Jovial greetings on this fresh epoch! Or, as most Americans say it, Happy New Year! Believe it or not, we’ve made it to 2024. Seems impossible from a 2018 perspective (ah, how young the world was then), but this reality is now upon us. And as hibernation continues through the Antarctic month of January, this makes it a perfect time to both reflect on the past year and look ahead to what the new one has in store.
It’s true that 2023 was filled with some highs and some lows for the movie industry. While the lows may, at worst, have carried with them a burdensome write-down for the studios (sorry, Indiana Jones), the highs nearly reached Kilimanjaro’s peak. The year 2023 in film can be summed up in a single word: Barbenheimer. (It’s only a matter of time before that’s added to the Oxford Dictionary.) The unexpectedly complementary combination of two masterclass cinematic efforts releasing on the same July date ignited a mass of moviegoing merriment and moneymaking. After satisfying themselves with the number of box office records set, the iconic fashionable doll and the chain-smoking atomic bomb inventor are both receiving the inevitable plethora of awards that follow reviving interest in the art of motion pictures. I’m talking about Barbie and Oppenheimer, if you didn’t catch on.
As we welcome 2024 with open arms (especially those of us whose birthday falls on leap day), so do film enthusiasts – and for good reason. Sensational movies will finally have their spotlight following delays either due to the pandemic or last year’s strikes. Action-packed spectacle will add to the appeal of blockbusters such as Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Dune: Part Two. Long-awaited sequels are also up to bat, with Beetlejuice 2, Gladiator 2 and The Karate Kid finally able to hit the nostalgia button. Families have their own movie monopoly, with IF, Inside Out 2 and The Garfield Movie promising a PG experience! Ghostbusters, apes, clowns, aliens with really good hearing and a whole bunch of other cinematic wonders are also gearing up to make their mark – and that’s just the tip of the glacial mass! (Gotta keep it original.)
However, even with the multitude of exciting entertainment on the horizon, heading into the New Year isn’t always easy. First, there’s no horizon – thanks, winter clouds. Truthfully, though, there is usually at least one resolution remaining unfulfilled from last year . . . maybe it’s been there for a few New Years now. No matter what that is, from an ambitious and potentially impossible diet to an honest goal for the future, make 2024 the year to accomplish it. After all, it’s relatively easy to surpass my success percentage rate (which is not to be shared – let’s just say it starts with a two). Whatever the New Year may hold, let’s approach it with optimism. After all, the most entertaining days are near!