Cairns on Cinema

John Cairns

John Cairns

John Cairns is a reporter for the Battlefords News-Optimist/Regional Optimist and writes two columns in addition to other reporting.

News Watch reflects his view of the local scene and its relationship to the larger news picture.

Cairns on Cinema focuses on whatever catches his interest at the movie theatres with news, occasional reviews and of course, box office results. He has written regularly about the movies since 2007 when he covered the North American cinema box office as a columnist for the US-based movie website

  • Summer 2021 at the movies showing some signs of life

    It’s May again, and that usually means one thing: it’s time for my annual summer box office prediction column! Ha, ha, ha! Good luck with that. “The Roaring ‘20s” is still “not” — at least at the. . .

    John CairnsMay 3, 2021

  • Lots of movie release news, plus a few words about Tom and Jerry

    Welcome to another Cairns on Cinema column, in which I depress the audience again with news of the latest delays. I wish I were kidding. There continues to be little letup in the COVID-19 . . .

    John CairnsJanuary 27, 2021

  • Update on Wonder Woman 1984, Tom Cruise, and other movie news

    Welcome again to Cairns on Cinema. I hope you have all managed to get through the holiday season in one piece and got a few good movie DVDs or Blu-Rays under the Christmas tree. Normally, it . . .

    John CairnsDecember 31, 2020

  • The pandemic causing delay after delay at the movies

    Welcome to another Cairns on Cinema column for November. Normally, November marks the start of the traditional end-of-the-year blockbuster season, when the cinemas take advantage of the . . .

    John CairnsNovember 19, 2020

  • The latest movie release news as we head into September

    Welcome to our late summer edition of Cairns on Cinema, which normally at this time is devoted to our annual recap of the winners and losers at the summer box office. Obviously, to heck with that. . .

    John CairnsSeptember 1, 2020

  • Making the best of it in the time of COVID-19

    Welcome to another edition of Cairns on Cinema where today I am going to provide another update on where we stand with the whole movie situation as we move towards August. Unfortunately, it’s not. . .

    John CairnsJuly 30, 2020

  • An update on cinema re-openings as more releases are delayed

    Welcome to a packed edition of Cairns on Cinema where we give you the latest news — good and bad — about where we stand with COVID-19 and the cinema re-openings. We will begin with the good news.. . .

    John CairnsJune 29, 2020

  • The latest update on when the movies might be back

    Greetings, again, movie fans. Hopefully you are getting through this COVID-19 pandemic and are finding movies to watch on TV, as well as new ones to download. Today, the focus of my column is “. . .

    John CairnsMay 27, 2020

  • COVID-19 has brought Hollywood to its knees

    We are overdue here for a column about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been wreaking havoc on Hollywood and the entire motion picture industry. This is a story with far-reaching implications for . . .

    John CairnsMarch 27, 2020

  • Box Office year in review 2019: the force is not with Star Wars

    Welcome once again to my annual Cairns on Cinema Box Office Year in Review, where we look back upon all the hits from the past year. As usual, I am sitting here doing a Year in Review when the . . .

    John CairnsJanuary 2, 2020

  • Disney, Sony releases dominate the summer box office

    Labour Day is over, which means summer movie season is over. People are either headed back to work (aargh!), or back to school (double arrgh!). As a result, September and October promise to be much. . .

    John CairnsSeptember 5, 2019

  • Cairns on Cinema - The latest on this whole Spider-Man/Marvel Cinematic Universe dispute

    As summer box office season rapidly winds down in North America and elsewhere, I wanted to touch on the big news story that erupted over the last couple of weeks. That is this whole blowup . . .

    John CairnsAugust 31, 2019

  • The latest on Avengers: Endgame’s struggle to become the all-time Number One

    Today I am going to provide readers with the latest update on Avengers: Endgame and its quest to become the all-time number one movie at the domestic and global box office. To be honest with you,. . .

    John CairnsJune 21, 2019

  • Avengers: Endgame breaks box office records, and a look at Summer Blockbuster Season

    Welcome to our annual Summer Blockbuster Season predictions, and once again summer has come early to the box office. Yes, after pulling off the stunt last year of opening a week before the . . .

    John CairnsApril 30, 2019

  • Shazam! is back. So, who is the real Captain Marvel?

    Today, we turn our attention to the latest superhero movie to grace our cinema screens, “Shazam!” The reason I am mentioning this flick is because of the massive cut-out ad for Shazam! that . . .

