It was a close one this weekend but Moana still managed to fight off both newcomers, retaining it’s number one spot with $18.5 million. Office Christmas Party was the second favorite film of the weekend, bringing in a haul of $16.9 with Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them hanging around in third with $10.4. Speaking of hanging around, Arrival and Doctor Strange prove their longevity by holding on to fourth and fifth spot with $5.6 and $4.5 each. I hope all of these films enjoyed their time in the sun because the Force is coming.
Six releases come out this weekend, one of those in limited release on Monday. Three are in wide release and do I really need to say what will be the top one?:
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – The first standalone Star Wars film ever, which is a huge milestone in itself but being a prequel in this universe has a huge stigma with it. Taking place before A New Hope, this film follows a Rebel covert mission to retrieve the plans for the Death Star before the Empire can destroy planets. We know how this one will end up but I’m really excited.
Collateral Beauty – Will Smith stars in this film about a grieving ad executive who gets visited by beings claiming to be the embodiment of Death, Love, Time and so on. This film is getting slaughtered by critics everywhere, another bad Christmas project from Will Smith.
Jackie – Possibly the frontrunner for a best actress Academy Award, Natalie Portman stars as the former first lady Jackie Kennedy in the few weeks after the assassination of her husband. The musical score as well as Portman’s performance is what makes this memorable.
Elle – Isabelle Huppert is getting much-deserved attention for this performance, already earning a Golden Globe nod. A dark thriller with an odd comedy edge, this film follows a successful woman who is sexually assaulted in her own home and decides to investigate it herself.
Endless Poetry – A film that is really only for a small audience of surreal art film lovers, Alejandro Jodorowsky continues his autobiographical trilogy with a film about his youth and discovery of a new art form. I saw this one at VIFF and really liked it but a lot of people walked out.
Spirit Unforgettable (Opens Monday) – Vancouver locals and Canadians will want to know about this film, the story of Spirit of the West and notably singer-songwriter John Mann who was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimers at the age of 51. Tragic and moving, this film is a must see.
At The Rio Theatre: It’s a brilliant night of cinema as South Korea gets a showcase, starting at 6 pm with Park Chan Wook’s The Handmaiden followed at 9:15 pm by his masterpiece Oldboy. After that, the midnight screening is the Christmas appropriate Edward Scissorhands, one of the best Johnny Depp and Tim Burton collaborations.
Blu-Ray: the so-so DC Comics film, Suicide Squad, Tim Burton’s long and pretty bland Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, the threequel, Bridget Jones’s Baby, the “why did you remake this” Ben-Hur, the Meryl Streep film Florence Foster Jenkins, sci-fi thriller Morgan, Eddie Murphy’s well reviewed Mr. Church and my favorite independent film this year, Little Men (DVD only).