Who gives a fuck about Box Office News, get out and fucking vote on Thursday please.
Note: this article originally ran on Set the Tape (link).
Post-Thanksgiving weekend means nothing gets released and nothing of interest happens, but even if goddamn Star Wars: Episode IX had come out this past weekend, I still would’ve junked almost all focus on box office analysis to instead plead with you this: vote on Thursday. It is obviously far too late to get registered if you haven’t yet, but for everyone else in the UK who is then please get out on Thursday and vote. Even setting aside who to vote for, I know that there has been a lot of tired apathy from many corners at every turn of this past election, a growing sense of pointlessness and dangerous false equivalency “all sides are as bad as each other” rhetoric as the ceaseless churn of politics from these past 12 months especially has battered down many people’s wills to live and boosted their defeatist cynicism. Trust me, I get it. It’s been fucking exhausting and constantly demoralising paying attention to the news and politics in particular this year. You still need to go out and vote anyway.
You remember that viral clip from the last election of a woman on the BBC who responded with open contempt and disbelief at its announcement? How she was held up as a humorous reflection of the nation saying what we were all thinking and that such exasperation was endemic of how useless, self-serving and cut off from real people the government were at the time? That’s how they win. “They” in this instance being those who profit off of the status-quo, the chaos and division and inequality and boisterous stand-still that British politics has been locked into ever since 2016. They want to continue to push the narrative that all of this going on right now is pointless and nothing really changes as everyone equally sucks and anyone who cares about something double-equally sucks (a.k.a. “The South Park Ideology”) because that’s how they remain in power, shielded from change and the negative effects of such apathy unlike you and I. And right now, as we approach the beginning of a decade that – and I know some are going to accuse me of hyperbole, but I genuinely believe this with all my heart – honestly feels like the decider as to the continuing fate of our existence, apathy is the enemy of progress and though it may be a powerful weapon, as depicted by poor old Brenda, succumbing to it is the absolute worst thing one can do in an election as important as this.
Now, I’m not going to tell you outright who to vote for out of the only two parties which matter – yes, it would be nice if this weren’t a two-party system but there are more important things right now. Everybody hates that and you get enough histrionic pleading from the reality-ignoring echo chambers of tabloid headlines and meme-laden Facebook feeds. (Also because I am fairly certain it goes against site policy to make almost an entire post about politics in the first place, let alone stump for a specific party. “STICK TO SPORTS!”) What I will say is that I personally shall be voting for the party which hasn’t spent the past decade slowly and repeatedly crippling the NHS by underfunding and understaffing the organisation which (thanks to my Type 1 Diabetes plus a myriad of mental health issues) I am reliant upon for my continuing survival, which hasn’t spent a decade stoking continuous anti-immigrant and Islamophobic hatred at all levels of government that they repeatedly refused to apologise for until it made for a good PR stunt against indefensible missteps by their opposition and has been used as a (depressingly–effective) distraction tactic for austerity cuts and damages on poor working class towns, which hasn’t been lying with such regularity that it’s honestly horrifying to see much of the news media just print said lies at face-value, and whose leader doesn’t have a proven track record of being completely useless and self-serving when put in a position of power like, for a totally random example, the Mayor of London between 2008 and 2016.
That’s how I’m voting. I hope you will vote the same way as I do, but it is ultimately your decision to make and I will respect you, no matter which box you tick, if you at least vote on Thursday. So, please, vote.
Anyways, Box Office Report stuff.
US Box Office Results: Friday 6th December 2019 – Sunday 8th December 2019
1] Frozen II
$34,670,000 / $337,594,901
So, everything is miserable and bleak right now and my anxiety is flaring the frick up because of what we just talked about – honestly, it’s the twinge of hope in the face of the crushingly inevitable more than anything, one bolstered massively by the IDLES gig I went to on Thursday but this is not the time or place. I think we can all agree that a tonic is needed. Therefore, allow me to present to you Hair Love, this absolutely beautiful crowdfunded animated short Sony Pictures Animation gave YouTube distribution to last week. Can I put this on my Best Films of 2019 list? And also throw a blank cheque to directors Bruce W. Smith, Matthew A. Cherry and Everett Downing Jr. to make their wildest collective ideas in a feature-length capacity, thanks.
