There was certainly some deja vu happening at the box office as our top two movies didn’t change from the previous weekend. Leading the box office was The LEGO Batman Movie taking the number one spot once again, and keeping this short and sweet, like a LEGO, it made $33 million, only dropping about 35% from its first weekend performance, and by the end of Monday and the 4-day weekend the movie has already made over $100 million domestically.
And while I REALLY don’t want to give this film any more attention that it’s already received, it did take the number two spot...so my hands are tied. Fifty Shades Darker earned a little over $20 million last weekend and another $44 million internationally, bringing its worldwide total now to $276.9 million - I personally I will always be trying to grasp how a twilight fan fiction can grow to something this massive. Especially when Christian Gray’s character is the textbook definition of a domestic abuse partner. He needs to have control over Anastasia in everything that she does. From how she dresses, to where she is going, who she is with, and is constantly blaming her and bringing her down for any imperfection she may have.
Their relationship is incredibly toxic yet instead of making a statement about domestic abuse - this film romanticizes it! Gray is characterized to be this dreamy guy that all girls want, but when every 9 seconds a woman is assaulted or beaten, and 1 in 3 have been physically abused by an intimate partner, there’s no fantasy going on here; it’s just the everyday life for so many. Art and movies have this incredible power to set the moral tone for a society, and it’s heartbreaking for me to see this movie with those types of themes becoming the focal point of our pop culture.
And continuing with things not so great, The Great Wall opened this weekend to a very disappointing $18.4 million and 38% on rotten tomatoes. Considering the film itself cost $150 million to make, and the fact that it is also the most expensive Chinese film ever filmed in China, The Great Wall looks more like a “great flop”. Part of the reason for the backlash from so many critics and audience members is because of Matt Damon’s character cast alongside the racially accurate, Asian cast. Although, the Director himself has said that Damon’s character was never meant to be played by someone of Chinese descent. Damon’s character, William, is taken prisoner at the start, and spends a good portion of the movie either in shackles or behind bars. He is never the king or viewed at as a king, he’s no more than an excellent archer utilized in their army. If anything, it’s the Chinese that show him the importance of trust and compassion. With that being said, this film leaves a lot to be desired. Matt Damon’s performance is lackluster at best and it’s his inconsistent accent that should be getting critiqued, not his skin color.
Coming in the number four spot, John Wick: Chapter Two had quite the decent chapter two weekend at theaters, grossing just over $16 million, bringing its domestic cume to $58 million, already surpassing the $43 million that the first film made.
Just making the top five, new comer Fist Fight grossed $12.2 million, and earned a 35% on rotten tomatoes. Those numbers, along with many reviews saying that this satire on the American education system falls short, only giving people a raunchy rated-R comedy that you’ll forget about by the next day, has me thinking that Charlie Day and Ice Cube are also going to be fighting to stay anywhere near the top ten in the coming weeks.
Finally, though it barely made the top ten and I wish it had done so much better, A Cure for Wellness opened in theaters with $4.3 million. Making back, sadly, only ten percent of its budget. And believe me when I say that I certainly was not well after watching this - in the best way possible! There were multiple times when I was literally curled up in my seat, hands covering my eyes, wanting so badly for Dane DeHaan’s character to figure out a way to leave the wellness center just so I could also. You feel trapped and scared, and confused right along with him. Yet, there are also moments where I was completely entranced with the world I was being drawn into. The cinematography, coloring, and sound design are all top notch and its overall just a beautiful piece of art to stare at for the two and half hours. In my opinion this film is best if you go in knowing as little as possible so I won’t dive in any deeper and I’ll let you discover the cure for yourself.
Looking ahead to this coming weekend we’ll see how The LEGO Batman Movie does with some animated competition as Rock Dog dances into theaters. Luke Wilson voices a dog named Bodi, who pursues his dream of becoming a musician after a radio falls from the sky. Based solely on the trailer it looks as though it could be either a quirky, bright colored kid’s movie with lots of singing and dancing or it has the potential to say something meaningful about sticking with your dreams, even when it seems you’re the only one who believes in them, and I’m hoping it’s the latter.
We are also getting a couple more thrillers to enjoy with the first being Get Out. Get Out is Jordan Peele’s directorial debut where he uses the story of an interracial couple visiting a creepy family estate to give insight into modern views and assumptions about race. It stars Daniel Kaluuya, and Allison Williams, and it looks like it’s going to be fantastic and I have a feeling audiences are going to be rushing to “get-in” more than anything.
Last, but sure to make an impact for fans and audiences of the classic action-B movie genre is Collide. It’s the story of Casey who in order to pay for his girlfriend’s medical bills after she falls ill attempts to pull off a drug heist. With a cast of Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, and Anthony Hopkins, we’ll see if audiences collide with Collide this weekend.