by Shane “Anniversary” Hnetka

HnetflixThe famous San Diego Comic-Con takes place from July 24 to 27. Over the years it’s become less about comic books and more about Hollywood promoting its upcoming movies and TV shows. Maybe that’s why it’s the largest comic convention in North America.

There’s always a big event/premiere/surprise of some kind. My guess for this year’s showstopper: clips from the upcoming Mad Max sequel and Marvel’s Avengers follow-up.

Anniversary Extravaganza

Some well-known blockbusters celebrate birthdays this year. Ghostbusters marks its 30th anniversary, as does Beverly Hills Cop*. Meanwhile, Tim Burton’s Batman is 25 (while Batman himself celebrates his 75th).

These anniversary films are tied together by the fact that they were three of the 10 top-grossing films in the 1980s.

What 2014 blockbuster will be feted with a re-release in 30 years? Captain America 2? Transformers 4? X-Men 14 (or whatever)? Probably not. Sequels tend not to celebrate anniversaries (who cares that Ghostbusters 2 is 25 years old?). But if you ignore sequels — pretty much impossible this year — then The Lego Movie is the only ’14 film that’s (sort of) original that made it into the box office top 10.

I’m guessing that even the fun-looking Guardians of the Galaxy will be hard-pressed to achieve true “classic” status.

Happy anniversary.

* 1984 also gave us The Terminator, Gremlins, A Nightmare On Elm Street, This Is Spinal Tap, Blood Simple and Starman. Good year — even with Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo.

The Adequate Spider-Man

Sony had big plans for Spider-Man. They rebooted the franchise in 2012 and had sequels and spin-offs planned for years to come. Now, everything’s up in the air. Yes, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 made money — $700 million worldwide to date, which is nothing to sneeze at. But bad reviews and the departure of co-producer and screenwriter Roberto Orci (he’s leaving to direct the next Star Trek sequel) have cast a cloud on Spidey’s cinematic future.

It sounds like Sony wasn’t happy with the sequel’s performance; I think they were hoping it would make even more money. While all three Marvel comic book movies released so far this year — this one, Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Marvel/Disney) and X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox) — have all made over $700 million worldwide, only Spider-Man got bad reviews. Plus the Marvel Studios-produced Captain America sequel was made for less, and thus was more profitable than the other two.

Still, I can’t see Sony dropping Spider-Man movies. The next film would have to actually bomb before that happened.

Shane Hnetka is a Regina film and comic book nerd. He also writes Dog Blog’s weekly “Sunday Matinee” column at