Audiences voted with their money this weekend to watch a feel-good family tale about a dolphin without a tail. Rejected at the box officer were new movies: 50/50, a cancer dramedy, R-rated comedy What’s Your Number? and the horror flick Dream House.
The movie mood seems to be searching for comfort and the familiar, retreating into family fare. A good animal movie reminds us of the honesty and affection we have for cute critters who do not judge us, but share the same core values we think we all share. Unlike our economic animals who prey on our emotions, these cuddly dolphins and lions which have topped the box office personify the great qualities of loyalty and community; reminding us that we’re all sharing this world and need to feel compassion for those less fortunate than ourselves. Everyone needs help and we should be offering it to all, even if they aren’t all as cute and innocent as a dolphin or share the qualities we most admire in a charming lion cub destined to be king.
The Dow Jones squeaked out a 1.3% gain for the week but ended September with a drop of over 2% after starting out with two gains on optimism over European “action” on their sovereign debt issues. If we are entering an era of world-wide debt contagion, what does the average person do? Retreat to the movies and ignore all this political ineptness and obscure financial problems. Go swim with the dolphins. Embrace the circle of life. Hug you family. What else can you do if we’re facing a worldwide depression? Don’t worry, we’ve seen it before and the movies helped us in the 1930s. Hollywood makes money matching movies to our moods and they will again, once they stop making useless crap like What’s Your Number?