Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

In Theaters This Week (12/22/2017): The Greatest Showman, The Post, Jumanji, and More

Hugh Jackman and Michelle Williams in The Greatest Showman

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.  There are eight movies opening in limited or wide release over the Christmas weekend (most in limited to qualify for the Oscars), but you should have no trouble finding alternatives to Star Wars if you are traumatized, hopeless, and jaded (wow that got personal quickly….).

Tom Hanks in The Post

Five new wide releases and three limited releases into theaters over the Christmas weekend.  Of the three limited releases (Bright, Hostiles, and The Post), you’re lucky if you live near a theater that plays The Post, because I think it’s the odds-on pick (with Dunkirk and The Shape of Water as earliest competition) to win Best Picture.  Bright is getting shelled by critics, ending a year in which Netflix got its hand seriously slapped in trying to make inroads into major motion pictures.  Hostiles with Christian Bale is getting average-to-high reviews.

I’m just going to skip over Pitch Perfect 3 and Father Figures in my head because that’s exactly what my interest does when I stop to attempt to think about them.  Alexander Payne’s Downsizing has a really great concept, but the only thing critics can agree on is that Hong Chau is great in the film and it currently is languishing in the 40% range on Rotten Tomatoes.  Surprisingly getting low reviews also is The Greatest Showman, but it’s getting high audience marks (which is a disconnect that is becoming a lot more important after The Last Jedi).  The film has picked up Golden Globe nominations and the soundtrack is stellar, so I’m going to give this a try regardless.  I never thought I’d be looking forward to a Jumanji movie, but the new take on the film series based on the classic children’s book is clever and funny AND getting good reviews.  Regardless of what you’re interested in, there’s something at the theater over the holidays.  All the Money in the World is opening Christmas Day and technically not part of the weekend haul, but it’s been gathering awards buzz and news buzz for removing Kevin Spacey at the last minute from the film and replacing him with Christopher Plummer after Spacey’s Luciferian fall from grace.

All the Money in the World (Michelle Williams, Mark Wahlberg, R, 2hr 13min)

Bright (Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, NR, 1hr 57min)

Downsizing (Matt Damon, Jason Sudeikis, R, 2hr 15min)

Father Figures (Ed Helms, Owen Wilson, R, 2hr 5min)

The Greatest Showman (Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, PG, 1hr 45min)

Hostiles (Christian Bale, Ben Foster, R, 2hr 15min)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, PG-13, 1hr 52min)

Pitch Perfect 3 (Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, PG-13, 1hr 34min)

The Post (Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, PG-13, 1hr 55min)


How Did We Do Last Week? KT made the bold and decisive pick of deciding a Star Wars movie was going to open at #1, and there The Last Jedi did not disappoint.  The eighth episode in the Star Wars Saga opened with the second-highest domestic box office take of all time (behind only Star Wars: The Force Awakens) with $220 million.  It’s already the #8 film of the year after six days of release.  The question will be will it have the staying power of TFA and Rogue One.  There’s a serious disconnect between the critical reviews and the audience reviews on Rotten Tomatoes.  In our own poll, ranking the film, 1/10 and 10/10 are currently the two most popular scores.  I fall squarely in the middle, but it will be interesting to see if the hardcore fans that saw the previous films five or six times will do the same for The Last Jedi.
(2017 Prediction Record: 46-5; Lifetime prediction record 84-10).

Daisy Ridley in Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Even with a 50% drop, The Last Jedi will easily crush the Christmas box office and move up the 2017 box office ladder.  I don’t think it will be seriously challenged for box office supremacy until at least week #4 of its run.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi

5 thoughts on “In Theaters This Week (12/22/2017): The Greatest Showman, The Post, Jumanji, and More”

  1. Greatest Showman is a far, far cry from La La Land. However I really appreciated its rejection of all that is cynical and its buoyant spirit. If this is not exactly how these events really happened, at least the untrutthfulness is apropos to the material. You know you’re being lied to, but why not? It’s Christmas, and you want to feel good.

    Movie sure could have been a lot better tho. A lot. Starting with memorable music. Some will feel themselves buried by the schmultz. I was carried away. But this is one of those movies I really enjoyed that I will hesitate to recommend.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, if you love the music that takes care of my main objection. Prepare for the kind of feel-good experience Hollywood seems to be uncomfortable making these days.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’m a Broadway fan from way back, and I can’t get with the sound of modern musicals. I’m willing to entertain the possibility that this is a failing in me, instead of every single person who currently writes music for the theater.

        The PT Barnum in this move would have never said something like “There’s a sucker born every minute.” I’m not sure the real Barnum said that either, but I gather it’s the kind of thing he might have said. This movie offers up a wholesome, sanitized version of the man, with vulnerabilities and things to prove, but no dishonesty that isn’t brushed aside or actively lauded. There is nothing wrong with that. I am actually kind of tired of inner demons. But the disconnect between the romanticization of PT Barnum and the way you know the man must have really been makes for a film that is REALLY transparent in its methodology for pulling your heartstrings.

        Be ready for a lot of schmaltz, and sentimentality that hits you over the head like a sledgehammer, and you will enjoy as I did.

        Liked by 1 person

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