Jumanji

(Photo by Columbia/courtesy Everett Collection)

All Robin Williams Movies, Ranked by Tomatometer

Robin Williams earned his big-screen debut as Popeye in 1980 on the the growing popularity of his frenzied, freewheeling stand-up routine, and his literally out-of-this-world role on TV’s Mork & Mindy. Williams’ follow-up, The World According to Garp, was quick to reveal the sensitive artist, the melancholic side to the actor that sought fulfillment in dramatic characters and movies. Of course, it was the ’80s, and the market demanded awful comedies, which Williams was obliged to make until that special breakthrough role that would propel him out of yuppie slapstick. That moment arrived in 1987 with Barry Levinson’s Good Morning, Vietnam, a box office smash that nabbed Williams his first Oscar nomination and was part and parcel of Reagan-era movies like First Blood and Platoon that re-defined the American perception of the War.

Vietnam kicked off a strong run of critical praise and Academy recognition, as William appeared in Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, and The Fisher King one after the other. If comedy was beginning to look like something in the rear view mirror, Williams abruptly shifted gears into family fare, starting with 1991’s Hook, and then Aladdin (a turning point for celebrity voice actors as animated marketing draws), Mrs. Doubtfire, Jumanji, and Flubber. Williams was everywhere in the ’90s, and it all culminated with the multiple career-launching Good Will Hunting, which got him his final Oscar nomination (he was previously recognized for Fisher King and Dead Poets) and only win.

After flops Bicentennial Man and Jakob the Liar saw him veer hard into sentimentality, Williams re-invented himself as a dark angel in 2002 with Death to Smoochy, Insomnia, and One Hour Photo. Broad comedies (like Old Dogs, Man of the Year, RV, or License to Wed) would still remind audiences of the old eager-to-please Williams, even as they repelled critics. And he could use his pre-conceived image as a genial figure in his favor in ensemble pieces like the Night at the Museum series, Happy Feet, or Lee Daniels’ The Butler. But it was obvious Williams was increasingly drawn to pitch-black comedies and dramas, which ramped up in menace over the course of The Night Listener, World’s Greatest Dad, The Angriest Man in Brooklyn, and A Merry Friggin’ Christmas.

Williams’ final on-screen performance was 2015’s Boulevard, and his last voice role featured in 2017 for Absolutely Anything. A Certified Fresh 2018 documentary, Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind, remains to illuminate more of his life, as we rank all Robin Williams movies by Tomatometer.

#57

Old Dogs (2009)
5%

#57
Adjusted Score: 9006%
Critics Consensus: Its cast tries hard, but Old Dogs is a predictable, nearly witless attempt at physical comedy and moral uplift that misses the mark on both counts.
Synopsis: While preparing for an important business deal, two bachelors (John Travolta, Robin Williams) become the unexpected caretakers of twin children.... [More]
Directed By: Walt Becker

#56

The Big Wedding (2013)
7%

#56
Adjusted Score: 11119%
Critics Consensus: The Big Wedding's all-star cast is stranded in a contrived, strained plot that features broad stabs at humor but few laughs.
Synopsis: Don (Robert De Niro) and Ellie Griffin (Diane Keaton) are long-divorced, but when their adopted son's ultraconservative biological mother unexpectedly... [More]
Directed By: Justin Zackham

#55

License to Wed (2007)
7%

#55
Adjusted Score: 11981%
Critics Consensus: Featuring one of Robin Williams' most shtick-heavy performances, the broad and formulaic License to Wed wrings little out of its slightly creepy, unappealing premise.
Synopsis: Newly engaged couple Sadie (Mandy Moore) and Ben (John Krasinski) look forward to a traditional wedding in St. Augustine's Church... [More]
Directed By: Ken Kwapis

#54

The Survivors (1983)
9%

#54
Adjusted Score: 9164%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When Sonny Paluso's (Walter Matthau) gas station is blown up and Donald Quinelle (Robin Williams) loses his cushy executive job,... [More]
Directed By: Michael Ritchie

#53
Adjusted Score: 9503%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: After learning that a brain aneurysm will kill him in about 90 minutes, a perpetually unhappy man (Robin Williams) struggles... [More]
Directed By: Phil Alden Robinson

#52

House of D (2004)
10%

#52
Adjusted Score: 13306%
Critics Consensus: A sincere but inept coming of age story.
Synopsis: In the present, artist Tom Warshaw (David Duchovny) recalls his traumatic coming of age. As a 13-year-old (Anton Yelchin) growing... [More]
Directed By: David Duchovny

#51

Club Paradise (1986)
11%

#51
Adjusted Score: 12036%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Jack Moniker (Robin Williams) is a retired firefighter who teams up with reggae singer Ernest Reed (Jimmy Cliff) to open... [More]
Directed By: Harold Ramis

#50
Adjusted Score: 13815%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Boyd is forced to spend Christmas at his parents' house and has to hit the road with his eccentric father... [More]
Directed By: Tristram Shapeero

#49

Jack (1996)
17%

#49
Adjusted Score: 18506%
Critics Consensus: Robin Williams' childlike energy is channeled in all the wrong places with Jack, a bizarre tragedy that aims for uplift but sinks deep into queasy schmaltz.
Synopsis: After an unusually short pregnancy, Karen Powell (Diane Lane) gives birth to a baby boy whose body ages much faster... [More]
Directed By: Francis Ford Coppola

#48
#48
Adjusted Score: 19926%
Critics Consensus: Given the impressive array of talent involved in Absolutely Anything -- and the near-total lack of laughs it provokes -- this Monty Python reunion can only be regarded as a disappointment.
Synopsis: Eccentric aliens give a man (Simon Pegg) the power to do anything he wants to determine if Earth is worth... [More]
Directed By: Terry Jones

#47

Man of the Year (2006)
21%

#47
Adjusted Score: 27005%
Critics Consensus: Weakened by second-half attempts at thriller and romance, this presidential comedy also fails to hit any sharp political notes, resulting in a confused and unsatisfying mess.
Synopsis: Tom Dobbs (Robin Williams), the satirical host of a political talk show, decides to shake things up by running for... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#46

Patch Adams (1998)
22%

#46
Adjusted Score: 24462%
Critics Consensus: Syrupy performances and directing make this dramedy all too obvious.
Synopsis: After struggling with depression in a mental hospital, Hunter "Patch" Adams (Robin Williams) decides he wants to become a doctor.... [More]
Directed By: Tom Shadyac

#45

RV (2006)
24%

#45
Adjusted Score: 27861%
Critics Consensus: An unoriginal and only occasionally funny family road-trip movie, RV is a mediocre effort that not even the charisma of Robin Williams can save.
Synopsis: The Munros are a typically American dysfunctional family, complete with rebellious, uncommunicative offspring and baffled parents. Patriarch Bob (Robin Williams)... [More]
Directed By: Barry Sonnenfeld

#44

Flubber (1997)

#44
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Professor Philip Brainard (Robin Williams) is experimenting with new kinds of energy, and he thinks this project will save struggling... [More]
Directed By: Les Mayfield

#43

Fathers' Day (1997)
25%

#43
Adjusted Score: 27561%
Critics Consensus: A maudlin misfire, Father's Day manages the difficult task of making Billy Crystal and Robin Williams woefully unfunny.
Synopsis: Jack (Billy Crystal) is a straitlaced lawyer with a loving wife (Julia Louis-Dreyfus). Dale (Robin Williams) is suicidal about his... [More]
Directed By: Ivan Reitman

#42

Nine Months (1995)
25%

#42
Adjusted Score: 26730%
Critics Consensus: Nine Months finds writer-director Chris Columbus playing to his worst comedic instincts -- and relying far too heavily on the trademark tics of his miscast leading man.
Synopsis: When successful child psychologist and one-time playboy Samuel Faulkner (Hugh Grant) hears that his girlfriend, Rebecca (Julianne Moore), is pregnant,... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#41

