Spring is near! The clocks have sprung ahead and the sun seems to be shining a bit brighter. We love the impending warm weather, but more importantly, we’re diggin’ the film fare! Oscar weekend saw the release of the smash hit, Get Out, which has been killin’ it (pun intended). The following weekend gave us the final chapter of Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine and Patrick Stewart’s Professor X. And this weekend, we got to see our favorite movie monster, King Kong, in the second entry of Legendary’s MonsterVerse, Kong: Skull Island. So, what tops our list?
1. KONG: SKULL ISLAND
Synopsis: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.
Claiming the #1 spot on this weekend’s MoviePass Member Top 5 is Kong: Skull Island. With 36.26% of member check-ins, the adventure flick not only tops our list, but the domestic box office, as well. In its opening weekend, the film grossed approximately $61 million domestically. Worldwide, it has earned $146.1 million on a $185 million budget. Despite its dominance these past three days, we’re pretty sure that the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast will claim the coming weekend’s top spot. As always, we’ll be sure to keep you posted.
Critically, Kong: Skull Island is “Certified Fresh” on Rotten Tomatoes, with a score of 79% among critics and 76% among audiences. Amy Nicholson at MTV writes, “Kong: Skull Island is an offering to the hungry mouths at the multiplex who want to cheer a movie that doesn’t insult, or tax, their intelligence.” On the other hand, Eric Kohn at IndieWire states, “‘Kong: Skull Island’ may include some clever period details and idiosyncratic asides, but it’s largely a blockbuster B-movie less interested in depth than scale.” Giant monsters, epic gunfights, and a stellar cast? Sign us up! Let’s be honest, as much as we love Brie Larson, Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman, and John C. Reilly–see what we mean by “stellar cast?”—it’s Kong who is king! After all, who doesn’t love a gigantic ape in an exotic locale?
Synopsis: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.
At #2 on our list is the superhero movie to end all superhero movies. Okay, not necessarily, but you have to admit that Logan definitely ups the ante on the comic book genre, along with The Dark Knight. Accounting for 14.59% of member check-ins, the latest installment in the X-Men Cinematic Universe maintains a strong foothold on our list. The same is true at the domestic box office where it grossed $37.85 million in its second weekend. To date, the film has earned approximately $437 million worldwide, with $152.7 million grossed domestically and $284.4 million overseas. Daaaamn!
Critically, Logan is crushing it! With a 92% score on Rotten Tomatoes, Logan is the perfect way to end Hugh Jackman’s reign as Wolverine. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone Magazine writes, “If Jackman and Stewart are serious about this being their mutual X-Men swan song, they could not have crafted a more heartfelt valedictory.” On the other hand, Rex Reed of The Observer writes, “There’s nothing to further any interest in Hugh Jackman or his character.” We certainly respect and understand Mr. Reed’s opinion, but we’ll state that we’re as interested in Wolverine as we are in the iPhone 8. For you Android users, that means we are extremely interested. There’s a reason why weekend screenings of the film are still selling out: we’re committed to our favorite mutant (no offense to the rest of the X-Men).
3. GET OUT
Synopsis: Now that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend, Rose (Allison Williams), have reached the meet-the-parents milestone of dating, she invites him for a weekend getaway upstate with Missy and Dean. At first, Chris reads the family’s overly accommodating behavior as nervous attempts to deal with their daughter’s interracial relationship, but as the weekend progresses, a series of increasingly disturbing discoveries lead him to a truth that he never could have imagined.
We’re happy to see the Jordan Peele thriller, Get Out, holding strong! With 9.91% of member check-ins, the film claims this weekend’s #3 spot. Domestically, the movie is a cultural phenomenon! In this, its third weekend in theaters, it surpassed the $100 million mark, earning a total of $111 million! This number is incredibly impressive when you consider the fact that the film only cost $4.5 million to make. However, this news isn’t completely surprising. After all, Blumhouse Productions is known for its highly successfully micro-budget horror films.
Back to the discussion of the film as a cultural phenomenon, Get Out maintains a 99% score on Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, of the 180 critical reviews considered, only 1 is rotten! Thelma Adams of The New York Observer writes, “Following Oscar’s pomp and self-importance, viewing Jordan Peele’s fiercely entertaining Get Out offers the perfect awards hangover cure. Audiences leave the theater shaken and stirred.” Adams is, no doubt, referring to the film’s horror elements as well as its social context that addresses race relations in America. In fact, it’s important to note that with all of its success, Get Out is very much an American film, much like Blumhouse’s The Purge. And much like the latter, it uses violence as a social critique of American society. For all of its horror and intellect, the feature has tons of laughs, as well. Clearly, there’s a reason why only one person gave it a negative review.
