Sunday, January 2, 2011


My final number for movies seen at a theater in 2010: 102.

Ten were movies that I went to see for the second time. There were another ten or so that I would have liked to see again but couldn't, mostly due to fast cycling-out of titles.

Twenty were part of Willow Creek Theater's retro program, where they show older titles on the weekends. At first, most of the retros could be considered classics or cool, but for the last few months, the titles have just been old (15-25 years) with little cachet. They just announced the titles for the next two months, none of which are must-sees for me. Retros are hereby caput unless they bring in something spectacular.

One of the reasons I won't miss the retro movies is that I noticed they cost me a few first-run viewings. It is the nature of the movie business these days to cycle titles really fast. And I mean fast - some movies that are promoted on TV and in previews for months have a big opening weekend and are gone in two or three weeks. The retro program took up 20 weekend slots that maybe would have been better spent going to a first-run movie instead.

My average ticket price for 2010 was $6.41. That's down almost a quarter from 2009, partly due to being comped by Willow Creek a few times and partly due to a new theater opening nearby with a matinee price of $5.00, which is nicely less than Willow Creek's $6.50. Maybe my New Year's resolution should be to see more movies at the less-expensive theater, but $1.50 isn't a bad premium for the convenience.

Most enjoyed movies in 2010 (in no particular order)
Easy A
Ramona and Beezus
She's Out of My League

Really good movies, even if they were downers
Never Let You Go
The Ghost Writer
The American

Worst movie of the year

Worst movie of the year, Dishonorable Mention
The Tourist

Picking a universally worst movie is problematic because you don't go to a movie you know you won't like. Most years, I would say I didn't see the truly worst movie of the year, because I skipped it. However, Nine was so bad, I think it may have been the worst movie of 2010 by any objective criteria. The Tourist deserves a mention not because it was bad, per se, but because it was such a disappointment. It had an A-List cast and fabulous Parisian & Venetian scenery, but the story sucked and some of the actors were sleepwalking. The Tourist should have been so much better.

How many movies will I see in 2011? Who knows? I'm not setting a quota, although I sure like round numbers and meaningless benchmarks. If we extrapolate from today - let's see, two days into the year and zero movies seen - I'll see NO movies this year. Well, the numbers don't lie but I think I'll buck the trend and see a few more than zero by December 31, 2011. Maybe a hundred more.

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