Hook (1991)
29%

#41
Adjusted Score: 32926%
Critics Consensus: The look of Hook is lively indeed but Steven Spielberg directs on autopilot here, giving in too quickly to his sentimental, syrupy qualities.
Synopsis: When his young children are abducted by his old nemesis, Capt. Hook (Dustin Hoffman), middle-aged lawyer Peter Banning (Robin Williams)... [More]
Directed By: Steven Spielberg

#40

Jakob the Liar (1999)
29%

#40
Adjusted Score: 31703%
Critics Consensus: Any real story is buried by awkward performances and contrived situations.
Synopsis: In 1944, Jewish shop owner Jakob (Robin Williams) overhears a radio broadcast on the movements of the Soviet army while... [More]
Directed By: Peter Kassovitz

#39
#39
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: An indebted travel agent (Robin Williams) tries to land $1 million by claiming a dead body is his missing brother.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Mylod

#38

Toys (1992)
30%

#38
Adjusted Score: 30820%
Critics Consensus: Like a colorfully overengineered gewgaw on the shelf, Toys might look like fun, but its seemingly limitless possibilities lead mainly to confusion and disappointment.
Synopsis: A hi-tech toy factory falls into the hands of an army general who turns the models into killing machines. The... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#37
#37
Adjusted Score: 30410%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Married banker Jack Dundee (Robin Williams) has lived his life regretting a botched play he made in a high school... [More]
Directed By: Roger Spottiswoode

#36
Adjusted Score: 30754%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: In this animated sequel, after months of preparation for their wedding, former street thief Aladdin (Scott Weinger) and his beloved... [More]
Directed By: Tad Stones

#35

Bicentennial Man (1999)
36%

#35
Adjusted Score: 40388%
Critics Consensus: Bicentennial Man is ruined by a bad script and ends up being dull and mawkish.
Synopsis: Richard Martin (Sam Neill) buys a gift, a new NDR-114 robot. The product is named Andrew (Robin Williams) by the... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#34

Final Cut (1985)

#34
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A Hollywood film crew's bayou location takes a dangerous turn when one of their technicians and a local woman disappear.... [More]
Directed By: Larry G. Brown

#33

August Rush (2007)

#33
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A musically gifted orphan, Evan (Freddie Highmore), runs away from his orphanage and searches New York City for his birth... [More]
Directed By: Kirsten Sheridan

#32
#32
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Gabriel Noone (Robin Williams), a writer and host of a late-night radio show, begins a phone correspondence with Pete (Rory... [More]
Directed By: Patrick Stettner

#31

Death to Smoochy (2002)
42%

#31
Adjusted Score: 46006%
Critics Consensus: The talent involved can't save a script that has nowhere to go with its promising premise.
Synopsis: Tells the story of Rainbow Randolph (Robin Williams), the corrupt, costumed star of a popular children's TV show, who is... [More]
Directed By: Danny DeVito

#30
#30
Adjusted Score: 48671%
Critics Consensus: Parents might call this either a spectacle-filled adventure or a shallow and vapid CG-fest, depending on whether they choose to embrace this on the same level as their kids.
Synopsis: A night watchman (Ben Stiller) at a museum of natural history makes a startling discovery: Thanks to the unleashing of... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#29
Adjusted Score: 50692%
Critics Consensus: Night at the Museum: Battle at the Smithsonian is busy enough to keep the kids interested but the slapstick goes overboard and the special effects (however well executed) throw the production into mania.
Synopsis: Once the night guard at the Museum of Natural History, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) is now a successful purveyor of... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#28

Happy Feet Two (2011)
45%

#28
Adjusted Score: 49213%
Critics Consensus: The animation is as eye-popping as ever, but Happy Feet Two's narrative is too noisily incoherent to recapture the Oscar-winning charm of its predecessor.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood) the penguin, now called the Master of Tap, has an unusual problem: Erik, his son, is reluctant... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#27
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When the exhibits at New York's Natural History Museum start behaving strangely, Larry Daley (Ben Stiller) -- now the director... [More]
Directed By: Shawn Levy

#26

Boulevard (2014)
52%

#26
Adjusted Score: 54272%
Critics Consensus: Boulevard features a richly layered performance from Robin Williams, but that may be this dour drama's sole distinctive feature.
Synopsis: A married man's (Robin Williams) long-suppressed sexual identity slowly emerges when picks up a male hooker (Roberto Aguire) and pays... [More]
Directed By: Dito Montiel

#25

Being Human (1994)

#25
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: One human soul named Hector (Robin Williams) gets the chance to live five separate lives, through different periods of history.... [More]
Directed By: Bill Forsyth

#24
#24
Adjusted Score: 55397%
Critics Consensus: An insubstantial plot overshadows the beautiful, surreal scenery.
Synopsis: After Chris Nielsen (Robin Williams) dies in a car accident, he is guided through the afterlife by his spirit guide,... [More]
Directed By: Vincent Ward

#23

Cadillac Man (1990)

#23
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Car dealer Joey O'Brien (Robin Williams) is spread as thin financially as he is in his love life. He's dating... [More]
Directed By: Roger Donaldson

#22

Jumanji (1995)
55%

#22
Adjusted Score: 56951%
Critics Consensus: A feast for the eyes with a somewhat malnourished plot, Jumanji is an underachieving adventure that still offers a decent amount of fun for the whole family.
Synopsis: A magical board game unleashes a world of adventure on siblings Peter (Bradley Pierce) and Judy Shepherd (Kirsten Dunst). While... [More]
Directed By: Joe Johnston

#21

Popeye (1980)
63%

#21
Adjusted Score: 64744%
Critics Consensus: Altman's take on the iconic cartoon is messy and wildly uneven, but its robust humor and manic charm are hard to resist.
Synopsis: Looking for the father (Ray Walston) who deserted him as a baby, a sailor named Popeye (Robin Williams) journeys to... [More]
Directed By: Robert Altman

#20
Adjusted Score: 62550%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Crysta (Samantha Mathis) is a fairy who lives in FernGully, a rainforest in Australia, and has never seen a human... [More]
Directed By: Bill Kroyer

#19

Robots (2005)
64%

#19
Adjusted Score: 70179%
Critics Consensus: Robots delights on a visual level, but the story feels like it came off an assembly line.
Synopsis: In a world of sentient robots, striving young inventor Rodney Copperbottom (Ewan McGregor) wants to work for the avuncular Bigweld... [More]

#18

Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
72%

#18
Adjusted Score: 75136%
Critics Consensus: On paper, Mrs. Doubtfire might seem excessively broad or sentimental, but Robin Williams shines so brightly in the title role that the end result is difficult to resist.
Synopsis: Troubled that he has little access to his children, divorced Daniel Hillard (Robin Williams) hatches an elaborate plan. With help... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

#17
#17
Adjusted Score: 79000%
Critics Consensus: Gut-wrenching and emotionally affecting, Lee Daniels' The Butler overcomes an uneven narrative thanks to strong performances from an all-star cast.
Synopsis: After leaving the South as a young man and finding employment at an elite hotel in Washington, D.C., Cecil Gaines... [More]
Directed By: Lee Daniels

#16
#16
Adjusted Score: 73766%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Novelist Harry Block (Woody Allen) has become a success by turning his family and friends' lives into fodder for his... [More]
Directed By: Woody Allen

#15
Adjusted Score: 73926%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A nurse during World War II, Jenny Fields (Glenn Close) conceives with a dying pilot and bears a boy named... [More]
Directed By: George Roy Hill

#14

Happy Feet (2006)

#14
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: Mumble (Elijah Wood), a young emperor penguin, lives in Antarctica. Like others of his kind, he needs to be able... [More]
Directed By: George Miller

#13

The Birdcage (1996)
81%

#13
Adjusted Score: 84022%
Critics Consensus: Mike Nichols wrangles agreeably amusing performances from Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this fun, if not quite essential, remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles.
Synopsis: In this remake of the classic French farce "La Cage aux Folles," engaged couple Val Goldman (Dan Futterman) and Barbara... [More]
Directed By: Mike Nichols

