The weekend’s not even over yet but already box-office gurus are predicting an $80 million total, up five per cent from the same weekend in 2007.
We still can’t understand why people are willing to spend $10 to see a movie in the theatre during such shaky economic times. It would be far more economical to simply rent a DVD, download a movie online or watch one on TV. Then you can view it from the comfort of your panic room.
And for those of you craving a connection to reality, Hollywood has a treasure trove of finance-themed movies for you to chose from, some of which even offer a bit of escapism, if only by making you realise that things could be much worse.
USA Today listed their top 10 financial movies last Friday but unhelpfully failed to include how you could watch these films on the cheap (legally). Instead, the paper listed the DVD price of each film, but do you really want to shell out $60 for American Madness on The Premiere Frank Collection without knowing whether you’ll like it or not? Exactly. Talk about a risky investment.
So, we’ve taken USA Today‘s list, added some of our own favourites and provided economical ways to watch each one.
(USA Today did a good job summarizing each of their titles, so click here for plot synopses of their picks.)
USA Today’s List:
Stagecoach: available for rent via Netflix
Splendor in the Grass: rental via Netflix.
American Madness: Unless you want to shell out the aforementioned $60 to buy it, you’re out of luck. Chalk it up to the film’s obscurity and 1932 release. But, hey, we’ve got 14 other movies here.
Bonnie and Clyde: Now we’re talking…The 1967 Warren Beatty/Faye Dunaway classic is available for rent ($2.99) or download ($9.99) on iTunes and Amazon’s Video on Demand. You can also watch it from your PC with Netflix or rent it outright. Plus, it will be on Turner Classic Movies at 10 p.m. on Tuesday, October 7.
It’s a Wonderful Life: If you’re willing to wait ’til the holidays, it will probably be on TV—a lot. But for now, you’re stuck with renting it on Netflix.
Trading Places: Still beloved by Wall Street traders, particularly those at the New York Board of Trade dealing in Orange Juice Futures, this Eddie Murphy/Dan Ackroyd comedy is also widely available online. You can rent ($2.99) or buy ($9.99) it from Amazon’s Video On Demand service, buy it from iTunes ($9.99) or rent it through Netflix.
Barbarians at the Gate: Again, this HBO film version of the popular book is hard to find online. But you can rent it through Netflix or buy the DVD from Amazon for $6, which is cheaper than USA Today‘s price and less expensive than a movie.
Wall Street: We can’t think of a financial movie more in demand these days than Oliver Stone’s classic, particularly after “Gordon Gekko” refused to weigh in on the Wall Street crisis last week. Unfortunately, Wall Street is weirdly unavailable online. You can’t even rent it from Netflix. But, if you’re willing to wait until next Saturday, it will be on PBS at 9 p.m.
Boiler Room: This cult-favourite film about crooked brokerage JT Marlin is available to rent ($2.99) or buy ($9.99) through Amazon’s Video on Demand service.
Enron: The Smartest Guys In The Room: This documentary about the fall of the Houston energy giant is available for rent ($2.99) or purchase ($9.99) on Amazon’s Video on Demand. You can also watch it on your PC via Netflix or rent the film outright.
Working Girl: Remember when times were good, and you were closing deals left and right, convincing Trask Industries to buy a radio network instead of the TV station they had their heart set on…Wait. No, that’s just in the movie. But still, relive your own dealmaking glory days with this uplifting romantic comedy in which a secretary pretends to be her investment banker boss after the latter steals her deal idea. There’s a metaphor for the subprime meltdown in there somewhere, but given Sallie Krawchek’s recent firing, it’s heartening to see a film about women actually getting ahead on Wall Street.
Rent or buy it on iTunes or Amazon’s Video on Demand or rent it through Netflix.
American Psycho: Another classic film about ’80s Wall Street greed and excess. But despite the trouble caused by Wall Street’s irresponsible investments, at least there’s not some crazed investment banker/serial killer murdering people to the sounds of Huey Lewis and the News—that we know of…
A bit scary, so perhaps it’s best you can only rent the DVD through Netflix.
Die Hard (1, 3 and 4): As any Die Hard fan knows, every single plotline in the Bruce Willis series devolves into a heist. No matter what the lofty ambitions of the film’s villains at the beginning, by the end it becomes clear that all they really want is money. And the first, third and fourth films all have strong ties to finance; the second one revolves too much around international relations and politics (boring!). In Die Hard, as if you didn’t know, Hans Gruber and his associates hold the employees of Nakatomi Tower hostage while they try to unload the money in the firm’s vault. In Die Hard: With a Vengeance, the villains steal all the gold from the Federal Reserve. And in Live Free or Die Hard, cyber terrorists wreak havoc on the US’s transit system, Wall Street and utilities. As we said above, things in the real world could be worse. But, if Wall Street’s current collapse was the result of a vindictive villain literally stealing gold from the Federal Reserve or a disgruntled ex-government employee hacking into Wall Street’s computer system, then we could simply apprehend the culprits and everything would return to normal. And wouldn’t that be nice?
Die Hard and Die Hard: With a Vengeance can be rented or bought on iTunes or Amazon’s Video on Demand. Last year’s Live Free or Die Hard, inexplicably, cannot. But it will be on HBO at 2:30 p.m. today and it can be rented through Netflix, which we highly recommend doing.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.