Wed., 10:43PM Update: Sony’s Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungleis coming in around $7.4M today and the industry continues to remain bullish that the Jake Kasdan film will get into the high $50Ms, with a shot at $60M by the end of Christmas Day. After dinner, that’s when everyone is expected to head to the cinema. Sneaks for Jumanji for Amazon Prime members grossed $2M on December 8, and that cash will be rolled into its total cume. CinemaScore audiences gave the Jumanji reboot an A- tonight.
What’s been slowing down numbers this week is that there aren’t as many kids out of school as a year ago, read 17% K-12 were off on Wednesday versus 38% last year. That’s when Universal/Illumination’s Sing opened to $11M on Wednesday, leading to a five-day cume of $55.9M and six-day cume of $75.5M. Christmas Eve on Sunday doesn’t help any of the film’s 3-day figures. Where the studios are going to benefit is in the New Year. On Jan. 2 there will be 69% K-12 out with another 50% on Jan. 3, 40% on Jan. 4 and 40% on Jan. 5. That’s more than double the amount of elementary and high schools out on a daily basis at the beginning of 2017.
20th Century Fox’s The Greatest Showman is between $2.7M-$3M today, which will still get it to the low-$20M range by the end of Christmas. Again, it’s a marathon, not a sprint for these movies as distribution executives assesses their fortunes by MLK weekend. While critics have been cruel at 48% Rotten, the original musical starring Hugh Jackman, Michelle Williams, Zac Efron and Zendaya proved to be a real crowd pleaser with the CinemaScore audience who gave it a solid A.
Disney/Lucasfilm’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is eyeing between $16.8M-$17M today, which puts its Friday-Wednesday run at at $278.8M. Industry estimates believe that over the Wednesday through Christmas run that The Last Jedi will mint $110M which will take its running domestic total to $371.8M.
‘Antebellum’ has a ‘Get Out’ vibe, but doesn’t live up to its twist
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definite..
“Antebellum” is built around a provocative twist, and it’s a good one — as well as one that definitely shouldn’t be spoiled even a little. Once that revelation is absorbed, however, the movie becomes less distinctive and inspired, reflecting an attempt to tap into the zeitgeist that made “Get Out” a breakthrough, without the same ability to pay off the premise.
Originally destined for a theatrical run, the movie hits digital platforms trumpeting a “Get Out” pedigree in its marketing campaign, since there’s an overlap among the producing teams.
More directly, the film marks the directing debut of Gerard Bush + Christopher Renz, who have championed social-justice issues through their advertising work. The opening script features a quote from author William Faulkner, whose intent will eventually become clearer: “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
If that sounds like a timely means of drawing a line from the horrors of slavery to the racism of today, you’ve come to the right place.
The story begins on a plantation, where the brutal overseers carry out grisly punishments against those tilling the fields. A few have just tried to escape, led by Veronica (Janelle Monae), and they pay a heavy price for their resistance, which does nothing to curb her defiance.
Also written by Bush + Renz, the script take too long before revealing what makes “Antebellum” different, but the middle portion — a “The Twilight Zone”-like phase when it’s hard to be sure exactly what’s going on — is actually the film’s strongest. (Even the trailer arguably gives away too much, so the less one knows, the better.)
The final stretch, by contrast, veers into more familiar thriller territory, and feels especially rushed toward the end, leaving behind a host of nagging, unanswered questions. That provides food for thought, but it’s also what separates the movie from something like “Get Out,” which deftly fleshed out its horror underpinnings.
Although the filmmakers (in a taped message) expressed disappointment that the movie wasn’t making its debut in theaters, in a strange way, the on-demand format somewhat works in its favor. In the press notes, Bush says the goal was “to force the audience to look at the real-life horror of racism through the lens of film horror. We’re landing in the middle of the very conversations that we hoped ‘Antebellum’ would spur.”
“Antebellum” should add to that discussion, so mission accomplished on that level. Monae is also quite good in her first leading film role (she did previously star in the series “Homecoming’s” second season), but otherwise, most of the characters remain underdeveloped.