#12

One Hour Photo (2002)
82%

#12
Adjusted Score: 87620%
Critics Consensus: Robin Williams is very effective in this creepy, well-shot thriller.
Synopsis: Casual shoppers stocking up at the local SavMart may not pay much attention to the man at the photo counter.... [More]
Directed By: Mark Romanek

#11

Dead Again (1991)
83%

#11
Adjusted Score: 85208%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: When a mute woman suffering from amnesia (Emma Thompson) arrives at the gates of an old orphanage, private investigator Mike... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#10
#10
Adjusted Score: -1%
Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.
Synopsis: A new English teacher, John Keating (Robin Williams), is introduced to an all-boys preparatory school that is known for its... [More]
Directed By: Peter Weir

#9

The Fisher King (1991)
84%

#9
Adjusted Score: 88047%
Critics Consensus: An odd but affecting mixture of drama, comedy and fantasy, The Fisher King manages to balance moving performances from Robin Williams and Jeff Bridges with director Terry Gilliam's typically askew universe.
Synopsis: After shock jock Jack Lucas (Jeff Bridges) inadvertently provokes a caller into murdering a group of innocent people in a... [More]
Directed By: Terry Gilliam

#8
#8
Adjusted Score: 85995%
Critics Consensus: With Robin Williams' affecting portrayal as a Russian immigrant at the center of its fish-out-of-water story, Moscow on The Hudson soars with an abundance of laughs and heart.
Synopsis: A Russian musician defects to the United States and settles in New York with the help of a Bloomingdale's employee.... [More]
Directed By: Paul Mazursky

#7

Awakenings (1990)
89%

#7
Adjusted Score: 90043%
Critics Consensus: Elevated by some of Robin Williams' finest non-comedic work and a strong performance from Robert De Niro, Awakenings skirts the edges of melodrama, then soars above it.
Synopsis: The story of a doctor's extraordinary work in the Sixties with a group of catatonic patients he finds languishing in... [More]
Directed By: Penny Marshall

#6
#6
Adjusted Score: 92407%
Critics Consensus: World's Greatest Dad is a risky, deadpan, dark comedy that effectively explores the nature of posthumous cults of celebrity.
Synopsis: When the son of high school English teacher Lance Clayton (Robin Williams) accidentally kills himself, Clayton writes a fake suicide... [More]
Directed By: Bobcat Goldthwait

#5
#5
Adjusted Score: 93129%
Critics Consensus: A well-calibrated blend of manic comedy and poignant drama, Good Morning, Vietnam offers a captivating look at a wide range of Robin Williams' cinematic gifts.
Synopsis: Radio funny man Adrian Cronauer (Robin Williams) is sent to Vietnam to bring a little comedy back into the lives... [More]
Directed By: Barry Levinson

#4

Insomnia (2002)
92%

#4
Adjusted Score: 98583%
Critics Consensus: Driven by Al Pacino and Robin Williams' performances, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama.
Synopsis: From acclaimed director Chris Nolan ("Memento") comes the story of a veteran police detective (Al Pacino) who is sent to... [More]
Directed By: Christopher Nolan

#3

Hamlet (1996)
95%

#3
Adjusted Score: 96992%
Critics Consensus: Kenneth Branagh's sprawling, finely textured adaptation of Shakespeare's masterpiece lives up to its source material, using strong performances and a sharp cinematic focus to create a powerfully resonant film that wastes none of its 246 minutes.
Synopsis: In the only unabridged film version of the classic play, here updated to the 19th century, Prince Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh)... [More]
Directed By: Kenneth Branagh

#2

Aladdin (1992)
95%

#2
Adjusted Score: 100911%
Critics Consensus: A highly entertaining entry in Disney's renaissance era," Aladdin is beautifully drawn, with near-classic songs and a cast of scene-stealing characters.
Synopsis: When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that... [More]
Directed By: Ron Clements, John Musker

#1
#1
Adjusted Score: 101367%
Critics Consensus: It follows a predictable narrative arc, but Good Will Hunting adds enough quirks to the journey -- and is loaded with enough powerful performances -- that it remains an entertaining, emotionally rich drama.
Synopsis: Will Hunting (Matt Damon) has a genius-level IQ but chooses to work as a janitor at MIT. When he solves... [More]
Directed By: Gus Van Sant

It’s the first streaming column of the month, which means Netflix and Amazon Prime have released a ton of new releases. And, as usual, we’ve narrowed down the selection to just the Certified Fresh choices. See below for the full list, which includes a nice mix of classic Hollywood, recent hits, and beloved gems.


New on Netflix

 

Dear White People: Season 1 (2017) 95%

Netflix adapted Justin Simien’s provocative film into a TV series, focusing on various students of color at an Ivy League university as they navigate social issues and their collegiate lives.

Available now on: Netflix


Things to Come (2016) 99%

Isabelle Huppert delivers another powerhouse performance in Mia Hansen-Løve’s drama about a woman whose life is thrown into upheaval after her marriage falls apart.

Available now on: Netflix


Don't Think Twice (2016) 98%

Mike Birbiglia’s comedy focuses on the members of a New York improv group whose friendships are tested as they come to grips with individual success… or the lack thereof.

Available now on: Netflix


Anvil! The Story of Anvil (2008)

Sacha Gervasi’s unique documentary charts the paths of Canadian metal band Anvil’s two founding members, who rose to prominence during the 1980s and then quickly faded into obscurity.

Available now on: Netflix


The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) 94%

Mathieu Amalric and Emmanuelle Seigner star in Julian Schnabel’s true story of magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby, who was suddenly paralyzed by a stroke at age 43 but went on to write an astonishing memoir of his experience.

Available now on: Netflix


Southside With You (2016) 92%

Parker Sawyers and Tika Sumpter star as the young Barack Obama and Michelle Robinson in a romantic drama that follows the couple around Chicago on their first date.

Available now on: Netflix


Scream (1996) 79%

Horror icon Wes Craven’s subversive deconstruction of the genre is a sly, funny and surprisingly effective satire of slasher flicks that just happens to work pretty well as a slasher flick itself.

Available now on: Netflix


Trust (2010) 79%

Clive Owen and Catherine Keener star in David Schwimmer’s drama about a family torn apart when their teenage daughter falls victim to an internet predator.

Available now on: Netflix


Bridget Jones's Baby (2016) 78%

Renée Zellweger reprises her role as the titular singleton, who must figure out who the father of her child is after a pair of trysts results in a pregnancy.

Available now on: Netflix


The Daughter (2015) 77%

Geoffrey Rush and Paul Schneider star in this drama about the ripple effect that occurs within the community when a wealthy mill owner in rural Australia announces he’s shutting his business down.

Available now on: Netflix


Happy Feet (2006)

Elijah Wood and Robin Williams lend their voices to this animated feature about an emperor penguin who overcomes his inability to sing by becoming a fantastic dancer instead.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

The Wizard of Oz (1939) 98%

Judy Garland stars as Dorothy in this classic adaptation of the L. Frank Baum novel about a young girl who is transported to a magical land where some strange new friends help her to find her way home.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Gone With the Wind (1939) 90%

Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh star in Victor Fleming’s multiple Oscar-winning Civil War-set romance about a selfish Southern socialite who catches the eye of a roguish opportunist from a wealthy family.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Winter's Bone (2010) 94%

Jennifer Lawrence stars in Debra Granik’s drama about a teen living in the Ozarks who sets out to track her meth cook father after he skips out on the family.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


No Way Out (1987)

Kevin Costner and Gene Hackman star in this thriller about a naval officer who is tasked with investigating the murder of the Secretary of Defense’s wife, with whom he had a brief affair.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


A Christmas Story (1983) 90%

Peter Billingsley stars in this holiday classic about a boy who holds out for the ultimate present — a Red Ryder BB gun — one Christmas in 1940.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Florence Foster Jenkins (2016) 88%

Meryl Streep and Hugh Grant star in this lighthearted true story about the woman who famously became an opera singer despite her less than angelic voice.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Life Is Beautiful (1997) 80%

Roberto Benigni and Nicoletta Braschi star in Benigni’s dramatic comedy about a Jewish father who concocts elaborate stories to prevent his young son from learning the truth when his family is imprisoned in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


American Honey (2016) 79%

Sasha Lane delivers a breakout performance in Andrea Arnold’s drama about a girl who sets out across the midwest with a traveling sales crew.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


New on FandangoNOW

 

I Am Not Your Negro (2016) 99%

This Oscar-nominated documentary takes a look at influential African-American writer James Baldwin’s life and sociopolitical legacy, focusing on an unfinished, unpublished manuscript Baldwin left behind when he died in 1987.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Salesman (2016) 96%

Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning drama centers on a young Iranian couple whose relationship is tested when they are forced to move out from their apartment to the center of Tehran.

