Category Archives: Site Update


It’s come to my attention, via a reader comment, that the #1 lists I’ve been using are not accurate.

The lists that Box Office Boffo is based on come from Wikipedia. I have spent several hours studying the Variety archives on microfiche, and I’ve determined that my reader is correct. The “true” lists, if one chooses to view Variety that way, are quite different, approximately 50 percent different, for the period I’ve already covered (1970-1974). Of the 88 movies I’ve reviewed, about half don’t appear in the Variety lists at all, and there’s a group of similar size that do appear in the Variety lists that I have never reviewed. In some sense that leaves Boffo as less comprehensive than I’d like it to be, so I’m acting to fix that problem.

The Variety findings are real interesting. I’ve decided that I’d prefer to “reboot” the site by reviewing the movies starting over from 1970. When I encounter a movie I’ve already reviewed, the existing review will get slotted in at the appropriate place. Reviews that would not have reason to appear in the new listing will remain on the website in a different location. (I’m proud of those reviews, and I don’t want them to disappear.) All of the subsidiary pages tracking chronological order, tags, and so forth will have to be built from scratch.

Please bear with me in the next few weeks as I effectively zero out the website so that I can start the process from 0001 again. I should be posting new reviews before too long.

The Variety numbers are based on total weekly grosses. The movie that made the most money in a given week is the #1 movie for that week, with no adjustments. I’ll have more to say about the differences between the two lists (Wikipedia and Variety) in the weeks to come.

The weekly tables in Variety make for very interesting reading. The most notable result is how different the distribution patterns are to the way the studios do it now. In other words, movies frequently reached #1 much later than the release date, unlike today. In some cases movies did not hit #1 until several months after their release date.

Furthermore, the new list is a bit more friendly to mass-market blockbusters, genre movies, and crowd-pleasing entertainments. It’s a scruffier group, and in many ways a more interesting group. I like the new list. It feels less like what the Upper East Side was watching, and more like what America was watching.

Thank you for paying attention. I’ll be back soon with further announcements and reviews. In the meantime, if you see pages vanishing from the site or whatnot, it’s all just part of retooling things so that I can post a new 0001.

What’s Your Favorite #1 Movie from 1970?

Hi everyone! I’m back from my extended stay in California and I am gearing up to begin posting new reviews very soon. I appreciate your patience and hope you share in my optimism that the best and most interesting years for the Boffo project are yet to come.

In the meantime, I’d like you to help me out. When I first published the “Year in Review” posts, I included a poll at the bottom of the page with instructions to check off the ones that you personally would rate higher than a 6.5. As well intentioned as this was, I think it was a bit much to ask people to rate movies when even very die-hard movie fans may have seen only a handful of the movies involved.

So I’m rethinking that feature — instead of asking you to select multiple movies that you like, I’d like you to pick a single movie from the bunch, the one you like the best. Radio buttons will force you to choose one and only one movie.

I’m starting with “The Year in Review: 1970” so that people aren’t confronted with multiple polls all at the same time. 1971 and 1972 will follow shortly; I will let you know when they are ready.

The poll is on the page linked above, but you can also access it after the jump:
Continue reading

Interlude in the Land of Movies, Almost Finished

It’s been almost two months since the last review, for Papillon, went up. After such a long gap, it would be reasonable to wonder if my resolve is holding firm or if I’ve abandoned the Boffo project. I’m writing now to reassure my readers that I have every intention of continuing Boffo in March.

A few days after Christmas I left on a road trip to Los Angeles, where I’ll be staying until about the end of February before the long drive back. I have work to do out here, and I lack my usual movie-watching infrastructure, and I’m also dedicating a lot of time to exploring southern California, so I’m not concentrating on reviews for the moment.

I apologize for not keeping my readers informed about this hiatus. I promise I will be back with my usual vigor in a few weeks.

Thank you for reading and caring.

Introducing: Numerical Ratings, from Trog to M*A*S*H

A few readers have expressed the opinion that the blog would be enhanced by my own numerical ratings, in addition to the IMDB ratings I’ve included from the start. I’ve given it a lot of thought, and I think they’re right.

Yesterday I went back and assigned a 1-10 rating for each movie I’ve already reviewed. Starting today, every review I write will come with a number from 1 to 10 as well. You can see the ratings for all of the movies I have reviewed here. Continue reading

Upcoming Movies Page Added

Hi everyone. I’ve added a page that lists the next 20 movies to be reviewed. This page is also accessible under “Upcoming” in the top navbar. This way you can not only read the reviews that have been posted, you can also get a preview of what’s coming up.

While I’m at it, I thought I would point out some of the other pages I’ve posted. You can look at the Continue reading