Critics gather to see potential Oscar contenders among the many independent films on the program and studio executives look to line up distribution deals with the same prize in mind. Some of the best are released within a week or so, ending the september dump period. 8 50 In past years, October also was when eagerly anticipated horror films reached screens, to capitalize on the approach of Halloween at the end of the month. However, this began to change in the 2000s due to the way series such as the saw and Paranormal Activity films dominated that period, prompting distributors of other horror films to consider releasing them during the winter dump months instead. In 2012 Paramount enjoyed huge success with the unheralded The devil Inside, released right after New year's day 51 despite a strongly negative critical and audience reaction; the next year Mama was received enthusiastically by critics and filmgoers when it came out on Martin Luther. Only one major horror film, the third adaptation of Stephen King 's Carrie, was released in October 2013, and it underperformed. "At your local multiplex, the spirit of Halloween is, sadly, dead matt Barone wrote in Complex.
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Of all the bulk year's holiday weekends it is reliably the weakest reviews in terms of movie box office, with the top grosser for the weekend being the 2007 Rob Zombie -directed reimagining of Halloween,.5 million. The sixth Sense, then in its fourth week, is a close second after pulling in 29 million in 1999; in a distant second for opening weekends is yet another horror film, 2012's The possession with.1 million. 41 Once september begins, younger moviegoers are preoccupied with starting the school year and thus less likely to go to the movies on weeknights than they were in summertime. 42 As with the winter months, football also has an impact at the box office as not only nfl teams but college and high school teams resume play, all on weekends. "we are left with a series of movies competing for box office scraps in a month when Hollywood assumes no one goes to the movies says a yahoo critic. 43 44 Some september movies have triumphed critically and commercially. In 1987, fatal Attraction, which opened in wide release on September 18 d not only succeeded at the box office, staying in theaters through June of the next year 46 and garnering six Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture. 47 Twelve years later, in 1999, the similarly successful American beauty, which had been in limited release through September before going wide in October, 48 won that award and four others. 49 September's counterpart to sundance, the toronto International Film Festival, is held at the end of the month. The film community's attention is focused on the canadian city.
37 It was the most successful August opening weekend, 38 and it became one of the year's top-grossing films. 39 Back-to-school sales adversely affect movie grosses in August and September by the end of the summer seasonal jobs end, just as with the winter dump months, and younger moviegoers begin to return to school. Tuition payments, and retailers' back-to-school sales further cut into movie grosses. 9 "The prevailing wisdom is that people don't go to the movies in August" due to family vacations, summer camp, among other factors, vulture complained as it pondered another potentially dreary month in 2008. 11 While an August release can open as successfully as a film earlier in the summer, "it just doesn't have the ability to run five or six weeks so there's a scramble for June and July ted Mundorff, head of Landmark Theatres, told the fort. The type of films that interest younger audiences in the early summer, he elaborates, do not do well after Labor day. 37 It is the month's last two weekends that are more universally seen as the beginning of the late-summer dump months, when only forgettable films are likely to be released, with occasional exceptions like dirty dancing, which went on to make 63 million domestically from. 40 At the end of August is the annual American celebration of Labor day, estate the only holiday weekend during this period.
"The answer, of course, is yes. In fact, there's a decent chance budweiser spends more on advertising that Sunday than America does in theaters." 33 The most successful film to open during Super Bowl weekend is the 2008 concert film Hannah Montana and Miley cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert, which. In a close second is dear John, grossing.5 million in 2010, for the strongest Super Bowl weekend opening for a conventional release. 34 Both films had strong appeal to female moviegoers, an audience more receptive to moviegoing on a weekend dominated by a sporting event. Ction thesis film taken, which Cargill noted for its success in appealing to an older audience, took.7 million on its opening weekend on its way to total receipts of over 100 million, making it a distant third. 34 AugustSeptember edit "As we enter the dog days of summer, we get the summer movie season dregs as well wrote popMatters editor Bill Gibron, anticipating August 2013. 35 The year's other dump period straddles summer and fall, and does not lend itself to being as clearly delineated as the winter dump months. In the past, it was usually considered to include all of August and September, and in some years still may. But, in years with many major summer movies, some may open on the first or second weekend of August to avoid competing with other such movies, 6 such as guardians of the galaxy, the first-ever August release by marvel Studios, 36 which took.