Available now on: FandangoNOW


The Red Turtle (2016) 93%

Studio Ghibli co-produced this dialogue-free animated film about a shipwrecked man who wakes up on a deserted island and befriends a giant red turtle.

Available now on: FandangoNOW

It’s the very first streaming column of 2017, which means it’s also the first streaming column of the month, which means the subscription services are releasing a ton of new titles, and we’re culling them down to the very best. Read on for all the Certified Fresh choices available on Netflix and Amazon Prime this week.


New on Netflix

 

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) 99%

Steven Spielberg’s family classic — the tale of a young boy named Elliott who discovers an orphaned alien in his backyard — boasts one of the most beloved movie characters in history.

Available now on: Netflix


The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951) 95%

Robert Wise’s Certified Fresh sci-fi classic tells the story of an alien being who arrives on Earth with a warning for mankind: make peace or face annihilation.

Available now on: Netflix


Hugo (2011)

Martin Scorsese’s adaptation of the Brian Selznick novel stars Asa Butterfield and Chloë Grace Moretz in the story of a young boy who befriends a reclusive toymaker in order to unlock the secret behind an automaton left to him by his late father.

Available now on: Netflix


Superman: The Movie (1978) 94%

– Franchise

All four of the classic Superman films starring Christopher Reeve — and Bryan Singer’s 2006 update — are available on Netflix this week.

Available now on Netflix: Superman, Superman II, Superman III, Superman IV, Superman Returns


Boogie Nights (1997) 93%

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ensemble opus about life in the porn industry made a movie star out of Mark Wahlberg and benefited immeasurably from great performances by Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Heather Graham, Luis Guzman, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and William H. Macy.

Available now on: Netflix


Gimme the Loot (2012) 91%

This independent drama follows a pair of graffiti artists over two days as they attempt to raise funds for a bold act of tagging.

Available now on: Netflix


After Innocence (2005) 92%

This documentary catches up with several men exonerated by DNA evidence and freed from prison as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

Available now on: Netflix


Cheap Thrills (2013) 88%

This dark comedy centers on two friends and a wealthy married couple who meet at a bar and engage in a series of progressively more twisted dares.

Available now on: Netflix


The Shining (1980) 85%

Stanley Kubrick’s iconic adaptation of the Stephen King novel stars a creepy Jack Nicholson as a struggling writer who relocates his family to an empty hotel during a harsh winter season and slowly goes mad.

Available now on: Netflix


Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) 79%

Renee Zellweger, Colin Firth, and Hugh Grant star in this comedy about a brash thirtysomething London woman who decides to shape up and meets a couple of eligible bachelors.

Available now on: Netflix


Beautiful Girls (1996) 79%

Matt Dillon, Uma Thurman, a young Natalie Portman, and a bunch of other noted indie thespians star in this mid-1990s comedy about a high school reunion in snowy New England.

Available now on: Netflix


Braveheart (1995) 79%

Mel Gibson directs and stars in this multiple Oscar-winner as William Wallace, a Scottish folk hero from the 13th century who led his people against the English in the First War of Scottish Independence.

Available now on: Netflix


Caddyshack (1980)

Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, and Bill Murray star in Harold Ramis’s directorial debut, a beloved comedy about the unruly, unusual new members of an exclusive country club.

Available now on: Netflix


V for Vendetta (2006) 73%

Natalie Portman and Hugo Weaving star in this dystopian thriller about a lone freedom fighter plotting a series of revolutionary bombings against a tyrannical government who recruits a young woman to join his cause.

Available now on: Netflix


New on Amazon Prime

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 95%

– Franchise

Harrison Ford stars as the iconic archaeologist/adventurer whose thrilling exploits take him all over the globe. Amazon Prime subscribers will be able to stream all of the Indiana Jones movies this week.

Available now on Amazon Prime: Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


Iron Man (2008) 94%

This action blockbuster, which kicked off the Marvel Cinematic Universe in spectacular style, stars Robert Downey Jr. in a role he was born to play: an arrogant billionaire supergenius who creates a weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Cropsey (2009) 91%

This Certified Fresh documentary tells the chilling tale of a Long Island child killer that many assumed was an urban legend.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Trading Places (1983)

Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd star in John Landis’s classic comedy about a well-to-do businessman and a common street hustler whose lives become intertwined when the businessman’s bosses concoct an elaborate bet involving them.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


American History X (1998)

Edwards Norton and Furlong star in this drama about an ex-white supremacist who returns from prison a changed man and attempts to prevent his younger brother from following the same path.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Beetlejuice (1988) 85%

Tim Burton’s offbeat comedy stars Michael Keaton as the titular ghoul, a chaotic wildcard whose services are called upon by a newly deceased couple (Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis) to help rid their home of its new occupants.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Jesus' Son (1999) 80%

Billy Crudup and Samantha Morton star in this drama about an aimless junkie who meets an interesting collection of characters as he attempts to straighten out his life.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


The Untouchables (1987) 83%

Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, and Robert De Niro star in Brian DePalma’s dramatization of the Prohibition Era war between Al Capone and lawman Eliot Ness.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Stardust (2007) 77%

Based upon Neil Gaiman’s fantasy novel and featuring an all-star cast, this fantasy follows a young man who embarks on a journey through a forbidden kingdom to prove his love to the girl of his dreams by presenting her with a fallen star.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Gangs of New York (2002)

Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Day-Lewis headline an all-star cast in Martin Scorsese’s stylized portrayal of the rise of criminal power in New York’s Five Points neighborhood during the mid-1800s.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Happy Feet (2006)

Elijah Wood and Robin Williams lend their voices to this animated feature about an emperor penguin who overcomes his inability to sing by becoming a fantastic dancer instead.

Available now on: Amazon Prime


Available to Purchase

 

Insecure: Season 1 (2016) 100%

Issa Rae stars in this HBO comedy series, partly based on her web series Awkward Black Girl, that centers on two black women learning to navigate their personal and professional lives in Los Angeles.

Available now on: Amazon, Google PlayiTunes


Pinocchio (1940) 100%

Disney’s classic take on the story of a wooden boy who wishes to become human is being made available to stream this week.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Queen of Katwe (2016) 94%

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo star in Mira Nair’s inspirational tale based on a true story about a chess prodigy who is discovered in a Ugandan slum and nurtured to become a champion.

Available now on: AmazonFandangoNOW, iTunes


Christine (2016) 88%

Rebecca Hall stars in this fact-based drama as Christine Chubbuck, the Florida news reporter who committed suicide on live TV in 1974.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes


Ouija: Origin of Evil (2016) 82%

This surprisingly effective prequel to the forgettable 2014 original follows a scam psychic and her two daughters as they deal with an unwelcome spirit who enters their lives via the titular game board.

Available now on: AmazoniTunes

For almost as long as videogames have existed, filmmakers have been trying to bring them successfully to theaters — and failing. George Miller, however, aims to change all that.

In a recent chat with Newsweek, the Happy Feet director divulged his console-related plans; perhaps unsurprisingly, they dovetail with one of his screen projects — and no, it isn’t Justice League of America:

Well, the first one will be a “Mad Max” game. Because what happened was, we were all ready to go, within eleven weeks of shooting the next “Mad Max” movie, “Fury Road.” This was way back when the war in Iraq started, and that really threw this out for a whole host of reasons, not the least of which was that the American dollar crashed against the Australian dollar. And apart from that, just insurances, getting vehicles and stuff there on container ships — all that slowed down around the world. So we had to move on to “Happy Feet,” because that was going to take a long time.

