“I won’t be surprised if studios start telling themselves that when money’s tight, it’s time to greenlight some feel-good stories,” L.A. Times/”Big Picture” columnist Patrick Goldstein wrote earlier today. “But trying to second-guess moviegoer tastes is like trying to time the stock market.

“Both the movies and the market are driven by irrational forces beyond anyone’s control. Everyone knows that moviegoers want good movies but no one has ever been able to figure out how to patent that secret formula. It’s too tricky a recipe: A great book can make a bad movie and a bad filmmaker can ruin a good script, but sometimes the most chaotic mess turns into a marvelous souffle.

“All we really know is that we know a good movie when we see one, whether the Dow’s scraping bottom or running with the bulls.”