01 June 2009

These are the Good Old Days

In discussions of movies, I frequently take the usually-unpopular point of view that the era since I've been in the business (roughly since 1995) have been a relatively good era for movie in general. I was reminded about this today because I noticed that in the current weekend's Top 10 Box Office there are 3 movies rated higher than 90% on Rotten Tomatoes:
  • Up, 98%

  • Star Trek, 95%

  • Drag Me to Hell, at "only" 94%

I can't remember the last time that happened.

Usually, people respond with some variation of, "Oh, they made so many more great movies back in the 30s/40s/50s" (perhaps so, although I'd still dispute whether the number of great films per year was really higher: now we're operating from the benefit of picking things over) or more commonly, "But most films are such crap!" That is true, but in fact most films were always crap: Hollywood made a lot of movies back in the 1930s and 1940s. In 1937 Hollywood released 778 movies, a number that's never been equaled.

In particular, for animation I don't believe there has ever been a 20-year period to correspond to the time from 1989 to now. Not only does that include everything in the Disney revival (Little Mermaid, Aladdin, etc.) and the entire Pixar oeuvre, we get Henry Selick/Tim Burton, Wallace and Gromit, and occasional winners like Kung Fu Panda thrown in as well. Seriously, enjoy the bounty!

P.S. Very interesting statistics page on Wayne Schmidt's Box Office Page.

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