Roland Emmerich’s historical action-drama hybrid, Midway, about the Battle of Midway, took the No. 1 spot at last weekend’s sleepy box office with just under $7 million in sales over its first three days of release.
The film, which currently holds a score of just 48/100 on Metacritic, features a notable cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Aar Eckhart, and (gulp) Nick Jonas. While I’m not usually drawn to historical action-dramas, I have liked a lot of Emmerich’s movies over the years (mostly The Day After Tomorrow, 2020, and Universal Soldier), and I very much would not mind seeing Woody, Evans, Quaid, and Eckhart on screen together.
Also at the box
The Shining sequel, Doctor Sleep, disappointed over the weekend, selling just $5.2 million over its first three days of release despite opening on almost 4,000 screens and receiving quite a bit of advance buzz.
“[Doctor Sleep] is a monumental achievement of tension, suspense, forgiveness, and sacrifice I’m not soon to forget,” wrote The Seattle Times’ Sara Michelle Fetters. Contrarily, Entertainment Weekly, who is known for their reliable opinions (if not their great writing), called the film a lengthy mess, “clashing somber sobriety with loony, cheap thrills.”
However, if social media is to be believed, moviegoers seem to be loving the film.
Paul Feig’s new film, Last Christmas, stumbled over its first weekend of release, taking the No. 3 spot at the box with just $4 million in sales. Ouch. Paul Feig, the guy behind Bridesmaids, The Heat, and A Simple Favor, used to always open big. It will be interesting to see how the recently announced The Heat 2 will do.
Family flick Playing with Fire took the No. 4 spot at last weekend’s domestic box office with $3.5 million in sales over its first three days of release.
Terminator: Dark Fate, a movie we can now categorize as one of the biggest bombs of all-time, continued to flop, taking the No. 5 spot at the box with just $2.8 million in sales. The flick is selling OK overseas, and might even end up making back most of its production budget before all is said and done. That said, this one is supposedly a stinker. The trailer made me simultaneously cringe and laugh.
Also of note: Jojo Rabbit is making decent bread while screening on just 800 screens. So far the flick, touted as one of 2019’s best, has sold just over $6 million domestically. Can’t wait to see that one.
Also, Parasite is now playing on 603 screens and has already made just under $10 million in the U.S. Add in domestic sales and Parasite, the film that won the Palme d’Or earlier this year, has already sold over $100 million. This one just might compete for Best Picture (and will almost certainly win Best Foreign Language Film) come Oscar season.
New this Week
This weekend will see the release of three big, very different films and two smaller, Oscar-buzzy films.
First up is action-adventure Charlie’s Angels, directed by Elizabeth Banks and starring Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska as the Angels. Banks, Patrick Stewart, Djimon Hounsou, and Nat Faxon support. Looks like a fun take on a tired story. I’ll likely pass on that one.
Also out wide is drama The Good Liar, starring Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen as the film’s central couple. This is definitely a flick I’ll see eventually, though likely at home on my couch. (I am part of the problem!)
And finally, among the wide releases, we have the much anticipated new James Mangold film, Ford v Ferrari, starring Christian Bale and Matt Damon. At 153 minutes, this one is being pitched to the public as a very fun epic that should get a lot of Oscar attention. I’m all in on this one — looks like a fantastic time at the movies.
And then we have the two smaller releases, starting with documentary Scandalous: The True Story of the National Enquirer. How could that not be fun? Is it something you need to go out to the theater to see? Perhaps not.
But the next one, Trey Edward Shults’ Waves, is. It’s the movie that all my favorite critics are calling their favorite of 2019. Check out the trailer. And if you haven’t seen any of Schults’ other work, I recommend both Krisha and It Comes at Night. This guy might be special.
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