2011’s Box Office Blahs

This is my first movie post that has little to do with the Oscars. Hope you like it.

Can you believe we’re now into the tenth weekend of 2011? Or ninth if you don’t count the weekend beginning on New Years Eve? Yep, it’s now March. Two months have passed and have compiled some pretty shocking box office statistics. Entertainment Weekly pointed out in an article that this January had the lowest ticket sales in 20 years. Just today, I received an e-mail alert from Box Office Mojo saying that this February had the lowest gross since 2007 and the biggest Feb-to-Feb nosedive since 1995. Not good news at all. Especially surprising since a Justin Bieber movie was released this February.

One could attribute this to a lot of reasons. Could be because of other alternative entertainment options, like videogames or Youtube. Some could say it’s because of those download sites like Netflix. Some could even say it’s not those things at all but could be because of the lack of spice in the set of commercial movie fare the past two months had to offer. It was especially surprising to see certain Oscar fare like The Fighter, True Grit and Black Swan go beyond expectations and each grossing above $90 million. In the last decade, most Oscar fare didn’t fare too well at the box office. Guess this year’ s saying something.

Even Entertainment Weekly gave ten suggestions in their article. Some included less commercials, less fat filled popcorn, remake movies better than the original, TV rwritiers writing screenplays, more appropriate use of 3D, and even stylishly designed theatres. I myself had to agree with some of what the article recommended. At various occasions I’ve had to sit through 15 minutes of previews, seven commercials before the movie on one occasion, questioning the use of 3D in some movies and even believing I could write a better screenplay myself.

Now the rest of 2011 does look bright. We have the very final Harry Potter movie, the first part of the final Twilight book,  a remake of Arthur starring Russell Brand, a brand new Scream, Captain America, and sequels to The Hangover, Pirates Of The Caribbean, Cars, Kung Fu Panda, X-Men, Transformers…should I go on? Basically the theatres are going to offer a lot in the coming months. I’m sure there will be something to attract almost everyone.

Even this March has a wide variety of movies to attract people to theatres (source: IMDB) :

ACTION MOVIES & THRILLERS

The Adjustment Bureau (opens this weekend)- Matt Damon stars in this sci-fi drama.

Battle: Los Angeles (opens the 11th) – aliens invade La La Land.

Limitless (opens the 18th) – Bradley Cooper stars in this psychological thriller.

The Lincoln Lawyer (opens the 18th) – Matthew McConaughey stars in this cat-and-mouse legal drama.

COMEDY

Take Me Home Tonight (opens this weekend) – romantic comedy with 80’s flavor.

Paul – (opens the 18th) – two comic book dweebs capture an alien and a lot more.

TEEN FARE

Beastly (opens this weekend) – fantasy film starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.

Red Riding Hood (opens the 11th) – Amanda Seyfried stars in what’s more dark drama than fairy tale.

Sucker Punch (opens the 25th) – Emily Browning as the action heroine.

FAMILY FARE

Rango (opens this weekend) – an animated movie about a young lizard with true grit.

Mars Needs Moms (opens the 11th) – Disney animated movie.

Diary Of A Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules (opens the 25th) – wimpy kid Greg Heffley’s at it again.

INDIE FLAVOR

Red State (opens this weekend) – Kevin Smith spoofs conservatism.

Jane Eyre (opens the 11th) – an adaptation of the famous novel starring Mia Wasikowska.

Win Win (opens the 18th) – Paul Giamatti plays an attorney disguised as a wrestling coach.

FOREIGN FLARE

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (opens this weekend) – this Thai film has been impressive at film fests.

Potiche (opens the 25th) – this French comedy contains some big French names like Gerard Depardieu and Catherine Deneuve.

So there is a lot to offer in March. Hopefully the movie business will be able to pick it up more this month and lead to the year grossing well, if not the most ever. I hope you have a reason to go this March.

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