Aw yeah, it's time for one of my favorite blogs of the year, in which we go through my very detailed spreadsheets, daily planner and ticket stub album so that we may break down and examine my 2010 movie-going experience and figure out... well... I'm not exactly sure what we're figuring out, but dammit, it's fun. Ready? GO!
I saw 136 different movies in theatres in 2010... though I actually went to the movies 141 times, because I saw five movies twice each (this included TOY STORY 3, TRUE GRIT, HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, INCEPTION and AVATAR way back in January). This, my friends, is a NEW PERSONAL RECORD, breaking my previous mark of 120 set way back in 2001 (my first full year living in NYC after moving out of my parents' house in NJ). Funny thing is, in all these years, I'd only even really gotten close to breaking the record once (117 movies in 2004) -- and this year, not only did I break it, but I obliterated it! Crazy! And, I might add, I did it without the benefit of performance-enhancing drugs! Up yours, Barry Bonds!
This also marks the 10th consecutive year in which I surpassed the 100-movie mark -- a remarkable achievement, to be sure, but it is pretty much par for the course at this point.
In order to see 141 movies in a calendar year, a pretty intense level of consistency is required, and as you can see, I was indeed very consistent from month to month. I started off strong and never let up. By comparison, I only saw 18 movies in January, February and March in 2009 -- but this year, I saw 30! That’s a LOT for what is usually a dumping ground for crappy movies! (Wasn’t quite as bad in 2010, though -- I saw two of my Top 10 movies in February: SHUTTER ISLAND and HOT TUB TIME MACHINE.)
The closest I ever came to a "lull" was April and May -- no idea why. Summer was busy, as usual (I even saw a movie while on vacation in Las Vegas!), but the real surprises here are September and October -- I saw 33 movies between those two months, which is just ridiculous. This can be attributed to two factors: (1) A stronger-than-usual crop of films for that point in the year, including THE SOCIAL NETWORK, THE TOWN, NEVER LET ME GO, BURIED, LET ME IN, NOWHERE BOY, and more, and (2) a big influx of free advance screenings -- 11 of the 33 Sept./Oct. movies were freebies. I saw my 121st movie on November 10th, thus breaking my long-standing record, so I clearly took a "break" after that for the rest of that month. But then I kicked it into overdrive again in December, and saw my 141st & final movie on New Year’s Eve, mere hours before cracking open the bubbly. And the rest is history.
My guess? This record is unbreakable. But hey, you never know.
• Full price admissions: 71
• Free advance screenings: 41
• Free passes/awards programs/gift cards/etc.: 29
Here, I think, we have the most eye-opening stats of all. When someone hears about how often I go to the movies, they almost always say, "Holy shit, do you realize that you've spent X amount of dollars on movies?!" Yes, it’s true, going to the movies in NYC can be a very expensive hobby -- but as you can see, I have been able to bring the cost down considerably. Out of 141 movies, I only paid full price for 71 of them -- just over half. That is pretty amazing, and the main reason is that I saw more free advance screenings in 2010 than ever before -- I think the previous record was, like, in the low 20's. This total included such good AND bad films as HOT TUB TIME MACHINE, COP OUT, TRUE GRIT, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, SPLICE, TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE, THE SOCIAL NETWORK, TANGLED, CONVICTION, THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT, JONAH HEX and many more, and each one was $13 (or more) back in my pocket. I even saw three red carpet premieres: DINNER FOR SCHMUCKS at the Ziegfeld (where my camera had a close encounter with Paul Rudd), FROM PARIS WITH LOVE at the Ziegfeld, and best of all, THE EXPENDABLES at Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas, where I had a moment with Dolph Lundgren (as he walked by, I said, “If he dies, he dies,” and he totally heard & acknowledged me!). Special thanks to such websites as Cinemit (for whom I’ve also been doing some movie writing lately -- check’em out out!), 43kixNYC, NYC Movie Screenings, Gofobo, the random guys who hang out outside of movie theatres and hand out passes, and more!
Of course, no matter how you look at it, I still paid around $900 for those 71 full-price movies, which is more than the average American moviegoer will pay in a decade. But that sure as hell beats $1,800, right? Right? Anyone?
No major surprises here. Friday remains the biggest movie-going day of the week… though this was the first time I saw more Friday movies than there were Fridays in the year! Heh. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are big days for advance screenings, hence the influx of activity on those days (not to mention Free Popcorn Tuesdays at Regal theatres and Free Popcorn Wednesdays at AMC!). I guess the biggest surprise is that I only saw four movies on Saturdays! I guess I was busy doing other things? Or something? Who knew!
(Also, for the sake of curiosity, there were only two weeks in the entire year in which I didn’t see ANY movies: The week of Feb. 1-7 and the week of April 29 to May 4. Every other week, I saw at least one. Usually more. Yeah.)
