Celebrate the 4th With a Bad Movie it’s the American Way.

3 Jul

There are a couple weekends that are highly coveted slots for movies to be released in Theaters. Memorial Day is the usual first big hyped blockbuster weekend with school years ending it’s the perceived start of summer. So there’s a lot of reasons people will buy tickets for your movie. You can usually find a movie with some sort of patriotic or military theme to it. Thanksgiving is also a pretty bankable release date to try and catch all the black Friday crowds or at least some of the poor husbands and kids who’d do just about anything to avoid being dragged to another store. They sit in theaters to escape. The middle weekend of December is the last big movie release date of the year. It has the added strategic advantage of making a movie fresh for Oscar voters and theaters will still be screening that movie for people who want to see what the Oscar buzz is all about.

But there is one weekend bigger then all of them. This weekend, Fourth of July Weekend! Because for some unexplained quirk in the cosmos when people see a movie on this weekend they either won’t know or won’t care that this movie is crap. This is the time when your movie is the most invincible to bad reviews. Critics may rant all they want about what a waste of time and money it is but nobody cares. If a movie has special effects and known actors and a grossly inflated advertising campaign it gets a free pass to suck on Independence Day.

In fact let’s look at Independence Day as a classic example. In 1996 the nearest movie theatre to me was about 32 miles away. My best friend and I were going to see ID4 on the first day on the biggest screen within a 50 mile radius come Hell or high water. We goaded someone to drive us and drop us off at the theater 30 minutes before showtime, the matinee we planned to see was already sold out with a line going down the sidewalk, we got tickets for the show after that and proceeded to the back of the line. Two and half hours later when we were finally watching the movie start I already loved it. In hindsight it is obvious to see all the flaws with ID4 that would normally make me file it as “bad”.

But at the time it was the biggest movie of the year and it wallowed in money and most people even today have a positive opinion about it, enough to warrant a sequel apparently. Even me (but I don’t want a sequel) and not in an ironic way like when you like a movie because of how bad it is, I still think this movie is classic 90’s entertainment.

Could this movie have gotten away with being released any other time of year? Well it takes place on July 4th so no. But all these movies were released on fourth of July weekend too; Men in Black 1 & 2, Armageddon, Wild Wild West, T3, Transformers 1, 2 & 3, and The Amazing Spider man. They all made gobs of cash and were accepted by audiences but were utter garbage (side note: I’d become immune to the July 4th good movie spell by the time MIB came out). If these movies were released any other weekend they wouldn’t have been such blockbusters depending how far away from July 4th they came out. The public’s tolerance for bullshit on film is at its highest so movies are made to just be big and pretty, not good. Then they’re marketed ad nauseam. Big pretty bad movies can flop any other time of year, but something makes July 4th auspicious. I’m not going to say it’s because Cancer is the Zodiac sign for cinema but I do have a theory. By the way Astrology is DONKEY SHIT! It is a proven fact, deal with it. Seventeen years ago ID4 wasn’t a movie I wanted to see it was an event to participate in, a goal to be accomplished. I think this mindset is a factor, the public is exposed to so much hype about the spectacle that is The Lone Ranger. Every time you see an ad the date is there subtly reminding you of the holiday. It becomes linked so when July 4th gets here the movie is part of the actual expected holiday celebration along with binge drinking and explosives. So we brave the traffic, the lines, the rug rats, the $7 soda, the wretched movie trailers and finally after all that we get to be a part of the great American Independence day tradition. Watching an embodiment of everything wrong with the Hollywood process. But after all that when you see it you feel like you’ve achieved something. So Happy Fourth Of July to all you overachievers out there. Thanks’ to all of you Disney and Dreamworks will be laughing all the way to the bank… undeservedly….AGAIN.

Carl Wells


2 Responses to “Celebrate the 4th With a Bad Movie it’s the American Way.”

  1. ccharlesconfidential July 4, 2013 at 5:25 am #

    Well, with the economy in the shitter, it’s always a good idea to celebrate the last profitable industry produced* in America on its birthday.

    *Of course, Toronto is the back drop for New York and all major US cities, cause, who are we fooling, it’s way to expensive to shoot in America with economy as shitty as it is.

    • Carl Wells July 4, 2013 at 7:48 pm #

      Movies are also like the only thing made in America that the rest of world wants to buy.

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