5 Ways to Prep: Christmas Releases 2017

By George Rose

December 21, 2017

Damn straight.

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Here we are at the end of of 2017 and we have FIVE new releases. Christmas can be such a blessing and a curse in this regard. Yay, so many options to choose from! I mean, ugh, so many options to choose from. So many movies and so little time/money. Usually you’re lucky if even two of the top ten movies each week is remotely decent so it makes choosing a bit easier. When five movies come out at the start of awards season, you can find yourself in a pickle; there’s just too much quality content to see with the few hours each week you have available. Then again, it wouldn’t be the box office unless there was a few turds lurking around.

When two movies come out, it makes my job easier because one is usually interesting and the other is a Madea movie. I know which to pick and everything goes smoothly. With five new movies, my one selected for the weekly prep article would only satisfy 20% of those reading. I was going to skip choosing any movie in exchange for a special one-time random 5 Ways to Prep spin-off (like 5 Ways to Comic Con). Then, I decided to believe in Christmas miracles and figured I’d try a hybrid of sorts. I’ve always wondered to myself, what if I calculated the average earnings of the five recommendations I provided to see if that average ended up somewhere close to what that weekly headlining film eventually earns. If I tested the theory before, I would have only been able to test it on one film at a time. But who has time for that?!

Then I thought, what if I did a lightning round article. What if instead of choosing one of the five new films, I did all five? I could then test this theory on five films at once to get my results more quickly. After all, choosing any one film would reveal too much about myself. If I choose The Greatest Showman, I’m gay for liking musicals. If I chose Pitch Perfect 3, I’m definitely gay for liking all-girl acapella band musical. If I chose Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, then I’m a nerd for liking video games and I’m old for liking the original. If I chose Downsizing, then I’m pretentious for choosing the “most intellectual” movie of the bunch. And if I choose Father Figures, then I should be fired from writing for BOP because I’d be the stupidest person alive for having that place anything other than fifth on my list.


So, my friends, let’s take a break from our Star Wars fandom and put our differences in new release preference aside and do a super 5 Ways to Prep mega article. I will henceforth call this yearly Christmas film release bonanza “5 Ways to XMA5”. See what I did there?!


#1) X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (5/1/09): Because people will watch Hugh Jackman in even a terrible movie. ($180 million domestic, $373 million worldwide)
#2) LES MISERABLES (12/25/12): Because people like musicals at Christmas, especially if Hugh Jackman brings his Tony-winning credibility to them. ($149 million domestic, $442 million worldwide)
#3) MADAGASCAR 3 (6/8/12): Because parents like taking their kids to movies about circuses instead of actually taking them to the circus ($216 million domestic, $746 million worldwide)
#4) MOULIN ROUGE! (5/18/01): Unless that movie is a critically acclaimed, Oscar-worthy musical with circus elements ($57 million domestic, $179 million worldwide)
#5) BIG FISH (12/10/02): Or an Oscar-worthy adult drama about crazy people with big dreams that worked in a circus and was similarly released around the the holiday season. ($67 million domestic, $123 million worldwide)

Average Earnings: $134 million domestic, $373 million worldwide


#1) JUMANJI (12/15/95): This is the first of the franchise and was a big holiday hit two decades ago so it’s the most important pre-release watch before the sequel. ($100 million domestic, $262 million worldwide)
#2) CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (6/17/16): This isn’t the first time Kevin Hart and The Rock have teamed up in an action-packed comedy. ($127 million domestic, $216 million worldwide)
#3) TRON: LEGACY (12/17/10): This isn’t the first time a big-budget, family-aimed action movie about people entering a video game has been done and released around the holidays. ($172 million domestic, $400 million worldwide)
#4) THE JUNGLE BOOK (4/15/16): And people definitely go bananas for modern updates of classic films set in the jungle. ($364 million domestic, $967 million worldwide)
#5) THE LEGEND OF TARZAN (7/1/16): Then again, they grow tired of fads and remakes and jungle loving rather quickly. ($126 million domestic, $356 million worldwide).

Average Earnings: $178 million domestic, $440 million worldwide

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