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Superhero flicks arent the only movies out there; it just seems like it
Jeremy Irons, left, and Dev Patel star in "The Man Who Knew Infinity," a true biographical film now playing in local theaters, and a nice alternative to superhero flicks and cartoons. - photo by Chris Hicks
Some friends claim to be so weary of comic books, young adult novels, fantasies and cartoons taking over the worlds multiplexes that they are going to boycott Marvel, DC, YA and toons.

In other words, they are going to boycott movie theaters.

Or so it seems.

In the past couple of weeks, and to no ones surprise, Marvels Captain America: Civil War leapt over Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zootopia, The Jungle Book and Deadpool to land in the No. 1 spot on the years list of box-office hits.

The rest of the top 10 includes Kung Fu Panda 3, Ride Along 2, 10 Cloverfield Lane, The Angry Birds Movie and X-Men: Apocalypse.

So, as you read this, the genres listed above now hold nine of the top 10 slots for 2016s biggest moneymaking movies.

Only Ride Along 2 falls outside those categories, though it does fit the silly summer template, especially since it is both a sequel and a broad action-farce. (Yes, Im counting The Jungle Book as a cartoon.)

But you know what? Its only the first Friday in June. Were not even halfway through the year yet, so anything can happen.

But with DC Comics Suicide Squad coming Aug. 5 and yet another Marvel film, Doctor Strange, due in November, along with uncountable cartoons, sequels, action films, fantasies, etc., its likely that at the end of the year the box-office top 10 will overflow with these movies.

Maybe the top 20.

Or 30.

Not that top-10 fantasies are new. Its just their domination thats new.

Forty years ago, the 1976 top 10 included the horror-fantasy The Omen and the first remake of King Kong. But the No. 1 movie on that rarefied list was Sylvester Stallones boxing classic Rocky. In addition, there was the true story of how the Watergate scandal broke, All the Presidents Men; the Barbra Streisand remake of A Star is Born; an all-star World War II drama, Midway; and The Enforcer, the second sequel to Dirty Harry.

In other words, 40 years ago, serious dramas were still box-office gold.

Even the next year, when Star Wars topped the 1977 chart and Close Encounters of the Third Kind was close behind, such artful Oscar bait as The Goodbye Girl, Saturday Night Fever and Annie Hall were in the top 10.

A couple of years later, in 1979, when Star Trek The Motion Picture and Alien were part of the year-end top 10, the No. 1 film of the year was Kramer vs. Kramer!

The point is that even though fantasies were hugely popular and making inroads to legitimize pop culture all those years ago, there was still plenty of room for movies about people and regular life and nonmutants, whether it was in a comedy or a musical or a dramatic exploration of fatherhood.

And sometimes those films were the years biggest hits.

Those kinds of movies still play in theaters today, but they dont usually come from the major studios, and they hardly ever wind up in the top 10 at the end of the year.

Still, its worth noting that local theaters right now are showing Love & Friendship, The Man Who Knew Infinity, The Meddler, Pele: Birth of a Legend, Sing Street, Mothers Day, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 and perhaps others that Ive overlooked.

But you have to make an effort to find them.

Those giant franchise tentpole pictures the Marvel and DC superheroes, the young adult dystopian tales, the Disney cartoons that flood the marketplace, playing in several auditoriums of each and every multiplex, are handed to you on a platter.

You cant remain totally unaware of those movies even if you try, thanks to the infusion of big bucks from major studios to publicize them on everything from your smartphones to buses to billboards.

But the smaller movies? Im guessing youve never heard of some of these titles.

Not that theyre all bona fide winners. But some are.

And if you look them up, read a bit about them and find the storylines appealing, you may be surprised how entertained you can be by a movie that depicts people walking or driving or riding a train or taking the bus instead of flying around without the benefit of a plane.
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