We were all ready to go on “Fury Road,” but instead of going off and shooting “Fury Road” straight away, I said “Okay, now that we’ve got that whole world prepared, let’s work together with somebody, if there’s someone out there.” And that started off on the path of trying to get together with Corey. Not handing it off to some third party game developer as we did on “Happy Feet,” but to try to do it all as a piece, in the hope that we overcome that problem of making bad films from good games or vice versa.

“In other words,” he continued, “I’m delaying the movie in order to do a really good game.” According to Miller, the fourth Mad Max was in “a very highly advanced stage of preproduction” when he hit the pause button — and Mel Gibson had “all but signed to play the lead.” Five years makes a big difference, though; the director says Gibson’s days of playing the character are “long gone now.”

Conspicuously absent from the interview was any talk of the JLA movie — writer N’Gai Croal refers to it as “on hold” at one point, and Miller lets it pass without comment. The bulk of their conversation is focused on Miller’s vision for a future in which stories jump much more seamlessly between platforms. As the director puts it:

If you’re much more interested in games than movies, then you might enter the story through the game. Or you might enter the story through the film and move towards the game. It’s still the same story. It’s still the same characters. It’s still the same world. It’s just that you can approach the characters and the world from different angles.

Source: Newsweek

A wave of new product hits the marketplace at a time when exciting films are desperately needed to end the current box office funk. The science fiction thriller I Am Legend leads the way but will be joined by the family comedy Alvin and the Chipmunks and the romantic comedy The Perfect Holiday. For only the second time all year, just two films managed grosses of more than $5M last weekend. Hollywood critically needs this weekend to turn things around if it wants to end the year on a happy note.

Gunning for his seventh consecutive number one opening, Will Smith headlines the sci-fi thriller I Am Legend, the latest Hollywood film based on the classic 1954 novel of the same name. The PG-13 entry finds the superstar playing the last man alive on Earth after a virus wipes out the entire human population in the not-so-distant future. Legend could prove to be Smith’s greatest box office challenge to date since there are no famous co-stars, no big director, and the novel it is based on is not exactly a hot item in today’s era. This film is Will’s to make or break.

But for millions of movie fans, the former Fresh Prince plus action equals a definite trip to the local multiplex. The actor is right at the top of the current A list and is arguably the most bankable star alive consistently drawing in audiences that cut across all race, gender, and age barriers. Will Smith can bring out paying audiences for sci-fi (I, Robot), comedy (Hitch), drama (The Pursuit of Happyness), action (Bad Boys II), and animation (Shark Tale). With Legend he now flirts with the boundaries of horror as battling killer zombies that attack at night is a far cry from being a date doctor.

Warner Bros. has good timing for I Am Legend. The marketplace has been about as dead as the world depicted in the film and audiences are hungry for an event film to get them back into the habit of moviegoing. Competition will not be much of a factor and business will be coming in from many directions with teens and young adults leading the way and fans of sci-fi and action delivering a big bang too. The studio’s massive marketing push will do the trick and adding more bite will be the simultaneous Imax release where higher ticket prices ($16 in New York City) will give the grosses a boost. Plus the strategic move of playing the new prologue for next summer’s much-anticipated Batman flick The Dark Knight with the Imax release of I Am Legend just fuels more excitement and guarantees more asses in the seats.

Will Smith is looking to score one of the biggest December openings ever for a non-Peter Jackson flick. A big drop next weekend is likely, but for now consumers are keeping all eyes on I Am Legend which attacks 3,606 theaters on Friday. An opening weekend gross of about $50M could result.


Will Smith and friend in I Am Legend

Some younger moviegoers may not be in the mood for flesh-eating mutants. Luckily, Fox had the bright idea of getting jiggy with its new kidpic Alvin and the Chipmunks which will give parents and smaller children some harmless fun for the holidays. The PG-rated film is the latest big-screen treatment of a popular kids property from yesterday that gets a makeover for today’s sensibilities. When done right, ticket sales pour in from multiple generations. But when done wrong, you get disasters like The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Competition should not be too bad since Enchanted which is going into its fourth session is the only family film generating any decent dough right now. Instead, holiday shopping may be the real threat as many parents will wait until a little later before heading to the cinemas for this one. The property is not popular enough to create any true sense of urgency. But this is common in mid December. Last year, Charlotte’s Web got off to a slow start with a $11.5M bow but went on to make seven times that amount with a final tally of $82.6M. Fox’s marketing push has been aggressively targeting young kids and the studio knows that little success lies with teens and young adults. Going very wide with 3,476 playdates on Friday, Alvin and the Chipmunks could gross about $15M this weekend but hold on well over the holidays.


Alvin, Simon and Theodore

Christmas fun hits the multiplexes in another package with The Perfect Holiday from Yari Film Group. Morris Chestnut and Gabrielle Union star as single folks whose love lives cross while Queen Latifah and Terrence Howard play naughty and nice spirits along for the ride. The PG-rated film will play primarily to an African American audience which will make it a tricky sell at this moment in time. Though a very different film, Legend will steal away many in the target demographic and others who just saw This Christmas may not be looking for another story from the same category so soon. Poor reviews will also cause some box office headaches. Opening Wednesday in 1,306 locations, The Perfect Holiday could bow to about $7M over three days and $9M over five days.


The Perfect Holiday

Adding to the end-of-year frenzy that arthouse films find themselves in during awards season, Paramount Vantage’s The Kite Runner opens in 35 theaters in selected cities on Friday hoping to appeal to fans of the best-selling novel. The R-rated film in English and Dari tells of two young boys in Afghanistan whose lives take two very different paths after a violent incident right before the Soviet invasion of the country. Kite Runner has been included on some recent ten-best lists and scored two Golden Globe nominations. Reviews have been generally positive.


The Kite Runner

Following its not-so-explosive debut, The Golden Compass will have tough work cut out for it during the sophomore frame. The New Line adventure will see the sci-fi audience abandon ship and line up for Will Smith while parents looking for some fun for their kids will have some talking chipmunks to consider. A 50% drop could be in order for Compass which would give it about $13M for the weekend and a ten-day tally of $45M.

Disney’s Enchanted, which earned a pair of Golden Globe nominations, is slowly but surely making its way towards the $100M mark. Another moderate 35% decline would give the fairy tale pic around $7M which would push the sum up to $93M. Sony’s This Christmas will face direct competition from The Perfect Holiday so a 40% dip may result giving the pic $3M and $47M to date.

LAST YEAR: The man in black beat out some tough competition to conquer the box office. Will Smith’s The Pursuit of Happyness led a wave of new releases with its top spot debut grossing $26.5M for Sony. The feel-good smash played well over the holiday season surging to $162.6M domestically and $294M worldwide – an impressive sum for a Smith vehicle not driven by guns or special effects. Fox’s fantasy actioner Eragon bowed close behind in second with $23.2M on its way to $75M from North America representing only 30% of the global take. Overseas the numbers were much stronger with $175M in ticket sales for a powerful $250M tally worldwide. Third place also featured a new release. Paramount’s family film Charlotte’s Web debuted to the tune of $11.5M but reached a solid $82.6M by the end of the run. Rounding out the top five were the penguin toon Happy Feet with $8.4M and the romantic comedy The Holiday with $8M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

New Line hopes to breathe some life into the North American box office with the launch of its pricey adventure film The Golden Compass which stands as the frame’s only new wide release. Directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy), the PG-13 film aims to capture a large crowd including the family audience and fans of sci-fi and fantasy. Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, who proved in the summer flop The Invasion that their names only carry so much commercial weight, reunite to star in the effects-heavy film.

