As a shock to no one, Star Wars: The Force Awakens destroyed the box office as the highest grossing opening weekend of all time in North America, taking $238 million. Just as a point of reference, my prediction was $235. Coming in second was Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip with a far, far, far lower $14.3 debut and Sisters arrived in third with $13.9. Dropping from first to fourth was the last reigning champion The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2 , taking an additional 5.9, while Creed hung around in fifth with $5. I don’t see anything nudging the champ out of the way this weekend at all. It’s Star Wars time for the next handful of weeks.
That being said, there are some fantastic films hitting theatres this weekend as well as some terrible ones. There are four movies opening wide on Friday, one very special limited one as well as one on Wednesday:
The Big Short (Opens Wednesday) – Anchorman director Adam McKay goes outside of his usual Will Ferrell driven wheelhouse for this adaptation of Moneyball writer Michael Lewis’s look a handful of people predicting the housing market crash in the mid 2000s. A great cast is assembled for this heady and information filled film like Christian Bale, Steve Carell, Brad Pitt and the includes the return of Ryan Gosling. Definitely worth checking out.
Concussion – Will Smith stars in this true story about Dr. Bennet Omalu, a pathologist who discovered a link between head trauma in the NFL and the deterioration of their mental state afterwards. This film is garnering middling reviews but the word is that Smith delivers a good performance.
Daddy’s Home – Will Ferrell and Mark Wahlberg reteam for this stretched premise of a film that has Ferrell’s stepdad character pitted against biological dad and tough guy Wahlberg. This film wears out its welcome very soon into this film, showing that Will Ferrell is quickly becoming a parody of himself, much like Adam Sandler has. Just look at his earlier 2015 movie Get Hard for reference.
Joy – Jennifer Lawrence again takes another trip with director David O. Russell but this time they made unsalvageable garbage. Joy starts out well for the first half hour but then completely falls apart. It’s a confused movie surrounding the woman who created the Miracle Mop. Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and Edgar Ramirez co-star.
Point Break – The 1991 classic Keanu/Swayze action film is reimagined as an extreme stunts movie in 3D. Warner Brothers wants to keep this movie under wraps until Christmas Day so be sure to check out my review then. You won’t want to miss it.
The Hateful Eight – In possibly my favorite film this year (I’ve seen it twice already), Quentin Tarantino returns and blows the doors off everything he’s ever made before. Hateful Eight is an incredible character piece and may be the funniest film of the year as well as the bloodiest. The best thing is the film is playing in glorious 70mm at the Park Theatre for a limited two week engagement. Run, don’t walk to this one. It’s absolutely one of the best movie events I have ever taken part of.
At The Rio Theatre: CLOSED FOR CHRISTMAS
Blu-Ray: the ugly and shrill garbage reimagining Pan, the boring and drab Pawn Sacrifice (DVD only), the Christian drama War Room, the very funny comedy Sleeping With Other People and the Asian actioner Dragon Blade with Jackie Chan, Adrian Brody and John Cusack.