13 Fifty Shades of Grey, the 2015 adaptation of the bestselling erotic novel, took in 93 million on its opening weekend, the largest take for a presidents' day weekend until deadpool broke that record the year later. Valentine's day, the 2010 romantic comedy with a large ensemble cast, is third with.1 million. Third among opening weekends is Ghost Rider, which took in 52 million in 2007; the best performance by a previously released film on President's day weekend is the.4 million take by The lego movie, a week after its release in 2014. 27 In 2018, the superhero film, black panther set a new record for that holiday weekend with 235 million 28 In addition to the consistent popularity of the marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, the critical praise and the holiday weekend, marvel Studios took advantage of the. 29 Any boost movie grosses get from those two holidays, however, is offset by what typically comes between them. The super Bowl, the annual championship game of the national football league, has been in recent years c played on either the last Sunday of January or the first one of February. It is accompanied by heavy media attention and frequent gatherings all over the country to watch the game on television, accompanied with food and beverages purchased with money that might otherwise be spent on movie tickets. "Does the super Bowl affect ticket sales?" asks Scott Gwin at Cinemablend.
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S., the northeast and Midwest are particularly prone to them, along with most neighboring areas of Canada. This includes many major metropolitan areas, and movie markets, in both countries. A heavy snowstorm in February 2013 made it difficult for viewers in affected areas to see movies When winter storms hit, bringing with them combinations of precipitation that making driving difficult and sometimes dangerous, moviegoers often prefer to stay home. Non-essential travel is writers officially discouraged, and in severe enough weather all non-emergency driving can be banned in some areas until the situation improves. 20 In anticipation of the february 2013 nor'easter, which struck on the month's first weekend, three large chains closed down many of their theaters in the northeast. 21 Industry analysts feared that the storm could seriously impact the box office prospects of two films opening that weekend, Identity Thief and Side Effects, 21 both of which were seen as having potential to do better than most winter movies.
22 While it afterwards appeared that the two films were not seriously affected, and did better than expected, with Identity Thief even winning the weekend, despite generally poor reviews and word of mouth, with 36 million in receipts, overall box office was down 45 from. Side Effects finished a distant third with a quarter of Identity Thief' s take. 20 The clearest sign of the storm's effect, according to box Office mojo, was the 35 drop in earnings for Silver Linings Playbook, then in wide release after several Oscar nominations. 23 Holiday weekends and Super Bowl edit While holiday weekends in the us generally increase film audiences and thus attract major releases throughout the year, the two that occur during these months— martin Luther King day in January and Presidents' day in February—offer only. The most lucrative take by any movie on Martin Luther King day weekend is 107.2 million by American Sniper in 2015, its first weekend in wide release ; the previous best opening weekend was Ride Along the previous year, taking.5 million (48.6 million. Presidents' day benefits by its proximity to valentine's day (which, as it is always February 14, is often a weekday which offers the studios enough chance of a payoff, usually from romantic comedies and other " chick flicks " marketed towards women as date movies. "Some years it's been six straight weeks of dreck until" that holiday, says Cargill.
14 Awards calendar edit At the end of the year comes the holiday movie season, when the studios release both tentpole movies, such as the latest installments in popular franchises that are expected to be highly successful and " Oscar bait " movies that are. Those nominations are then used to promote the film. But while the former nominations are announced in December with the awards themselves given in early january, the Academy Award nominations are announced after the golden Globes, and the actual awards are not given until late february a leaving most of the first two months. To be eligible for award consideration, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences requires that a film be shown in a theater in Los Angeles county, california, for at least seven consecutive days during which it is advertised in print media. 17 Studios hoping to position a film for some nominations usually satisfy that minimum requirement, then ease them into wide release from then until the nominations and/or awards ceremony. The flexibility this marketing strategy requires means that screens be available, and studios limit their releases of new films during this time to that end.
As critic ty burr explained in a 2013 New York times Magazine article on the mediocrity of new releases in the first month of the year: "The studios. Know our attention is elsewhere." 2 New films shown publicly anywhere for the first time after January 1 themselves are ineligible for Oscars until the following year, by which time they will likely have been forgotten by critics, audiences and voters. The silence of the lambs, winner of the 1991 Academy Award for Best Picture, is a rare exception, as the only film in the post-studio era released in the first two months of its year to go on to win that Oscar. 18 Burr calls it "the grand exception to the january movies Will never Amount to Anything rule and finds that only one other classic of the late 20th century,. Strangelove, was a january release. 2 b Theaters will also still be running any holiday-season hits even if they had not been nominated for awards, further reducing the screens available for new movies. Ray subers, an editor at Box Office mojo, says there are two types of January moviegoer that keep December releases on screens throughout the months. "Discerning adult audiences he told The Atlantic in 2012, spend the month congregating to those films on critics' lists for the best of the year they have not yet gotten to see, while "the general moviegoers are seeing the event films of December." 5 Winter. While they do not affect the entire.
