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This Monday afternoon, we’re as giddy as a kid in a candy store. After seeing Fate of the Furious this weekend, we can’t contain ourselves. Our heart is still pumping from such a heavy dose of adrenaline. What can we say? We’re in our happy place. Obviously, you already know what takes the top spot on our MoviePass Member Top 5. So, let’s get to it!

#1: FATE OF THE FURIOUS

Synopsis: With Dom and Letty married, Brian and Mia retired and the rest of the crew exonerated, the globe-trotting team has found some semblance of a normal life. They soon face an unexpected challenge when a mysterious woman named Cipher forces Dom to betray them all. Now, they must unite to bring home the man who made them a family and stop Cipher from unleashing chaos.

Are we really surprised that Fate of the Furious dominates this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5? After all, the previous installment in the action-packed franchise grossed $1.5 billion! WHOA! And with a worldwide weekend gross of $532.48 million (with $100.18 million earned stateside), Fate of the Furious is gloriously following in its predecessor’s footsteps! In fact, its weekend take gives it the record for biggest global opening weekend EVER! MoviePass members have definitely contributed to the movie’s domination, with the feature earning 34.65% of this weekend’s check-ins. If you continue reading, you’ll understand just how significant this number is, in comparison to its weekend competition.

So, how does the film fair critically? Let’s be honest: do we really care? With plenty of star power and action sequences, it’s pretty hard not to swoon over Fate of the Furious. However, if you’re wondering about the film’s critical reception, we’re happy to satisfy your curiosity. With a 64% score on the aggregator site, Rotten Tomatoes, the 8th installment in the series has received solid praise. Giving it 3/4 stars, Barry Hertz of The Globe and Mail writes, “Each moment is unbelievable, insane in its concept and execution, but genuinely thrilling all the same.” On the other hand, Sara Stewart of The New York Post gives the film 2/4 stars, writing, ““The Fate of the Furious” begins and ends with adrenaline-spiking scenes…that remind you why this gearhead franchise is still purring along. As for the two hours in between . . . not so much.” We’d like to think that the street racing, insane fights, and heart-thumping action, more than make up for a lack of substance.

#2: GIFTED

Synopsis: Frank Adler (Chris Evans) is a single man raising a child prodigy – his spirited young niece Mary (Mckenna Grace) – in a coastal town in Florida. Frank’s plans for a normal school life for Mary are foiled when the 7-year-old’s mathematical abilities come to the attention of Frank’s formidable mother, Evelyn (Lindsay Duncan), whose plans for her granddaughter threaten to separate Frank and Mary.

At #2 on our list is the Chris Evans drama, Gifted, which claims 7.78% of this weekend’s member check-ins. Interestingly enough, Chris Evans and comedian Jenny Slate fell in love while shooting the film. Unfortunately, the relationship hasn’t lasted, but we’re holding out hope! The film currently holds the #6 slot at the domestic box office, a dramatic increase from last weekend’s #16 placement. An expansion to an additional 1,090 theaters has definitely helped the drama which earned $3 million in its second weekend (it’s had a staggered release), bringing its domestic total to $4.37 million.

It’s easy to dismiss the film as another overly sentimental drama, but luckily, audiences seem to disagree. With a 65% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film performed even better among filmgoers, with an 86% audience score! In a positive review of the narrative, Ellie Walker-Arnott of Time Out New York writes, “The question at the movie’s heart is: What is best for Mary? The answer Gifted chooses is predictable, but that doesn’t stop the movie from messing with your tear ducts.” In a more negative review, David Fear of Rolling Stone Magazine writes, “For a story about a brilliant child, it’s remarkably boilerplate in most respects. The film’s heroine is extraordinarily gifted. The film itself, not so much.” With that in mind, we say, bring on the tissues! We could all use a little emotional catharsis.

