Looking back from the box office perspective, 2014 has been sorely disappointing. While last week’s Christmas movies gave it a little boost, this, the final week of the year, doesn’t offer anything great to carry us into 2015, nor anything to start the new year with a bang.
Only one wide release is coming to us this week alongside two limited indie pictures, but let’s first talk about the solitary title opening on Wednesday, December 31st.
Distributor A24 tried to earn some Oscar buzz with the artsy crime thriller ‘A Most Violent Year‘, but seems to have backed off quite a bit. As the last awards hopeful of the year, the film stars Oscar Isaac and functions like a polar opposite to ‘The Godfather’. Isaac plays a New Yorker who’s determined to achieve the American Dream entirely on his own integrity and merits. Being in a business that’s chock full of corruption, he’s constantly under the watchful eye of the law. Can his honestly keep him afloat while battling both the corrupt and legitimate fronts? His wife (Jessica Chastain) doesn’t think so. If things don’t go well, she’s ready to call for the help of her mobster family. While Chastain delivers an undeniably amazing performance in her supporting role, neither Isaac nor director J.C. Chandor do much to make this picture worth the awards it hoped for.
The wide release of the week, ‘The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death‘, hits the big screen on Friday. Daniel Radcliffe did not return for the sequel to his 2012 scary flick. Instead, this follow-up takes place 40 years after the events in the first movie. Set during World War II, evacuated children from bombed-out London are sent to the haunted home for refuge. Before long, the resident wicked witch starts causing PG-13 trouble again. Not screened widely for press and without a single recognizable actor or filmmaker, I wouldn’t get my hopes up for this one.
Lastly, opening in limited release is ‘[rec] 4: Apocalypse‘. The fourth picture in the horror franchise takes the story back to its roots. One of the original directors returns to further the story of the character from the first movie. After a zombie-like virus forced the lock-down of a building, the news anchor who documented the entire event from inside is rescued. Taken to a safe location for observation, all quickly learn that she’s a carrier to the awful virus that’s threatening humankind.