2] Knives Out
$14,150,000 / $63,486,491
Here’s some hot goss for y’all: voting for Set the Tape’s Top 10 Films of 2019 collective list has begun. I have seen this pop up on a couple of ballots already, but will it be able to dethrone mid-year champ John Wick: Chapter 3? We’ll find out on New Year’s Eve! More accurately, you’ll find out on New Year’s Eve, whereas I’ll know by the 18th since I’m handling scorekeeping and all.
3] Ford v. Ferrari
$6,537,000 / $91,110,353
Finally tried Rush again for the first time since being profoundly disappointed with it in cinemas back in 2013 and, err, yeah Ford v. Ferrari existing has really not helped Ron Howard’s second-best film of the century from looking even more like a deflating disappointment.
4] Queen & Slim
$6,530,000 / $26,894,005
Actuals ended up pushing this past A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood from their initial near-dead-heat last weekend, so maybe they can do the same in the battle against Dad Movie this weekend! Let’s focus on number statistics to distract from the fact that I ended up missing the Secret Unlimited Screening of Queen & Slim so now have to wait until 31st of pissing January to see it!
$5,200,000 / $43,120,415
The chart is almost entirely static this weekend but there was actually a new release for the American public to tuck into, that being the long-delayed and long-unasked-for Playmobil: The Movie! You know, from *counts on fingers* four months ago here in the UK? Turns out, so few people wanted to see it, and its American distributor STX Entertainment (who picked it up on the super-cheap after original studio Global Road collapsed in late 2018) had so little faith and/or interest in it, that nearly all tickets across the country for this one film were dropped to a flat $5 per person in an effort to goose sales… and it still became one of the biggest bombs in domestic cinema history! $670,000 from 2,300+ screens! That’s a PTA of $217, barely enough to buy sufficient amounts of Playmobil toys to make your children not resent you over failing to buy them LEGO! OK, that’s an unfair burn since, as we all know, no amount of Playmobil toys make for an acceptable replacement to LEGO.
6] Dark Waters
$4,100,000 / $5,284,749
Went wide this past weekend and, given that there are four big-name wide releases on the docket this Friday, will most likely be gone by next weekend. Ah, well.
7] 21 Bridges
$2,880,000 / $23,932,696
At this point in the write-up, I would just like to take a second to turn to The Numbers, the independent box office data website I’ve been using in the wake of Box Office Mojo being IMDb Pro’d to shit, and ask them to please sort their ad optimisation out sharpish. I really do not want to be running AdBlock on your site, guys and gals, but every time I whitelist it for the purposes of writing up these pieces my laptop starts choking to death as a direct result of the overload of poorly-optimised advertisements, to such an extent that it crawls to a halt and becomes unusable. Please fix this. I want to support you!
8] Playing with Fire
$2,000,000 / $41,982,325
Reviewed this over at Soundsphere Magazine, cos readers of North England indie music publications love themselves cheesy American family comedies for stupid children, right? That’s good pitching, yeah? Film sucks, either way.
$1,940,000 / $53,402,471
Only the one noteworthy Limited Release, btw, which was Céline Sciamma’s breathtaking queer period romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire, scoring $67,105 from two theatres in its exclusive one week run as Neon yanks it away into storage until Valentine’s Day. Presumably, this was so the film could qualify for awards. Joke’s on them, since France inexplicably submitted Les Miserables (no relation to the other one) for the Best Foreign Language Oscar instead. Yay-boo?
$1,040,000 / $332,141,623
Yes, I did see the Golden Globe nominations. Yes, I am preparing for The Drunk Oscars to give this Best Drama Picture (which is basically Best Picture). No, it did not manage to make me as furious as Cahiers du Cinema naming Twin Peaks: The Return the Best Film of the Decade despite the fact that it is CLEARLY. NOT. A. FUCKING. FILM! I feel like Good Place Janet (“not a girl”) at this point with regards to this stupid topic. No wonder everybody hates the French.
Dropped out: Last Christmas