#3: COLOSSAL 

Synopsis: Gloria (Anne Hathaway) drinks too hard and parties too much. Her boyfriend has enough of it and throws her out. Gloria returns to her hometown, dreaming of making a new start, but instead revives her childhood friendship with Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), who runs a bar. After drinking a night away with Oscar and his friends, he wakes up to discover a gigantic monster rampaging through Seoul and realizes that somehow the monster is connected to her.

We have to admit: we’re happy to see this Sundance gem make our list. No, it’s not because we’re currently running a social media promo for it. Although, we would encourage you to use the hashtag “#IamCOLOSSAL when” to share your story of empowerment with us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. We’re happy to see the film make our list because it breeds the talent of a great cast (gotta love Anne) with the epicness of the kaiju film (who doesn’t love a giant monster, right?), to create an incredibly unique message of female empowerment. This weekend, the film claims 6.99% of member check-ins, giving it the #3 slot on our list. At the domestic box office, the movie has risen in rank from #29 to #16, which is, again, due to a theater expansion. To date, the film has grossed $616.3 K with a theater average of $4,723–this number is nothing to sneeze at.

Clearly, we’re not the only ones who appreciate this spectacular creature feature! With a 78% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s critical reception has been strong. After all, it did play the Toronto International and Sundance film festivals (2016/2017 respectively). Among the positive reviews is one from Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post who writes, “This clever mash-up of indie rom-coms and Japanese “kaiju” movies (think Godzilla and Mothra) presents an ideal showcase for [Hathway’s] gifts — for spiky self-awareness, slapstick physical humor and subtle chan­ges in tone and color that sneak up on viewers throughout a movie that’s never quite as simple as it seems.” On the other hand, CJ Johnson of ABC Radio Australia writes, “Anne Hathaway has made a spectacularly misguided career decision in agreeing to star in Colossal, a rampaging misfire of a movie.” Hmmm. Like any unique film, the idea behind Colossal may not work for everyone. However, we’d argue that it’s one hell of a cinematic ride!

#4: GOING IN STYLE

Synopsis: Lifelong buddies Willie (Morgan Freeman), Joe (Michael Caine) and Albert (Alan Arkin) decide to buck retirement and step off the straight-and-narrow when their pension funds become a corporate casualty. Desperate to pay the bills and come through for their loved ones, the three men risk it all by embarking on a daring adventure to knock off the very bank that absconded with their money.

It’s always great to see so many Hollywood vets in one film! With acting heavyweights, Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin, Going in Style not only brings us big names, but comedic intrigue. The laughs are courtesy of its original source material of the same name and director Zach Braff (if you didn’t like Garden State, we’re not sure that we can be friends). Claiming 6.48% of weekend check-ins, the movie maintains a spot on our MoviePass Member Top 5, though it has fallen 3 slots (nothing stood a chance against Fate of the Furious). Domestically, the feature has only slightly fallen in rank, with a drop from #4 to #5. Earning $6.35 million in its second weekend, Going in Style has a current worldwide gross of approximately $35.1 million on a $25 million budget. We suspect the film will hang around throughout the rest of the month. So, we’re interested to see how much this number grows.

As we discussed last week, the film’s critical reception has been a bit weak with a score of 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. In a positive review, Christy Lemire of RogerEbert.com writes, “its stars are such pros, they’re so enormously charismatic and have such lovely chemistry with each other, it’s hard not to be charmed by their mere presence on screen…They are delightful company.” On the other hand, Clint Cutchins of Film Inquiry writes, “Going in Style is one of those low risk, low reward movies, and everyone involved knows it. In that sense, it does a perfectly serviceable job of giving us a fairly amusing 90 minutes – but only because the audience adores its lead actors.” Both reviews are correct: we adore Freeman, Caine, and Arkin and that’s enough to make us swipe our MoviePass cards.