Working in its favor is the fact that all other studios have avoided programming their major offerings onto this weekend’s schedule. In fact it is quite rare to see two consecutive frames with only one national opener each. Media attention is concentrated on it this week and with multiplexes dumping their aging November flops, Compass will secure extra screens. The studio’s marketing push has been powerful and awareness is high which makes sense as New Line is hoping for a new fantasy franchise that can keep the cash rolling in for years to come. Teens and young adults who frequent the multiplexes the most should come out in solid numbers since they’ve seen every other worthy film already. Older adults will be a little harder to reach since holiday shopping is a major distraction on weekends right now plus reviews for Compass have not exactly been stellar.

Although the property will target many of the same folks who have dropped billions on fantasy smashes like The Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, and The Chronicles of Narnia, the source material is not as popular plus there is already backlash from some in the religious community for the anti-Christian material in the Philip Pullman books. Reaching the $65.6M opening of Narnia from this very weekend two years ago will be impossible. Instead, a debut closer to the $27.5M of Beowulf last month could be in order since there may be much overlap. Compass has more appeal for younger kids and females so a bigger bow should result. Opening in over 3,000 theaters, The Golden Compass might premiere to the tune of $33M this weekend.


Nicole Kidman in The Golden Compass

With most of the big boys taking the weekend off from releasing films wide, indie distribs will once again seize the opportunity to platform their end-of-year pics and begin limited runs for possible kudos contenders. By law, you can’t have an awards season without at least one costume drama so Focus Features joins forces with Keira Knightley with Atonement which bows on Friday in 26 sites. The R-rated period piece also stars James McAvoy and Vanessa Redgrave and has already grossed $31M overseas with over two-thirds of that total coming from the U.K. since its launch there in early September.


James McAvoy and Keira Knightley in Atonement

Fox Searchlight counters in seven theaters with its teen pregnancy comedy Juno starring Michael Cera, Jason Bateman, Jennifer Garner, and Ellen Page in the title role. The PG-13 coming-of-age pic opened on Wednesday in New York and Los Angeles and is director Jason Reitman‘s follow-up to Thank You For Smoking which grossed $24.8M for Fox Searchlight in the spring of 2006. Reviews have been strong across the board for both Juno and Atonement.


Ellen Page and Olivia Thirlby in Juno

After back to back stints of wearing the box office crown, the princess comedy Enchanted is now preparing to take a step back this weekend thanks to the arrival of Queen Kidman. The Disney hit will see some formidable competition for kids, but the overall drop should not be too large. A 35% slide to around $10.5M could result. That would give Enchanted a charming $83M after 19 days of play.

With girls lining up for Giselle and company, their brothers have been taking a historical adventure with the computer-animated action pic Beowulf which has been holding its own since its debut. Golden Compass will also be a threat since there is much audience overlap. But Beowulf‘s good legs suggest that a drop of 35% could be in order here as well. That would leave the Paramount project with about $5M pushing the cume up to $76M.

Sony’s holiday reunion film This Christmas and Fox’s assassin thriller Hitman both witnessed larger sophomore declines so a fall of 40% each should occur this weekend. Christmas would take in just under $5M for a $42M total while Hitman should bank $3.5M for a $36M sum.

LAST YEAR: Mel Gibson scored his second straight number one opening for a historical foreign language film he directed with Apocalypto which debuted on top with $15M. The Buena Vista release went on to capture a solid $50.9M. Three-time champ Happy Feet was bumped down to second with $12.9M in its fourth frame. Sony’s romantic comedy The Holiday bowed in third with $12.8M for Sony. The Cameron DiazKate Winslet pic went on to gross $63.2M domestically and a stunning $200M worldwide. Studio stablemate Casino Royale slipped to fourth with $8.9M. Warner Bros. launched its action thriller Blood Diamond in fifth with a mediocre $8.6M on its way to $57.4M from North America and $171M globally. Opening in seventh was the studio’s other new wide release of the frame, the family comedy Unaccompanied Minors, with only $5.8M leading to a weak $16.6M final.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Only one new film ventures into wide release. Studios typically avoid opening worthwhile pics during the weekend after the Thanksgiving frame since moviegoing subsides and holiday shopping becomes a bigger national priority. Overall ticket sales tumble by 40-50% from the previous frame and holdovers usually lead the way. That means Disney’s princess tale Enchanted should continue to reign supreme at the North American box office, but those looking for a scare will have the new thriller Awake to see. After a robust turkey frame, look for the marketplace to settle down as movie fans nibble on leftovers.

What happens when Darth Vader marries the Invisible Woman? You get a horror film set in a hospital, of course. Awake stars Hayden Christensen as a man who undergoes surgery while remaining conscious and Jessica Alba plays the troubled wife. The R-rated psychological thriller from MGM and The Weinstein Co. will target young adults with a semi-intriguing premise and a dash of starpower.

Outside of the Star Wars prequels, young Anakin has no pull with ticket buyers but Alba has shown box office strength over the years and can often be a draw even when not suited up in Fantastic Four gear. As with so many of her previous films, trailers feature quick shots of her semi-nude body which should titillate male moviegoers. But overall excitement is not too high and the audience could be limited here with the eventual DVD release reaching the bulk of the film’s fans. Opening in about 2,000 theaters, Awake may gross around $6M this weekend.


Hayden Christensen, Terence Howard and Jessica Alba in Awake

A pair of film festival favorites with Oscar hopes will open in platform release this weekend. Fox Searchlight offers the estranged sibling comedy The Savages starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman. The R-rated film played earlier this year at Sundance, Telluride, and Toronto. Debuting in the same two Manhattan theaters is Miramax’s French drama The Diving Bell and the Butterfly about a magazine editor who after suffering a stroke, can only communicate with one eyelid. The PG-13 film scored the Best Director trophy at Cannes.


Philip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney in The Savages

With only one new offering in wide play, look for the box office chart to look awfully familiar. Nine of the top ten titles will probably be the same as last week’s. Disney’s family hit Enchanted is set to retain its crown and stay the leader. A 50% drop could result, especially since Friday is not a day off this time around. That would give the fairy tale flick about $17M for the weekend and a solid 12-day cume of $70M.

Following its surprisingly strong premiere, the family reunion film This Christmas should fall sharply on the sophomore session. A 55% decline would leave Sony with $8M and an impressive total of $36M after a dozen days.

Young males targeted by Beowulf and Hitman will be distracted somewhat by another one-word-titled film making its debut. With Alba in that cast, it could lead to steep drops of 55% each. That would put Paramount’s 3D adventure toon at around $7.5M for the weekend for a sum of $68M. Hitman would slide down to $6M for Fox and a total of $30M.

LAST YEAR: For the third straight weekend, the penguin-Bond connection ruled the box office with ease. The animated blockbuster Happy Feet remained the number one film once again with $17.5M for Warner Bros. while Sony’s 007 pic Casino Royale took the silver with $15.1M. In the first 17 days of play, moviegoers spent an astounding $237M on the dynamic duo. Denzel Washington‘s action thriller Deja Vu stayed put in third place with $10.9M in its sophomore frame. Debuting in fourth was the religious drama The Nativity Story with $7.8M on its way to a $37.6M final for New Line. Rounding out the top five was Fox’s Christmas comedy Deck the Halls with $6.7M. Also debuting but to modest numbers were Fox’s horror pic Turistas with $3.6M and MGM’s Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj with $2.3M. Final grosses reached $7M and $4.3M, respectively.

This weekend For the first time this decade, a new release seems set to take over the number one spot during the busy Thanksgiving holiday weekend at the North American box office. Studios are cramming a six-pack of new titles into multiplexes nationwide hoping the recent famine in the marketplace will be replaced by a feast. The films lack major stars, but they do however have clearly-defined audiences which will hopefully allow them to survive and expand the overall pie.

Disney leads the way with the fantasy extravaganza Enchanted for young girls while Fox counters with the much more violent action offering Hitman aimed at young men. MGM goes for a scare with the horror film The Mist, Sony targets African American moviegoers with This Christmas, and August Rush from Warner Bros. will try to tap into family audiences. Meanwhile, Miramax goes after older adults and upscale crowds with its acclaimed thriller No Country For Old Men which widens into national release after two weeks of sold out shows in limited play.

