Your weekend time is valuable and at the end of a long week, the discretionary time must be spent to its maximum value. To help narrow down your choices on the film, television, and gaming fronts, every Friday, the Weekend Preview gives you the rundown of your options and an educated guess as to which ones make the most sense.
At the Movies
Director: Garth Jennings
Stars: Matthew McConaughey, Resse Witherspoon, Scarlett Johansson, Seth MacFarlane
Current RT Meter: 71% Fresh
Drew’s box office prediction: $39,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $50,000,000
Ho, ho, ho! Can you believe we have reached Christmas? It feels like 2016 was just starting the other day. Thank God it's ending.
We have some heavy hitters coming to theaters as the year drags to a close. Sing is one of those movies that could be big, big, big. It's animated and there are a lot of families looking for entertainment this weekend after opening presents. It's also got popular music, a star-studded cast and features a bunch of adorable animals shaking their tail feathers. However, audiences have a lot to choose from this weekend. So maybe this won't be the biggest animated smash of the year. But it'll likely have producers singing a happy tune when the numbers come in.
The Verdict: There's a lot of competition but Sing should have the family audience on lock.
Director: Morten Tyldum
Stars: Chris Pratt, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Sheen
Current RT Meter: 31% Rotten
Drew’s box office prediction: $22,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $24,000,000
You would think a film starring two of the most likable, most popular performers in the world would be a massive hit, no questions asked. However, Passengers has got a lot of bad press. The reviews have been harsh, the already-revealed twist has been reviled and it just feels like this won't won't be as big as it could be. Fear not, Lawrence and Pratt will be fine even if the numbers come in soft. It'll likely generate some heat but maybe not as much as expected.
The Verdict: This seemed like it could be a runaway success months ago. Now we aren't as sure. But adult audiences looking for something a bit heavier might help raise its number.
Director: Michael Lesslie
Stars: Michael Fassbender, Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons
Current RT Meter: 20% Rotten
Drew’s box office prediction: $24,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $17,000,000
It sure seems hard to make a good video game adaptation. How many worthy video game movies can you think of? I'm trying and coming up mostly empty. If reviews are any indication, Assassin's Creed is another miss in the tradition of Prince of Persia, Resident Evil and more. What a shame, the video game series has always prided itself on its story. Oh well, maybe someone will make a fantastic video game film. Someday.
The Verdict: Cinemas are just too crowded for a poorly reviewed game adaptation. This one will probably only bring in the die hard fans.
Director: John Hamburg
Stars: Bryan Cranston, James Franco, Megan Mullally, Zoey Deutch
Current RT Meter: 39% Rotten
Drew’s box office prediction: $10,000,000
Nicks box office prediction: $11,000,000
Bryan Cranston is funny. Really funny. James Franco is also super funny. So why is Why Him? getting decimated by critics? Well, it seems like the script just doesn't provide enough hilarious material for these two talented stars. There is a large group of people who will want to get away from family and just laugh this weekend so maybe Why Him? will pick up some of those folks. However it's likely this will be the new release that brings in the lowest amount. Someone write Cranston a good comedy!
The Verdict: Bad reviews and a lot of choices mean Why Him? will probably be forgotten.
On the Tube
We love Guillermo del Toro and you should too. We are willing to watch anything he's attached to. That applies to Trollhunters, a new animated series on Netflix about a young boy who travels between the human world and one populated by colorful, wild and sometimes dangerous trolls. This is obviously aimed at kids but I am betting a lot of older folks will check it out too because of the people involved.
The Verdict: Guillermo del Toro is involved. What else do you have to know? You know you'll watch at least one episode.
Sense8: A Christmas Special (Netflix)
Sense8 got a mixed reaction and didn't end up being as big a hit as other Netflix shows. However, fans of the Wachowski series really, really loved it. This weekend those fans will be able to enjoy a two-hour Christmas special before the entire second season debuts in May. The story is complex, the characters are a-plenty but for those who dug season one, this will be quite the gift.
The Verdict: A lot of us didn't watch Sense8 and this probably isn't the place to start but it looks like a lot of mind-bending sci-fi fun for the devoted