January is a tough month to be a movie fan

Timothy Page, Arapahoe Pinnacle Film Critic

Ah, January. By the time you’re reading this it’s over, but it has never been an easy month to get through. Christmas is over, the festive lights have all come down, students head back to school, and it seems the days get shorter and shorter. To top it all off, there’s nothing good released in theaters too.

Yes, most of the Oscar contenders get their wide release in January, but what happens after you’ve seen them all? Or what if those slow dramas aren’t your thing? Long story short, there really isn’t much escapism in January. A month where some of us might need it the most. Those cold days are the perfect time for a trip to a warm theater, but when the best movie that was given a wide release this January is The Revenant and watching a man trudge through the snow for 150 minutes may not be many people’s idea of a good time.

So the question is, why aren’t there better film released in January? More exciting, thrilling, or even fun films? January always seems to be a dumping ground for Hollywood. Where the films they have no interest in (or faith in) are released. Hoping that it might make them a quick buck.

Take for example, Texas Chainsaw 3D. Don’t remember it? Exactly. It was an attempt to reboot the Texas Chainsaw Massacre film franchise. It was a critical flop (19% on Rotten Tomatoes) but ended up turning a profit. The movie was made for $20 million and made around $35 million in its total theater run.

This is the kind of movie that the studio knows is awful, but they already spent the money to make it so they still have to release it. $20 million isn’t a tiny budget but compared to Marvel’s $150 million budget it seems pretty small in comparison. They make these films knowing they are terrible quality, but they know that people will see it and it will make just enough to turn a profit.

The studios have bigger and better things planned for the year ahead and January ends up being a bit of an afterthought. So they throw out the garbage and low-quality horror movies, kid’s movies, and action movies hoping they’ll make a little bit of money.

This month the only fresh film to come out has been Kung Fu Panda 3, and that was released in the last weekend of the month. While the worst film to release this month has been Norm of the North. a kids movie with a 0% currently on Rotten Tomatoes. I haven’t seen either, but if anything manages a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes it should be released directly to the $5 bin at Wal-mart.

January is tough and there’s no denying that, but if you can tough it out there are better and more enjoyable films to be released in the future. Just in the month of February, we have a new Coen Brothers film, the trash talking and foul-mouthed superhero Deadpool and the Zoolander sequel. January has been a slog, but I’m confident that there are better and more enjoyable experiences in 2016.