Welcome again folks to the War of the Months. All year long we're examining Month by Month the best trends in Movies, including commercial success (or lack of) as well as critical appreciation (or lack of). Today, being the last day in September, we're looking at the preceding month, and it's pretty terrible. September is all about going back to school or work and getting into the swing of things after that long, pleasant, warm summer. It's a doomed month, no one looks forward to September. Likewise the films released are terrible.
September: Awful Month
No one is going to the movies in September. It's not a place for Studios to debut their greatest accomplishments and it suffers likewise. There are certainly some gems in the rough, though. Generally it's a limbo between Summer Box-Office Season and Oscar Season and there are some films that cross over either from being Summer Stragglers or preemptive Oscar Runners. True Septemberians are so unbelievably bad though. It's a cinematic no-man's land.
September Box-Office: Poison
The Greatest Opening Weekend Ever in September still belongs to Sweet Home Alabama (2002) for some reason at $35,648,740. Rounding out the Top Ten are other surefire hits as Eagle Eye (2008), Flightplan (2005) and the original Rush Hour (1998). Check out the full list over here. The Resident Evil Movies seem to keep cropping up here but there really isn't rhyme or reason to what has success. In essence September is a month with a blank slate. No one really has any expectations so it's fair game for anyone. It would be cooler if any of these films that didn't make any money were actually good.
September 2007 is the Best September Ever at $554,716,620, which is far below any other month of the year by a tremendous margin. It's awful. It's tough to say what fueled this. The only major debuts were 3:10 to Yuma, Shoot 'Em Up, Resident Evil: Extinction and The Game Plan. That one with The Rock. You know the one. None of these were really that big hits but that particular month was helped by some holdover sleeper hits from August 2007, including Superbad and The Bourne Ultimatum.
Top Movies All Time: Are You Joking?
Actually September used to be a premiere month in the early 80s. There are a few Best Picture Winners and Nominees including Ordinary People (1980), Chariots of Fire (1981), Amadeus (1984) and The Big Chill (1983). And there's also Jackass: Number Two (2006). In recent times though all we've really got is The Town (2010) and The American (2010). The Best Ever though, are below:
#10: The Princess Bride - 09/25/1987
#9: Zoolander - 09/28/2001
#8: Ed Wood - 09/30/1994
#7: Dog Day Afternoon - 09/21/1975
#6: Shaun of the Dead - 09/24/2004
#5: Burn After Reading - 09/12/2008
#4: Se7en - 09/22/1995#3: American Beauty - 09/15/1999
#2 Almost Famous - 09/15/2000
#1: Goodfellas - 09/19/1990
Other notables include Remember the Titans (2000), as well as some franchise starters such as Barbershop (2002), Underworld (2003) and even Crocodile Dundee (1986). Other than that September has plenty of cult favourites like Bubba Ho-Tep (2003), The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Ronin (1998), Blue Streak (1999) and The Rundown (2003). We've also got one of the Better Nic Cage movies, Lord of War (2005).
So really the Dead September is more of a recent phenomenon. Still none of these films really made any money. September is terrible. Teachers smell.