Box Office Avoidance

I don’t feel ready to go back to a movie theatre and it’s making me a little crazy. 

Check that. 

I’ve always been a little crazy, in an engaging sort of way, but I’ve gone a lot crazier in the last 18+ pandemic months partly because I don’t have life at the local cinema to help me out.

Right.  I know. 

Not me at all, I swear

Theatres are open and I’m thrice vaccinated and boosted as much as any human can be at this point. 

What that means is that even if I were to contract COVID the overwhelming odds are I wouldn’t be hospitalized and, statistically, am pretty much immune from dying by its ugly hand.

Nevertheless, sitting inside for 2-3 hours in a mask with a room full of people I don’t know doesn’t seem like an escape from crazy to me.  It feels like gilding the lily of crazy. 

And, I suspect, I’m not alone. 

Plus, how am I supposed to eat popcorn like this?

Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story,” about as want-to-see and hyped as any holiday movie can be (Note: The exception being something Marvel-ous) opened to about 4.1 million at the domestic box-office on Friday and is expected to gross about $10.1 million in its first weekend of release.

To translate those numbers into industry parlance, that means AWFUL. 

There are lots of reasons and analyses of this you can read here that will recount it far more articulately, hopefully and in more length than any mere blog such as this one will allow.

It’ll be a slow build, the weeks before Christmas are never great box-office, Spielberg films tend to sustain much longer than others, blah, blah, blah…

Digging into the archives for this one

But here’s what I do know.  For sure.

The audience for this movie is majority older adults, despite it’s youthful casting, and as far as that’s concerned I’m Telling You, the majority of us older Americans mostly Aren’t Goin’ out to the movies.

Oh Chairy, I see what you did there

This may or may not be rational but in every way and more this is the correct assessment of the situation.  For the time being.  And probably longer than that.

Sure, sometime during the Christmas season I just might decide, on the spur of the moment, to attend an 11am showing at a theatre on a Monday or Tuesday (Note: traditionally the slowest movie going days) in a reserved seat far, far, FAR away from anybody else. 

But this will only happen if the box-office numbers for WSS don’t build, and indeed plummet, probably into CATS: THE MOVIE territory.

Don’t bring me into this

More likely is I will wait until I can rent the film on a streaming platform or attend a small, select industry screening at an off hour where you have to prove you’ve been triple vaccinated. 

And there have so far been few, if any, of the latter events on my industry invite docket.

(Note: Industry invite docket being any email, phone call or overheard conversation within eye or ear shot that sounds even vaguely appealing to this very, very VERY crazy, quite desperate housebound me).

I’m keeping busy in the meantime

I’m told by some of my friends that it’s not wise to live this way and that you only live once.   I tend to be ruled by the latter and to that I do emphatically reply, Um….YEAH.  YOU SAID, IT, I DIDN’T.  AND NOW I DON’T HAVE TO!!

I guess it all comes down to risk/reward.  What are you willing to put up with and for how long?

Or as someone much smarter, wry and acerbic than me once said:  Is the f-king you’re getting, really worth the f-king you’re getting??

The Chair’s gettin’ saucy!

Historically it’s taken me a while to decide what the answer is to that one whenever I’m in a situation where I’m not pleased.  Though certainly I expect to revisit the issue as pandemic life proceeds with no end in sight. 

In the meantime, I can already rent Kenneth Branagh’s much talked about Belfast on Amazon for $19.99, and Meet the Ricardos will be available there on  Dec. 21.  The Hand of God, director Pablo Sorrentino’s (The Great Beauty) much ballyhooed new film drops on Netflix Dec. 15th.   And there is always a chance the Writers’ Guild and others will be sending out DVDs or codes I can pop in for things like Guillermo Del Toro’s new version of Nightmare Alley.

Don’t worry Benny, I got you on Netflix too

Yes, I know it’s better to view that one on the big screen but guess what?  Me and the hubby are not giving presents to each other this year and are instead using the money (and then some) to get a bigger, more streaming friendly flat screen (Note: 77” – but don’t call us size queens) at one of the MANY holiday sales.

It’s not the same as going out and being with other live people.   But the only mask you have to wear is the one you sometimes put on in front of your spouse instead of following through with every insidious, horrible thing you’re really thinking of doing to them.

….Oh, of course I’m only joshing!!!

Or am I???

2022 look, obviously

But before you answer, consider how crazy I’ve already confessed to being and just how much crazier I will get by the day. 

Who knows what those in my age group are capable of?

Even Spielberg, once he gets the final grosses.

West Side Story (2021) – “America”

2 thoughts on “Box Office Avoidance

  1. I’m with ya, kid. I’m a voter for the SAG awards, so I get a LOT of invitations to view these films in theatres. If it’s in one of those cozy 100 seat theatres with professionals with a BIG screen and great sound, I’m in. If it’s in a very large venue with folks right off the IRT local, I’m with Oscar Levant who after reading an invitation was famous for saying “Not going.”

    I have not been back to a Broadway theater. Yes, I know New York producers are announcing “Come on down! Broadway is back!” Yes, this is true. They are selling tickets, but at vastly reduced prices. Even the impermeable Wicked is having a fire sale, and Disney’s rock solid Aladdin and The Lion King are hawking “two shows for price of one.” tickets.

    Diana and Mrs .Doubtfire, the first closing next week due to disastrous notices , and the second in peril due to mediocre to negative reviews. So it looks like that one might be Mrs. Doubtit.

    In summation, you won’t see me in a Broadway theater anytime in the near future. Oscar Levant and I will meet for a well-spaced table for dinner instead.


    Your most devoted fan-


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