'Another Rancid January'

Unless Paul Blart: Mall Cop's your idea of a good time, you may have noticed January's generally a bit of a wasteland at the multiplex. According to S.T. VanAirsdale, writing in Esquire, that's because studio's dump their crappiest films (says VanAirsdale, "get ready for Dwayne Johnson with wings and hockey skates in the ads for his upcoming The Tooth Fairy") on January, assuming moviegoers are all busy catching up on potential Oscar nominees. And so, he offers this modest proposal:

What if we took January off at the movies the way studios and distributors seem to do, boycotting cinemas until they started spreading the wealth over the calendar a little more? There is no reason why fall needs to be such a glutted concentration of "good" films — or why summer should have a monopoly on crowd-pleasing blockbusters — while winter pukes a bellyful of undercooked tripe all over the multiplex. Even if (God forbid) there is an actual audience for The Spy Next Door, we should at least have some sort of alternative that day that doesn't look and feel (and most of all isn't sold) like Denzel Washington's post-apocalyptic folly. Is there a reason The Fantastic Mr. Fox or Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans or even Avatar can't open on January 15? And don't say "Oscar qualification" either, because just as there's no law prohibiting decent movies in January, there's no excuse for critics and award committees to not take in the whole year of releases when sorting out their darlings each December.

What say you? Wanna just stay home?



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