Day Fourty-Five – Happy Chinese New Year!

14 02 2010

Boy, am I sick of hearing about Valentine’s Day.

For the past week, all the news has been about is Valentine’s Day and the Vancouver Winter Olympics. I’m tired of hearing about both.

Take that hand from over your heart and slip it into your wallet.

Valentine’s Day seems to be more about single people wishing they had someone to spend an arbitrary day in February with than about couples sharing their love for one another. The concept almost worries me, as if this is the only day that it’s acceptable to take my girlfriend out for a nice dinner and buy her flowers.

There’s nothing romantic about following orders.

For me and the girlfriend, tonight is Sunday. It’s just another day, made a little more special by the fact that she doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow. We’ll catch up on The Office, watch tonight’s episode of Big Love and I’ll take her home. It’s the same as every other day, and I don’t love her any more or less than any other part of the year.

Nor should I.

I seem to be in the minority though. Valentine’s Day – the movie, not the day this time – has taken over the box office. It’s projected to make $60 million by the end of the President’s/Family Day weekend. That’ll be a record for this long weekend, and it makes me ponder what factors led to its success.

The cast amounts to an all-star game of stars. Julia Roberts, Jamie Foxx, Anne Hathaway and a load of others all get together to cash in an easy pay day. It’s exactly like an all-star game. You’re not there to see them at their best, you’re just there to see them in the same spot.

The marketing has been everywhere. I’ve been told to get ready for Valentine’s Day since Christmas. And how perfect is it to watch a movie, based on the day where you spent all your money on flowers and chocolate, on the day where you spent all your money on flowers and chocolate.

In the end, Valentine’s Day, the movie, is much like Valentine’s Day, the ‘holiday’, in that it’s completely manufactured with promises of filling your heart while emptying out your wallet.

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Day Thirty-Eight – It Finally Happened

7 02 2010

Finally, Avatar has been displaced from its #1 spot.

Dear John took the #1 spot for the weekend with $32.4 million overtaking Avatar’s still impressive $23.6 million in its eight weekend.

I’ve only seen Avatar once, but I’m in the minority. Even friends of mine who weren’t into it in their first visit have seen it twice, allowing it to maintain the run it has. Not to mention, those who have a friend who hasn’t seen it are going to watch it again with their one friend. It’s just insane how such a medicore movie has had such support behind it.

'Dear John' got the ladies to the theatre to take the throne from 'Avatar'...finally.

Another factor you can contribute to Avatar‘s success is that this is the first 3D movie a lot of people have been to, at least with this generation of 3D. People are attracted to the spectacle of Avatar and not its merits as a film. I’ve heard “it’s beautiful” by so many people that I’m worried that good, complex screenplays will have to fight even harder to get attention.

From what I hear, Dear John is not much better. I haven’t seen it, so I’ll stop any criticism there.

It does bring up an interesting factor that movie studios have just begun exploiting in recent years – young female audiences. They managed to come out to stop the teenaged boys and potheads from winning Avatar another #1 weekend at the box office. Young females can expect to see a lot more pushed their way in coming years.

I’m completely okay with that. As much as I like my big, action blockbusters, I’d much rather see Dear John than Transformers 3. If they give me some sort of story, I’m all for it. Sadly, summer blockbusters aimed at me have forgotten to do this, but the young ladies get some kind of story, regardless of how sappy or silly it may be.

Still, this is all just distraction until the summer begins. My hands have been tied, as far as helping stop Avatar‘s dominance at the box office. There just hasn’t been anything worth putting my support behind. I’ve been going to the theatre to watch Oscar contenders, rather than the week’s new releases.

At least until Shutter Island and Cop Out come out.