The Experiment

Welcome to Cinema 52, where we treat movie-watching like a science.

Our longest-running experiment is testing the ongoing psychological effects of watching the same movie once a week for an entire year. Here are the assigned films for 2014.

Adam is watching Wild Wild West.

Bill is watching The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

John is watching Avatar.

These films were voted on by readers from a selection of titles that each subject (Cinemanaut) dislikes. The first year of the experiment was for a Movie That You Don’t Love But Don’t Hate, during which Bill watched Top Gun and John watched High Fidelity for 52 weeks. The second year was Movie You Love, which resulted in a year of Back to the Future for Bill and Jurassic Park for John. Adam is only participating in Movie You Hate, while last year Becca only participated in Movie You Love with a weekly viewing of The NeverEnding Story. Two other subjects succumbed to the madness and were disposed of promptly.

Each Cinemanaut is required to report in on the conditions of each viewing and to post monthly results of the effects of the experiment. They may also write about connections to their film in other forms of media, conduct personal experiments on the side, engage in film analysis, or file a special report on some other aspect of the project. If this is your first time here, though, we recommend you start with each Cinemanaut’s hypothesis for a closer look at their personalities and their predictions for 2014.

We’ve expanded our research into Fake Movie Science this year by including some monthly features as well. Lab Rat James will be attempting to determine the plots of foreign films without subtitles in a column called Sub Zero, and Lab Rats Ben and Phil are the stars of Half Flick, a feature in which they watch a movie to its exact halfway point and try to predict how it ends.

If you’re wondering how all this nonsense started, blame a single joke by Robert Fure. If you’ve got an idea for your own movie-watching experiment that you’d like to pitch to us, fire an email to

Okay. That seems like everything. Enjoy the ride, Junior Movie Science Cadets.