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2 Spending is low to begin with since many consumers are cutting back and repaying debts incurred during the preceding holiday season, as well as having less free time, 9 Jeremy kirk of t, when asked to explain the dearth of good films in January. Robert Cargill of Ain't It cool News adds that only those over 35, "who have savings accounts and weren't tapped out by Christmas can afford to go to the movies regularly then. He attributes the early-year success of taken and its sequels to that market, as well as that of many of Clint Eastwood 's recent films, to that older market. 13 The website box Office mojo, which publishes reports on film grosses, divides the movie year into five seasons. It defines the winter season as lasting from the first day after New year's week or weekend ends through the Thursday before the first Friday in March. The site's data go back to 1982, and in every year the winter season has had the lowest box office grosses. The weakest winter was 1983, when The Entity ' s 13 million paper take led the way to a total.4 million in domestic grosses for all movies released during that season. On the other end, 2012 had the strongest winter,.24 billion, topped by safe house, which took in 124 million.
"In the us, january is 'dump month' at the movies critic Jonathan Bernstein wrote. "The films no studios believe in or care about. Suddenly become the sole choice available to regular filmgoers hungry for fresh fare." 1 statement Use of the term became more common in the early 2010s. 2 3 4 While both dump-month periods immediately follow periods of greater movie attendance when event movies expected to be critical and/or commercial successes are released, 9 and periods of greater consumer spending generally there are also reasons specific to both periods that further dampen. 11 JanuaryFebruary edit The main impediment to the release of highly anticipated or high-quality films in January and February is the calendar of the two major film awards, the golden Globe Awards (January) and the Academy Awards, or "Oscars" (late february or early march which. The winter weather also adds uncertainty to estimates of potential box office. Two holidays during the time provide some slight relief; however, they are offset by the distraction of Super Bowl weekend, which depresses spending on movies. The combined gross for all January releases has averaged 387 million; for February it is 615 million. By comparison December, with its holiday releases, averages.2 billion.
hits following releases in August and September respectively. Films released during the dump months have not always been consigned to cinematic oblivion. Tremors and Office Space, have become cult classics. Starting with Cloverfield, some 21st-century dump-months releases have managed to exceed 100 million on box office receipts. The similar success of low-budget horror films like the devil Inside and Mama in the early 2010s has prompted studios to release films in that genre at times of the year other than Halloween and the dump months. Contents Etymology edit The term "dump months" comes from the belief that studios use the time periods in question as a "dumping ground" for movies they are contractually obligated to release but believe to have limited commercial prospects at best. 3 4 5 6 "The first months of the year are known as the 'dump months' in Hollywood wrote vegas seven critic Una lamarche in early 2013, a period characterized by "movies that studios dislike, and want to release with little fanfare." 7 likewise, paul.
Several factors combine to create the dump word months, most of them circumstances particular to the United States and Canada, the primary market for most major Hollywood releases. Both periods immediately follow the times of year in which the distributors concentrate films they expect to be the biggest critical and/or commercial successes, periods of increased spending on entertainment generally. While this often means that moviegoers have less disposable income afterward, economics alone does not explain the dump months. The weather and competition from other forms of mass entertainment, especially professional sports, also play a part; the winter dump months are further affected by the. Academy Awards eligibility rules. The dump months evolved over the course of the 20th century. Although during the studio era most major releases followed annual patterns similar to today's, several classics like. The kid, shadow of a doubt and, the Treasure of the sierra madre were released during January. Since the decline of the studios, however, memorable films from the dump months have become rare exceptions.
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Times of year when all movies real released are of lower quality and/or limited appeal. A marquee in January 2014 advertising an assortment of films typical for that time of year. The dump months are what the film community calls the two periods of the year when there are lowered commercial and critical expectations for most new releases. Audiences during these periods are smaller than the rest of the year, so no tentpole movies are released. January 1 and, february are usually most commonly described this way, with. August and, september sometimes included. 2, releases during those times primarily include films that would have been released at other times of year had they done better at test screenings, films with less prominent stars, genre films (particularly horror movies that cannot be easily marketed and films intended for.