My favorite movie watching season

by on October 14, 2009 at 1:06 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

I always love the Fall, not for the changing leaves, not for the weather, and not for the chance to show off my sweater collection.  I love the Fall because it's the best movie season of the year.  The months from September to December is when all the distributors bring out their smart, adult, critically favored, award season films.  The summer is left to the kids and the action blockbusters, but over the next few months is when all the Oscar contenders will be released.  UP IN THE AIR, WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, MEN WHO STARE AT GOATS, THE IMAGINARIUM OF DR PARNASSUS are just a very few of the smart, cool, quality looking pictures that I'm looking forward to seeing over the next few weeks.

I have always assumed, and I believe it's conventional wisdom in the industry, that these kinds of films come out at the tail end of the year in order to remain in voters minds come Oscar ballot time, which is immediately in the new year.  The thinking is that any film that comes out in the early part of the year will be forgotten and overlooked compared to the more recent offering, regardless of it's artistic merit.  Aside from it being a sad commentary on the shortness of our memories I'm wondering if this is entirley true.  I'm taking a leap here and turning to the educted readers of MR for their feedback, but I wonder if like the proven business observation that when a second carpet shop opens beside the first it's competition, when a third opens it becomes the carpet district and is good for all of them.  Is there something about a grouping of similarly aimed films coming out all at once, even from competing distributors, that increases the box office for all as opposed to having them spread out evenly throughout the year?  I know I'm drawing a parellel between geography and the calendar, and perhaps that's a classic apples and orange mix, but I can't help but wonder if creating a film 'season' is not conferring a benefit to all the films that are released in this period.

1 Seward October 14, 2009 at 1:09 pm

Did you read “The Men Who Stare at Goats?”

2 J. Daniel Wright October 14, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Don’t forget “Everybody’s Fine,” “Nine,” “It’s Complicated,” and “Invictus.”

3 Steve Sailer October 14, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Yes, but a lot of the movie-going urge by grown-ups is simply people who want a decent excuse to get out of the house as long as it doesn’t insult their intelligence. So, why not give them something to see year round, especially in the late winter and early spring when the weather is still too lousy for outdoor fun? Why pack all the movies for people over 16 into 13 weeks of the year?

4 JackTrade October 14, 2009 at 2:16 pm

For a lot of people (me anyway), it’s sometimes hard to find the time to actually go out and see a movie in the theater.

But when I do, they experience reminds me how much I enjoy it, and this fresh memory prompts me (for awhile anyway) to consider seeing other current-release movies.

5 Ted Craig October 14, 2009 at 2:37 pm

The season began with the release of “A Serious Man” I’d say.

6 megs October 14, 2009 at 2:45 pm

I don’t know, I kind of like the “season” because I suddenly start paying attention to movie times, when before I just don’t care enough to check every other week.

It would make sense to me to have another batch of Oscar contenders come out early in the year so the DVDs can come out around this time, too and jog everyone’s memory who saw them and reach the at-home audience too. And you can just send out DVDs to potential voters without having to worry about someone pirating them before the movie is availible on DVD!

7 Ryan October 14, 2009 at 3:15 pm

I believe the releasing of all the quality films at a certain time could also be due to a network effect.

8 Dr. Yogi October 14, 2009 at 3:36 pm

I’ve never understood the “Summer Blockbuster” phenomenon. Maybe it’s because I’m from MN, but the last thing I want to be doing in the summer is sitting inside. Summer is for being outdoors. I see many more movies during the winter.

9 Tim October 14, 2009 at 5:38 pm

To Dr. Yogi:

I have read that the summer blockbuster began in the South in the 1930’s when theaters had air conditioning and houses didn’t. A way to attract customers was to get them out of the heat and this carried over to the rest of the country. I don’t know if this is entirely true but it sounds reasonable.

10 @marycray October 14, 2009 at 7:24 pm

I’d add Damn United. Cannot wait to see it.

11 Brian October 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Oscar voters go to a lot of holiday parties.

Oscar voters need something to talk about at said parties.

Oscar voters talk about the great movies they just saw.

Gushing about a movie with Keats falling in love but there’s no nudity is a hard sell sitting in a beach chair in the middle of July.

12 buy r4 dsi January 21, 2010 at 12:23 am

can someone help me with this movie i seen it once with my mom and i was young so i dont really remember alot but any help will do.

so i know this girl is raped by i think her dad or stepdad and i know he went to pick her up from somewhere and took her to an empty house(i think it might have been a trailer) and had sex with her i think she was drunk or drugged and didnt really know what was happening.

thats all i know it was on in the 90’s maybe between 1995-1999.

13 Gordon Mervin January 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm

I am passionate about good movies too and I’ve also noticed that autumn is the time when the satellite TV providers and movie theaters bring out the best, most interesting movies. I’ve never searched for a reason because I was too busy enjoying them. In the end, it doesn’t really matter if it’s for a fresh impression on the viewer because of the Oscar prizes or just another marketing technique, I’m just glad that I get to watch really good movies for at least a couple of months.

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