Once upon a time, Disney regularly opened a new family film at number one over Thanksgiving weekend. After a long absence, the Mouse House is now poised to take its rightful place on the turkey throne with its fairy tale adventure pic Enchanted which finds an animated princess thrust upon the real world where people do not live happily ever after. The PG-rated film will appeal to the millions of young girls and mothers who have become devotees of Disney’s lucrative army of princesses. Getting in boys may be a bit tough, but the female following should be more than enough to propel this massive release into the top spot at the holiday box office.

Not since 1999’s Toy Story 2 has Disney, or any other studio for that matter, opened a new film at number one over this holiday frame. Holdovers have consistently ruled since 2000, mostly big guns that debuted on the weekend before the holiday to get an early jump on the cash. But from 1994 through 1999, Disney enjoyed an unprecedented streak ruling the Thanksgiving box office every year with an iron fist. Now that magic is back, thanks in part to a surprisingly weak line-up of November titles coming from Hollywood’s magic factories. With the widest release by far of any new film, no holdovers to stand in its way, and a holiday frame that welcomes family entertainment, Enchanted looks to become the queen bee. Opening in an ultrawide 3,632 theaters, the fantasy film may charm its way to about $30M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and $43M during the extended Wednesday-to-Sunday span.


Amy Adams in Enchanted

Fox hopes that young men from coast to coast will stamp their necks with barcodes and hit the megaplexes to see its new action thriller Hitman. Based on the popular video game, the R-rated film about a genetically-engineered superassassin has its eyes set squarely on male audiences done with cartoon Vikings and ready for some guns and ammo. The studio’s marketing has been superb with slickly-edited television spots featuring operatic tunes that really sell the picture to the target audience. Unfortunately there are no marquee names in the cast to help bring in business. Direct competition from Beowulf will also curtail grosses a bit. With a strong marketing push exciting the core crowd, look for a solid and respectable opening. Hitman invades 2,401 venues and might capture $13M over the weekend and $19M over five days.


Timothy Olyphant in Hitman

Some folks may be in search of a scare this weekend so MGM is rolling out the fright flick The Mist, a film adaptation of a Stephen King story. The R-rated pic comes from director Frank Darabont (The Green Mile, The Shawshank Redemption) and stars Thomas Jane, Marcia Gay Harden, and Andre Braugher. The actors add little starpower so Mist‘s commercial prospects will instead have to rely on King’s name and the popularity of the horror genre. With the pre-Halloween gorefests now eroding away, competition should not come from fellow thrillers. Instead movies like Hitman and Beowulf will be factors as both will play to older teens and twentysomethings. Historically, horror films have rarely found success over Thanksgiving weekend since audiences tend to flock to happy tales. Attacking 2,423 theaters, The Mist may scare up about $10M over the Friday-to-Sunday period and roughly $14M across the five-day span.


Thomas Jane and co. in The Mist

The true meaning of family is explored once again in the holiday drama This Christmas from Sony. The PG-13 story about different generations of the Whitfield clan reuniting for the holidays stars Delroy Lindo, Regina King, Mekhi Phifer, and pop singer Chris Brown. The studio is aiming primarily for African American adults. With American Gangster going into its fourth frame and most other films neglecting this particular audience, Christmas should have clear sailing as it heads into the multiplexes. But starpower is lacking. Gangster and Why Did I Get Married? both did stellar business thanks in part to A-list drawing power from Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, respectively. This Christmas opens in 1,802 playdates, with a widening to 1,858 on Friday, and could be in for a three-day bow of $8M and a five-day tally of $11M.


This Christmas

Likely to have a tough time finding ticket buyers this weekend is the new PG-rated drama August Rush which brings together an oddly assembled cast including Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, and Robin Williams. The Warner Bros. tale about a young music prodigy in search of his parents will no doubt have its work cut out for it trying to convince parents to not spend their time and money on Disney fairy tales, talking bees, Santa’s siblings, and wonder emporiums. Competition is too strong for this one and overall excitement is quite low. August Rush opens Wednesday in 2,280 theaters and expands to 2,310 on Friday. Look for a three-day debut of $5M and a five-day tally of $7M.


Freddie Highmore and Robin Williams in August Rush

With few options for older adults looking for serious fare over the long weekend, Miramax is rolling out its critical darling No Country For Old Men from the Coen brothers into nationwide release. Expanding from 148 to 860 locations, the R-rated thriller starring Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, and Tommy Lee Jones will try to target those folks that have already watched Denzel and Russell go head-to-head and are looking for more shoot-em-up action from veteran filmmakers and actors. Hot buzz has been spreading over its two weeks in limited release so awareness is now high enough to take the pic wider. Last weekend’s scorching $20,782 average will probably get sliced in half and some people will opt for happier films over Thanksgiving. But direct competition is not too fierce and word-of-mouth is on its side. Look for No Country For Old Men to take in about $7M over three days and $10M over five.


Josh Brolin in No Country for Old men

Last weekend’s champ Beowulf would normally see a sizable sophomore drop especially with Hitman stealing away young men. But thanks to the holiday cushion, the decline should not be as bad. A 30% fall may result giving Paramount a Friday-to-Sunday take of around $19M which would push the cume to $60M after ten days. Studio stablemate Bee Movie will join the century club by Friday and should remain a solid option for families. Look for a 20% dip to roughly $11M and a boost in the total to $111M.

A 25% drop might be in the works for American Gangster which may tap into patient adults that have heard the buzz, but just haven’t made a trip to the theaters yet. Universal could take in about $9.5M over three days and raise its sum to $116M. Christmas films routinely see their three-day grosses climb over the turkey frame when compared to the previous weekend thanks to the cheery holiday mood of ticket buyers. That could come as good news to Warner Bros. which might see its Vince Vaughn offering Fred Claus edge up by 10% to around $13M. Cume would hit $54M.

LAST YEAR Despite five new films opening in wide release over the turkey frame, moviegoers continued to spend their money on the same films as the top two spots remained unchanged. Sophomores Happy Feet and Casino Royale led the session with $37M and $30.8M, respectively, over three days. The penguin toon dipped only 11% while the rejuvenated Bond flick dropped by just 25% giving the pair a towering combined gross of $193M after ten days. Denzel Washington won the bronze with his new sci-fi actioner Deja Vu which bowed to $20.6M while the Christmas comedy Deck the Halls followed in fourth with a debut of $12M. Final grosses reached $64M and $35.1M. Borat rounded out the top five with $10.3M in its fourth weekend. Other new releases stumbled. MGM’s political drama Bobby expanded nationally and took in only $4.9M on its way to a weak $11.2M. Warner Bros. debuted its sci-fi drama The Fountain to the tune of $3.8M and New Line saw just $3.2M for its Jack Black pet project Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny. The pics ended their runs quickly with a measly $10.1M and $8.3M, respectively.

author: Gitesh Pandya www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

One animated film will bump another from the number one spot at the North American box office. But the new warrior Beowulf is no B movie but an A-list production from an Oscar-winning director offering action audiences something new. Also opening this weekend but likely to see more modest grosses are the family pic Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium and the romantic drama Love in the Time of Cholera. Without a compelling selection of great films, the marketplace should once again fall well below year-ago levels.

Paramount looks to capture the box office crown without the help of DreamWorks this time with Beowulf, a computer-animated action adventure based on the ancient epic poem. The PG-13 film comes from Robert Zemeckis who expands upon the motion capture technology he used in 2004’s The Polar Express. This time around his film is aimed at somewhat older moviegoers as young children will be too frightened by the violence, gore, and yes, nudity. Beowulf aims to pry 14-year-old boys away from their videogame systems and into the multiplexes with a new type of action film that is presented in 3D in selected theaters. Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, and Angelina Jolie lend their voices and digital likenesses.

The marketing has been terrific on the part of the studio. The core audience of young males is excited and ready to buy tickets and the film might even pull in part of the literary crowd curious to see how this classic tale is adapted to the big screen. The marketplace needs something like this now with hits like American Gangster skewing more adult and kidpics like Bee Movie not offering enough violence. If last December’s Eragon could open to $23.2M, then surely Beowulf can target the same crowd and go higher. Launching in over 2,800 theaters, Beowulf could conquer the box office this weekend with about $32M.


