Printer Friendly

Movies become holiday ritual; Interfaith rite at the multiplex.

Byline: Susan Spencer

After the presents have been opened and families have gathered and dined, an increasingly popular tradition for Christmas day is to go to the movies. No longer mainly for those who don't celebrate the holiday, people of all faiths flock to what has become one of Hollywood's biggest days.

"It's typically a busy movie day,'' said an employee at Blackstone Valley Cinema de Lux in Millbury, who did not want to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak to the news media. "A lot of movies open on Christmas.''

This year five movies opened in local theaters on Christmas: Ben Stiller's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty''; Martin Scorsese's dark comedy with Leonardo DiCaprio, "The Wolf of Wall Street''; "Justin Bieber's Believe,'' a documentary; "47 Ronin,'' an action/adventure movie starring Keanu Reeves; and a Robert De Niro-Sylvester Stallone comedy about aging boxers, "Grudge Match.''

Two additional movies, "Lone Survivor,'' based on the failed June 28, 2005 SEAL team mission "Operation Red Wings,'' and "The Invisible Woman,'' a biographic drama about Charles Dickens' illicit love affair, opened Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles.

Joseph Bard of Worcester, who was leaving the Blackstone Valley theater complex after seeing Will Ferrell's "Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues'' with his family late Wednesday afternoon, said it's a tradition to go to the movies on Christmas and Thanksgiving.

"It's the only time we all get to be together. It keeps us busy,'' Mr. Bard said.

Leslie and Larry Jeznach of Douglas, with their children Ashley, 22, and David, 21, also saw "Anchorman 2.'' They said they, too, go to the movies every Christmas and sometimes on Thanksgiving.

Mrs. Jeznach said, "We love going to the movies anyway and it's a good tradition. It's family time.''

"We open gifts in the morning and then go to the movies,'' Mr. Jeznach said.

Mrs. Jeznach added, "It's good because we all share the same sense of humor.''

Others who saw "Anchorman 2,'' including Karim Wahid of Cambridge and his nephews Elijah Friedman, 14, and Micah Friedman, 12, of Millbury, said the Christmas movie outing was their first.

"We didn't really have anything to do and it's cold outside,'' Elijah said.

Catching one of the new movies, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty,'' with his children Brooke, 16, Vaughn, 14, and Reese, 13, Roger Hammond of Oxford said, "It just sounded a little different, a change of pace after the Christmas season.''

It was the Hammonds' first Christmas movie foray.

While "Anchorman 2'' was popular Wednesday among moviegoers in Millbury who spoke to a reporter, nationally "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'' topped the box office charts. The Associated Press reported that over last weekend "The Hobbit'' grossed $31.5 million, surpassing "Anchorman 2'' in second place with $26.2 million.

Rounding out the top five weekend movies were Disney's "Frozen,'' Sony's "American Hustle'' and Disney's "Saving Mr. Banks.''

Overall this holiday season, which began the first Friday in November, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire'' is ranked highest in sales, pulling in $375 million since it opened Nov. 22, according to IMDb's Box Office Mojo.

David O. Russell's "American Hustle,'' about con artists and the 1970s Abscam scandal, has drawn local audiences since it opened here Dec. 20.

"A lot of people are coming to see 'American Hustle' because it was filmed in parts of Worcester,'' said an employee of Worcester Showcase Cinemas North, who did not wish to be identified because he wasn't authorized to speak to reporters.

Despite the full movie theater parking lots on Christmas, however, the season has been down from last year's holidays. Box Office Mojo data showed this season's total gross as of Monday at $1.45 billion, down 44.5 percent from last year's $2.62 billion.

Contact Susan Spencer at Follow her on Twitter @SusanSpencerTG
COPYRIGHT 2013 Worcester Telegram & Gazette
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2013 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Local
Author:Spencer, Susan
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Dec 26, 2013
Previous Article:Chair is symbol of POWs; Group donates remembrance for City Hall.
Next Article:Men are assault victims at home; Separate invasions appear planned.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters