Which January at the Movies Was the Most January?

Brr.

January at the movies is a tale of two seasons. It’s the month where Oscar contenders traditionally open nationwide, allowing moviegoers across the country to experience the best that Hollywood has to offer. But for that reason, it’s also the month where the rest of the industry tries to stay out of the way, offering a mixture of counterprogramming and low-risk fare — we’re talking horror films, inexplicable sequels, and lots of movies about grim middle-aged men firing guns. Many of these movies are flops. A few lucky ones are hits. Most of them will not be remembered by the time next January rolls around.

But this January, they will be remembered. Because this January is the January in which you and I find out together which January of the past ten years has been the most January.

Here’s how it will work. I’ll be looking at the 94 movies that have opened wide in January since 2009. (And that’s opened; movies that received a half-hearted Oscar-qualifying release in December were not included.) To figure out which one best fit the vibe of the month, they’ll be scored in four categories — genre, cast, critical reception, and box office — to create their overall January Score (J-Score for short). Because some years had more films than others, we’ll then take the mean of all J-Scores to find a given year’s January Average (J-Ave). The year with the highest J-Ave will be crowned the Most January January.

Got it? Here’s the scoring breakdown.

Genre
Some genres are more January than others. You’re a romantic drama? Go open in November. In January, I want horror films, I want action movies, I want sequels for film series that everyone in America stopped thinking about a long time ago but people seem to love overseas, so here, have a sixth one.

First, every movie gets a basic genre score:

Drama – 1 POINT
Comedy/Animation – 5 POINTS
Action – 10 POINTS
Erotic Thriller – 12 POINTS
Horror – 15 POINTS

Points will also be added for sequels and prequels. The further a movie is extending a given series, the better:

Second film – 5 POINTS
Third film – 10 POINTS
Fourth film – 15 POINTS
Fifth film – 20 POINTS
Sixth film – 25 POINTS
Seventh film – 30 POINTS

Two bonuses will also be available. If a movie’s plot also involves one of the four branches of the armed forces, it will also be awarded a 5 point “troop bonus.” If the highest-billed actor from a the first film in the series does not appear in a given installment, it will be awarded a 5 point “get-me-outta-this-thing bonus.”

Cast
Just as Reggie Jackson was known as “Mr. October,” there are some actors in Hollywood who should be known as “Mr. or Ms. January.” Their contributions to the field of January cinema are celebrated in this category, which awards points based on their mere presence in a film’s credits.

Elizabeth Banks, Josh Brolin, Zac Efron, Josh Gad, anyone from Game of Thrones, Chris Hemsworth, Anthony Mackie, Chloë Grace Moretz, Bill Nighy, Gary Oldman, Dennis Quaid, Ruby Rose, Pablo Schreiber – 5 POINTS

Paul Bettany, Kevin Costner, Ben Foster, Brendan Fraser, Jennifer Lopez, Olivia Munn, Marlon Wayans – 10 POINTS

Kevin Hart, Katherine Heigl, Anthony Hopkins, Kevin James, Johnny Knoxville, Jason Statham – 15 POINTS

Gerard Butler, Mel Gibson, Liam Neeson, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mark Wahlberg – 20 POINTS

Nicolas Cage, Johnny Depp – 25 POINTS

Animated movies are ineligible for these bonuses.

Critical Reception
January movies are not supposed to be good. Thus, each film will be assessed points based on its Rotten Tomatoes score, the lower the better. Scoring too high comes with significant penalties.

0–5: 30 POINTS
6–15: 20 POINTS
16–25: 15 POINTS
26–40: 10 POINTS
41–70: 0 POINTS
71–90: MINUS 10 POINTS
91–100: MINUS 20 POINTS

Box Office
Similarly, January movies are not expected to make a splash at the box office. They are expected to open in a muddle of confusion and indifference, and then quietly fade from the national consciousness. Thus, points will be awarded for low domestic box-office totals, and taken away for smash hits.

$0–$10 million – 25 POINTS
$11–$20 million – 10 POINTS
$21–$50 million – 5 POINTS
$51–$100 million – 0 POINTS
$100+ million – MINUS 20 POINTS

If a film with a budget over $50 million grosses under $20 million, it will receive a 20 point “megaflop bonus.” Budget information often varies by source; in this case, I have used the figures available on Box Office Mojo. Films whose budgets are not available on Box Office Mojo are ineligible for this bonus.

We’ve got ten years and 94 films to get through. Let’s begin.

10. 2010

Legion. Photo: Screen Gems

The second-oldest year in our study is also the year that scored the lowest. Could this be because cast points were awarded to actors whose names resonated in 2018, while stars of Januaries past went unrewarded? No. The scoring is correct, and it will not be questioned.

Despite the low scores, this was actually a good year for older actors making one last run at the box office: As the success of Taken had not yet filtered down the development ladder, many of these projects were slightly more off-kilter than the wave of “give a baby-boomer a handgun” films that would follow. In The Book of Eli, Denzel Washington battled Gary Oldman in a post-apocalyptic desert. Harrison Ford and Brendan Fraser squared off in the medical drama Extraordinary Measures. And in the month’s highest-scoring film, Dennis Quaid and a fallen angel played by Paul Bettany saved humanity from God’s wrath in the critically reviled Legion. January 2010 also saw some of the last gasps of the mainstream rom-com, as Amy Adams and Kristen Bell found love in Europe in Leap Year and When in Rome, respectively.

Point breakdown:

Daybreakers
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 67 (0)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 20

Youth in Revolt
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 66 (0)
Domestic Gross: $15M (5)
J-Score: 20

Leap Year
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Ian McElhinney (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22 (15)
Domestic Gross: $26M (5)
J-Score: 30

The Book of Eli
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Gary Oldman (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 47 (0)
Domestic Gross: $95M (0)
J-Score: 15

The Spy Next Door
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12 (20)
Domestic Gross: $24M (5)
J-Score: 30

Legion
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Paul Bettany (10) + Dennis Quaid (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19 (15)
Domestic Gross: $40M (5)
J-Score: 50

Extraordinary Measures
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Brendan Fraser (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28 (10)
Domestic Gross: $12M (10)
J-Score: 31

Tooth Fairy
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18 (15)
Domestic Gross: $60M (0)
J-Score: 20

When in Rome
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 16 (15)
Domestic Gross: $33M (5)
J-Score: 25

Edge of Darkness
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Mel Gibson (20)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56 (0)
Domestic Gross: $43M (5)
J-Score: 35

2010 J-Ave: 27.1

9. 2009

Inkheart. Photo: New Line Cinema

Despite this month seeing both The Unborn and The Uninvited, both of which are very January, what drags 2009 down is the presence of two bona fide hits in Taken and Paul Blart: Mall Cop. Elsewhere, too, it was a successful month at the box office, as least as far as Januaries go; basically everything else made its money back. There was only one terrible flop: the long-delayed children’s fantasy Inkheart, which pulled in $17 million on a reported $60 million budget.

Point breakdown:

The Unborn
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Gary Oldman (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10 (20)
Domestic Gross: $43M (5)
J-Score: 45

Not Easily Broken
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Kevin Hart (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32 (10)
Domestic Gross: $11M (10)
J-Score: 36

Bride Wars
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10 (20)
Domestic Gross: $59M (0)
J-Score: 25

Paul Blart: Mall Cop
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Kevin James (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32 (10)
Domestic Gross: $146M (-20)
J-Score: 10

Hotel for Dogs
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 46 (0)
Domestic Gross: $73M (0)
J-Score: 5

My Bloody Valentine 3-D
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57 (0)
Domestic Gross: $52M (0)
J-Score: 20

Notorious
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Anthony Mackie (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51 (0)
Domestic Gross: $37M (5)
J-Score: 11

Inkheart
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Brendan Fraser (10) + Paul Bettany (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38 (10)
Domestic Gross: $17M (10) + Megaflop Bonus (20)
J-Score: 70

