Down to 8 films in box office movie madness tournament

The March Madness movie tournament rolls on as the final eight films lock horns in deciding the favorite of the box-office champions from the last four decades.

A dose of "Hakuna Matata" is something we could all use here in the month of March 2020.

And maybe that's why The Lion King is the last animated film standing in the "40 years of box office champions" tournament.

Well, that, and the film is dear and near the hearts for  those of us who grew up in the 1990's.

The Lion King was one of ten animated films to make this tournament. Many were eliminated in the early rounds as only two others reached the round of 16. Shrek 2 was bounced out by The Dark Knight on the other side of the bracket, receiving only 15 percent of the votes.

Beauty and the Beast was the other animated film to make it that far, only to have to face The Lion King. Belle and company, thanks to making more at the domestic box office, held the number two seed. However, The Lion King won safely with 67 percent of the vote.

The 1990's saw the resurgence of quality animated films from Disney (and later, with even better stories, Pixar). The first two Toy Story films were part of the 1990-1999 region along with The Lion King and Beauty and the Beast. 

As these original Disney films are getting the live-action remake treatment, we should remember how special they were to us. They were not without problems, but there were reasons that films like The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, Pocahontas, Mulan, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Hercules were popular among children and adults alike. The films made us laugh, tugged at our heartstrings, and usually had at least one song that stuck with a person for days on end (or years). These films are tales as old as time, told in the circle of life, and, ones that hopefully opened up a whole new world (or two).

On with the show...

1980-1989 region

A battle of George Lucas, if you will. Okay, to be exact, we have Steven Spielberg vs George Lucas. Here are two filmmakers who defined a generation, who in ways changed movies and the box office itself. And only one will advance to the final four to represent the 1980's.
  • (5) Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • (3) Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back

1990-1999 region

Forrest Gump marches on, thanks to a victory over Titanic with 58 percent of the vote. Titanic was the last number one seed left so it's anyone's game at this point. There is nothing short of a final four berth on the line to represent the 1990's when it takes on The Lion King.
  • (5) Forrest Gump
  • (3) The Lion King

2000-2009 region

Two superheroes will vie for the chance to represent the 2000's region in the final four. Both won their round of 16 matches in overwhelming fashion, each finishing with over 80 percent of the vote. 
  • (16) Iron Man
  • (2) The Dark Knight

2010-2019 region

The Black Panther breezed through the first couple of rounds, knocking off two fellow Marvel films en route to reaching the round of 16. It finally met its match with Avengers: Endgame, garnering only 27 percent of the vote in defeat.

The other match pitted Rogue One: A Star Wars Story vs Avengers: Infinity War and boy was it a doozy. After the initial 24-hour voting period produced no winner, a three-hour overtime was needed. In the end, Infinity War prevailed by a two-vote margin.
  • (4) Avengers: Infinity War
  • (2) Avengers: Endgame
Voting for the round of eight will take place on Twitter (@jasonrh_78) beginning at 4 pm (MT) on March 21. Facebook doesn't have the "polls" option anymore so feel free to leave comments on your favorite(s) if you don't have a Twitter account.

I'll see you at the polls!

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Part 3: Marvel mania