In Theaters This Week (7/1/2016) – The BFG, Tarzan, Purge 3 and More!!!

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Each Thursday we look at what is going to be coming out in theaters this weekend, show you the trailers for the big releases, predict the box office winner and just generally give you enough of a carrot to pull you through the rest of the work week.  July 1st sees five films opening for the Independence Day (in the US) weekend.  Finding Dory has been merrily swimming through animated film record after animated film record.  Can it be slowed by giants, spies, maniacal purgers, Tarzan, or Bruce Willis?

The Purge: Election Year
The five new films opening this weekend range from adaptations of novels by Roald Dahl and John le Carre, action, horror, and whatever you would call Tarzan.  Steven Spielberg teams with Disney for the first time (not the last with Indiana Jones 5 on the horizon) to bring The BFG (big friendly giant, Doom players, don’t go there) to the screen.  Starring Mark Rylance in the title role, the family film is getting mixed-to-positive reviews.  WB looks like it’s going to have another disappointment on their hands.  The Legend of Tarzan looked intriguing to me from the trailer, but reviews have been pretty brutal and Edgar Rice Burrough’s creation has been out of the public consciousness so long that it really needed some positive buzz.  Horror fans can return to the strange America of The Purge in The Purge: Election Year.  It’s not getting amazing reviews, but the best of any film in that particular series.  If you’re looking for more cerebral fare, Our Kind of Traitor, adapts a spy novel by John le Carre and stars Ewan McGregor and Damian Lewis.  Finally, if you want straight-up action, there’s the Bruce Willis/Dave Bautista film: Marauders.  However, it’s not being screened in advance for critics which is pretty much a full admission from the studio that they’re embarrassed of the film.  Check out trailers for each of the five below:

The BFG (Mark Rylance, PG, 1hr 55min)

The Legend of Tarzan (Margot Robbie, Christoph Waltz, PG-13 , 1hr 49min)

Marauders (Bruce Willis, R, 1hr 47min.)

Our Kind of Traitor (Ewan McGregor, Damian Lewis, R, 1hr 47min)

The Purge: Election Year (Frank Grillo, Elizabeth Mitchell, R, 1hr 45min)

KT picked Finding Dory to repeat as champs, and the Pixar film easily fended off the underperforming Independence Day: Resurgence (raising my picking accuracy to 82.4%).  Dory made $73.0 million in its second weekend, and just became the fastest animated film to pass $300 million in domestic earnings.  It should probably end up taking in around $425-450 million in the US alone.  People apparently had not been waiting 20 years for the return of Independence Day.  Resurgence opened with only $43.0 million and poor reviews and increased competition mean FOX is going to eat it on the sequel if it doesn’t perform overseas. (Lifetime record 14-3).  

So we have five new contenders for Dory’s throne, including another Disney film (they’re bumping into each other now sitting on top of the box office throne).  None of them are going to be enough.  Dory on a holiday weekend is going to three-peat.  Middling reviews on everything else and repeat viewing should keep the absent-minded fish atop the box office.  Now, next week, I will be out of town (keep calm, I’ve scheduled posts for every day, but you can’t really do this column ahead of time other than to pick a winner).  I think Dory’s reign will end the weekend of 7/8 when another well-reviewed animated feature, The Secret Life of Pets, opens.  So we’ll see how we did on two calls when we next have this column on the 15th.
Finding Dory, Dory, Ellen DeGeneres

5 thoughts on “In Theaters This Week (7/1/2016) – The BFG, Tarzan, Purge 3 and More!!!”

  1. I can’t believe that Steven Spielberg directed The BFG, and everyone is projecting that it’s going to bomb. Has the world gone mad? Because I don’t think Steve’s name means anything at all to young people. Wow do I feel old, but Spielberg’s movies haven’t been Spielberg Movies for a while now, so I can’t blame young people for not understanding. I hope the BFG is not too watered down. I don’t mind if they cut the scene where the BFG and Sophie discuss how “human beans” of different nationalities taste, but still those evil giants had better be scary.


    1. Well, like we said, 2002 was about the last time he delivered a classic. That’s 14 years, or roughly what the target demographic for this film should be. They don’t know him as a fun director. He’s either been making serious or seriously flawed films for almost a generation now.


      1. Dave, I just saw the movie, and for what it’s worth, it totally captures the warmth, weirdness, and wit of the source material. Rylance is a revelation. He carries the movie, and his BFG is one of the most endearing characters I have ever seen in a film. And the material is not that watered down. There is no conversation about how various human beings taste, but the film achieves what Dahl did, in virtually all his books: it’s dark, yet the dark parts are presented either cheerfully or matter-of-factly, and the tone is merry rather than morose. I would go so far as to say that this is one of my favorite films of Spielberg’s, ever.

        However, there is one big thing that keeps me from also calling it one of his best films. This is from an objective standpoint, you understand. The problem is that this movie did not need to be two hours long. I can understand padding out a Dr. Suess storybook. If you filmed the Grinch as is, the movie would only be ten minutes long. But the BFG novel would have made a perfect hour and a half long movie. Even an hour and forty minutes would have been great. I felt like the film was artificially protracted, for no good reason. Plus the character is given some personal history/baggage that I felt the movie could have done without, because his relationship with Sophie would have been touching enough without it, and also it makes it seem like he’s being kind of irresponsible.

        Still, this movie is mostly a triumph, and at this point all I can hope for is that it’s discovered by more people on home media, because the box office prospects don’t seem to great.


  2. Sorry, I meant to type “too” great. At least I’m not slipping into malapropisms. I swear, the dialogue rolls off Rylance’s tongue. Why had I never heard of this guy before Bridge of Spies?


    1. Well I am glad to hear it lived up to your hopes, because films we have personal baggage with going in too often let us down. I hope it does better than projected, but I think Disney is churning out such quality this year that their releases are bumping into one another. Rylance appeared out of nowhere for me too. I believe that he primarily did indie films and worked with the BBC. There’s no must see film for me until the three week Star Trek, Jason Bourne, Suicide Squad trifecta.


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