After a month-long reign as undisputed box office king, not one, but two films usurped Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ride Along 2 ($41,006,705) and The Revenant ($37,528,219 down 5.8% from last week) leaped over The Force Awakens to take first and second position respectively as last weekend’s top grossing films. The Force Awakens came in third with $33,020,265 (down 22.0% from last week), which is incredible considering Rey, Finn, Kylo and the gang’s theatrical run is in its 5th week. 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi made a respectable $19,224,408 in its debut weekend, good enough for fourth place. Daddy’s Home closed out the top five with $11,902,133 (down 20.7%).
Here is a look at a few films that open on January 22, 2016.
The 5th Wave (PG-13) 112 mins. — When I first read the news that Rick Yancey’s sci-fi novel, The 5th Wave, would receive a big-screen adaptation, I was excited. With Akiva Goldsman penning the script and the ridiculously talented Chloë Grace Moretz cast in the lead, the film appeared to be in good hands. My sentiment changed once I realized that Columbia Pictures opted to release the movie smack dab in the middle of January; essentially sending the film off into the world with the kiss of death. While I hope that my cynicism towards the film is unwarranted (I’m always rooting for sci-fi franchises to take off), the early critical consensus towards the film confirms my suspicions (a ratchet 19% approval on Rotten Tomatoes). Unless this film gains traction with some positive word of mouth, I’m going to have to pass on The 5th Wave.
Dirty Grandpa (R) 102 mins. — In Dirty Grandpa, Robert De Niro plays a sordid old man who tricks his straight-laced grandson into joining him on a road trip for the ages: rest assured, hi-jinks ensue. De Niro is on a tear — over the past three years he has starred in over a dozen films — and he shows no signs of slowing down. While Dirty Grandpa looks like standard raunch-com fare, the script has circulated around Hollywood for several years and had some other big names attached, so unlike Al Pacino in Jack and Jill, I can see how Bobby D ended up playing the titular role. While the film received a dump month release, it initially held a spot on Lionsgate’s summer movie slate, so it’s possible the studio shifted the film to January to capitalize on weak competition and not because Dirty Grandpa isn’t worth the celluloid it’s printed on. I wouldn’t bet the farm on it, but this one has a chance to be a modest, sleeper hit.
The Boy (PG-13) 98 mins. — For all of those riding the fence on the great, “do we really need another creepy doll movie” debate, director William Brent Bell went out on a limb and answered that question for you: HELL YES! Whether The Boy is a decent movie or reeks worse than a Dothraki stable-boy, the trailer does a great job selling the movie. The trailer has a chilling vibe, unsettling enough to give the impression that after watching The Boy, a large swath of children will start locking their dolls inside of toy boxes before going to bed at night.
The Bottom Line — We could do a lot worse than the lineup of sci-fi, comedy, and horror movies that will premiere in our local multiplexes this weekend, but that is in no way an endorsement of said films. I’m bummed about having to take a pass on The 5th Wave, indifferent towards Dirty Grandpa and marginally optimistic about The Boy. This weekend looks to be ideal for kicking it with some Netflix and Hulu or dusting off the ol’ Kindle.