2009 began with an avalanche of comedies including Paul Blart: Mall Cop, I Love You, Man, and Bride Wars. Then things got serious as familiar star Liam Neeson took over with the action thriller Taken. A tepid winter box office started to spark with Watchmen, but quickly flamed out until Monsters Vs. Aliens and Fast and Furious revved audiences into springtime. Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian, Up, and Terminator Salvation lead the traditional Memorial Day weekend charge while The Hurt Locker quietly made a name for itself among the summer blockbusters.
The Hangover surprised in the summer while the July Fourth weekend offered Public Enemies then scare-filled action with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince and Zombieland. Michael Jackson's This Is It thrilled audiences again with a nostalgic concert rehearsal compilation while The Blind Side, a football drama about Baltimore Ravens tackle Michael Oher, had some of the best legs by drawing consistent audiences week after week. Sandra Bullock also made strides with the romantic comedy The Proposal as Ryan Reynolds’ starring roles (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Adventureland) increased.
Even charming acting could not save Ghosts of Girlfriends Past while A Christmas Carol, Coraline, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, G-Force, and Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs produced an unprecedented push towards animated 3-D technology. Special effects were the stars in Avatar, 2012, and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as more than 28 movies crossed the $100 million dollar mark, with Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, It’s Complicated, and Sherlock Holmes likely to join the ranks as the year closes.
Book adaptations like Inkheart and The Lovely Bones didn’t meet high hopes while early releases like State of Play and Duplicity got new life on home video. Home video views also seem likely for many people for year-end Oscar qualifiers in limited release like The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus and Crazy Heart.