Dump Month: Is it even relevant anymore?

Kristy Grigg

Dump Month; the period of time that falls outside of awards season and is at the tail-end of the festive/holiday period ie January and February usually.

An unflattering title no matter which way you look at it. And if it’s referring to the release date of your movie it’s even worse. Traditionally there is much less pressure put on films that are released during ‘dump month’ with lower commercial and critical expectations.

And there are a few reasons for this, none of it is rocket science. Award season is about to come into full swing, with films released during this period falling into the following years awards season. The weather isn’t great (particularly in the northern hemisphere, here in BNE its too nice to be inside!) and if you’re a bit like me, you need to tighten the purse strings a little to claw back some savings from the gluttonous overspending during the Christmas period.

Having said all that – is dump month now a thing of the past? Have we just moved into a perpetual ‘dump month’ as a result of the post pandemic changes in society? Many industry commentators agree that it’s now spread more evenly throughout the year with box offices struggling since 2019 when everything went downhill.

A few films have, of course, bucked the trend but only recently with Spider-Man: No way Home and Scream doing their bit to rebuild struggling cinema patronage. And with many films being released simultaneously on streaming services, you have to question…is there any way back?

Even though we are yet to see a return to pre-pandemic box office numbers, as film and cinema lovers we are definitely glass half full. There is no better way to experience a film than in it’s big screen, surround sound glory.



Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021) - IMDb


File:Ghostface2022.jpg - Wikimedia Commons


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians and first storytellers of the land on which the Brisbane International Film Festival takes place.