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (10) + Get-Me-Outta-This-Thing Bonus (5)
Cast: Bill Nighy (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29 (10)
Domestic Gross: $46M (5)
J-Score: 45

Taken
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Liam Neeson (20)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 58 (0)
Domestic Gross: $145M (-20)
J-Score: 10

The Uninvited
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Elizabeth Banks (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31 (10)
Domestic Gross: $29M (5)
J-Score: 35

New in Town
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29 (10)
Domestic Gross: $17M (10)
J-Score: 25

2009 J-Ave: 28.1

8. 2018

Insidious: The Last Key. Photo: Universal Pictures

First, an asterisk: As 2018’s films are still early in their runs, their box-office totals cannot be accurately compared to those of years past. To compensate, in situations where the film’s final box-office tally seems unclear, I have instead awarded points based on my estimates for each film — a messy fix, but a necessary one.

Anyway, the current January is an almost archetypal in its January-ness. You’ve got a horror series that’s long since abandoned its original stars (Insidious), an old-guy action film starring the king of old-guy action films (The Commuter), a Gerard Butler heist film (Den of Thieves), and an earnest ode to the troops (12 Strong). So why doesn’t it place higher? Blame that pesky Paddington 2 and its perfect Rotten Tomatoes score. Like the bear says: If we’re kind and polite, the J-Score will be slight.

Point breakdown:

Insidious: The Last Key
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (15) + Get-Me-Outta-This-Thing Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31 (10)
Domestic Gross: $60M (0)
J-Score: 45

The Commuter
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Liam Neeson (20)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 57 (0)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 35

Proud Mary
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23 (15)
Domestic Gross: $21M (5)
J-Score: 30

Paddington 2
Genre: Comedy (5) + Sequel Bonus (5)
Cast: Jim Broadbent (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100 (-20)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 0

Forever My Girl
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18 (15)
Domestic Gross: $8M (25)
J-Score: 41

12 Strong
Genre: Action (10) + Troop Bonus (5)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 54 (0)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 25

Den of Thieves
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Gerard Butler (20) + Pablo Schreiber (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44 (0)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 40

Maze Runner: The Death Cure
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (10)
Cast: Thomas Brodie Sangster (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 44 (0)
Domestic Gross: $60M (0)
J-Score: 25

2018 J-Ave: 30.1

7. 2017

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter. Photo: Screen Gems

How I wish I could include both The Founder and Gold, two films that would be worthy additions to the January canon. But no — each of those misbegotten bits of Oscar bait got bare-bones December releases, making them ineligible here. What we got instead were a bunch of sequels to franchises that were big in the ’00s: the third xXx movie, the fifth Underworld film, and the sixth and supposedly final Resident Evil. We also got Split, which turned out to be a secret Unbreakable sequel. That M. Night Shyamalan film was both critically acclaimed and a smash hit, which of course goes against everything January stands for.

Point breakdown:

Underworld: Blood Wars
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (20)
Cast: Charles Dance (5) + Tobias Menzies (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 20 (15)
Domestic Gross: $30M (5)
J-Score: 60

Sleepless
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23 (15)
Domestic Gross: $21M (5)
J-Score: 30

The Bye-Bye Man
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 23 (15)
Domestic Gross: $22M (5)
J-Score: 35

Monster Trucks
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31 (10)
Domestic Gross: $33M (5)
J-Score: 25

xXx: The Return of Xander Cage
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (10)
Cast: Ruby Rose (5) + Rory McCann (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 45 (0)
Domestic Gross: $45M (5)
J-Score: 35

Split
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75 (-10)
Domestic Gross: $138M (-20)
J-Score: -10

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (25)
Cast: Ruby Rose (5) + Iain Glen (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36 (10)
Domestic Gross: $27M (5)
J-Score: 65

A Dog’s Purpose
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Josh Gad (5) + Dennis Quaid (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33 (10)
Domestic Gross: $65M (0)
J-Score: 21

2017 J-Ave: 32

6. 2016

Ride Along 2. Photo: Universal Pictures

January 2016 was most notable for seeing the release of some absolutely terrible movies: There was the Marlon Wayans sex spoof Fifty Shades of Black (7 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), the Natalie Dormer horror film The Forest (9 percent), the animated polar bear movie Norm of the North (another 9), and the inimitable Dirty Grandpa (11 percent), all of which did much to make this January so January. But thanks in part to roles for January all-stars Kevin Hart and Olivia Munn, the highest-scoring film of the month turned out to be Ride-Along 2, which was only slightly less dreadful (13 percent).

