The Best Comedy of Summer 2013

The summer 2013 box office landscape was littered with comedies, some of which did better than others. Though the summer isn’t quite over, it is already becoming apparent that a few of these comedies stand out as better than the rest. Of course, determining the best of anything is subjective, but here are the best comedies of the season according to a several variables, including box office receipts and audience and critic receptions.

If total earnings is the best way to determine the best comedy, 2013’s best summer comedy is undeniably “Despicable Me 2.” The funny, family-friendly sequel to the original “Despicable Me” saw lead character Gru (voiced by Steve Carell) growing up and becoming a good father to his newly-adopted children, despite the occasional temptation to go back to his nefarious ways. It pulled in $83,517,315 on its opening weekend, which fell right before the July 4th holiday. It went on to earn a whopping $351,676,590 at the box office when all weeks were tallied. What’s even more amazing is that the film also earned an additional$455,100,000 in foreign countries, meaning that its total worldwide tally reached an astounding $806,776,590. The next highest-grossing comedy of the summer is “Monsters University,” which currently stands nearly $100 million behind “Despicable Me 2” despite the fact that it opened two weeks earlier. Clearly, audiences are in love with Gru and his adorable little minions.

Box office receipts don’t always tell the whole story, though. Audience reception is another way to determine the success of a film, and if that is the way to tell which film is the best comedy of the summer, then “The Heat” is a surefire winner. The film stars comedy superstar Melissa McCarthy as an unconventional Boston detective who reluctantly pairs up with an uptight federal agent played by Sandra Bullock. The film received a near-perfect A- CinemaScore rating. CinemaScore is a company that interviews moviegoers after they see a film to determine what their overall reaction is. It’s rare for a comedy to score an A-, because this means that the vast majority of audience members felt the film was really good. Since tastes vary greatly from person to person, this is a hard score to achieve. With this CinemaScore rating and $156,576,368 in domestic ticket sales, it is easy to make a case for “The Heat” being one of the best comedies of summer 2013.

When deciding what the best film in a genre is for any season, it is also important to note overall critical receptions. Critics help to increase or decrease buzz for many films, giving them the ability to make or break some films. Though it is not completely unanimous, many critics this summer seem to think that the best comedy is “The World’s End,” starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. The film is one of the final entries into the race because of its late August release. Despite this late entry, it has made quite a splash, with some critics hailing it as not only the best comedy of the summer, but perhaps the best summer film across all genres. That is saying a lot, considering the lofty competition from the likes of “Iron Man 3,” “Man of Steel,” and “Pacific Rim”.

The film is the third and final entry into what has been dubbed the “Cornetto Trilogy,” a reference to the Cornetto ice cream snacks that appear in each of the films. All three films also star Pegg and Frost and were co-written by Pegg and director Edgar Wright. In the newest film, Pegg and Frost are two old friends who have quarreled and become enemies who reunite to try and recreate an epic pub crawl that they began but didn’t finish twenty years earlier. Upon returning to their hometown they realize that it has been overrun by robots that have much bigger plans that could bring about the end of the world. In true Cornetto Trilogy form, the boys don’t stop having a good time just because the end of the world seems imminent. The good news is that the audience has just as good a time because the film is absolutely hilarious.

Since audiences have yet to see ” The World’s End,” its CinemaScore could end up putting it at the top of the audience reception heap for best comedy of the summer. Even if it doesn’t, the film is easily the critic’s choice for best film of the summer, and has an outside chance at becoming the box office champ as well.