Chris Rock had a great old routine about how if a man buys a woman something he expects the cash equivalent in sex. I don’t agree, I think – especially at the beginning of a relationship, I don’t think that’s fair, though modern politics can sometimes make going Dutch more palatable. Or that is to say, I know that some women are okay with things being bought for them, others not at first, but neither is necessarily telling. My thought is that it isn’t money that makes me feel owed, it’s mileage. If you want me to meet you out of town and I have to be in my car for over two hours, I expect sex. If you want me to fly out of state, I’m not going to sleep on the couch. Maybe that’s just me.


Okay, so the year has ended, at we’re now in the dumping grounds. This is noted this week by the presence of Nicolas Cage’s latest Season of the Wolf, which has been in the can for quite some time. Country Strong opened in Los Angeles before Christmas, and is now expanding this weekend. This would be normal for an academy pictures, but this ain’t that. Likely they think they might be able to score a best song nomination. That’s about as good as that gets.

But it’s worth noting that January this year has some – if not A titles, then – surprisingly strong looking entries. The question for films like No Strings Attached or The Dilemma is: are you meant to be an off season hit, or is the studio dumping you? Time will tell. The Green Hornet is also in a similar position, but it at least has some excuses. Supposedly the film was delayed by the 3-D conversion, but I had heard that they were a little worried going up against Tron Legacy. They could delay until summer, because then comes The Green Lantern, and studios tend to avoid releasing films with similar titles within a six month period. Then comes The Mechanic and The Rite, which are more standard off-season fare.

Last year had Avatar, which was on top and running strong until Alice in Wonderland, but the year before, when there was no behemoth from December, we saw pictures like Gran Torino, Taken and Paul Blart do great business opening in January (along with Oscar expansion run Slumdog Millionaire). There’s nothing that keeps January from being a dog day month. But we’ll see how this January goes. Likely one of these pictures will play, though I looked at tracking recently, and the best showing right now is The Green Hornet. More on that next week, but it’s interesting that with that picture, they’re hiding their stars’ faces. The world needs ditch diggers, indeed.


Dog days, but good news: True Grit is primed to take the top slot. It’s leftovers for most, but what are you going to do?

1.    True Grit – $14.7 Million
2.    Little Fockers – $12.9 Million
3.    Season of the Witch – $10.5 Million
4.    Tron Legacy – $10 Million
5.    Country Strong – $8.3 Million

If one of these pictures gets lapped, by, say, Black Swan or The Fighter, or The King Speech, I wouldn’t be surprised. More Sunday.