By JOHN HAMMERLE
The last weekend in August. Serious moviegoers dread it. Most intelligent adults avoid it like the plague. Only a few suckers get caught in a movie theater that weekend. Admit it – you know it’s true. The thrill of summer blockbusters has come and gone. The awards contenders and smart studio product still await release. All that’s left is the rejects, the burn-offs – the movies that studios dump in theaters in the hopes of making one last buck before a huge segment of their audience goes back to the school. Many of these late August releases are cheapo horror flicks, aimed at a non-discerning teen audience. Almost all are released without being screened for critics – a surefire warning sign if ever there was one.
This year is no different. August 27, 2010 sees the wide release of two movies: the long-delayed Takers, starring Chris Brown and Hayden Christensen, and the Eli Roth-produced The Last Exorcism. I haven’t seen either of them yet, but I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that they both suck. If they were any good, why release them now?
I’ve thought long and hard about it, performed the research, and am now convinced that this last weekend in August is the worst movie weekend of the year. It easily trounces the first weekend in January (which gets a pass thanks to the wide expansion of high quality films in limited release) and Super Bowl weekend (the reliable one-two punch of lame romantic comedy (e.g., The Wedding Date) and lame PG-13 horror (e.g., Boogeyman). There are exceptions to the rule (Bring It On in 2000; Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back in 2001), but those are extremely rare. To help prove my point, I’ve compiled a slideshow of just some of the releases from this same August weekend for the past 11 years. Let’s take a stroll down crappy movie memory lane: