Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

By Fatima Zakir
Fri, 12, 21

Let’s talk about some movies from the year 2021 that were a treat to watch and some disappointments....


It’s the time of the year when we celebrate the movies that kept us entertained and sane in these uncertain times. For the ones who thrive on art and cinema, last year was tough but this year the silver screen took a turn for better. We had our fair share of the good and the bad, which is always an indication of a flourishing industry.

Let’s talk about some movies from the year 2021 that were a treat to watch and some disappointments.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Tom Hardy is one actor I enjoy watching. When Venom was released in 2018, it was a tremendous addition to Marvel cinematic universe. No wonder when news broke about the sequel with Woody Harrelson as the main antagonist, all eyes were on it.

Regretfully, the movie did not do justice to its franchise. We have now seen so many movie series that expectations are higher with every new release. Venom: Let There Be Carnage was just an average attempt in the genre.

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

The story was flat, the action was average and there were no gripping sequences. It’s a good one time watch if you really like the genre and have too much time on your hands.

Shang-Chi and the Legend of Ten Rings

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

If you were heartbroken after Avengers Endgame and cried buckets of tears for our departed souls, know that there are more to come. Oh, no deaths, but more superheroes to come.

You see, Marvel will gradually introduce more heroes with their independent movies so you can develop affinity towards them before giving you another Avengers series (hopefully). Though I am personally a firm believer that nothing can fill the void after Iron Man, I still want to give hope to others.

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Shang-Chi came as a pleasant surprise. The movie is about a young man who is forced to leave his normal life to protect his mother’s birthplace after his father, the leader of the Ten Rings organisation, returns to turn in to ashes.

Simu Liu introduced as Shang-Chi is our first Asian superhero lead which makes the action sequences different from the previous movies as they are martial arts specific. Shang-Chi and the legend of Ten Rings has no dull moments. It is fast paced, with the right touch of comedy and is visually a treat to watch. My only regret is not watching it in the theatres.

Black Widow

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Sticking to Marvel, Black Widow was one of the most highly anticipated movies of 2021. When we lost her in Avengers Endgame and thought we would never see our favourite Natasha Romanoff a.k.a Black Widow again, it was important to understand her backstory and the origin of Black Widow.

We have always loved Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow coming to life be it in any Avengers movie, Captain America or even Iron Man. But her character was quite secretive and not many details were revealed about her even after appearing in so many movies. Black Widow just answered all those questions for the fans.

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

The movie is about Natasha reuniting with her long-lost sister when events from her past come back to haunt her. In this movie, we get to meet her entire family and understand the psychological journey she went through that made her a spy and an assassin. Watch the movie for some exhilarating action scenes and it will be good time spent.

F9: The Fast Saga

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

The ninth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise, F9: The Fast Saga is like watching the same movie again. Car chases, over the top action, fast paced music and an over emphasis on family ties, F9 is like any other Fast & Furious movie.

Every few years, a new movie is released from the franchise and we talk about the same things but the reason it always makes it to the list is because it becomes one of the highest grossing movie of the year. Seems like people are not tired of seeing the same thing again and again. Watch it if you are already a fan of the franchise or like watching ‘masala’ movies.

Godzilla vs. Kong

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

We have followed Godzilla over the years and we really feel for King Kong to the point it seems mundane now so what’s new? Let’s have them pitted against each other!

I like both characters, I really do and that’s the reason I went ahead and watched this outing too. But, it was, least to say, boring. How much longer can the creators keep bringing the same things back to our screens and expect us to hoot for them? Yes, kids might enjoy it but for people who have been following them for ages, this movie was simply flat.

The reason for making it to the list is again for the money it made at the box office. Maybe, I need to be less critical or less serious about the craft and focus on being mindlessly entertained.

No Time to Die

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Wohoo! James Bond back in action ... for the 25th time. Daniel Craig reprised his role for the last time as British MI6 agent James Bond. The movie is set to hit the theatres in the mid of December in Pakistan. However, it has created quite some waves internationally where it released in September.

In No Time to Die, James Bond is brought out of retirement to track down a madman who has gained access to a weapon that could kill millions of people.

As expected the movie is amongst the top three highest grossers of the year with riveting action and gripping storyline. Though it feels like we have seen similar plots, it’s the treatment of the movie that keeps you hooked. Do give it a shot even if it’s just for Daniel Craig as this will be the last time we will see him as the ever-green saviour, Bond.


Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Even I am surprised how I mentioned seven movies before Eternals - the most anticipated movie post Avengers Endgame. A franchise that promised us new superheroes who were meant to satisfy our cravings past Iron Man, Captain America, Black Widow, Black Panther, etc. A Marvel world with our very own Jon Snow (read Kit Harrington), Rob Stark (read Richard Madden), Angelina Jolie and our beloved Kumail Nanjiani with super powers.