4. BEFORE I FALL
Synopsis: Samantha Kingston is a young woman who has it all: the crush-worthy boyfriend, amazing best friends and drop dead gorgeous looks. February 12 is just another charmed day in Sam’s life until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day during one inexplicable week, Sam untangles the mystery surrounding her death and discovers the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.
Claiming the #4 spot on our list is the teen drama, Before I Fall. In its second weekend in theaters, the film earned 4.54% of member check-ins. Domestically, it earned $3 million, maintaining its #6 placement at the box office. To date, the film’s total gross is $8.93 million. Critically, it’s received solid reviews with a Rotten Tomatoes score of 67%. Richard Brody of The New Yorker writes, “There’s little that the director, Ry Russo-Young, can do with the material’s sentimental thinness, but she does something anyway, pushing the storytelling toward portraiture: lingering closeups on Deutch suggest mysteries that escape the confines of the drama.” On the other hand, Todd VanDerWerff of Vox states, “Before I Fall isn’t real so much as a hermetically sealed experiment.” In any case, the features is described as “a teenage Groundhog Day.” which definitely sounds intriguing.
#5: THE SHACK
Synopsis: After suffering a family tragedy, Mack Phillips spirals into a deep depression that causes him to question his innermost beliefs. Facing a crisis of faith, he receives a mysterious letter urging him to an abandoned shack in the Oregon wilderness. Despite his doubts, Mack journeys to the shack and encounters an enigmatic trio of strangers led by a woman named Papa. Through this meeting, Mack finds important truths that will transform his understanding of his tragedy and change his life forever.
Rounding out the MoviePass Member Top 5 is The Shack which earned 4.13% of member check-ins. During its second weekend in theaters, the film grossed approximately $10.1 million for a total gross of $32.4 million. Critically, the film hasn’t faired so well, with an 18% score on Rotten Tomatoes. Ignatiy Vishnevetsky of A.V. Club writes, “the whole film is a crime against narrative, so bungled that it might actually be the victim of sabotage.” Despite the negative criticism, viewers seemed to enjoy the feature, giving it an audience score of 86%. In fact, there’s a a sizable market for films like The Shack. Just look at the popularity of other faith-based features such as Miracles from Heaven and Heaven is for Real.
IN THEATERS THIS WEEK
We’ve been waiting a long time for it and it’s almost here! This weekend, the live-action adaptation of Beauty Beast makes its way to theaters and we’re too excited to be their guests. After a bit of magic, we’ll bare a few frights with thrillers, The Belko Experiment and Raw. Then, we’ll kick back with some old friends in T2 Trainspotting. Finally, we’ll finish up with Terrence Malik’s highly anticipated SXSW feature, Song to Song.
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.
THE BELKO EXPERIMENT
Synopsis: An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona) at the Belko Corp. in Bogotá, Colombia, learn that they are pawns in a deadly game. Trapped inside their building, a voice over an intercom tells the frightened staffers that two workers must be killed within 30 minutes. When another ultimatum follows, friends become enemies and new alliances take shape, as only the strongest will remain alive at the end.
Synopsis: Stringent vegetarian Justine (Garance Marillier) encounters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world during her first week at veterinary school. Desperate to fit in, she strays from her principles and eats raw meat for the first time. The young woman soon experiences terrible and unexpected consequences as her true self begins to emerge.
Synopsis: First there was an opportunity, then there was a betrayal. Twenty years later, Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) returns to the only place that he can ever call home. There waiting for him are old buddies Spud (Ewen Bremner), Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) and Begbie (Robert Carlyle). Sorrow, loss, joy, vengeance, hatred, love, fear, regret, self-destruction and mortal danger are also all lined up and ready to welcome him.
SONG TO SONG
Synopsis: Set against the Austin, Texas, music scene, two entangled couples – struggling songwriters Faye (Rooney Mara) and BV (Ryan Gosling), and music mogul Cook (Michael Fassbender) and the waitress (Natalie Portman) whom he ensnares – chase success through a rock ‘n’ roll landscape of seduction and betrayal.