Opening This Week – January 6

January 5, 2017

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016) Poster

Underworld: Blood Wars (2016)

Certificate R   –   Action | Horror

Vampire death dealer, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) fights to end the eternal war between the Lycan clan and the Vampire faction that betrayed her.

Anna Foerster

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THE BUZZ: Sony has linked both Underworld and Resident Evil finales so closely, we’re surprised they aren’t releasing them as some sort of special double feature. So as we say farewell to both the death dealer Selene and her sister from another franchise, the rebellious Umbrella Corporation experiment, Alice, we hope to see more action heroines who can live up to their respective successes. Though we also expect either story to be spun off or rebooted within the next few years as well.

A Monster Calls (2016) Poster

A Monster Calls (2016) – [Wide expansion]

Certificate PG-13   –   Drama | Fantasy

Metascore: 76/100 (22 reviews)
A boy seeks the help of a tree monster to cope with his single mum’s terminal illness.

J.A. Bayona

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THE BUZZ: With the holidays behind us, this is a time when some of the most heralded movies of the past year start to look for some breathing room and find their respective audiences. Director J.A. Bayona’s escapist fantasy has enraptured audiences since its festival run commenced back in the fall, and with no real direct competition at the box office this month, it could become the top pick for a family night out.

I, Daniel Blake (2016) Poster

I, Daniel Blake (2016) – [Limited]

Certificate R   –   Drama

Metascore: 75/100 (17 reviews)
A middle aged carpenter who requires state welfare after injuring himself, is joined by a single mother in a similar scenario.

Ken Loach

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THE BUZZ: At this point in his career it seems as though Ken Loach has little use for subtlety or gesture when it comes to his films; instead, his broad statements have bolstered his profile as one of the most politically minded directors in the world. I, Daniel Blake uses a relatable storytelling device, the neurotic relationship we tend to have with personal health care benefits, to take aim at Britain’s ruling Conservative party. To help melt your heart, there’s a three-legged dog named Shae at the center of the story, too.

The Ardennes (2015) Poster

The Ardennes (2015) – [Limited]

Certificate Unrated   –   Drama

Metascore: 44/100 (7 reviews)
A brutal home-jacking goes hopelessly wrong. Dave, one of the two robbers, manages to run off, leaving his brother Kenneth behind. Four years later, Kenneth is released from prison and much has changed. Dave has his life back on track and is trying to help Kenneth however possible, but is witnessing how the highly strung Kenneth tries to win back his ex-girlfriend Sylvie.

Robin Pront

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THE BUZZ: I’ve heard mixed reviews for the story itself but most everyone who has seen this coal-black family drama says it’s a promising feature debut from director Robin Pront. The script was more than enough to entice Bullhead producer Bart Van Langendonck into backing the project, which will be a selling point for U.S. audiences. – Arno

Railroad Tigers (2016) Poster

Railroad Tigers (2016) – [Limited]

  –   Action | Comedy | War

A railroad worker in China in 1941 leads a team of freedom fighters against the Japanese in order to get food for the poor.

Ding Sheng

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THE BUZZ: As Jackie Chan’s loyal U.S. fan base already knows, just because we don’t see him in English-language buddy movies these days doesn’t mean he’s not keeping incredibly busy; in fact, Railroad Tigers marks his third film with director Ding Sheng in the last six years. Meanwhile, another Chan movie, Skiptrace, enjoyed a $60 million dollar opening weekend in China last spring, on its way to a $135 million worldwide haul despite registering as a mere blip in the U.S. Railroad Tigers didn’t perform as well in China but it was certainly a hit, and we credit Chan with being way ahead of the game when it comes to career longevity.

In Theaters Now – Box Office Top Ten

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) Poster

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Action | Adventure | Sci-Fi

Metascore: 65/100 (51 reviews)
The Rebel Alliance makes a risky move to steal the plans for the Death Star, setting up the epic saga to follow.

Gareth Edwards

Box Office:

Weekend: $155.09M, Gross: $439.71M

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Sing (2016) Poster

Sing (2016)

Certificate PG   –   Animation | Comedy | Drama | Family | Music

Metascore: 60/100 (32 reviews)
In a city of humanoid animals, a hustling theater impresario’s attempt to save his theater with a singing competition becomes grander than he anticipates even as its finalists’ find that their lives will never be the same.
Box Office:

Weekend: $35.26M, Gross: $180.00M

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Passengers (2016) Poster

Passengers (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Adventure | Drama | Romance | Sci-Fi

Metascore: 41/100 (48 reviews)
A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 90 years early.

Morten Tyldum

Box Office:

Weekend: $15.06M, Gross: $66.00M

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Moana (2016) Poster

Moana (2016)

Certificate PG   –   Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Family | Fantasy |Musical

Metascore: 81/100 (44 reviews)
In Ancient Polynesia, when a terrible curse incurred by the Demigod Maui reaches an impetuous Chieftain’s daughter’s island, she answers the Ocean’s call to seek out the Demigod to set things right.
Box Office:

Weekend: $56.63M, Gross: $213.36M

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Why Him? (2016) Poster

Why Him? (2016)

Certificate R   –   Comedy

Metascore: 38/100 (29 reviews)
A holiday gathering threatens to go off the rails when Ned Fleming realizes that his daughter’s Silicon Valley billionaire boyfriend is about to pop the question.

John Hamburg

Box Office:

Weekend: $11.00M, Gross: $37.56M

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Fences (2016) Poster

Fences (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Drama

Metascore: 78/100 (43 reviews)
A working-class African-American father tries to raise his family in the 1950s, while coming to terms with the events of his life.
Box Office:

Weekend: $0.13M, Gross: $32.40M

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La La Land (2016) Poster

La La Land (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Comedy | Drama | Musical | Romance

Metascore: 93/100 (51 reviews)
A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

Damien Chazelle

Box Office:

Weekend: $4.10M, Gross: $37.05M

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Assassin's Creed (2016) Poster

Assassin’s Creed (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Action | Adventure | Fantasy | Sci-Fi

Metascore: 36/100 (38 reviews)
When Callum Lynch explores the memories of his ancestor Aguilar and gains the skills of a Master Assassin, he discovers he is a descendant of the secret Assassins society.

Justin Kurzel

Box Office:

Weekend: $10.28M, Gross: $41.92M

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Manchester by the Sea (2016) Poster

Manchester by the Sea (2016)

Certificate R   –   Drama

Metascore: 96/100 (49 reviews)
An uncle is asked to take care of his teenage nephew after the boy’s father dies.

Kenneth Lonergan

Box Office:

Weekend: $0.26M, Gross: $29.69M

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Collateral Beauty (2016) Poster

Collateral Beauty (2016)

Certificate PG-13   –   Drama

Metascore: 24/100 (39 reviews)
Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.

David Frankel

Box Office:

Weekend: $7.10M, Gross: $25.79M

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