Thursday, December 8, 2011


I've been working on a project lately to write down all of the movies I've ever seen, a lark that's taken about six hours up to now, spread over 12 or so days. I've been greatly aided by Wikipedia, which lists, by year, most, if not all of the movies I'm likely to have witnessed.

Some of the statistics I've gathered:

15: Number of movies released in 2011 that I've watched (all of them in the theater). Best so far: The Muppets, Moneyball, Midnight in Paris, The Tree of Life, Captain America.

47: Number of movies from my most prolific year, 2001, though that includes movies released in that year that I've since watched on video. 2001 was my freshman-sophomore year at Holy Cross and I went to the Kimball Theater movie every Wednesday at 1pm in what I called (pathetically) my only leisure time. Best: Waking Life, Wet Hot American Summer. Worst: Say It Isn't So.

I've seen 89 movies with R. Strong, including, in one day: Remember the Titans, Chocolat, Shadow of the Vampire, The House of Mirth, Billy Elliot, and Enemy at the Gates, the film from which the concept, "Crazyrussianwarsex" derives. I have seen 0 movies with Glen, pictured in the background.

7: Number of movies from 1981 and 1983, the low end so far (my study goes back to 1980 at this point). I've seen 8 from my birth year, 1982, including E.T., which my brother had just seen when I was born, leading him to declare that I looked like E.T. and that he wanted to go to McDonald's. Best: The Return of the Jedi (1983).

302: Number of movies I've seen in the theater, approximately, from 1987 to 2011. 25 years. 12 per year. 1 per month. According to the National Association of Theater Owners, the average ticket during that time cost $5.42 ($3.91 in 1987 to about $8 in 2011). My attendance, then, probably ran about $1,635.75, and, assuming each movie was about 100 minutes, I've spent a little over 21 days in the theater. If I'd spent a month, my cinematic rent would have run about $2,400.

3: Number of movies I've been to in the theater twice. They are Big Daddy, Mean Girls, and Meet the Parents. I went to Big Daddy twice because I twice tried to sneak into American Pie, in 1999, and twice failed. Though it seems I'd seen R-rated movies before that (Jerry Maguire on a New Year's Eve), Greenfield Cinemas had a real hang-up about American Pie, as did a movie theater in Atlanta that I later attended with my friends Dan Tirrell and Dave Goodman. They were both 17. I was a week or two short. Big Daddy it was.

I saw Mean Girls for the second time during a strange limbo, after Megan and I started dating but before I was her boyfriend. That period of time was 28 days. During that time, I saw You Can Count on Me, The Rookie, and Mean Girls, twice. No reason to believe that was indicative of any bitterness, since there was none.

I saw Meet the Parents twice during a strange limbo, after my first girlfriend and I stopped dating but before I believed it. That period of time was between 28 days and 1 year. That year, when I had very little leisure, I saw 47 movies. That 28 days, I saw Meet the Parents twice, and Dan Tirrell was there again for the second. Big Daddy and Meet the Parents may have been the only two movies I saw with Dan Tirrell. So, if I'm romantically unsure, and if Dan Tirrell is around, I might see Cowboys and Aliens in the theater again. Otherwise, no way.

816: Number of movies I've seen, approximate, that were released between 1980 and 2011. That total depends on whether or not I've seen Species, Mimic, both, or neither.

In scanning, I suspect that of these 816 I've seen The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, Short Circuit, Flight of the Navigator, Spaceballs, and Wet Hot American Summer more than 10 times each. Short Circuit may take the ultimate cake. We had it on video back when I only went to school for half a day (Pre-School and Kindergarten, 1986-1988), and I feel like I watched it pretty much every morning. Unless I have a particular memory on a strange, glitchy loop, which is always possible.

Short Circuit was a Tri-Star production. I really enjoyed the flying Unicorn (redundant?).

The most troubling thing about this list, besides the fact that I've created it, is that I have a sneaking suspicion that the first movie I ever saw in public was Ernest Goes to Camp.

I'd love to add more to this, but I'm seeing Margin Call in 20 minutes.

1 comment:

Jayme said...

Okay. I have to do something similar now. This is too tempting.