Every month of the year has a 'movie personality.' October is set for thrillers and horror, while February is the month for romances. December is family films and Oscar contenders, and July is action—we seem to enjoy seeing things explode in July. But what about January? There’s no big holiday in January to give it a movie theme. Award hopefuls all have been submitted. What kinds of movies get released in January? I will tell you the answer: bad movies.
Let’s peel the onion. January is dreary and cold. Kids are out of school for a chunk of it. TV shows all are reruns and mid-season replacements. Studios can release movies about paint drying and gross $50 million. Why waste a great movie in January when people will pay to see Paul Blart: Mall Cop?
With precedents like Bride Wars, Mad Money and Kangaroo Jack, the task of finding a truly bad movie to release in January has become a daunting task. But if anybody can find, produce and release an awful film, it’s a major Hollywood studio. Once again, they do not disappoint. Last week, we were treated to Texas Chainsaw 3D: a horror film, a remake and in 3-D—a real triple threat.
This week, we have A Haunted House, a spoof of the Paranormal Activity franchise. To call this movie stupid is an insult to stupid movies. Of course, my children want to see it; and it will make buckets of money and have three sequels—all January releases, no doubt. Moving on to next week—or back to 1985—we have The Last Stand. Arnold Schwarzenegger continues his lukewarm comeback, playing a sheriff of a small town under siege. If you guess his signature catch phrase before you see the movie, you win a gold star.
Don’t fill up on popcorn just yet. There still is one more week to go. The final big January release is Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters. I can’t say I’m surprised. Ever since Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, I feared this genre-blending trend. The real surprise here is that this film stars A-lister Jeremy Renner. Somebody wanted a beach house.
The good news is there is some wheat in with the chaff—notably, the Ryan Gosling mob movie Gangster Squad and the Russell Crowe/Mark Wahlberg drama, Broken City. So there may be a couple of good reasons to head out to the movies…at least I hope so.