Now is the part where we go through my dorkaliciously-detailed records and take a look at some of the stats from my 2009 movie-going experience! (You may recall that I have a spreadsheet that contains a year-by-year ranked list of every movie I've seen since 1994; in my daily planner, I record every movie I see, where & when I see it, and with whom; and to top it all off, I have two photo albums filled with every ticket stub from every movie I've seen since 1994. It's all very in-depth and probably a little insane... but hey, it's fun.) Ready? GO!
I saw 107 different movies in theatres in 2009... though I actually went to the movies 108 times, because I saw HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE twice. This sounds like a lot (and it is), but it is actually only my seventh-highest total since I started keeping track of such things back in 1994. Of course, this also marks the NINTH consecutive year that I surpassed the 100-movie mark, a remarkable record for which I am quite proud!
This breakdown is pretty indicative of the kind of movie year we had in 2009. It got off to a very slow start, and even the summer was kind of underwhelming. I was well below the 100-movie pace for most of the year, and for a while there, I was more or less convinced that my streak would be over. But over the final four months, the quality of films drastically improved (a big influx of free screenings in October helped, too) -- I mean, the quality almost always improves when Oscar-bait season rolls around, but it seemed more dramatic than usual. Anyway, as a result, I went on a huge movie-watching tear, and passed the century mark by mid-December. Huzzah!
BOX OFFICE BREAKDOWN:
• Full price admissions: 60
• Free advance screenings: 20
• Free passes/awards programs/gift cards/etc.: 28
Last year was a big one for free advance screenings -- the biggest ever, in fact. That is cool, because a free movie is a good movie. And in some cases, a free movie is a GREAT movie, as I was lucky enough to see advance screenings of my #1 and #3 movies of the year, A SERIOUS MAN and DISTRICT 9, as well as such films as THE LOVELY BONES, ORPHAN and I LOVE YOU, MAN. (On the other hand, I also saw advance screenings of the two WORST movies: AMELIA and WHEN IN ROME -- this was even luckier since I didn't have to pay for them!)
No huge surprises here. Friday is obviously the biggest movie day of the week. Love getting $1 popcorn from Regal theatres on Tuesday and FREE popcorn from AMC on Wednesday. The only real change from past years is that I used to see a lot more movies on Sunday. But this past year, Sunday was my girlfriend Rachel's day off from work, so we'd typically spend it together... see, I do have other priorities aside from movies! Awww!
MY VARIOUS HOMES AWAY FROM HOME:
Loews Lincoln Square: 30
AMC Empire: 29
Regal 42nd St. E-Walk: 8
Regal Union Square: 6
Lincoln Plaza Cinema: 5
Ziegfeld Theatre: 5
IFC Center: 5
Landmark Sunshine Cinema: 4
Loews 34th Street: 3
Angelika Film Center: 2
Regal South Plainfield (NJ): 2
Loews New Brunswick (NJ): 2
Clearview Chelsea Cinema: 1
Loews 84th Street: 1
Loews 19th Street: 1
Regal Battery Park: 1
Coliseum Theatre: 1
Paramount Screening Room: 1
Tribeca Grand Hotel: 1
The biggest surprise here is that, for the first time since it opened in the year 2000, the AMC Empire on 42nd St. was NOT my most-visited theatre! This year, that honor goes to LOEWS LINCOLN SQUARE (68th & Broadway), which is crazy! There are two reasons for this: (1) Lincoln Square has NYC's only TRUE IMAX screen, in whose presence I basked SIX times (also a new record in itself), and (2) Rachel works right across the park, so it was the most convenient for when we'd go to the movies together. (Again: Awwwww!) I'm also happy to see that I hit the Ziegfeld and the IFC Center more often this year -- I love those theatres! I also expect the Coliseum Theatre to get more of my business in 2010 -- located on 181st & Broadway, it's the closest theatre to my apartment in upper Manhattan. Granted, it's kind of bizarre, ancient and run-down... but only $9 for first-run movies ain't too shabby! (And of course, I haven't forgotten my roots -- always happy to go back to Regal South Plainfield and Loews New Brunswick when I'm visiting the 'rents & friends in NJ!)
I saw 12 double-features during the year, two fewer than last year... but unlike past years, none of these were by design for any reason other than that the showtimes/locations were convenient! Still, at times they made for some unusual pairings....
• TAKEN and THE CLASS
• OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS: LIVE ACTION and OSCAR-NOMINATED SHORTS: ANIMATION (okay, this one was by design....)
• ADORATION and ANGELS & DEMONS
• LAND OF THE LOST and THE HANGOVER
• YEAR ONE and TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN
• G.I. JOE: THE RISE OF COBRA and PONYO
• PARIS and JENNIFER'S BODY
• NEW YORK, I LOVE YOU and WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
• FANTASTIC MR. FOX and THE MESSENGER
• BROTHERS and UP IN THE AIR
• INVICTUS and THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG
• THE YOUNG VICTORIA and AVATAR
I also saw one TRIPLE-feature: SURROGATES followed by the TOY STORY 3D DOUBLE-FEATURE! You're my favorite deputy!
I was also far more social this year than I've been in many years -- I attended 45 movies with someone, and 63 by myself. Wow! Of course, having a girlfriend gives me a built-in movie buddy -- I saw 40 movies with Rachel alone! Say it with me one more time, with feeling: Awwwwwwwww! :)
COMING SOON: More list-mania, including my Top 10 Netflix Rentals of 2009... and then, the granddaddy of them all, my TOP 10 (or maybe 25, I haven't decided yet) MOVIES OF THE PAST DECADE! And who knows, maybe even some -- dare I say it? -- MOVIE REVIEWS!