A Quick Take
Batman v Superman: Dawn of shoddily crafted Justice League films annihilated its weekend box office competition. Although Batman v Superman’s massive presence dominated every pop culture conversation last weekend, Zootopia, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2, and Miracles from Heaven still performed well at the box office. The weekend’s biggest financial disappointment was The Divergent Series: Allegiant, which by the time you read this will have already cascaded away from cinematic relevance.
Weekend Box Office Top Five
Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is the weekend’s clear-cut box office winner, bringing in $166,007,347. Much like the Superman in Batman’s nihilistic fever dreams, Dawn of Justice’s total domination extended around the globe. The film brought in a worldwide box office total of $489,647,843. Now in its fourth week in theatres, Zootopia is holding strong at second place. Disney’s latest animated feature brought in $24,022,288 (down just 35.4% from the previous week). My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 had a solid box office run last weekend, bringing in $17,861,950, good for third place. Fourth place goes to Miracles from Heaven with $9,694,581 (down 34.6%). The Christian-faith-drama is on a nice little run; the film’s lifetime box office total now sits at $34,304,594. The Divergent Series: Allegiant followed up its anemic opening weekend with an even lowlier $9,435,173 box office take (down 67.5%). Rumour has it that the suits at Lionsgate have already slashed the budget of Ascendant (the series’ next installment).
Here is a look at a couple of films that open on April 1.
Everybody Wants Some!! (R) 116 mins. — When Richard Linklater puts out a new film, cinephiles take notice. Linklater’s movies are iconic for far too many reasons to list here (although I will mention a couple). His 1991 movie Slacker kicked off the indie-film revolution, and since then Linklater has only further developed his signature skill; intertwining earnest relationships over long passages of time — the Before Sunrise series and Boyhood are perfect examples.
When it comes to tapping into the spirit of past eras, few directors exhibit Linklater’s masterful touch, so it’s a real treat that Everybody Wants Some!! is another period piece. Taking place in the cultural abomination known as the 80’s, the film is about a group of players on a college baseball team, whose love of the game is rivaled only by their desire to party and chase skirts. Many are touting the film as the spiritual successor to Linklater’s coming-of-age classic, Dazed and Confused. That’s all I need to hear: I’m sold. Need a bit more convincing? Everybody Wants Some!! Was a hit at SXSW and is currently killing it on Rotten Tomatoes (92% Fresh).
Miles Ahead (R) 100 mins. — Far too many musical biopics are shallow dives into familiar waters, nostalgia-powered engines that retread material that is common knowledge to even fair-weather fans. At their worst, biopics are (non)passion projects, half-assed endeavours that get by apeing every last tip in the bio-film for dummies handbook. Expertly crafted biopics hijack the viewer’s attention by honing in on the soul of the artist; they dissect the forces that drive their subjects with the deft touch of a cinematic surgeon. When done right, biopics can be equal parts informative and exhilarating, — casting a lead performer with the range, passion, and charisma of Don Cheadle also helps.
Cheadle co-wrote, directed, and stars in Miles Ahead, a biographical film based on the legendary jazz musician, Miles Davis. The film focuses on Davis’ turbulent life as a down-and-out musician in the 70’s. Miles Ahead takes many liberties with its source material, infusing Davis with a level of gangster swag that would make Tupac, Biggie, and Eazy-E cast smiles down from gangsta heaven and all join together for a slow clap. Miles Ahead makes the choice to embellish some facts in order to provide viewers a glimpse of Miles Davis’ true spirit. Whether or not you agree with the storytelling artifice, Cheadle is magnetic. The film is worth a watch based on the interplay between Cheadle and Ewan McGregor alone. Check out the trailer below for a small sample of what you’re in for.
The Bottom Line
In addition to Everybody Wants Some!! and Miles Ahead, there are several compelling movie options fighting for your box office dollars this weekend. Kill Your Friends and Meet the Blacks are ready to jostle for box office position. Not to be outdone, God’s Not Dead 2 is set to storm into theatres with the ferocity of a lamb. For a second straight weekend, My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2 will look to capitalize on audiences by serving as counter-programming to Batman v Superman. Now 4 weeks into its theatrical run, Zootopia’s candy-coloured CGI along with some positive word of mouth should afford it one more trip into the top five.
The most compelling story of the weekend is Batman v Superman’s box office. Critics uniformly panned the film and audiences doled out a middling CinemaScore, and yet, the movie ended up dropping Darkseid’s Omega-Beams on its competition. I’ll be keeping an eye on whether a week’s worth of audience backlash can put a dent in the film’s box office momentum. Despite its massive earnings, Batman v Superman will move into underperforming territory should week two’s financial drop-off start creeping above 60%.
Most Looking Forward To:
Star Wars: The Force Awakens Blu-ray (Apr 5), Hardcore Henry (Apr 8), The Jungle Book (Apr. 15), Green Room (Apr. 15).