In the fallow period between “summer blockbusters” and “winter Oscar contenders” are the two periods of spring’s “maybe, with the right ad campaign, we can turn a profit on this dog” and autumn’s “well, it’s time for the horror flicks to come out”.

But then I started to wonder… has it always been this way? Surely there was a period where Hollywood didn’t know what it was doing and would release big movies in February and Oscar movies in July… Has autumn *ALWAYS* been the splat season?

So I got me to Wikipedia.

The first five Halloween movies were released in October… and look at those dates! The first two were released the weekend *BEFORE* Halloween. The next two were released to give an additional weekend before Halloween. (Note to self: if ever writing about the phenomenon of “when did (non-Christmas holiday) turn from being something that you’d look forward to for a week into something that you were aware of for a whole freaking month?”, use Hollywood film marketing as an example.) Only the slightest bit more of restraint with Halloween V at the beginning of October but, after that, the deluge. September, August… give the kids months to enjoy the splat film in the theater.

Nightmare on Elm Street does something somewhat similar in that the first two movies came out in November but, get this, Nightmare III came out in February before returning to form by doing the August/September/October thing. (Huh. The Nightmare reboot that was seen as a disappointment came out in April… maybe that had something to do with it being disappointing?)

So then I looked at Friday the 13th movies and saw something that surprised me. These were overwhelmingly spring movies. Part III was originally released in August but re-released a few short months later in May, bringing it in line with its brethren where the first five movies were all March, April, or May. (I’m guessing that the studios didn’t have a whole lot of faith in them… as evidenced by the rest of the Friday the 13th movies’ release dates just being thrown haphazardly at the calendar.)

By the time we get to the Saws, though, we’re fully in “well disciplined” mode. The earliest one was released on October 23rd, the latest one released on October 29th.

As for this autumn, it looks like we’ve got IT coming out to be part of the festivities of this year’s Grand Guignol along with a smattering of Annabelles and Chuckys to run with our “creepy doll” nightmares and, looky there, the weekend before Halloween has “Jigsaw”, the latest in the Saw franchise, coming out.

And I look back on Friday the 13th’s release schedule and ask “what were they thinking?”

So… what are you reading and/or watching?

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Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to

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7 thoughts on “Sunday!

  1. What is the point that the horror circles around? If it is Halloween – kinda in the title – then you release it then. If it is summer camp and related ideas, you release it in the run up to summer. So, Friday the 13, being a actual date, is needed to be released on the way to that date. Simple.

    Rereading the Pelbar Cycle, as I needed something to relax with at the end of the day. And I gotta say, early ’80’s post apocalyptic fiction is so much better than what currently passes. Fun, not too preachy, decently written. It does confirm to me that most SF from that period is written at a level perfectly suited for 8th graders, give or take.


  2. Assuming my wife doesnt go into labor I’m pretty sure I’ll be seeing It opening night. I’ve got a bit of a soft spot for the old made for tv version but I’m not feeling the excitement for this one. My wife on the other hand is a big Stephen King fan.

    I try to see something scary in the theater around Halloween time every fall. Last year it was Blair Witch which I didn’t think was terrible but not great either. I watched the Void on Netflix the other weekend which is definitely worth a viewing if youre a fan of the genre.


  3. Podcasts podcasts and more podcasts. Good times.

    Also, one blushes to admit, nearly two seasons of The League in 2 days (and the third on order from the library).


  4. I’m cautiously hopeful that IT will be a good movie. It looks to capture more of the horror of the book and less of the sap (the television show did the reverse).


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