The digitally-altered likeness of Ray Winstone in Beowulf

Dustin Hoffman stars as the eccentric owner of a magical toy store in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium, a new entry for family audiences from Fox. The G-rated film co-stars Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman. With Bee Movie and Fred Claus already out there doing solid business, and likely to collect a combined $30M this weekend, competition for Emporium will be intense. Bad reviews will make parents hesitate, but if kids respond to the TV commercials, then they will find a way to force their parents to take them. Opening wide in around 3,200 locations, Mr. Magorium could bow to about $11M this weekend and try to remain a relevant choice over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday session.


Dustin Hoffman and Natalie Portman in Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

To counter his current role as a brutal killer in No Country for Old Men, Javier Bardem stars in the romantic drama Love in the Time of Cholera. The R-rated tale from New Line is getting a moderately wide release and will play to an older adult audience with a female skew. The Oscar buzz Bardem has been receiving for Country could rub off on Cholera helping its case. And Latino audiences are being counted on to show up as are fans of Oprah who has endorsed the book that the film is based on. But overall, the Columbia-set film has not generated enough excitement to deliver a solid debut. Plus poor reviews will turn away much of the target audience. A slot on the lower end of the top ten could await. Opening in about 800 theaters, Love in the Time of Cholera might gross around $3M over the weekend.


Love in the Time of Cholera

Bee Movie should fall from its spot at the top of the box office and slide by about 30% since there is not too much new competition for young kids. A weekend tally of $18M could result giving Paramount $97M to date. Universal’s American Gangster should drop by 40% to about $14.5M giving the crime saga a total of $102M. The holiday comedy Fred Claus could dip by 35% in its second weekend. That would leave the Warner Bros. release with a weekend take of $12M and a ten-day cume of $35.5M.

LAST YEAR: In a major pre-holiday showdown, the penguin toon Happy Feet edged out the new James Bond film Casino Royale for the number one spot with a strong opening of $41.5M. The Warner Bros. family hit went on to collect $198M domestically and a stellar $384M worldwide. Sony’s relaunched spy series still posted a muscular debut grossing $40.8M over the weekend on its way to $167M domestically and a sensational $595M globally making the Daniel Craig-starrer the top-grossing 007 flick ever. After two weeks on top, Fox’s Borat slipped to third with $14.6M. Rounding out the top five were Disney’s The Santa Clause 3 with $8.3M and the Sony release Stranger Than Fiction with $6.6M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com

Following a sluggish fall season, November kicks off with a bang this weekend with two high profile films both reaching for the number one spot while appealing to vastly different audiences. Paramount and DreamWorks target kids with the animated comedy Bee Movie from Jerry Seinfeld while Universal goes after adult audiences with its crime drama American Gangster which pits Denzel Washington against Russell Crowe. With little overlap in business, the overall North American box office should surge and finally beat out year-ago levels leading to a solid kickoff for the holiday movie season.

A decade after conquering the television world, Jerry Seinfeld aims to take over the land of film with Bee Movie. The PG-rated toon tells the story of a bee that must try to save his world from those nasty humans that take their honey. Also lending vocal talents are Renee Zellweger, Matthew Broderick, John Goodman, Oprah Winfrey, and Chris Rock who snagged the coveted ‘and’ credit for what amounts to about 60 seconds of dialogue. Timing for the Paramount/DreamWorks release is as good as it gets. Not only is early November a hot time for kids movies to score at the box office but the marketplace has suffered a virtual drought when it comes to family-friendly entertainment this fall with The Game Plan being the only major contender. Parents are dying to take their kids to something else, anything else.

Bee Movie falls into the lucrative category of digitally animated comedies about talking creatures featuring the voice of a popular comedian. Last November’s Happy Feet with Robin Williams opened to $41.5M, the previous year’s Chicken Little bowed to $40M, and 2004’s Shark Tale debuted with $47.6M. Bee has the slick animation and funny situations that kids like but also features humor that adults will enjoy too so it will play to a broad audience. And the millions of Seinfeld fans that have had nothing but DVD box sets every Thanksgiving will finally have some new material they can check out from their favorite comic. Critics have not been very kind but that should not affect the grosses that much. The studio’s marketing blitz will be enough to make children demand a trip to the local megaplex. With a highly commercial product, no competition for the family audience, and an ultrawide launch in over 3,500 theaters, Bee Movie could win the box office battle this weekend and gross about $42M.


Jerry Seinfeld’s Bee Movie

Boasting a much higher bodycount this weekend is Ridley Scott‘s American Gangster starring Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe which will shoot up some solid numbers from adult audiences. The R-rated drama tells the true story of Harlem drug kingpin Frank Lucas who built up a mammoth empire selling heroin. Crowe plays the detective out to shut him down. Starpower from the three names, all of whom have won or been nominated for Oscars multiple times, will be the driving force at the turnstiles. Universal’s $90M+ production also has garnered strong reviews which will help the cause and has been backed by an effective marketing push. The running time of nearly two hours and forty minutes will cut back on the amount of times each auditorium can play the film. Even multiplexes that double-screen the picture will probably run out of seats on Friday and Saturday nights.

Gangster should play out like a Denzel movie more than anything else since his box office track record is the strongest and has more consistency than those of Scott and Crowe. Having scored ten career number one openings to date, Washington has seen his top bow come from last year’s Inside Man which debuted to $29M and a $10,275 average. Last fall’s organized crime hit The Departed opened to $26.9M and a $8,912 average and makes for a good comparison given its genre, starpower, acclaim, rating, and length. Gangster will attract a larger African American audience than Scorsese‘s award winner did so an opening north of $30M seems likely. Appeal to men and women will be equally strong. Many adult dramas have struggled at the box office this fall but American Gangster has the firepower to go out there and pull in paying audiences. Plus the weekend’s other major offerings will not eat into its customer base by too much. Heading into 3,054 theaters, American Gangster might debut with around $34M this weekend.


Washington and Crowe in American Gangster

After starring in the year’s second highest grossing horror film 1408, John Cusack hits the big screen again in the family drama Martian Child. The PG-rated film finds the actor playing a writer whose adopted son claims to be from Mars. Parents looking for a movie that they can see with their kids this weekend will be lining up for Jerry and his insect pals so Child will face an uphill battle. New Line hopes that there will be room in the marketplace for a live-action pic for kids but even The Game Plan in its sixth session will be a force to be reckoned with. Invading over 2,000 theaters, Martian Child might take in roughly $6M.


John Cusack in The Martian Child

Following its strong top spot launch, the horror flick Saw IV is sure to fall hard on the second weekend. Sophomore drops amounted to 47% for Saw II and 56% for Saw III and the decline should get even larger for the fourth installment. A 60% plunge would give Lionsgate about $13M for the frame and a ten-day cume of $51M.

Look for a better hold from Steve Carell‘s dramedy Dan in Real Life. The Buena Vista title enjoyed a solid average and has generated good word-of-mouth. The weekend’s new releases may not provide too much competition so a decline of 35% could result. That would put Dan at around $7.5M for a total of $22M after ten days.

LAST YEAR: Crashing into multiplexes on a tidal wave of buzz was the raunchy comedy Borat which only debuted in 837 theaters but scored a potent top spot bow of $26.5M for a sizzling average of $31,607. The Fox blockbuster was the only film in 2006 to hit number one while playing in less than 2,000 venues. Final grosses reached $128.5M domestically and over $260M worldwide. Two new kidpics split the family audience and followed in second and third. Disney’s Tim Allen sequel The Santa Clause 3 bowed to $19.5M on its way to $84.5M while Paramount’s animated comedy Flushed Away debuted close behind with $18.8M before finishing with $64.5M. Falling to fourth was Saw III with $14.8M for Lionsgate while the Warner Bros. crime thriller The Departed rounded out the top five with $7.7M.

Author: Gitesh Pandya, www.BoxOfficeGuru.com,

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