Top January Movie Releases Of All Time


January is typically a bad month to release a movie. Not only are people generally in saving mode after spending a lot of money over the holidays, but it’s also a month that is typically known for releasing bad movies. It’s the month movie studios bring out the films they aren’t sure what to do with, and in most cases they are pretty bad. There have been a few success stories though, and a few gems. Here are the top of the pile.

Leading the way is last year’s film American Sniper. Technically it came out in 2014, but it was such a limited release that not many people outside of Hollywood insiders and movie critics got to see it. Once it was released to the general public though it went on to make $89 million for it’s opening weekend and receive several Academy Award nominations. Not too shabby.

In 2014 Ice Cube and Kevin Hart released their buddy cop comedy film Ride Along, and the timing was perfect. It raked in over $41 million the first week, and produced a sequel that just came out this weekend. We’ll have to wait and see if the sequel comes anywhere near to these numbers.

J.J. Abrams knows how to build anticipation, and 2008’s Cloverfield was a perfect example of using that and drawing in crowds. The film drew in over half of it’s $80 million total box office run in one weekend. Is it any wonder he decided to release the trailer to the sequel during January?

The Revenant just opened last weekend, and it comes in fourth on our list with a $39 million opening. With it leading this year’s Oscar nominations, it will probably come close to duplicating the feat this weekend as well.

Liam Neeson had a huge hit on his hands and completely restructured his career with 2008’s Taken, and last year Taken 3 brought it over $39 million when it opened at the start of the month. Hopefully the series is done now though, and it seems to have run its course.

January seems to be a great month for military movies, and 2014’s Lone Survivor is proof of that when it made $37 million when it opened. The Mark Wahlburg led film even got some critical praise for its storytelling.

No, 1977’s Star Wars didn’t originally come out in January, but the 1997 Special Edition did. It added $35 million to the overall Star Wars numbers, and proved that there was a large amount of people willing to stand in line to see the classic movie on the big screen once again. Oh yeah, and to see George Lucas tinkering force Han to shoot second.

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