Looking back, it's safe to say that 2015 has been an exciting year at the movies, with the trends that we've started to see carrying on into 2016 and beyond. The most surprising is that the small screen has been no slouch either. Movies are tying in with TV series and platforms like HBO GO, Netflix, DStv Drifta and ShowMax are making it almost seamless to stream content to your living room or laptop and tablet if you don't like leaving bed on Sundays.
Let's look at some of the trends that stand out.
The nerds are still at the top of the heap
Marvel dominated at the movies yet again with Avengers: Age of Ultron and the surprisingly charming Ant-Man. They acquired rights to Spider-Man and can now slot the web slinger into their insane line-up that's planned all the way to 2019. Marvel is gunning for your TV as well. Agents of SHIELD is still trudging along, but Marvel's partnership with Netflix is looking at making street-level superheroes a thing on TV. The Avengers save the world from their lofty tower and heroes like Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist deal with the local baddies on the ground as The Defenders. Daredevil was the first of these shows to land and it was amazing - and by the look of things Jessica Jones is set to be too. Netflix shoots a whole season of these shows and just releases all 13 episodes all at once to warm our binge-loving hearts.
DC's TV line-up has been strong. The Flash is by far the best thing on TV. Arrow is still going strong and Gotham is a delight to watch. Supergirl has just landed and we will also be getting to see Legends of Tomorrow soon. DC has also announced its long string of movies all the way up to 2020.
Another April, another season of Game of Thrones in which Jon Snow clearly still knows nothing and which left us wondering how we will survive the wait till April 2016.
It was unexpectedly fun to get stuck on Mars with Matt Damon in The Martian as he scienced the shit out of surviving out there.
Local is lekker
It's great to see that there was quite a lot of local content this year and that the industry is growing. This is a trend that should continue in 2016. Neil Blomkamp's Chappie was the biggest of the local titles in terms of budget and marketing, but it was not such a strong showing. Other local hits were Leon van Nierop's Ballade vir 'n Enkelling and teen surf movie Die Pro, based on Leon de Villiers' Sanlam Award-winning novel of the same name. We also got the comedies Stikdas, Tell Me Something Sweet and the drama with Steve Hofmeyr, Treurgrond. Dis ek, Anna, based on Anchien Troskie's two top-selling novels also made huge waves.
Here is just a list of movies that blew our minds and have huge hype: Birdman, 50 Shades of Grey, Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World, Bridge of Spies, Goosebumps, Inside Out, Pan, Black Mass, Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2, Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials and we only get the new Bond movie, Spectre, towards the end of November here in SA, by which time we will be sick of Sam Smith's brilliant theme song, Writing's On The Wall.
I have left the best for last. Star Wars falls into the nerd trend, but on so many levels it's just in a league of its own. Star Wars is pretty much the biggest movie trend of 2015. A new Star Wars movie will always be the biggest thing. The teaser trailer for The Force Awakens blew us away and the full trailer is nothing short of magical. I think Christmas will be taking a back seat to Star Wars this year.