Hollywood's Bizarre Release Date Strategy

Hollywood's Bizarre Release Date Strategy

You might want to skip the theater some months.

For a movie fan, the holiday season means two things: trying to catch up on interesting movies from the current year and looking forward to the major releases of the coming year.

However, looking ahead at each year's release schedule, you begin to notice some bizarrely specific parallels. Every single year of movie releases cycles through a few very predictable stages.

The Dump Months

Each year starts off a little rough, with few if any interesting new releases for the first few months. This is actually part of Hollywood's business strategy. When studios aren't confident that certain movies can compete in a crowded marketplace, they choose to release them during January and February. Sometimes these movies are initially planned as big releases, but the studio loses confidence after seeing the finished product or getting negative feedback from test audiences. It may seem arbitrary, but there are some good reasons behind this tradition.

Throughout most of the United States, the weather is terrible during this time of year. People are less inclined to go to the movies when it means braving an endless frozen hellscape just to get to a theater. Many of the previous year's limited releases get a wide release in January, and new releases might struggle to compete. With the beginning of the new year, people are returning to work and school, and have a lot less free time. They've also just spent a frankly unwise amount of money, and are naturally reluctant to spend any more.

The weak competition can work to some movies' favor, however, especially for horror and comedy. Silence of the Lambs was moved to February for a Valentine's Day release, but went on to box office success and swept the Academy Awards. This February saw the release of Deadpool, which became one of the top ten grossing movies of the year. It looks like next year's The LEGO Batman Movie is hoping to repeat that success.

Blockbuster Season

Since the huge summer successes of Jaws and Star Wars in the 1970s, blockbusters have become a part of the season in the minds of filmmakers and moviegoers alike. Teenagers have long been an important market for Hollywood, so it makes sense to save the year's biggest releases for when they're out of school.

However, the last few years seem to suggest that blockbusters are changing. Traditionally, May has been the beginning of blockbuster season. However, this year's Batman v. Superman was released in March. Captain America: The Winter Soldier, the first huge hit of 2014, was released in April. In the past, August was long seen as a dump month, but that may be changing with the record-shattering August openings of Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad.

Judging by the films involved, it seems that the expansion of the blockbuster season is largely due to the development of cinematic universes. Studios have had to branch out into traditionally less lucrative months simply because they are trying to release as many installments as possible each year. September still remains a bit of a dump month, but that may change in coming years.

Awards/Holiday Season

Thanks to Halloween, October is unsurprisingly a good time of year for horror movies at the box office. While none of these movies can match the box office of a summer superhero movie, they are made on much smaller budgets and thus expectations are lower.

Audiences can expect plenty of blockbusters throughout November and December, however. Most installments of the Hunger Games, Harry Potter, James Bond, and Twilight series have been released in November. December is holding its own as well, with the openings of Avatar, the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies, and the last two Star Wars movies. With people having more free time over Thanksgiving and Christmas, these months can rival the summer months at the box office.

This time of year also belongs to the awards season. Studios choose to release their awards-worthy films as close to the major awards ceremonies as possible. As a result, many of the year's most interesting and artistic movies come out in these later months. Perhaps it helps a film's chances if it's still fresh in the judges' memories when they vote. It's also desirable to stay in theaters after the awards are given, as a nomination or win may give a movie a boost at the box office.

If you can boil this down into simple advice, avoid most January, February, and September movies like the plague. Spring and summer are for massive movie franchises, and the end of the year is for dragging your family and friends to weird movies about the human condition.

Cover Image Credit: Thomas Wolf

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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10 Places From Movies And TV You Can Visit In Real Life

It's like stepping into Hollywood!


I am constantly so enamored by the world of Hollywood and by going to visit places I have seen on screen. It's always such an unreal feeling to see where my favorite pieces of entertainment were shot. Here are 10 places from some of our favorite movies to see and visit in the real world!

The High School from "10 Things I Hate About You"

If you have ever wanted to dance on the same stairs as Heath Ledger or just stand in the same courtyard as Julia Stiles then you're in luck! Along the water in Tacoma, Washington, Stadium High School is located which was used both inside and out as the high school from one of the greatest teen movies of all time. This school is massive and so beautiful it's almost Hogwarts level stunning.

Pacific Coast Academy from  "Zoey 101"

Growing up I always dreamed about going to Pacific Coast Academy and being best friends with Jamie Lynn Spears and one of those things can (kinda) become a reality! Located in Malibu is a beautiful campus called Pepperdine University and it is the school they used to shoot scenes of Zoey and the gang at PCA. It is a christian based college and is prestigious in it's own right so if unlike me you are smart enough you can live out my dreams.

Central City Police Department from "The Flash"

Have you ever wanted to show up to Detective Joe West's place of work? Well head to the Vancouver City Hall in Vancouver, Canada and you will recognize your surroundings as the Central City Police Department! If you are lucky enough to show up on a filming day, you might even seen the man himself — Barry Allen.

Forks High School from The Twilight Saga

Personally, I am more invested in Bella and Jacob but for all my Team Edward ladies (and gentleman) you can visit the real-life school where Bella and Edward first met and their love blossomed into whatever obsessive weird thing it was. They also used the parking lot at this school to film the infamous scene where Edward saves Bella from getting crushed by a car. The school is called Kalama High School and is located in Kalama, Washington

Max And Dani's House from "Hocus Pocus"

Anyone with taste loves the movie Hocus Pocus — that's just facts! And I have some good news for fans of the film...you can visit the infamous Denison house! Located in none other than Salem, Massachusetts you will find this beautiful home where my favorite siblings once lived.

Silent Hill from "Silent Hill"

I will say before talking about this place that visiting it is EXTREMELY dangerous as just like in the movie the town as been burning from below for years and years. This small town is called Centralia and is located Pennsylvania and has a roaring population of about four people.

Hobbiton from "Lord Of The Rings"

I am personally not a fan of Lord of the Rings but I know a lot of people are so I wanted to include this super cool place on the list. If you ever find yourself in New Zealand you can visit Hobbinton from the movies and spend a day living like your favorite characters.

Platform 9 3/4 from the Harry Potter Series

Now this place will unfortunately be packed with muggles of course but you can find it at King's Cross Station in London! If you are anything like me and are obsessed with these magical movies this is a dream destination just don't run too hard at the wall if you're a muggle it will probably end in a concussion.

East High from the High School Musical Saga

Located in Salt Lake City Utah is the real life East High that was used in the filming of all three High School Musical movies. It is my absolute dream to attend this high school and walk the halls of the greatest high school of all time. They used both the outside and inside and the school so every inch of the school will remind you of these great teen movies.

Gus and Hazel's Bench from "The Fault in Our Stars" 

If you ever wanted to visit the site of this kiss between star crossed lovers you're in luck! Located along a canal in Amsterdam is a bench that is clearly marked by all the fault in our stars graffiti. Recreate this cute picture with your significant other and use a quote from the movie — then you'll just win in life.

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