Night at the Museum, anyone? How about Annie, or Big Eyes? Once again, it's a year of unappealing films for the holidays—no big surprise, considering what's been released around Christmas in recent years, ranging from It's Complicated to Gulliver's Travels. Christmas has increasingly become what Nico Lang, writing at the Daily Dot, calls "dump time" at the movies, a period "usually reserved for January to February." He traces the trend to 2004, when Meet the Fockers brought in $151 million within a matter of days. Hollywood, it seems, "learned just how much money you can make out of middling dung if you happen to release it while everyone’s in a good mood."
Indeed, Christmas is the second-biggest day of the year at the cinemas, after Thanksgiving. That can be helpful when studios need to release movies that don't reach the heights they perhaps could have. "The idea is to shovel a bunch of crap in theaters no one would otherwise watch, like an in-flight movie without the benefit of travel," Lang writes. "Not everyone will be able to buy a ticket to The Hobbit, so maybe some of those folks will end up in Big Eyes." This year is particularly interesting, since we learned from the Sony leaks that executives know they're releasing bilge. Lang's advice: "Stay home to unplug, give up your screens for a day, and spend actual time the people you’ve bought a very expensive plane ticket to see." Click for his full piece. (Meanwhile, The Interview is out at 1pm today.)