    John CairnsApril 9, 2019

  • It’s no joke: the Academy Awards show is going host-free

    In this edition of my Cairns on Cinema column, my focus turns to the upcoming Oscar show. Yes, the Academy Awards telecast is happening on Feb. 24, and once again it promises to be another long, . . .

    John CairnsFebruary 20, 2019

  • Ranking 2018’s big box office winners

    Welcome to our annual review of the box office winners of the past year. The good news is that unlike previous years when we had to wait for more numbers to come in, we have a good idea right now. . .

    John CairnsJanuary 4, 2019

  • Summer wrap-up: Avengers is not a summer movie, period

    Labour Day Weekend has come and gone, and with it goes the last gasp of the summer blockbuster movie season, as the movie fans either go back to schoolb or back to work or both. Now it’s time to . . .

    John CairnsSeptember 6, 2018

  • The drive-in is alive and well in BC

    My annual summer vacation to the Okanagan region of British Columbia included something different this year. This year we took a trip to the drive-in! Yes, my family, including my two nieces, hit. . .

    John CairnsAugust 4, 2018

  • Landmark’s arrival signals an era of change in Saskatoon

    This week, I am devoting considerable time and space to some of the changes to movie going in Saskatoon. The big news out of Saskatoon is about some of the openings and closings that have been . . .

    John CairnsJune 9, 2018

  • Summer is arriving early at the cinemas this year

    We are fast approaching what is regarded as “summer blockbuster season.” That’s the time of year when the big “popcorn” movies and populist entertainment shows up at the cinemas: superheroes, . . .

    John CairnsApril 20, 2018

  • Molly’s Game review: focus on story and characters, not shock value or foul language

    This week my review is Molly’s Game, the new biopic about the infamous “poker princess” who ran multimillion-dollar underground poker games in LA and New York involving the rich and the powerful.. . .

    John CairnsJanuary 23, 2018

  • Harvey Weinstein overshadows the 2017 box office results

    Welcome to my annual look at box office results for the year just ended in Hollywood. Box office results really did take a back seat to a lot of other things that were happening this year. In . . .

    John CairnsJanuary 11, 2018

  • It’s a Disney world, and we are just living in it

    Today, I’ve decided this Cairns on Cinema column is not going to be about Harvey Weinstein. His whole scandal may be the biggest story in Hollywood right now, but quite honestly I find the . . .

    John CairnsDecember 25, 2017

  • Wonder Woman a bright spot for an otherwise down summer at the box office

    We are approaching Labour Day, a date which for so many years was associated with comedy/movie/telethon legend Jerry Lewis, who died earlier this month. It’s also the weekend that usually marks . . .

    John CairnsAugust 28, 2017

  • Movie fans getting tired of “sequelitis”

    Our lecture for today, movie fans, is about sequels and how tired everyone is with them. At least, that is the party line that the various Hollywood news publications would have you believe about. . .

    John CairnsJuly 7, 2017

  • With Cars 3, Disney-Pixar brings automobiles to life again

    Storyline reflects real life goings-on in the racing world

    John CairnsJune 27, 2017

  • Wonder Woman launches the Capitol's new era

    Today, you are getting my review of Wonder Woman – or, more accurately, my review of Wonder Woman at the Capitol in North Battleford, because that is what it was. Friday night, I had the . . .

    John CairnsJune 7, 2017

  • Guardians, Wonder Woman, Spider-Man and other superheroes to dominate summer at the movies

    Welcome to our 2017 Cairns on Cinema summer blockbuster season preview special again! Yes, indeed, the summer movie season launched May 5 to 7, which also coincided with some 20-degree plus . . .

    John CairnsMay 10, 2017

  • Ten years of writing about the movies

    Welcome to the Cairns on Cinema Tenth Anniversary column! Now, those of you out there who can put two and two together are probably going: ‘this makes no sense. Cairns is celebrating his tenth . . .

    John CairnsApril 26, 2017

  • The last word on the Oscars

    This column is going to have to serve as the “last word” on the whole Oscars best-picture announcement debacle. I would have written it up sooner, but instead decided to finish up a column about . . .

    John CairnsMarch 9, 2017

  • What we know about the Magic Lantern acquisition of the Capitol

    Today the topic of this column is Magic Lantern, the Capitol, and what the heck is going on with movies in North Battleford. Long-term, I’m happy with what’s going on. Not only are we getting a . . .