The movie is about an immortal alien race, Eternals, who have been living on Earth in secret for thousands of years. Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, an unexpected tragedy forces them out of the shadows to reunite against mankind’s most ancient enemy, the Deviants.

Was Eternals able to create the magic of Avengers? No. Does it have potential to become bigger and better? Yes. The expectation was to see Angelina Jolie in a meatier role and Kumail Nanjiani as a stronger character. Yet, there is hope as this was the first movie and the creators were familiarising us with characters and their powers. The next outing will also have more of Kit Harrington and optimistically more screen time for Lauren Ridloff’s character Makkari (who can move at superhuman speed) and Angelina Jolie’s Thena.

However, one thing that should be given credit to is the visual appeal of Eternals. It’s beautiful. The cinematography will have you spellbound and the combat sequences were fulfilling too. Since I am a Marvel fan, I embrace our new heroes and will keep my fingers crossed for the next one to come.


Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

The release of the year that surprised us all; Dune is an adaptation of the classic sci-fi novel of the same name by Frank Herbert. The plot revolves around a young man named Paul (played by Timothée Chalamet) who is caught in a war on the desert planet Arrakis between his family and another Great House.

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

It may come across as boring to some as the thrilling sequences move with the story and viewers are not bombarded by these but the scope, vision and visuals compensate for it. It is definitely one movie to be experienced in theatres for viewers to actually feel its magnanimity.

If you are tired of the monsters and action without solid stories, give Dune a shot. It may have an unnerving vision of the future but the storytelling will keep you excited.

The Boss Baby: Family Business

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Sadly, this year we did not get to see any animated movies that will stay with us for long. I strongly believe in the potential of this genre and it breaks my heart to see very few movies living up to the genre.

When Boss Baby released in 2017, it instantly struck a chord with the masses. The movie was so successful that a TV series followed it shortly. The sequel of the movie was released this year titled Boss Baby: Family Business and, though it had big shoes to fill, it managed to create an impact.

The movie revolved around Tim Templeton’s daughters - Tina and Tabitha. In the sequel, baby Tina reveals that she’s a top secret agent for BabyCorp on a mission to uncover the dark secrets behind her elder sister Tabitha’s school and its mysterious founder, Dr. Erwin Armstrong. This mission reunites the Templeton brothers in unexpected ways, leads them to re-evaluate the meaning of family and discover what truly matters.

Like its first movie, Boss Baby: Family Business is sweet and extremely adorable. It touches upon some social issues that requires urgent attention showcased in a way that touches your soul in a feel-good manner. It may not be as good as the original but it definitely shouldn’t be ignored.

Free Guy

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Finally a comedy in the list. The movie stars Ryan Reynolds as a bank teller who discovers that he is actually a character in a video game where he has to save his friends before the creator deletes the game and everyone in it.

Ryan Reynolds has great comic timings. He is one performer who has evolved and has created a niche for himself as a comic actor.

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Free Guy is a combination of fresh concept, vibrant visuals, good humour and befitting cast which makes it all the more fun and entertaining. Ryan Reynold’s catchphrase in the movie goes well here, “Don’t have a good time, have a great time”.

The movie also fared well at the box office to the point that the production house has announced a sequel as well. If you want to relax your mind, watch Free Guy. By the end of the movie, you will be smiling and in love with Ryan Reynolds all over again.

Major setbacks

Box office 2021 Lackluster with a few good days

Some major setbacks of the year 2021 were Wonder Woman 1984, The Suicide Squad, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Mortal Kombat. There were huge expectations from these movies, especially after their first outings set the bar so high. It was almost tragic to see these movies fall flat.

The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard failed to create the impact its first movie did too.

Tom & Jerry was another movie that you would wish was never even touched for live action. Some things are best left untouched.

Escape Room: Tournament of Champions, Spirit Untamed, The Tomorrow War, The Marksman, Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway, Gunpowder Milkshake, The Woman in the Window, Infinite, Cherry, City of Lies, Locked Down, Bliss, The Misfits, Thunder Force are amongst a long list of others with promising stars but poor execution.

The year 2021 taught us that box office is ruled by action movies. It’s a shame there were not many animated, comedy, drama or even romantic movies that made a mark this year around. Is it the latest trend or lack of quality productions in the above mentioned categories? Well, my vote is for the latter.

The audiences still want to watch quality movies in other genres, it’s just that the content is rather shabby or unimaginative. Let’s hope next year brings more variety and fine quality to our screens.