Today is an exciting day in the film world, as the nominees for the 2017 Golden Globes have been announced! What follows in the months ahead are extensive film lists and heated, but friendly arguments over which of this year’s hotshots are our favorite. And with awards fare such as Nocturnal Animals, La La Land, and Manchester by the Sea, this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5 reveals that we’re ready! So, bring it on Awards Season!
Synopsis: When the CEO (Jennifer Aniston) tries to close her hard-partying brother’s (T.J. Miller) branch, he and his chief technical officer (Jason Bateman) must rally their co-workers and host an epic office Christmas party in an effort to impress a potential client and close a sale that will save their jobs.
Claiming the top spot on this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5 is the star-studded, holiday comedy, Office Christmas Party. Accounting for 22.79% of this weekend’s member check-ins, the film starring Jennifer Aniston, Jason Bateman, and Kate McKinnon, performed more than 2x as well as this week’s #2 entry, Nocturnal Animals. Domestically, the movie earned $17.5 million, debuting at #2, in a close race with current box office favorite, Moana.
Critically, Office Christmas Party has received mostly negative reviews, with a 43% score on Rotten Tomatoes. However, don’t let the ratings fool you! In their review of the film, Vanity Fair writes, “it isn’t the plot that’s gonna win you over—it’s the nine hundred characters squaring off for quick rounds of comedy wrestling.” So, if you’re up for a few good laughs and a whole lot of craziness, give Office Christmas Party a chance! And let us know if it’s as crazy as your own company holiday party.
Synopsis: A successful Los Angeles art-gallery owner’s idyllic life is marred by the constant traveling of her handsome second husband. While he is away, she is shaken by the arrival of a manuscript written by her first husband, who she has not seen in years. The manuscript tells the story of a teacher who finds a trip with his family turning into a nightmare. As Susan reads the book, it forces her to examine her past and confront some dark truths.
Making its debut on our list is designer Tom Ford’s second feature, Nocturnal Animals. With 10.21% of this weekend’s member check-ins, the Amy Adams-Jake Gyllenhaal thriller has finally climbed its way into our top 5. Despite its initial November 18th release date in limited cities, Friday, December 9th marks its nationwide release. With an expansion to 1,135 theaters (for a total of 1,262), this weekend, the film earned approximately $3.19 million, advancing its ranking from #16 to #7.
We, at MoviePass, have been talking about this film for weeks. In anticipation of its release, we discussed the cinematic trend where movies juxtapose the beautiful with the downright ugly and we spotlighted a few thrillers whose beautiful aesthetic heightens their horror. Our excitement is only confirmed by the mostly positive reviews that the movie has received. With a 72% score on Rotten Tomatoes, the film has received a number of award nominations, including, a couple of Golden Globe noms. And if you’re still not sold, consider this review from The Pitch that states, “Nocturnal Animals is a jarring, uneasy social experiment that dares you to keep watching and subverts traditional ‘hero’s journey’ storytelling modes thoroughly, if very obviously.” We hope that helps!
Synopsis: Willing to bend the rules for her clients, Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) remains one of the most sought-after lobbyists in Washington, D.C. When asked to help oppose a bill that imposes regulations on firearms, she instead joins a scrappy boutique firm that represents the backers of the law. Her defiant stance and determination to win now makes her the target of powerful new enemies who threaten her career and the people she cares about.
Once again, we have a newcomer to our MoviePass Member Top 5 list. Accounting for 8.38% of weekend check-ins, the political thriller, Miss Sloane, has gained some momentum among members, since its initial limited release on November 25th. Domestically, the film earned $1.9 million, increasing its box office ranking from a mere #42 to #11. This 4,136.1% increase makes sense, when considering its expansion to an additional 1,644 theaters (for a total of 1,648).
