Box Office Battlefield: The Woman in Black 2, A Most Violent Year, Leviathan, and [REC] 4

Box Office Battlefield The Woman in Black 2, A Most Violent Year, Leviathan, and [REC] 4

The weekend warriors of January 2, 2015 includes The Woman in Black 2, A Most Violent Year, Leviathan, and [REC] 4. 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 and determine who will be victorious.

Last weekend, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies took the box office again. January is typically a dumping ground for lesser films distributors are not entirely enthusiastic about because they are more focused on awards season. There is only one wide release this week, and it’s a horror movie. That should just give you a hint as to how this weekend will play out. Happy New Year! This is the Box Office Battlefield:

The Woman in Black 2 Angel of Death Movie Title Logo

The Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death (Tom Harper) Rated PG-13 [98 min] – 40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive, awakening the house’s darkest inhabitant. Starring Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine, Phoebe Fox, and Leanne Best

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 27% • Audience – 54%

What they’re saying:

“A handsomely made but dramatically inert and not very scary sequel to 2012’s surprise-hit ($127 million worldwide) Edwardian chiller.” – Scott Foundas (Variety)

“Director Tom Harper and screenwriter Jon Croker offer up plenty of atmosphere, but every good idea this sequel has to offer winds up taking a backseat to the most obvious cat-in-the-closet “BOO!” moments imaginable.” – Alonso Duralde (The Wrap)

What I’m saying:

I didn’t find the first Woman in Black to be anything all that exhilarating, but the sequel looks like it has a little more energy. However, based on the reviews, I remain highly cautious. They definitely are shooting for something more commercial with a lower budget sans Daniel Radcliffe that strikes the jump scare crowds fancy. WAIT FOR IT ON NETFLIX!

A Most Violent Year Movie Title Logo

A Most Violent Year (J.C. Chandor) [Limited] Rated R [125 min] – In New York City 1981, an ambitious immigrant fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history. Starring Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo, and Alessandro Nivola

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 92% • Audience – 72%

What they’re saying:

“A tremendously powerful performance at its center from an incredibly talented actor truly brings A Most Violent Year alive, and makes it a film to remember.” – Eric Eisenberg (CinamaBlend)

“It’s quite good, for what it is. But it’s that “for what it is” part that proves slightly exasperating.” – Matt Zoller Seitz (RogerEbert.com)

What I’m saying:

I’m not big on period pieces with slow drama, but Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain pique my interest here. Both are up for potential awards seasons recognition, but I don’t think the film itself is going to stand out past these performances. RENT IT!

Leviathan Movie Title Logo

Leviathan (Andrey Zvyagintsev) [Limited] Rated R [140 min] – In a Russian coastal town, Nikolai is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits his old Army friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family. Starring Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Roman Madyanov, and Vladimir Vdovichenkov

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 100% • Audience – 85%

What they’re saying:

“The movie expands, breathtakingly, into mordant humor, impenetrable mystery, ferocious satire and classic tragedy.” – Joe Morgenstern (The Wall Street Journal)

“Many conversations start and end around a kitchen table. Why, then, should we be left with such an impression of grandeur, limitless suffering, and wrath?” – Anthony Lane (The New Yorker)

What I’m saying:

I’ve only heard great things about Leviathan. I have tried not to look too much into because I would rather go into it knowing little based on its praise. Somehow I believe that this won’t appeal to average Joe and Jill moviegoer, but for those looking for a solid piece of art house filmmaking look no further. MATINEE IT!

REC 4 Apocalypse Movie Title Logo

[REC] 4: Apocalypse (Jaume Balagueró) [Limited and VOD] Rated R [96 min] – The television reporter Ángela is rescued from the building and taken to an oil tanker to be examined. However, it is unbeknown to the soldiers that she carries the seed of the mysterious demonic virus. Starring Manuela Velasco, Paco Manzanedo, Héctor Colomé, and Ismael Fritschi

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics – 70% • Audience – 28%

What they’re saying:

“As an above-average adrenaline-driven roller-coaster ride, which offsets its multiple cliches with raw, controlled energy, it works.” – Jonathan Holland (The Hollywood Reporter)

“After an underwhelming third chapter, this Spanish horror franchise largely bounces back.” – Dennis Harvey (Variety)

What I’m saying:

[REC] is particularly one of the best found footage horror films you could ever witness. [REC] 2 is a solid sequel that keeps the energy high and the perspective of the story fresh. [REC] 3 is an utter abomination. Following the third film with the non-found footage spin compared to the first two entries, I’m curious to see how this film plays out as it returns to its roots with its main protagonist. These movies have never been on Netflix Instant Streaming before, and theater appearances are rare. So RENT IT!

The Woman in Black 2 is the only wide release this weekend that stands to put a dent in the box office champion. However, there is still a lot of draw to The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies for some reason. I can’t put it past me, but I guess people really want to see how it ends, and the crowds going into theaters are most likely those who were away for the holidays and slowly coming in to see it. So as it stands, I believe the victor for this weekend shall be:

Winner: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies


Movie synopses courtesy of IMDb.com and Tomatometer Scores from Rotten Tomatoes

Find me on the Twitter @TyRawrrnosaurus

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