Saturday, January 4, 2014

Busted down to January

For horror movies, somewhere between getting released at Halloween and going straight to video is a purgatory known as "the first release date in January."

There is almost always a horror movie holding down this illustrious first release date, but I never expected a Paranormal Activity movie to have to do so.

I guess Paranormal Activity 4, which I did not see, really was terrible.

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is described as a "spinoff" of the Paranormal Activity series, but it's hard to know what that really means, because a series typically does not need to use the same characters throughout to qualify as a bunch of sequels to the original movie. I mean, Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (yes, I looked it up; the franchise name comes after the colon, surprisingly) uses a totally new set of characters (for obvious reasons), yet no one felt the need to call it a "spinoff" of The Blair Witch Project. It's a sequel, just as Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones might as well be called Paranormal Activity 5.

I suppose the move may be designed to save face, since clearly the profitability of the last movie stumbled enough for the franchise to no longer be relied upon to produce at the box office during October. This way, it's not a proper Paranormal Activity movie trying to eke out a few bucks in the dead of January, it's a Paranormal Activity-type movie.

If you're believing that, well, something about a bridge ...

Of course, January release dates mean nothing here in Australia, where it's the height of summer (or should be, anyway, but Melbourne has been cold and rainy the last couple days). This is the time of year when the delayed holiday releases hit theaters, to take advantage of children being out of school and the like. I don't know when Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones is hitting theaters, if it is at all, but the multiplexes around here will have their hands full with much more prestigious fare for a while now.

This kind of marks my return to posts pegged off U.S. new releases ... though I certainly can't promise that it will be a permanent return. In fact, I'm not even sure you even want that, though it was a staple of this blog when I lived in the U.S. Fact is, these days I'm often not even aware of what is being released in the U.S., nor have I always heard much about the movies before they come out. (Case in point: I had to ask a friend what Frozen was. This from a guy who absolutely loved Tangled and Wreck-It Ralph.)

Actually, now that I look it up, The Marked Ones does have a January release here as well, only it's January 23rd. I don't know if there actually is a doldrums among Australian release dates, because it's all so dependent on the U.S. release date. Australia's "January" would be May or June, I guess ... but that's a very busy time on the cinematic schedule, as the biggest U.S. releases are getting released here pretty much on time (the best way to combat piracy, or so I've heard).

Let's just say I'm not "marking" my calendar for January 23rd.

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