The film’s critical reception is solid, with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 69%. Among the positive reviewers is the Chicago Sun Times’ Richard Roeper who states that Miss Sloane is “fantastic, wall-to-wall entertainment, brimming with movie lines such as, ‘You just blew this whole thing wide open!” So, if you enjoy political thrillers and the acting talents of Jessica Chastain and Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Miss Sloane may be right up your ally.
Synopsis: The story of Mia, an aspiring actress, and Sebastian, a dedicated jazz musician, struggling to make ends meet while pursuing their dreams in a city known for destroying hopes and breaking hearts. With modern day Los Angeles as the backdrop, this musical about everyday life explores what is more important: a once-in-a-lifetime love or the spotlight.
We could not be more excited about La La Land, this week’s #4 entry. From the creative mind of director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), comes this critically-lauded musical, which is currently leading the Golden Globe 2017 nominations, along with Moonlight. Among the glowing reviews of the film is that from Slate’s Dana Stevens who writes, “This movie is bold, vital, funny, and alive.” We, at MoviePass, absolutely love it and you can find our review of it, right here on our blog.
During its opening weekend, the film has earned 6.03% of member check-ins, which is impressive, considering the fact that it has only opened in 5 theaters, with a nationwide release scheduled for Friday, December 16th. At the domestic box office, the film has earned $855K, placing it at a #15 ranking. With high praise and a dynamite cast–Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, J.K. Simmons–we’re curious to see La La Land climb the charts.
Synopsis: Lee Chandler is a brooding, irritable loner who works as a handyman for a Boston apartment block. One damp winter day he gets a call summoning him to his hometown, north of the city. His brother’s heart has given out suddenly, and he’s been named guardian to his 16-year-old nephew. As if losing his only sibling and doubts about raising a teenager weren’t enough, his return to the past re-opens an unspeakable tragedy.
Rounding out this week’s MoviePass Member Top 5 is Manchester by the Sea, with 5.98% of member check-ins. At the domestic box office, the film continues to advance in placement. With a gross of $3.16 million during its fourth weekend in theaters, the drama increased its ranking from #11 to #8, representing a 38.9% rise in earnings, with an expansion to an additional 210 theaters.
It’s no secret that Manchester by the Sea has been a critical gem since its Sundance premiere in January 2016. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 97%, it continues to garner praise for its actors’ performances and Kenneth Lonergan’s direction. Giving it 4/4 stars, Ty Burr of The Boston Globe writes, “‘Manchester by the Sea’ is an experience worth having, not for the magnificence of its impact or the far-flung grandeur of its settings but for the way it illuminates with quiet, unyielding grace how you and I and our neighbors get by, and sometimes how we don’t.” Having seen it ourselves, we’d argue that the film lives up to the hype. And if you haven’t seen it, we urge you to do so because this film will definitely stick around during awards season.
IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
You already know what we’re excited about! STAR WARS: ROGUE ONE!!! We’ve waited so long for it and it’s here! It’s finally (almost) here. And the first-reactions are wonderful! Once we’ve calmed down from the EPICNESS that will ensure, we’ll mellow out with the new Will Smith drama, Collateral Beauty. For a little more drama, we’ll check out the critically-acclaimed (and Foreign Language Oscar nod contender) Neruda. And for those who haven’t seen La La Land, this week, it’s coming to a theater near you!
Synopsis: In a time of conflict, a group of unlikely heroes band together on a mission to steal the plans to the Death Star, the Empire’s ultimate weapon of destruction. This key event in the Star Wars timeline brings together ordinary people who choose to do extraordinary things, and in doing so, become part of something greater than themselves.
Synopsis: When a successful New York advertising executive (Will Smith) suffers a great tragedy he retreats from life. While his concerned friends try desperately to reconnect with him, he seeks answers from the universe by writing letters to Love, Time and Death. But it’s not until his notes bring unexpected personal responses that he begins to understand how these constants interlock in a life fully lived, and how even the deepest loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.
Synopsis: An inspector hunts down Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet, Pablo Neruda, who becomes a fugitive in his home country in the late 1940s for joining the Communist Party.