Can this week’s most hyped new release crack $175 million? Many analysts seem to think so.
Debuting on more than 4,100 screens is this weekend’s sure winner, ‘The Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘. The entire cast returns for Lionsgate’s sequel, but the previous writers and director have been left behind. (I think a lot of us will agree that the first movie could have been better.) At the helm this time is ‘I Am Legend‘ director Francis Lawrence, and the screenplay has been adapted from the second novel by two Oscar-winning writers. This round starts off six months after the ending of the first film. Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) and her pretend boyfriend (Josh Hutcherson) have returned to their impoverished homes, but can’t get too settled in. With their open defiance sparking a revolution, the evil president sends them back into the arena for a best-of Hunger Games competition. Faithfully adapted and highly improved from the first installment, ‘Catching Fire’ is worth checking out.
Vince Vaughn leads the second-widest release, ‘Delivery Man‘. This nearly shot-for-shot remake of the same director’s French-language comedy ‘Starbuck’ follows a less-than-impressive guy who learns that his college sperm-donating job has resulted in 533 children, 142 of whom have filed a lawsuit to learn his identity. As he’s made aware of this, his curiosity and kind heart leads him to his biological children in a feel-good way. Chris Pratt and Cobie Smulders co-star.
Three weeks after opening in the UK, Oscar hopeful ‘Philomena‘ hits L.A. and New York. Hit-or-miss director Stephen Frears’ new film tells the true story of a journalist (Steve Coogan) who takes a break from the usual news stories to research a woman’s (Judi Dench) hunt for her long lost child. This drama is said to be heavy, but worthwhile for this holiday season.
Bizarrely, in advance of its wide release next week, Disney’s latest computer animated princess flick, ‘Frozen‘, is available on one screen in L.A. today. Filled with hilarious musical numbers, the delightful family film is loosely adapted from Hans Christian Andersen’s ‘The Snow Queen’. If you and your family enjoyed ‘Tangled‘, you should certainly enjoy ‘Frozen’ too.
Also, ‘The Dallas Buyers Club‘ expands to 666 screens.