Typically, January – March was (and for the most part, still is) always seen as a dumping ground for movies. Jan – March and August/beginning of September. These months became less about good films and more about those stinkers they’ve had lingering around for a while. Movies had always done decently at the beginning of the year (Along Came Polly, Just Married, Are We There Yet?) but it wasn’t until Cloverfield in 2008, which opened to $40 million, that Hollywood thought, hey, we could open something that felt like a summer release during the winter months – and it could also be good!
What then followed was a slew of hits; films opening near or over $30 million and totaling almost or more than $100 million. Paul Blart, Taken, The Book of Eli, The Green Hornet are all great examples. This weekend, Lone Survivor hit #1 with nearly $40 million, which is incredibly impressive and is being declared and over-performance. But is it? Because when I first started seeing the trailer and we got closer to the release date, it felt like it would do really well. It was marketed well, Marky Marky has proven successful during this time of year. I mean, this could go all the way and cross $100 million. And what’s even better? It’s been well received by critics and audiences (A+ Cinemascore which means nothing and everything).
In hindsight this all makes sense, sure, but what I’m getting is at that Hollywood is slowly learning to attend to their January – March releases, just as much as they would anything else. And it’s paying off. January doesn’t have to be the dead month of the year; people will still go to the movies after the exhausting holidays, just, you know, make it look appealing enough. Now, if they could stop overcrowding Christmas Day, we’d be good.