    John CairnsFebruary 22, 2017

  • The Founder lacks depth in portrayal of Ray Kroc

    Long before Ronald McDonald, and long before Big Macs and fries, people in 1950s America would frequent the neighbourhood drive-ins for dinner. There is a scene early on in The Founder in which . . .

    John CairnsFebruary 3, 2017

  • 2016 box office: Disney and Star Wars franchise the big winners

    Welcome to the Cairns on Cinema 2016 box office year in review, in which we look at how the top movies of the previous year performed at the box office. The year 2016 will be remembered for many . . .

    John CairnsJanuary 9, 2017

  • Christmas update: new Star Wars movie a big hit

    Here at Cairns on Cinema, we try and do our part to fill up the news pages during a time of year when the news slows down and staff are on vacation. Personally, I welcome this time of year . . .

    John CairnsDecember 26, 2016

  • The 2016 summer of flops at the box office

    Last time, I was doing my annual rundown of movies that were the big hits of summer, the top 10 of the domestic box office. Today, I am going to highlight the movies that were the disappointments . . .

    John CairnsAugust 25, 2016

  • 2016 Box office update as summer season winds down

    Can you believe we are now near the midpoint of August already? Summer blockbuster season is starting to wind down, and now seems as good a time as any to look at who the box office winners and . . .

    John CairnsAugust 16, 2016

  • New movie theatre is long-awaited good news for the Battlefords

    When I first heard news Magic Lantern Theatres was building a five-screen movie theatre complex, I have to be honest, I couldn’t believe it. It had to be an April Fool’s joke, I thought. Then I . . .

    John CairnsJuly 20, 2016

  • 2016 summer box office preview

    Welcome to this year's 2016 Summer Box Office prediction column, just in time for the annual kickoff to summer blockbuster movie season the first weekend in May. Quite honestly, the calendar . . .

    John CairnsMay 8, 2016

  • 2015 the year of the blockbusters

    Welcome to my annual Cairns on Cinema review of the movie box office in 2015. It turned out to be a much different year than 2014 was. 2014 was beset by no end of problems, with some numbers down. . .

    John CairnsJanuary 10, 2016

  • November box office update - plenty of flops

    We are now deep into November, traditionally a big month at the movie box office. So this is a good time for an update as to where things are at the box office both here in North America and around. . .

    John CairnsNovember 22, 2015

  • Dinosaur-sized summer at the box office

    Today, I do my wrap up of the 2015 summer box office, and also look ahead to what we might expect there for the rest of the year. Mainly, this column is my ranting and raving about how I cannot . . .

    John CairnsSeptember 10, 2015

  • Bugs Bunny is getting to be an old grey hare at 75

    Last Monday marked a momentous occasion in the history of motion pictures. That’s right, Bugs Bunny was born 75 years ago on that date. (Well, sorry, I know people reading this cinema column were. . .

    John CairnsJuly 30, 2015

  • Summer box office predictions 2015

    After looking at the calendar I realized, “Holy cripes! April is over and we are into blockbuster movie season!” Yes, indeed, we are into Blockbuster Season at the box office. I’d rather call it . . .

    John CarinsMay 4, 2015

  • 2014 Box office year in review

    Welcome to my annual look back at the winners and losers at the movies over the past year. Yes indeed, it is the Box Office Year in Review for 2014, a look back at the motion pictures that you, the. . .

    John CairnsJanuary 7, 2015

  • The Interview saga, Part II

    Well, every bad news story deserves a sequel, just as every bad movie seems to get a sequel whether we want one or not. Much has happened since my last column about The Interview. A week or so . . .

    John CairnsJanuary 2, 2015

  • The Interview is not coming to a movie cinema near you

    I wonder if any of you were looking forward to seeing The Interview on Christmas Day. That’s the comedy starring Seth Rogen and James Franco about a CIA plot to kill North Korean dictator Kim . . .

    John CairnsDecember 19, 2014

  • The great Summer Box Office Slump of 2014

    Now that we are into the month of August, it's a good time to look at the state of the summer box office race. The first conclusion we can come to is that I am no good as a prognosticator. I had predicted How to Train Your Dragon 2 to win the summer box

    John CairnsAugust 7, 2014

  • Missing the local drive-in

    Summer at the movie theatres is not the same as it used to be. These days, you search out the biggest, most air-conditioned multiplex you can find for the experience of watching a summer blockbuster on the big screens inside. Lately, though, I have

