The 13 Stages Of Seeing A January "Blockbuster"

The post-holiday blues are upon us, and as Christmas and New Year's Day pass quickly into the rear view, the vast wasteland of winter movies approaches. It's a yearly struggle: January hits and after you've caught up on the Oscar movies still available in theaters, you're left only with the lot of movies studios weren't brave enough to release during the late spring, summer, or pre-holiday rush — how else do you think The Legend of Hercules , starring Twilight's Kellan Lutz, is going to get any non-Twihard rear ends in the seats? Winter, for all intents and purposes, is the Walmart clearance bin for studio-produced movies.

But unlike the summer, or spring, or pre-holiday blitz, the stretch of post-New Year winter is bereft of activity options. You can only escape the cold indoors, hooked up to Netflix or nose in a book, for so long before your cabin fever overtakes you or you become a permanent hermit. The movie theater calls your name, you bundle up and fork over the 12 bucks for whatever new movie's premise makes you cringe the least and settle into the theater. You've made your choice and now you've got to live with it.

Don't fret. We've all had similar moments of weakness, so in the name of togetherness (it's freezing outside, so we could use the body heat) let us prepare ourselves for a few questionable months at the movies.

1. Realize that your sweatpants are becoming one with your skin and that wearing actual clothes and going outside someday might be a good idea.

2. Bundle up and brave the arctic temperatures outside.

3. Realize that you've come too far to go home, but that it's too cold to stay outside.

4. Head to the movies knowing full well that the selection will terrible, but that at the very least you'll get your own bag of popcorn.

5. Buy a ticket to the movie your friend raved "wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be."

6. Witness the opening credits, which don't even appear to be excited for their own movie. Realize you've made a huge mistake.

7. Calm yourself down. It's not like those 24 dollars you spent on the ticket and your movie snacks could have purchased something more awesome. Oh wait.

8. Pump yourself up. You can do this. You could ask for your money back, but the theater manager looks like he might make you clean the Coca-Cola-coated carpet with your teeth just for looking at him sideways.

9. Plus, the movie has a cute guy you've sort of heard of. It can't be as bad as you think it is, right?

10. But what's this? A twist? The lead character is not only an impeccable human with chiseled abs and a Disney prince smile! He's also his own brother and a time traveling space alien from another dimension who's come here to teach a town of angry people to dance! Yeah, you paid for this nonsense.

11. Weep or howl at the movie gods. You've earned it.

12. Return home, questioning your entire life and every decision you've ever made.

13. Resolve to never leave the safety and comfort of home ever again.

So, thanks a lot, terrible January movies. This is what you've reduced us to.

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