October 2019

My Clerks poster, bought at Kevin Smith’s store (Jay and Silent Bob’s Secret Stash) and now signed by Kevin Smith, Walt Flanagan, Brian O’Halloran and Marilyn Ghigliotti.

A Century of Film


The Nighthawk Notables

The Nighthawk Notables are a fun list I do for each year that cover categories that don’t really fit into awards lists.  I’ve tried to account for every category that I use (some of them don’t actually have a list below) and a few other ones as well.

In most years, this is just one film per category and sometimes two (a full list of all the Notables as part of my Century of Film series is in the works with a 2nd Place Award whenever it’s merited) but for this year, since I’m going in-depth, I decided to up it to a full Top 10 list whenever I could come up with 10 (there are fewer if I couldn’t come up with 10).

Best Film to Watch Over and Over

  1. Clerks
  2. Four Weddings and a Funeral
  3. The Crow
  4. Ed Wood
  5. Pulp Fiction
  6. Bullets over Broadway
  7. The Lion King
  8. Nobody’s Fool
  9. The Bride with White Hair
  10. Interview with the Vampire


A Century of Film


The Box Office

I use Box Office Mojo for all my information here.  Here is a link to the full list for the year.  The first several tables are formatted the way they are because I copied and pasted them directly from BOM.  The rest of the lists are ones I created myself.

A quick ironic note.  On Wednesday, BOM suddenly finally merged with the IMDb (it’s been owned by the IMDb for a long time) and put a lot of aspects behind a paywall, greatly limiting what you can do there.  My only explanation for this is that they are both owned by Jeff Bezos and he’s a greedy, narcissistic, objectivist, world-class piece of human garbage.

I’ve also been going through a lot of old Variety magazines and I think a lot of BOM’s pre-1980 information is simply wrong.  But that shouldn’t affect anything listed in this post.

By the way, I have most of the info from BOM in a spreadsheet that can be sorted in a variety of ways, so if you’re going nuts missing what you used to be able to get, let me know.  As should be obvious from the insane amount of information I put in posts where I don’t even get any revenue (you might occasionally see ads on the site but I don’t get any money from them – that’s a WordPress thing and I can’t complain since WordPress is free), I won’t charge you money for that info.

Top 10 Domestic Grosses

1 Forrest Gump Par. $329,694,499 2,365 $24,450,602 1,595 7/6
2 The Lion King BV $312,855,561 2,624 $1,586,753 2 6/15
3 True Lies Fox $146,282,411 2,561 $25,869,770 2,368 7/15
4 The Santa Clause BV $144,833,357 2,388 $19,321,992 2,183 11/11
5 The Flintstones Uni. $130,531,208 2,594 $29,688,730 2,498 5/27
6 Dumb and Dumber NL $127,175,374 2,565 $16,363,442 2,447 12/16
7 Clear and Present Danger Par. $122,187,717 2,433 $20,348,017 2,378 8/5
8 Speed Fox $121,248,145 2,169 $14,456,194 2,138 6/10
9 The Mask NL $119,938,730 2,516 $23,117,068 2,360 7/29
10 Pulp Fiction Mira. $107,928,762 1,494 $9,311,882 1,338 10/14

some notes on the Top 10

  • By the end of their theatrical runs, Forrest Gump was #3 all-time and The Lion King was #5 with Jurassic Park, E.T. and Star Wars at #1, 2 and 4.  Today Gump is #64 while The Lion King having been re-released twice (in IMAX in 2002 and in 3-D in 2011) is now at $422.78 million and is #26.
  • The Lion King was the first film to earn $300 million to not be #1 for the year.  It would take until 2001 for another film to be #2 while earning more money than The Lion King (Fellowship of the Ring).  Ironically, the remake of Lion King with $542 million is at #2 for the current year but that will almost certainly be knocked down to #3 after Rise of Skywalker gets released.
  • Not only is this the first year with two $300 million films but is just the second (after 1992) with 10 $100 million films.
  • The difference between Gump and Lion King is just 5.11%, the closest finish since 1986.
  • In contrast to the top two, True Lies is the lowest grossing #3 since 1991 and no #3 since has been even close to this low.
  • However, while #3-5 are comparatively low, #6-10 are much better.  Dumb and Dumber is the second highest #6 to this date (though, since this, only once has the #6 been lower) and The Mask and Pulp Fiction are the highest #9 and 10 to this point.
  • Thanks to the top two films and solid 6-10, the Top 10 sets a new record ($1.66 billion), one that will only last until 1997.  For comparison, Disney made far more than that this year with just three films (and it’s possible that once Rise of Skywalker gets released it will make more than that with just two films).
  • The Top 10 films average a 65.2 from me which is fairly average (the top is 2002 with 79.7 and the low is 1998 with 54.9).  It’s lower than 1993 by over a point but higher than 1995 by six points.  The metacritic average is 65.5 which is a little better than average.


Three future Oscar winners make their screen debut.

A Century of Film


The Lists

Film Debuts

  • Jessica Alba  –  Camp Nowhere
  • Claire Danes  –  Little Women
  • Cameron Diaz  –  The Mask
  • Salma Hayek  –  Mi Vida Loca
  • Scarlett Johansson  –  North
  • Greg Kinnear  –  Blankman
  • Jason Lee  –  Mi Vida Loca
  • Ewan McGregor  –  Being Human
  • Jonathan Rhys Meyers  –  A Man of No Importance
  • Natalie Portman  –  Leon
  • Mark Ruffalo  –  There Goes My Baby
  • Liev Schreiber  –  Mixed Nuts
  • Andy Serkis  –  Prince of Jutland
  • J. K. Simmons  –  The Ref
  • Liv Tyler  –  Silent Fall
  • Mark Wahlberg  –  Renaissance Man
  • Michelle Williams  –  Lassie
  • Kate Winslet  –  Heavenly Creatures


A Century of Film



A long time ago, I had an idea.  The idea was that I would try to see every single film in a year.  This is, actually, quite an insane concept that you don’t know how insane it is unless you actually try it. (more…)

A Century of Film


The Studio

In 1978, the United Artists heads were tired of being told what to do by parent company Transamerica and the head of Transamerica, Jack Beckett, said “if the people at United Artists don’t like it, they can quit and go off on their own.”  Which is what they did, leaving the next day and forming Orion Pictures, with a financing and distributing affiliation with Warner Brothers. (more…)

Straight Man

  • Author:  Richard Russo
  • Published:  1997
  • Publisher:  Random House
  • Pages:  391
  • First Line:  “Truth be told, I’m not an easy man.”
  • Last Lines:  see below
  • First Read:  Summer 2001

The campus novel has a long and strong tradition.  Its origins date back to the 30’s although the comedic campus novel really dates to 1954 with the publication of Lucky Jim by Kingsley Amis.  While there have been a number of really good serious novels that can be considered campus novels (both Human Stain and Disgrace are among my Top 100 and Possession could definitely be considered one), I prefer the ones that find the humor at the core of the university experience, books like Wonder Boys or Dear Committee Members or even White Noise. (more…)