    John CairnsJuly 10, 2014

  • Summer Blockbuster Season 2014 Preview

    Welcome to my umpteenth annual Summer Blockbuster Season preview for 2014! It promises to be yet another superhero and monster-filled spring and summer at the movie theatres across North America and the rest of the world. The season kicks off this

    John CairnsMay 2, 2014

  • The first four months of 2014 at the movies

    We have not had a new movie column here for some time so now seems the perfect time to write about the state of things for the first four months of 2014. In fact, we had better get around to doing something now, because next week marks the beginning of

    John CairnsApril 25, 2014

  • Favel pitches movie project to Chamber directors

    It might be too soon to refer to North Battleford as "Hollywood North," but the city and region could see some movie activity in the near future. That was the message Floyd Favel had for directors at the Battlefords Chamber of Commerce meeting Tuesday.

    John CairnsFebruary 27, 2014

  • A look back at the close box office race of 2013

    Welcome back to our annual review of the box office highlights of 2013. Many will look back at 2013 as the "Year of the Flop" because of the large number of movies that just tanked at the box office last year -- After Earth, The Lone Ranger, R.I.P.D.,

    John CairnsJanuary 28, 2014

  • Cinema attack a sobering reminder of how times have changed

    It hasn't been easy for me to get away to the movies on Tuesdays recently. Tuesdays are famous for being the "cheap" movie nights, and therefore popular with moviegoers for that reason alone. But in my case, work-related assignments have usually

    John CairnsAugust 23, 2013

  • Who's going to win the summer box office? Previewing 2013

    Welcome to my 2013 Summer Box Office Preview - albeit a little late. If I had been really on the ball, I would have posted this right at the beginning of May when the "Summer Movie Season" began. But spring came late here anyway, so we might as well be

    John CairnsMay 16, 2013

  • Box Office Year in Review 2012

    Welcome to my annual Box Office Year in Review, where I review the domestic grosses of the movies that made it into theatres across North America. It was a year in which tragic events in the United States overshadowed the box office. Impacting most

    John CairnsJanuary 7, 2013

  • Dark Knight Rises tragedy overshadows summer at the theatres

    Usually this would be the time of year when I would begin to write my annual column summing up box office results for the summer months. But the results this summer have been shrouded in tragedy after the horrific shootings at the Century 16 movie

    John CairnsAugust 22, 2012

  • Talking about The Amazing Spider-Man, and the success of comic book hero movies

    Here I am with another box office update in the wake of the release of the latest blockbuster of the summer, The Amazing Spider-Man. The movie opened July 3 in theatres across North America, following an impressive weekend debut in overseas markets. It

    John CairnsJuly 13, 2012

  • Handicapping the Oscar race

    This week my Cairns on Cinema column is devoted to awards season and the Oscar race. Trying to figure out who is actually winning the Oscar race, though, is a mug's game. One moment, one movie is ahead; the next moment it's something else. We saw

    John CairnsFebruary 6, 2012

  • Thoughts on the box office slump, Part II

    Since I had nothing better to do in the office today, I thought I would do a follow-up on my previous column the great box office slump. Like any movie, my column deserves a sequel, too. The Christmas four-day box office numbers are now in and the

    John CairnsJanuary 4, 2012

  • Memories of TIFF

    This week is a big one for movie fans in this country as the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival is under way in Canada's biggest city. It is not only the most important film festival in Canada but also one of the more important ones in the world,

    John CairnsSeptember 9, 2011

  • Movie Earthquakes just aren't as compelling as real ones

    Let me tell you this: having an arm in a cast is no fun. Having said that, it wasn't all bad. Among other things, I was able to watch a lot of movies on TV to get my mind off the fact that my arm was in a cast. One particular Sunday afternoon, in the

    John CairnsMay 13, 2011

  • November means busy movie season

    Excuse me for being absent from the Cairns on Cinema column for the past little while. I've been busy, and quite frankly, the movie box office has not been all that interesting. True there have been hits at the theaters, such as Wall Street: Money Never

    John CairnsNovember 19, 2010

  • Piranha 3D

    Last week I had the opportunity to watch Piranha 3D at the Galaxy in Saskatoon on the big screen. One thing I noted was the experience of watching Piranha 3D was similar to that of another movie from four years ago - namely Snakes on a Plane. Snakes on

    John CairnsAugust 27, 2010

  • A look back to our moviegoing past

    Last week, we were rummaging through some back issues from our newspaper archives. We were going through the yellowed pages of the North Battleford News, one of the predecessor papers of the News-Optimist, looking at all the stories of the day from way

    John CairnsAugust 20, 2010