The box office was dominated by the Dragon Warrior and his friends this weekend as Kung Fu Panda took number one with $41.3 million. Far behind it in second was The Revenant with $12.8 and Star Wars: The Force Awakens in third with $11.1. Other new release, The Finest Hours, debuted in fourth with only $10.3 million and Ride Along 2 hung around in fifth, making $8.4. Marlon Wayan’s Fifty Shades of Black crashed and burned in its opening weekend, landing in tenth with just $5.9 million.
It’s an odd release week as we get three wide releases with two of them being possible date movies to kick off this Valentine month. There’s also a Golden Globe nominated film getting a limited release:
Hail, Caesar! – The Coen Brothers finally return after 2014’s Inside Llewyn Davis. With a massive cast including Josh Brolin, George Clooney, Scarlett Johansson and Ralph Fiennes just to name a few, the fantastic writing and directing duo return to comedy, a genre they dominate just like everything else. I very excited for this one.
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies – More than a year back, I picked up the graphic novel for this and hated it. This movie adaptation is a little better but that doesn’t make this shoehorning of zombies into a Jane Austen classic any better. The tweens may love this but I’m confused to the real target market of this movie. Also, its PG-13 and really restrained in it’s stylized violence.
The Choice – Nicholas Sparks is back to make all the target market cry and anyone else who was dragged along get a work out of checking their watch every five minutes. No hugely notable stars in the lead of this, except for Australian Teresa Palmer, and the story is very formulaic and predictable. It’s also close to two hours long, which seems unnecessary.
The Lady in the Van – Maggie Smith gives a wonderful Golden Globe nominated performance, as she usually does, in this true story film from playwright Alan Bennett, who also is the lead character opposite Smith. The film had some narrative issues for me and has some dragging points but otherwise was a very enjoyable film that will work very well with the older audience. A definite must see for Maggie Smith and the British charm of the whole film.
At The Rio Theatre: Ok, this is the best double feature and I’m overjoyed to see that our favorite people at The Rio Theatre are pairing them up for a Friday screening. At 8 pm the Francis Ford Coppola epic Vietnam War film Apocalypse Now screens (not the Redux) followed by Ben Stiller’s hilarious Tropic Thunder at 11:30 pm. The only way this could get better is if the documentary Heart of Darkness was sandwiched in between.
Blu-Ray: the Oscar nominated Bridge of Spies, Sandra Bullock’s flop Our Brand Is Crisis, Robert Redford plays Dan Rather in Truth, Vin Diesel’s fantasy action film The Last Witch Hunter, Carey Mulligan fights for women’s right to vote in Suffragette, Julianne Moore and Ellen Page battle for gay rights in Freeheld and Bill Murray annoys the hell out of everyone in Rock The Kasbah.