Here’s a conundrum: A friend or relative complains about how terrible movies have gotten, but they will only go see bad movies.
I’m not saying that’s exactly what’s happened with Redbox‘s most popular rentals of 2013, but the annual list fascinates for two reasons. First, it highlights evidence that there might truly be a giant gap between the general audience and critics by displaying cinema at its most fast food basic. Second, it’s weird.
This is a place where Django hangs out with a dominating Melissa McCarthy (to soon dethrone Adam Sandler?). Where a broken Denzel Washington is hip to hip with Brad Pitt fighting zombies. Where 2012’s longevity is genuinely proven.
Here’s this year’s most-rented from Redbox:
- Identity Thief
- The Heat
- World War Z
- Olympus Has Fallen
- Django Unchained
- Grown Ups 2
- White House Down
- Here Comes the Boom
- Now You See Me
White House Down AND Olympus Has Fallen? Redboxers definitely wanted to see D.C. under siege (and/or a president with a rocket launcher). It’s also interesting to see the legs that flicks like Kevin James’ MMA comedy, Quentin Tarantino’s blood-soaked Southern, and Denzel Washington’s substance abuse drama have. The flipside of that is the calendar-based disadvantage for Fall and Winter films — not that there’s a preponderance of prestige projects from last year featured here or anything.
Of course the clear winner is McCarthy. If someone has earned the title of America’s Sweetheart, it’s her. Undisputed champ.
As Redbox’s SVP of Marketing Kiera Hynninen points out, “For the third year in a row, comedy and action titles have taken over our list of the most popular movie rentals. With Identity Thief, The Heat and World War Z topping the charts it’s clear that Americans are looking to escape into a world of laughter and thrills.”
I’m not sure about the psychoanalysis, but it’s pretty obvious that escapism is the main order of business when you’re getting your movies outside a CVS.