MY VARIOUS HOMES AWAY FROM HOME
AMC Empire: 28
Loews Lincoln Square: 21
Regal 42nd St. E-Walk: 14
Regal Union Square: 10
Landmark Sunshine Cinema: 9
Loews Lincoln Square IMAX: 7
Lincoln Plaza: 7
Loews 34th Street: 7
IFC Center: 5
Clearview Chelsea: 5
Coliseum Theatre: 4
Ziegfeld Theatre: 4
Loews 19th Street: 4
Village East: 3
Paris Theatre: 2
Loews Orpheum: 2
Film Forum: 2
Loews 84th Street: 2
Regal Hadley Center (NJ): 2
Angelika Film Center: 1
Pier I @ 70th Street: 1
Planet Hollywood Theatre (NV): 1
Well, well, well… looks like we’ve got ourselves a TIE for my most-visited theatre of 2010! For regular movies, the AMC Empire is tops once again -- to be expected, since my job moved to a new office that is around the corner from the place. BUT! Taking into account IMAX screenings, I also saw 28 total movies at Loews Lincoln Square! So there you have it. I like those theatres very much.
Interesting to note that I actually visited the Empire and Lincoln Square LESS often than I did in 2009 -- this is because I spread the wealth a little more in 2010. Nice to see that I visited such theatres as the Ziegfeld, IFC Center and the Paris a handful of times each -- really need to get to those theatres more often in 2011, though, especially the Paris, which is a magnificent theatre. Spent a lot of time at the E-Walk, since it, like the Empire, is right around the corner from work. Surprised that I went to Regal Union Square so often -- not a big fan of that theatre. Actually made it down to the Film Forum a couple of times, and frequently my crazy neighborhood theatre, the Coliseum, a handful of times, too (need to do that more often in ‘11, too, because not only is it 10 minutes away from home, but it’s only $9… granted it’s a shithole… but still). This also marked the first time since 2001 that I saw movies in THREE different U.S. states -- NY, NJ and Nevada. (But only two movies at the good ol’ Regal theatre in good ol’ South Plainfield, NJ... that, sadly, is a record low... haven’t seen so few movies in the state of New Jersey since, like, 1993, which was before I started keeping track of these things.)
I saw 20 double-features during the year… also a new record. As always, there were some odd/interesting/awesome/unfortunate pairings:
• THE LAST STATION and JURASSIC PARK
• THE EDGE OF DARKNESS and AVATAR
• COP OUT and SHUTTER ISLAND
• OSCAR-NOMINATED LIVE-ACTION SHORTS and OSCAR-NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS
• THE CRAZIES and ALICE IN WONDERLAND
• CHLOE and HOT TUB TIME MACHINE
• ROBIN HOOD and BABIES
• THE A-TEAM and SHREK FOREVER AFTER
• CYRUS and TOY STORY 3
• KNIGHT & DAY and GROWN-UPS
• I AM LOVE and WINTER’S BONE
• THE AMERICAN and GOING THE DISTANCE
• THE TOWN and NEVER LET ME GO
• THE VIRGINITY HIT and YOU WILL MEET A TALL DARK STRANGER
• I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (2010) and I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE (1975)
• EASY A and JACKASS 3-D
• SAW 3-D and POLTERGEIST
• THE KING’S SPEECH and BLACK SWAN
• HOW DO YOU KNOW and TRON: LEGACY
• BIUTIFUL and ANOTHER YEAR
I also saw my first-ever QUADRUPLE-FEATURE, which included four very different films: THE SWITCH, PIRANHA 3-D, A FILM UNFINISHED and SCOTT PILGRIM vs. THE WORLD. You can read all about that experience in this post from August 20th!
As far as my movie-going companions in 2010… well, they were few and far between. Out of 141 movies, I saw an even 100 of them all by my lonesome. (That is way up from 2009, when I saw 63 of 108 movies alone.) Of course, this means I saw 41 movies with other people -- most often, my lovely girlfriend Rachel, with whom I saw 36 movies during the year (though that is also down from 40 in ‘09... go figure). My friends Murphy and Justine also acted as movie buddies here in NYC. Meanwhile, both times I went to the movies in NJ, it was with my friend Jill (we kept the Christmas Night Movie tradition alive for the umpteenth year in a row, but unfortunately, the Thanksgiving Night Movie tradition ended). But perhaps the craziest stat of all, at least to me: Only once -- ONCE, out of 141 movies -- did I go to the movies with more than one other person. (It was BLACK SWAN, which I saw with Rachel and her friend Alyssa.) Man... I remember back in the day when going to the movies was always a Big Event and we’d have groups of 10-20 people gathering to see such blockbusters as INDEPENDENCE DAY, MEN IN BLACK and THE LOST WORLD. Clearly those days are long gone... but I’d like to take this moment to give a tip of the cap to my movie-going compadres of yore... you guys & gals know who you are... let’s do it again someday, for old time’s sake!
COMING SOON: My Top 10 Netflix Rentals of 2010! Probably some words about the Golden Globes when that bullshit happens. All sorts of Oscar Madness when those nominations are announced. And, um, maybe, y’know, some movie reviews? Other lists? We shall see!