Box Office Battlefield: ‘Prisoners’ and ‘Battle of the Year’

Box Office Battlefield 'Prisoners' and 'Battle of the Year'

The weekend warriors of September 20, 2013 includes Battle of the Year and Prisoners. Box Office Battlefield is a recurring rundown of all the movie releases for the weekend. Every week, movie studios select candidates to enter the glorious battlefield for your hard earned dollars. Box Office Battlefield is here to help you decide which movie(s) will take priority over the others.

Last weekend, Insidious: Chapter 2 scared up huge numbers at the box office. But as history tends to repeat itself, we’ll see a big drop off in retention. The only redeeming factor that might save Insidious 2 is the fact that it’s PG-13. There are two big contenders entering the battlefield this weekend, it’s gonna get bloody.

Will the Prince of Persia find his man or will Chris Brown get lost with Sawyer in France? Paul Dano sure likes to play bumbling characters doesn’t he? This is the Box Office Battlefield:

Prisoners 2013 Title Movie Logo

Prisoners (Rated R) 153 min – (Directed by Denis Villeneuve) Starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal, Terrence Howard, Paul Dano, Viola Davis, and Melissa Leo

Synopsis: When Keller Dover’s daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. But just how far will this desperate father go to protect his family?

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 80% • Audience – 84%

Oscar season is right around the corner and the Summer movie season has just about fizzled out. Prisoners is that first step in the right direction of non-blow-em-up action geared toward adults and a plot more interesting than saving the world. With an all-star cast, led by the director of Incendies, this film works very well for any crime-thriller enthusiast. But be aware, the run time is exorbitantly long, running over two and a half hours. If you don’t have a long attention span this could hurt the overall enjoyment. SEE IT!

Battle of the Year in 3D Title Movie Logo

Battle of the Year (Rated PG-13) 109 min – (Directed by Benson Lee) Starring Josh Holloway, Laz Alonso, Josh Peck, Chris Brown, and Caity Lotz

Synopsis: Battle of the Year attracts all the best teams from around the world, but the Americans haven’t won in fifteen years. Dante enlists Blake to assemble a team of the best dancers and bring the Trophy back to America where it started.

Going into BOTY, I had envisioned the worst, but held onto some possibility that this could be the less personable, 2013 version of Pitch Perfect. Boy was I wrong. Pitch Perfect is just the best surprise to come out of the theaters in a long time and I shouldn’t have expected it with BOTY. Overly cheesy, self-serving, and lacking charisma, this B-Boy movie is a complete waste of energy. Based on the documentary Planet B-Boy, the director of both films, Benson Lee, should have just moved on to a different project instead of being so hung up on the world of B-Boying. And what is Josh Holloway doing in this movie? It’s completely miscast and so out of place. SKIP IT!

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 8% • Audience – 67%

Thanks for Sharing Title Movie Logo

Thanks for Sharing [Limited] (Rated R) 112 min – (Directed by Stuart Blumberg) Starring Mark Ruffalo, Tim Robbins, Gwyneth Paltrow, Alecia Moore, and Josh Gad

Synopsis: A romantic comedy that brings together three disparate characters who are learning to face a challenging and often confusing world as they struggle together against a common demon: sex addiction.

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 52% • Audience – 75%

The idea that a drama can be both emotional and comedic is fine line to walk on. When telling this kind of story there has to be the right amount of balance so that neither will overshadow the other. Thanks for Sharing is a good attempt at bringing the comedic world of sex addiction into the theaters – good try Shame – but when the emotional beats come the execution is minimal. The cast is almost there, but come off dry and impersonal. Surprisingly it’s the side characters (Josh Gad and Pink) that show more depth than the leads (Gwyneth Paltrow and Mark Ruffalo). RENT IT!

Also out this week in select theaters is an indie darling, Enough Said, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Toni Collette, and Catherine Keener. But if you’re not in a select city, and feeling nostalgic, you may want to check out the re-release of The Wizard of Oz in 3D/IMAX 3D.

As I said, horror movies have a tendency to fall off the map in their second week. Prisoners has the right amount of star power and a compelling enough story to get butts in seats. Battle of the Year may be in 3D, but it also has such a niche audience that it won’t have much impact on movie goers this weekend. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:

Winner: Prisoners

Movie synopses courtesy of and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

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