiliar, Robert Pattinson is the blond, heartthrob actor who shot to fame after starring in the hit Twilight films. He then went on to become the perfect leading man, earning critical praise for his acting and making fans of both sexes. In fact, one could even make the case that he’s a walking meme: check out his famous “Twilight Look,” in which he sports a bespoke beard, a mustache, and a Vandyke haircut, and you’ll see what we mean.
With awards season upon us, it’s time to take a look back at 2012 and see how the year shaped up. Here are the top movies, songs, and videos that stood out to us this year.
The Most Influential Movies Of 2012
With the exception of Toy Story 3, which won the title in 2010, the most influential movie of 2012 was probably Django Unchained, which was released back in December and became the year’s top-grossing and most-watched film. It’s clear that audiences were more than happy to forgive Quentin Tarantulinu’s missteps, including a near-fatal car accident that left star Christoph Waltz battered and bloody. The film was hailed as one of the year’s biggest success stories, and it was definitely one of the best reviewed films of the year. The fact that it’s becoming such a pop culture phenomena isn’t a coincidence.
Another big hit of the year was John Wick, the follow-up to 2010’s The Bourne Identity. The film reunited director Chad Stahelski with his franchise stars, namely Keanu Reeves and Richard Jenkins. The film also marked the return of the CIA, which had been sidelined during the four years between films. While the original installment was a modest hit, earning only $70 million, the latest installment, directed by Stahelski, shattered all previous records, earning $85 million at the box office. As with its predecessor, John Wick earned raving reviews, and it too became a minor cultural phenomenon, spawning memes and inspiring Halloween costumes.
The other big hit of the year came from the Disney princess universe. While 2013 was a big year for fans of the superhero genre, it was mostly dominated by a string of live-action remakes and reboots. It started way back in March, when Disney announced that they were making a live-action Mulan, starring Liu Yiwang, otherwise known as Gigi Liu. The film was a commercial and critical success, and it’s spawned many cultural references, from a Katy Perry song to an Avengers meme. More live-action remakes and reboots followed, including Snow White and the Huntsman and Oz the Great and Powerful.
The most influential music video of 2012 was probably Taylor Swift’s “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” the title track to her 2012 album. The song became a phenomenon, spawning a black dress and a Taylor Swift fashion trend and even prompting a Twitter war with Harry Styles. While some might feel that Swift’s music and videos are a bit too slick for their liking, “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is still one of the most well-known videos of the year. After watching the clip, one can’t help but be inspired by Taylor Swift’s wit and sass.
The Top-Grossing Films Of 2012
It’s clear that audiences weren’t just inspired by the big-name films released this year; they also wanted to see them on the big screen. As a result, the top-grossing films of 2012 were dominated by ones that were released in the last year, with only three films from the previous year managing to make the top ten. This was likely due to a combination of audiences wanting to see the latest blockbusters and the general move away from going to the movies just to see a Hollywood blockbuster and instead wanting a good film.
From a modest $11 million budget (the same as its predecessor), James Bond 24 was the biggest blockbuster of the year, grossing $287 million worldwide, including $160 million in North America. The 24th installment in the James Bond series became the highest-grossing film yet, easily outgrossing Skyfall, which had been the previous record-holder. Due to its record-breaking box office performance, James Bond 24 became the top-grossing film of the year, out-grossing Moana and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, among others.
The Avengers, the super-secret agent organization from which James Bond draws his inspiration, also had a big year, with The Winter Soldier, starring Captain America’s Chris Evans, out-grossing the rest of the top five. While the bulk of the profits went to Marvel, the studio behind the Avengers franchise, the film was a critical and commercial success, helping to establish the Netflix model for original films. The popularity of the Avengers meant that fans were willing to go to theaters to see the latest installment again, with the first film from The Avengers and The Winter Soldier series being the fifth- and sixth-highest-grossing films of all time, respectively. It also marked the first time that the Avengers had appeared on the big screen, with all previous incarnations being television series, including Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3, where the teams from the first and second Avengers movies battle it out)
Men in Black 3, the third installment in the Men in Black series and the first with Paul Bettany, was another big hit, followed by Oz the Great and Powerful and John Wick, which were both critical and commercial successes, as well as the Kingsman: The Secret Service, which was a critical and commercial flop. Unfortunately, no film from this year was able to top the $200 million mark, while most films from the previous year managed to do so.
The Trend-Setter Films Of 2012
It’s interesting to see that the biggest-selling films of 2012 were ones that weren’t particularly innovative or high-quality, instead banking on audiences wanting to see something familiar and safe. This trend-setting, if you will, was ushered in by the makers of the Twilight films, who went on to become the biggest movie franchise of all time – at least until the latest installment, which came out in December. It’s clear that audiences haven’t turned their backs on these films, with all six films from the Twilight series, including the upcoming Eclipse, becoming blockbusters. The first film in the series, Twilight, which opened in 2007, is now the eighth-highest-grossing film of all time, making it the most commercially successful film of the 21st century so far. While the series drew inspiration from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and the works of William Shakespeare, it is often credited with popularizing the concept of a “trendy” young adult audience. Other films that followed included the Sex and the City parody Ballerina, starring Anna Kendrick and Blake Lively, and the romantic comedy The Heat, starring Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy. The trend-setting, if you will, continues on television, with Jane the Virgin, the highly acclaimed and popular telenovela, drawing huge audiences in its first year and a half, which culminated in a season two finale that became the most-watched series finale in American history.
The Most Influential Songs Of 2012
While the most influential film of the year was probably Quentin Tarantulinu’s Django Unchained, the most influential song came from the unlikely source of One Direction. The UK boy band scored a record-breaking three Billboard Top Ten singles in 2012, culminating in the chart-topping (and eventual Year-End Top Ten single) “This Work,” which was released in April and went multi-platinum. “One Thing” and “Best Song” (the title track to their self-titled debut album) followed, and with over 500 million video views on YouTube, it’s clear that their influence extends far beyond music. With three Top Ten singles and two Top 20 albums, it’s clear that One Direction are becoming cultural icons – not just in the UK, but across Europe and Asia as well.