Point breakdown:

The Forest
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Natalie Dormer (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9 (20)
Domestic Gross: $27M (5)
J-Score: 45

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi
Genre: Action (10) + Troop Bonus (5)
Cast: Pablo Schreiber (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 50 (0)
Domestic Gross: $53M (0)
J-Score: 20

Norm of the North
Genre: Animated (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9 (20)
Domestic Gross: $17M (10)
J-Score: 35

Ride-Along 2
Genre: Comedy (5) + Sequel Bonus (5)
Cast: Kevin Hart (15) + Olivia Munn (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13 (20)
Domestic Gross: $91M (0)
J-Score: 55

The 5th Wave
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 15 (20)
Domestic Gross: $35M (5)
J-Score: 40

The Boy
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28 (10)
Domestic Gross: $36M (5)
J-Score: 30

Dirty Grandpa
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Zac Efron (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11 (20)
Domestic Gross: $35M (5)
J-Score: 35

The Finest Hours
Genre: Action (10) + Troop Bonus (5)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (5) + Ben Foster (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64 (0)
Domestic Gross: $28M (5)
J-Score: 35

Fifty Shades of Black
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Marlon Wayans (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 7 (20)
Domestic Gross: $12M (10)
J-Score: 45

Kung-Fu Panda 3
Genre: Animated (5) + Sequel Bonus (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86 (-10)
Domestic Gross: $144M (-20)
J-Score: -15

2016 J-Ave: 32.5

5. 2012

One for the Money. Photo: Lionsgate

Let’s talk about Ben Foster. While nobody was looking, the former Flash Forward star became the patron saint of January cinema, popping up in three different January movies over the course of our ten-year study. The only one I’ve seen is the 2012 smuggling thriller Contraband, in which Foster plays the weaselly sidekick to Mark Wahlberg’s boring-ass hero. It’s a big, weird performance that livens up a gray, muddled movie, and it’s worth every bit of the 10 points Foster’s presence provides. He’s not the only January actor who got to shine in 2012: Three years after Taken, Liam Neeson returned to battle a wolf in The Grey, while Katherine Heigl took one last swing at A-list stardom in the Janet Evanovich adaptation One for the Money, which, at 2 percent, holds the distinction of earning the lowest Rotten Tomatoes score in recent January history.

Point breakdown:

The Devil Inside
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 6 (20)
Domestic Gross: $53M (0)
J-Score: 35

Contraband
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg (20) + Ben Foster (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 51 (0)
Domestic Gross: $67M (0)
J-Score: 40

Joyful Noise
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32 (10)
Domestic Gross: $31M (5)
J-Score: 16

Underworld: Awakening
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (15)
Cast: Charles Dance (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 27 (10)
Domestic Gross: $62M (0)
J-Score: 40

Red Tails
Genre: Action (10) + Troop Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40 (10)
Domestic Gross: $50M (5)
J-Score: 30

Haywire
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80 (-10)
Domestic Gross: $19M (10)
J-Score: 10

One for the Money
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Katherine Heigl (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 2 (30)
Domestic Gross: $26M (5)
J-Score: 55

Man on a Ledge
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Anthony Mackie (5) + Elizabeth Banks (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 31 (10)
Domestic Gross: $19M (10)
J-Score: 40

The Grey
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Liam Neeson (20) + Nonso Anozie (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 79 (-10)
Domestic Gross: $52M (0)
J-Score: 25

2012 J-Ave: 32.3

4. 2011

Season of the Witch. Photo: Lionsgate/Rogue Pictures

Only seven films came out in wide release in January 2011, a fact which I can only assume is attributed to studios not wanting to compete with The King’s Speech. The month was remarkable for seeing just one film — the fuck-buddy rom-com No Strings Attached — earn more than its budget domestically. Otherwise, flops all around. Whether it was fantasy (Season of the Witch), horror (The Rite), comedy (The Dilemma), or adventure (The Way Back), the American public simply could not care less. Seth Rogen’s The Green Hornet nearly cracked $100 million, but at a $120 million budget, that was less impressive than it may have seemed.

