Chris Hicks: Winter box office is sluggish — bad movies or cold-weather inertia?

Published: Saturday, March 15 2014 9:05 a.m. MDT

And the latest business model sees films opening both in theaters and through video-on-demand services on the same day. “Veronica Mars,” which opens March 14, is the first major-studio release to try this, although a number of independent productions have already gone that route.

“Veronica Mars” may also be the smallest rollout for a major-studio film in many a moon, with just 270 screens nationwide, nearly all of them AMC Theaters (we only have one in Utah, the Layton Hills 9, and that’s the only local theater showing “Veronica Mars”). Compare that to “Need For Speed,” opening today on more than 3,000 screens, including 16 local theaters.

But I digress.

The biggest movies of 2014 so far probably hold no surprises. Here’s the top 10, according to the website Box Office Mojo:

1. “The Lego Movie,” 2. “Ride Along,” 3. “The Monuments Men,” 4. “The Nut Job,” 5. “RoboCop,” 6. “Non-Stop,” 7. “Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit,” 8. “300: Rise of an Empire,” 9. “About Last Night” and 10. “Son of God.”

Of course, this will change as the year progresses, and most of these titles will not even be close to the top 10 by December.

As for me, I really enjoyed “The Monuments Men” and “Non-Stop,” which would be at the top of my recommendations if you haven’t seen them.

Not that my saying so will make any difference, box office-wise. After all, word of mouth doesn’t work anymore, right?

Unless, of course, it’s true that nobody knows anything.

Chris Hicks is the author of "Has Hollywood Lost Its Mind? A Parent’s Guide to Movie Ratings." Website: hicksflicks.com

Email: hicks@deseretnews.com

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