I know it almost feels like I am obligated to say the following, but that doesn’t make it any less true: I can’t believe it has been a year since It’s Just Movies went public.
It has quite honestly flown by.
Sept. 22 was the first day we let the public know It’s Just Movies existed. We were online for a few weeks beforehand (if you want to be technical, we bought the naming rights on Aug. 29 and I spent a few weeks designing the site and adding content along with a few other writers), but only a handful of people knew what we were doing prior to Sept. 22.
In the first year, I am very happy to say, we have accomplished much of what we set out to do. IJM is an online movie magazine first and foremost, but it’s also a tight-knit community where people have gotten to know each other and the readers interact with the writers.
We have also done our very best to showcase movies of every budget level. We will do interviews with those involved on every level of movie-making and we will review movies at every budget level.
If there is one unifying factor at It’s Just Movies, it is simply this: We love movies and we love talking to those who love movies as much as we do.
Now, as the year went by it was fun to see which stories were the most widely read. After a year of doing it, and trying to guess which stories would do the best with our readers, I came to a simple conclusion: It can’t be done. (One conclusion I have drawn, though, is that no matter how much the writers seem to think it does, the number of comments after a story does not indicate a story’s readership.)
By and large, we know stories about superheroes (most specifically Superman) and stories about “The Boondock Saints” will be widely read. After that, though, it’s anybody’s guess.
So to celebrate our first anniversary, I thought it would be fun to present you with a list of The Top 5 Most Read Stories of Our First Year.
Honorable Mention: Whedon In Final Negotiations to Direct ‘The Avengers’
This story gets an honorable mention because it just barely missed the Top 5. It also shows how mercurial these things can be. Every time I would look at the top stories for the day, this one would be hanging around the top … and it did so for quite a long time.
5. An Exclusive Interview with Norman Reedus
This one isn’t difficult to figure out, but it does have an interesting backstory. If you follow our Twitter feed, you may notice we have a lot of readers who love “The Boondock Saints.” I know it’s called a cult film, but this cult is bigger than a lot of people realize. The fans are loyal and they are passionate — my favorite kind of movie lover.
When “Boondock Saints 2: All Saint’s Day” came out, we did a number of interviews with the cast, but one ended up not happening. It became a “lost interview.” But due to popular demand, it finally went on the site and it became quite popular.
Reedus, for the record, was fantastic to talk to. He’s really a renaissance man and he exudes cool, even over the phone. This is a man you want to have a drink and a smoke with — even if you don’t smoke.
4. Kate Beckinsale: The ‘Sexiest Woman Alive’
Okay, this one isn’t really a surprise either. But this story’s popularity has nothing to do with the story itself. It’s all about the video. I could have written, “Just watch this video,” and called it a day. If you haven’t seen the video yet, check it out. Your only question might be, “Why isn’t this story No. 1?”
3. The Top 5 Films About the Law
H.G. Watson knows a thing or two about the law, so when she sat done to write about the top five law movies, she knew what she was talking about. Well, she did in her own opinion — but it turns out it wasn’t an opinion shared by many other lawyers.
If her story had been straightforward and listed five movies no one really could have debated, it would have made for a nice little story people would have read and moved on. Instead, she included “Legally Blonde” at No. 3 and controversy ensued. Watson didn’t include it for any reason other than she firmly believed it belonged there, but to be sure, it’s existence on the list is the main reason it comes in at No. 3.
2. Six Clips from ‘Chloe’
This one has been a head-scratcher from day one. It’s also just another reason that a movie’s popularity online doesn’t necessarily translate to box office success. At one point, this was the top story on the site for a couple of weeks in a row and, in fact, it still does well numbers-wise.
I haven’t seen the movie yet, but I almost feel obligated to do so at this point.
1. Trailer Talk: ‘The 40 Year Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It’
This trailer was so bad that I couldn’t assign it to any other writer. I took the bullet myself. And then I watched as a lot of people inflicted it upon a lot of other people. It became one of those “you have to see how horrible this thing is” kind of trailers. I saw people directing other people to the site to read it, but I never saw anyone doing so in anything resembling a positive manner. I just re-watched it and it truly remains abysmal. The only good thing about the movie was the title — and strangely, they changed that after the trailer was released … but not by much. The movie is now known as “The 41-Year-Old Virgin Who Knocked Up Sarah Marshall and Felt Superbad About It.” Nobody was tricked by the change.
As we move forward, hopefully it will be fun to see what movies click most with readers over the next year. Many, many thanks to our readers and I also want to thank the site’s writers. It’s been a fun year.
Oh, and while I am thinking of it, head over to our new Facebook page — www.facebook.com/itsjustmovies — and push the like button. We have some cool prizes on tap for our Facebook friends.
. . .
Follow Sean Gerski on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DoubleDown44.