Point breakdown:

Season of the Witch
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Nicholas Cage (25)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 9 (20)
Domestic Gross: $25M (5)
J-Score: 60

The Dilemma
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Kevin James (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 24 (15)
Domestic Gross: $48M (5)
J-Score: 40

The Green Hornet
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 43 (0)
Domestic Gross: $99M (0)
J-Score: 10

No Strings Attached
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 49 (0)
Domestic Gross: $71M (0)
J-Score: 5

The Way Back
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 75 (-10)
Domestic Gross: $3M (25)
J-Score: 25

The Mechanic
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Jason Statham (15) + Ben Foster (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 52 (0)
Domestic Gross: $29M (5)
J-Score: 40

The Rite
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Anthony Hopkins (15) + Ciarán Hinds (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 21 (15)
Domestic Gross: $33M (5)
J-Score: 55

2011 J-Ave: 33.6

3. 2014

I, Frankenstein. Photo: Lionsgate

So, you’ve based your entire industry on adapting preexisting intellectual property into CGI-saturated action films. What’s the worst that could happen? The answer is January 2014, the month that saw the release of The Legend of Hercules and I, Frankenstein, two would-be blockbusters based on public-domain heroes who are well-known, but not exactly beloved. Too cheap to look good and too expensive to be original, both films were critically reviled and huge flops to boot, with neither breaking $20 million at the domestic box office. One bright spot: Ride-Along, which started a minor comedy franchise*.

Point breakdown:

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (15) + Get-Me-Outta-This-Thing Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 38 (10)
Domestic Gross: $32M (5)
J-Score: 55

The Legend of Hercules
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 3 (30)
Domestic Gross: $19M (10) + Megaflop Bonus (20)
J-Score: 70

Devil’s Due
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 17 (15)
Domestic Gross: $16M (10)
J-Score: 40

The Nut Job
Genre: Animated (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 11 (20)
Domestic Gross: $64M (0)
J-Score: 25

Ride Along
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Kevin Hart (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 19 (15)
Domestic Gross: $135M (-20)
J-Score: 15

Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Genre: Action (10) + Troops (5) + Sequel Bonus (20)
Cast: Kevin Costner (10) + Nonso Anozie (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56 (0)
Domestic Gross: $51M (0)
J-Score: 50

I, Frankenstein
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Bill Nighy (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4 (30)
Domestic Gross: $19M (10) + Megaflop Bonus (20)
J-Score: 75

That Awkward Moment
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Zac Efron (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22 (15)
Domestic Gross: $26M (5)
J-Score: 30

Labor Day
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Josh Brolin (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36 (10)
Domestic Gross: $13M (10)
J-Score: 26

2014 J-Ave: 42.9

2. 2015

Mortdecai. Photo: Lionsgate

Ah, Mortdecai — a film whose sheer existence was so inexplicable that it inspired my colleague Abe Riesman to pen a spirited cri de coeur begging for answers. When it comes to January cinema, Mortdecai has everything: a bizarre Johnny Depp performance, Paul Bettany, a Rotten Tomatoes score you could almost count on two hands, and a domestic gross you definitely could. But shockingly, Mortdecai wasn’t the biggest flop of the month: That dubious honor belongs to Michael Mann’s hacker thriller Blackhat, which pulled in a mere $8 million on a reported $70 million budget. The film has since seen a critical reevaluation, but that’s outside our purview here. (We don’t look further than the 31st, baby.) The month also saw Liam Neeson return for the third installment of the increasingly creaky Taken franchise, and our only two erotic thrillers, the Jennifer Lopez vehicle The Boy Next Door, a modest hit, and the Belgian remake The Loft, which flopped over Super Bowl weekend.