 

#5: BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Synopsis: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

Rounding out this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5 is the enchanting live-action remake of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Claiming 3.25% of this weekend’s check-ins, the film actually makes a reappearance on this list, when just last week, it hadn’t made the cut. If you’ve been reading any of the news, Beauty and the Beast, much like The Fate of the Furious, has been slaying at the box office. During its 5th weekend in theaters, the movie has earned $13.63 million, giving it the #3 spot on the domestic charts. To date, the film has earned $1.04 billion worldwide, making it a cultural phenomenon. Though, let’s be honest, the film was a worldwide phenomenon before its theatrical release, based solely off of not only its star power, but the public’s adoration of its source material. This point is further emphasized by the fact that within 24 hours of its initial release, the trailer broke a record for most views in a single day.

At this point, we’re not sure that it makes sense to go into the feature’s critical reception. After all, we’ve covered it repeatedly in past MoviePass Member Top 5 lists. To sum it up, Beauty and the Beast currently holds a 71% critical score on Rotten Tomatoes and an 85% audience score. So, for those who have finally made it to the theater to see the film, we’re proud of you!

IN THEATERS THIS WEEK

We know that it’s not quite May (Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 will be here before you know it). However, there’s still plenty to watch in the meantime. We know that you’re excited about Free Fire. A star-studded film about an epic shootout, says it all. We’ll be sure to follow it up with the Ridley Scott produced, found footage film, Phoenix Forgotten. Finally, to finish out the weekend, we’re also watching the Christian Bale-Oscar Isaac period drama, The Promise, followed by the Rosario Dawson-Katherine Heigl romance thriller, Unforgettable.

FREE FIRE

Synopsis: Justine brokers a meeting in a deserted warehouse between two Irishmen and a gang led by Vernon and Ord, who intend to sell them a stash of guns. But when shots fire during the handover, complete pandemonium ensues, with everyone at the scene suddenly thrust into a heart-stopping game of survival. 
PHOENIX FORGOTTEN
Synopsis: On March 13, 1997, several mysterious lights appeared over Phoenix. Three teens went into the desert shortly after the incident, hoping to document the strange events occurring in their town. They disappeared that night and were never seen again. Now, on the 20th anniversary of their disappearance, unseen footage has finally been discovered, chronicling the final hours of their fateful expedition.
THE PROMISE
Synopsis: Brilliant medical student Michael (Oscar Isaac) meets beautiful dance instructor Ana (Charlotte Le Bon) in late 1914. Their shared Armenian heritage sparks an attraction that explodes into a romantic rivalry between Michael and Ana’s boyfriend (Christian Bale), an American photojournalist who’s dedicated to exposing the truth. As the Ottoman Empire crumbles into war-torn chaos, their conflicting passions must be deferred as they join forces to get themselves and their people to safety.
UNFORGETTABLE
Synopsis: Tessa Connover (Katherine Heigl) is barely coping with the end of her marriage when her ex-husband, David, becomes happily engaged to Julia (Rosario Dawson). Trying to settle into her new role as a wife and a stepmother, Julia believes she has finally met the man of her dreams, the man who can help her put her own troubled past behind her. Tessa’s jealousy takes a pathological turn, and she will stop at nothing to turn Julia’s dream into the ultimate nightmare.

One thought on “FATE OF THE FURIOUS Speeds to #1 Leave a comment

  1. I’ve seen all of these except Furious and my favorites are Colossal and Gifted. I hope they do well, especially Colossal, because, besides the fact that I liked it a lot, I want to see what this filmmaker, Nacho Vigalondo (what a great name), does in the future when he has a decent budget to work with (Colossal only cost $15 million). My husband and I have been fans since he was nominated for an Oscar for his funny, dark and violent live-action short, “7:35 In The Morning.” We knew then he was destined for great things, if given the chance and resources.

    Gifted, besides being a good movie IMO, celebrates intelligence, like Hidden Figures did. It also showcases Chris Evans in a warm, thoughtful role, and especially Mckenna Grace, who’ll be a joy to watch grow up.

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