It appears that Hollywood is hoping audiences will go see some more Oscar-nominated movies this weekend ahead of Sunday night’s Academy Awards. Only three new releases hit the big screen, and none of them are getting much attention
It will take a miracle for any of them to defeat ‘The Lego Batman Movie’ at the box office. Given the recent track record for small horror movies, one just might stand a chance, but we’ll have to wait until Monday to gauge that.
The widest release of the newbies is Jordan Peele’s race relations horror flick ‘Get Out‘. Allison Williams (‘Girls’) and Daniel Kaluuya (‘Sicario’) play an interracial couple who are ready to take their relationship to the next level. With a break from their college classes coming up, they decide to go to the girl’s ritzy hometown and introduce her black boyfriend to her stereotypical rich white parents for the first time. Bradley Whitford and Catherine Keener play the seemingly nice potential in-laws who just might be wildly racist. Not only do strange things start happening with the family’s hired hands – all of whom are black – but the small town also has a history of bad things happening to members of the local black community. Produced by Jason Blum, ‘Get Out’ was churned out on a $4.5 million budget and, along with ‘Split’, will undoubtedly become his second profitable picture of 2017.
The second-widest release of the weekend is a Lionsgate-distributed animated movie that’s opening in the shadow of Lego Batman’. The plot of ‘Rock Dog‘ sounds like a mishmash of ‘The Secret Life of Pets’ and ‘Sing’, each of which did spectacular business during their theatrical runs. The story follows an underdog (see what I did there?) who defies the odds and sets off to become a famous musician. Aside from the voice cast (which includes Luke Wilson, Eddie Izzard, J.K. Simmons, Lewis Black, Kenan Thompson, Mae Whitman, Jorge Garcia, Matt Dillon and Sam Elliott), the only thing ‘Rock Dog’ has going for it is a brisk 80-minute runtime.
Even though ‘A Monster Calls’ didn’t do much at the domestic box office, the success of ‘Rogue One’ makes now the best time to release a new thriller co-starring Felicity Jones, even if it doesn’t look very good. In ‘Collide‘, Nicholas Hoult plays a young romantic who’s willing to stop at nothing to get his girlfriend (Jones) back from a group of bad guys. After watching the high octane trailer, you might mistake it for being directed, written or produced by Luc Besson. Unfortunately, Besson had nothing to do with it and the co-writer’s biggest credit so far is the friggin’ awful ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’, which completely eliminates any chance of me ever watching it.