This week, three new movies opened on Christmas Day: ‘Django Unchained’, ‘Les Miserables’ and ‘Parental Guidance’. The first two performed very well on Christmas, so don’t expect any of today’s small releases to put up much competition. The big films will certainly hog all the box office revenue.
The widest new debut this weekend is Gus Van Sant’s latest drama, ‘Promised Land‘. Written by two of the film’s stars, Matt Damon and Jon Krasinski, ‘Promised Land’ is the most mainstream of the director’s movies since ‘Good Will Hunting‘. In it, Damon’s character leases farm property for “fracking,” the extraction of natural gas pockets that exist below. When an environmentalist (Krasinski) comes to town with a goal of thwarting his success, the thin boundary between moral and ethical behavior is questioned.
‘Promised Land’ is currently showing on only 25 screens, but Focus will expand its release nationwide on January 4th. The film co-stars Frances McDormand, Titus Welliver, Rosemarie DeWitt and Hal Holbrook.
The 147-minute, Peter Jackson-produced documentary ‘West of Memphis‘ is now playing on five screens. This doc examines the murders of three eight-year-old boys in West Memphis, Arkansas in 1993, and the court trials of three teenage boys who were charged with the murders. I failed to see ‘West of Memphis’ at Sundance 2012, but heard that it’s good, hard to watch and “not as good as ‘Paradise Lost’.”
Finally, with an expansion almost big enough to be considered “wide,” David O. Russell’s ‘Silver Linings Playbook‘ can now be seen on 745 domestic screens.