Point breakdown:

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 22 (15)
Domestic Gross: $27M (5)
J-Score: 40

Taken 3
Genre: Action (10) + Sequel Bonus (10)
Cast: Liam Neeson (20)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12 (20)
Domestic Gross: $89M (0)
J-Score: 60

Paddington
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Jim Broadbent (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98 (-20)
Domestic Gross: $76M (0)
J-Score: -10

The Wedding Ringer
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Kevin Hart (15) + Josh Gad (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28 (10)
Domestic Gross: $64M (0)
J-Score: 35

Blackhat
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Chris Hemsworth (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 33 (10)
Domestic Gross: $8M (25) + Megaflop Bonus (20)
J-Score: 70

The Boy Next Door
Genre: Erotic Thriller (12)
Cast: Jennifer Lopez (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10 (20)
Domestic Gross: $35M (5)
J-Score: 47

Strange Magic
Genre: Animated (5)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18 (15)
Domestic Gross: $12M (10)
J-Score: 30

Mortdecai
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Johnny Depp (25) + Paul Bettany (10) + Olivia Munn (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 12 (20)
Domestic Gross: $8M (25) + Megaflop Bonus (20)
J-Score: 115

Project Almanac
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 36 (10)
Domestic Gross: $22M (5)
J-Score: 25

The Loft
Genre: Erotic Thriller (12)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 13 (20)
Domestic Gross: $6M (25)
J-Score: 57

Black or White
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Kevin Costner (10) + Anthony Mackie (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 41 (0)
Domestic Gross: $22M (5)
J-Score: 21

2015 J-Ave: 44.5

1. 2013

Movie 43. Photo: Relativity Media

You’ve followed me this far. You deserve the truth. When I was making up the points system, I arranged the numbers precisely so that Mortdecai would land 2015 at No. 1. Forgive me. I am a weak man, with a penchant for japes. I meant no harm. But now it appears something greater was guiding my hand. Perhaps the spirit of January itself? How else to explain 2013 claiming the top spot thanks to the star-studded gross-out comedy Movie 43, a film no human soul could have created? That was no man who put testicles on Hugh Jackman’s chin. It was the eldritch power of January, burning itself into celluloid. Pray it does not come again in our lifetimes.

Point breakdown:

Texas Chainsaw 3D
Genre: Horror (15) + Sequel Bonus (30)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 18 (15)
Domestic Gross: $34M (5)
J-Score: 65

A Haunted House
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Marlon Wayans (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 10 (20)
Domestic Gross: $40M (5)
J-Score: 40

Gangster Squad
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Josh Brolin (5) + Anthony Mackie (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 32 (10)
Domestic Gross: $46M (5)
J-Score: 35

The Last Stand
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Arnold Schwarzenegger (20) + Johnny Knoxville (15)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60 (0)
Domestic Gross: $12M (10)
J-Score: 55

Mama
Genre: Horror (15)
Cast: Nicolaj Coster-Waldau (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 64 (0)
Domestic Gross: $72M (0)
J-Score: 20

Broken City
Genre: Drama (1)
Cast: Mark Wahlberg (20)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 28 (10)
Domestic Gross: $20M (10)
J-Score: 41

Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: (0)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 14 (20)
Domestic Gross: $55M (0)
J-Score: 30

Parker
Genre: Action (10)
Cast: Jason Statham (15) + Jennifer Lopez (10)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 40 (10)
Domestic Gross: $18M (10)
J-Score: 55

Movie 43
Genre: Comedy (5)
Cast: Gerard Butler (20) + Johnny Knoxville (15) + Elizabeth Banks (5) + Chloë Grace Moretz (5) + Dennis Quaid (5)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 4 (30)
Domestic Gross: $8M (25)
J-Score: 110

2013 J-Ave: 50.1

*This post originally included Lone Survivor. That film received an Oscar-qualifying release in December 2013.

Which January at the Movies Was the Most January?