The weekend warriors starting December 18, 2013 includes Anchorman 2, American Hustle, and Her, with later releases on the 20th from Saving Mr. Banks and Walking with Dinosaurs. 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, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug kept Frozen and Catching Fire at bay. But with a weaker debut than its predecessor and five new releases hitting theaters this weekend, Peter Jackson may want to find work in other franchises.
Can Ron Burgundy’s hair save him against some A-List con artists or will Walt Disney charm the pants off of audiences? News team, assemble! This is the Box Office Battlefield:
(NOTE: Out of all of these films I have only seen Saving Mr. Banks thus far – 12/18)
American Hustle [Early Release 12/18; Wide Release 12/20] (Rated R) 138 min – (Directed by David O. Russell) Starring Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner
Synopsis: A con man, Irving Rosenfeld, along with his seductive British partner, Sydney Prosser, is forced to work for a wild FBI agent, Richie DiMaso. DiMaso pushes them into a world of Jersey powerbrokers and mafia. (Watch the trailer)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 95% • Audience –N/A%
Based solely on the star power and the incredible eye of David O. Russell, nothing has me more excited than this winning combination alone. Rotten Tomatoes can’t be wrong with a 95% critic score can it? From all the awards buzz and the all-star cast, American Hustle is a sure-fire win. SEE IT!
Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues [Wide Release 12/18] (Rated PG-13) 119 min – (Directed by Adam McKay) Starring Will Ferrell, Christina Applegate, Paul Rudd, Steve Carell, Kristen Wiig, and James Marsden
Synopsis: With the 70s behind him, San Diego’s top rated newsman, Ron Burgundy, returns to take New York’s first 24-hour news channel by storm. (Watch the trailer)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 76% • Audience –82%
It’s been almost a decade since we last saw Ron Burgundy and his epic mustache. Now nine years later he returns. From what I gather, Adam McKay and team have tried to go balls to the wall, but sometimes bigger definitely doesn’t mean better. Look at how Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen turned out. I really, really want this film to succeed, but I fear that it will be just another over bloated, try-hard of Will Ferrell. It’s a tall order to recreate the magic of the original, and I’m sure this has its funny parts, but comedy sequels are just too hard to pull off. MATINEE IT!
Her [Limited Release 12/18] (Rated R) 126 min – (Directed by Spike Jonze) Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams, Scarlett Johansson, and Rooney Mara
Synopsis: A lonely writer develops an unlikely relationship with his newly purchased operating system that’s designed to meet his every need.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 89% • Audience –87%
If you’re lucky enough to see this Spike Jonze joint than you should rush to the theater near you that’s playing it. I have a feeling that this will be one of my favorite movies of the year. I hope I’m not overselling it or over hyping it for myself, but something about the way Spike Jonze can capture raw emotion and build honest, real characters is inspiring. The cast is phenomenal and who wouldn’t fall in love with Scarlett Johannson’s voice? Definitely looks better than any big Hollywood Nicholas Sparks romance; and definitely more original. SEE IT!
Saving Mr. Banks (Rated PG-13) 125 min – (Directed by John Lee Hancock) Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Paul Giamatti, Jason Schwartzman, B.J. Novak, Bradley Whitford, Annie Rose Buckley, and Colin Farrell
Synopsis: Author P. L. Travers reflects on her difficult childhood while meeting with filmmaker Walt Disney during production for the adaptation of her novel, Mary Poppins.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 82% • Audience –N/A%
So I went into this movie thinking I would have a fun, magical, wonderful Disney time, but when I walked out it was more of an empty, unfulfilled feeling. My expectations definitely did not meet reality as the movie clips I saw earlier at D23 did not live up to how I thought they would play out in the film. What I thought would be a fun ride into the making of Mary Poppins turned out to be a dark character drama with little enjoyment and more contemplation. It still has a lot of great moments to enjoy between Tom Hanks as Walt Disney, along with Emma Thompson who puts on a spectacular performance; easy to see why she’s being nominated for awards. But I can’t help but feel a lack of heart that it was trying to create. MATINEE IT!
Walking with Dinosaurs 3D (Rated PG) 87 min – (Directed by Barry Cook and Neil Nightingale) Starring the voices of Charlie Rowe, Karl Urban, Angourie Rice, and John Leguizamo
Synopsis: See and feel what it was like when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, in a story where an underdog dino triumphs to become a hero for the ages.
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – N/A% • Audience – N/A%
I really have nothing to say on this matter. It doesn’t look entertaining or fun. It doesn’t seem like something kids would enjoy. But luckily it’s only 87 minutes long for parents to endure. Too bad they have to promote it as strictly a 3D movie. SKIP IT!
It’s a tough one to call. So many films out this weekend, pulling audiences in every which way. Everyone loves Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, but the long-awaited sequel to Anchorman 2 has a lot of built up anticipation and hype. But don’t rule out Walt Disney. After sweeping audiences off their feet with Frozen and giving audiences a movie about Mary Poppins with Tom Hanks, it’s a mighty fine recipe for success. The Hobbit is almost toxic. It isn’t strong enough to keep enough retention against this heavy hitters this weekend and doesn’t have enough positive buzz to keep it going. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:
Winner: Anchorman 2
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