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New Year, Leftovers Box Office!
by Christopher Stone

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It's a New Year, but the Box-Office is re-heating leftovers!

It's a New Year, but the Box-Office is re-heating leftovers!
So what if Holiday Box Office 2010 was down from 2009, and overall film attendance was down a discouraging 5.36 percent in 2010? By the time the clock struck 2011, HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART ONE, had already coined $865 million in worldwide box office gold, making it 2010's Holiday Box Office Champ and then some.
The "and then some" is the almost $600 million separating the gold from the silver, or second place Holiday Box Office Champ, TANGLED, that combed out a worldwide haul of $272 million. Right behind Disney's tuneful tale of Princess Rapunzel, MEGAMIND mined third place bronze, coining a brainy, but not blockbuster, $255 million across the worldwide box office.

But time marches on: Out with the old, and in with the new (year). Here's where we begin: New Year, equals Leftovers Box-Office. It's a motion picture recipe that's decades old, and not beloved of movie-goers.

Let's face it: two months out of every year, Match-Flickers could hardly be blamed for turning their backs on the box-office.
TV HORNET VAN WILLIAMS. Seth Rogan replaced Nick Cage as GREEN HORNET star.

TV HORNET VAN WILLIAMS. Seth Rogan replaced Nick Cage as GREEN HORNET star.
August is one of those months; January is the other.

Having fired their big summer guns in May, June and July, the motion picture industry basically shoots blanks during the year's eighth month. Little wonder that Match-Flickers take a vacation from that multiplex near them during August.
Similar to August, January is a box office month that is definitely light on quality and fresh quantity. Oft-times, the first month's fare is downright odorous.

That's right, Match-Flickers. A January release date is the box office equivalent of flushing something down the toilet.

Some suggest that Match-Flickers boycott the largely rancid January box office. The boycott advocates point out that if the studios, for all intent and purpose, skip January, the audience should stop listening and viewing, too. The boycott brigade has a point. At the January box office, Hollywood simply expands the number of screens on which its Oscar hopefuls play, and then lazily plugs the gaps with sub-standard, below par filler that most probably
If not for January, Thomas Dekker's KABOOM would go right to Blu Ray.

If not for January, Thomas Dekker's KABOOM would go right to Blu Ray.
should have bypassed the multiplex altogether, going directly to Blu Ray.

For practical reasons, yours truly is not an advocate of the January box office boycott. For one thing, with Christmas entertaining and shopping added to my day-to-day personal and professional responsibilities, I haven't had time to devour all of the studios' bountiful late-fall Oscar harvest in December. Even though I live in coastal Southern California, THE KING'S SPEECH, for example, didn't reach my neck-o'-the-woods until Christmas Day. Nor have I seen BLACK SWAN, as well as some other likely awards candidates.

I, for one, am thrilled to consume gem-like box office leftovers this month. At the same time, I just say "no" to the January drivel that passes for new releases.

Speaking of duds and drivel, I was initially excited about the prospect of THE GREEN HORNET movie. That is, I was, until Sony announced last April that the super-hero flick's release was being pushed back from December 22, (a prime release date), until January 14, (the
SEASON OF THE WITCH may not have even made a Blu Ray edition.

SEASON OF THE WITCH may not have even made a Blu Ray edition.
domain of duds and stinkers).

Of course, Sony claimed the delay was to implement "3D enhancements." But some Hollywood pundits said it was because the $90 million production was "virtually unfit for release."

That's when Sony swore that, rather than backing away from THE GREEN HORNET, the delay signaled that the studio was "doubling down" on the Seth Rogan starrer. Is THE GREEN HORNET "a dead in the water dud," or "an action-packed, enchanting 3D entertainment?" Match-Flickers, you be the judge when THE GREEN HORNET stings box offices everywhere, next Friday.

As for the 2010 Box Office: that's a wrap. Hollywood.com, and many other sources, reported that last year's ticket sales were down ever-so slightly from 2009: $10.556 in total ticket sales, as compared with $10.6 billion in 2009. On the brighter side, 2010, was only the second year ever when total ticket sales exceeded $10 billion.

As for the new year, Hollywood's Number One New Year's Resolution is a 2011 Box Office that tops $11 billion for the first time.

Until soon.

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Mike Thomas
Jan 7, 2011 2:48 AM
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We don't need a January Box Office boycott. Have you seen what we're being offered? It ain't pretty and it's a product of the small intestines!

All I'm saying is thank God for Netflix and streaming video!

Jan 10, 2011 10:32 AM
[X] delete
Maybe everyone blew their holiday $$$ in December and no one will show up this month anyway. Good column.

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The Business of Show
Every other Friday

Does advertising, public taste, or overindulged stars determine a movie's box office fate? Christoper Stone explores what's going on behind the box office.

Other Columns
Other columns by Christopher Stone:

The Cautionary Box-Office

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up. Part Two

Box-Office Holiday Season Heads Up, Part 1

Quality Is Independent

Oh, the Horror!

All Columns

Christopher Stone
Christopher Stone is the author of the international best seller Re-Creating Your Self. With Mary Sheldon, he co-authored three highly successful hardcover books of guided meditations.

He is a member of the Writers Guild of America, West.

If you have a comment, question, or suggestion, you can send a message to Christopher Stone by clicking here.

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