If you’re a big movie buff, you probably reach this time of year and feel more than a little wistful. The big prestige pictures have all gotten wide releases, if they will get one, while the tentpoles are strictly for summer crowds. January and February in particular are what’s known as “dump months,” or times of year when studios can let loose products they have no faith in and walk away with some dignity intact.
This short piece on Slate from 2014 puts forth an argument based on quantifiable evidence (aka, Rotten Tomatoes scores) that from January until April, the movie-going world is essentially a wasteland more barren than Mad Max’s. (Fury Road, incidentally, came out last May, and you’ll notice in the chart a sharp uptick in “good movies” that month.) It’s an unfortunate fact of life, and until studios stop making it that way, audiences will just have to sigh and put up with it for a majority of the year.