Pop Culture #625

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Pop Culture #625

With the new Star Wars movie barely a month away, you’d expect the publicity machine to have kicked into overdrive. It hasn’t. And that’s because, while Star Wars is going to be the biggest movie of the year (how big? We’ll get to that), it’s still just a movie, and as such it still has to wait its turn in the scheme of things. That means that this week it’s James Bond’s moment in the spotlight with Spectre. Because a new Bond movie remains something of an event – it actually appeals to non-regular movie-goers, and it’s not like there’s a new one each year – it’s been sucking up all the promotional oxygen for a fair while now. That’s why no big movies came out the week before, and the biggest before that was Australian film The Dressmaker (which, being a quirky comedy about Kate Winslet as a dressmaker in rural Australia, appeals to the exact opposite crowd to a James Bond films).
Nobody wants to talk about other movies this week when James Bond is back next week. And then the week after is the final in the Hunger Games series, which is the kind of film that pretty much sells itself. It’s more than a little unlikely that anyone not already on board the Hunger Games express is going to decide to jump on board now, and as a film that doesn’t really overlap all that much with Bond as far as audiences go, clearly the distributors have decided they can afford to bring it out a week later. But after that there’s a whole lot of not much as far as big-screen excitement goes: why don’t they just wait another week or so just to make sure that their film doesn’t get swamped by Spectre? That would be a little film called Star Wars, which is due out December 17th. It’s only going to get a week in cinemas before the flood of Boxing Day releases provide a whole range of other options – Boxing Day being pretty much the only day of the year where everyone is in the cinema’s sights, with movies aimed at old folk, kids, teens and everyone else being released – but it’s already clear that the cinemas expect a whole lot of Star Wars business during that pre-Christmas week.
For example, until recently there was only one movie due to be released December 10th – the box office flop Jem and the Holograms – and with that now gone from schedules it looks like there will be no new movies starting in cinemas at all that week. Why? So cinemas can finish up the runs of everything they’re currently showing – most likely Spectre and Hunger Games – so when Star Wars starts the next week they can show it in as many cinemas at the same time as they possibly can. If your local cinema has, say, 10 screens, you can expect that they’ll be showing Star Wars (for that week at least) on at least seven or eight of them. With sessions starting every 20 minutes or so it’s going to be pretty easy to walk in and grab a seat; for non-Star Wars fans, that might be a really good time to get that last minute Christmas shopping done…
Written by Anthony Morris