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Monday Mixer: 2016, a year in moving pictures

Posted Monday, December 5, 2016 at 11:41 AM Central

by John Couture

2016 has been quite the year, both in film and in reality.

It has been a year for change and a year for reflection, but no matter what this year means to you, there has been plenty of great films to help us along the way. As we turn the calendar to December, we tend to start our reflection upon the past year before we start messing up the new fallen snow that is the new year.

If you've been following along with the 2016 Films I've Watched list on LetterBoxd, you will know that I'm getting very close to completing my stated goal of watching 100 films in 2016. This is a major accomplishment for me because with the birth of children over the last five years, my movie-watching time has dwindled significantly.

But, as they grow up, they are starting to get into movies, so I'm finding more and more time to get back to my first love. But, I don't want to get bogged down on that list too much here as I plan to do a proper write-up when I meet my goal, but it provides great backdrop to one of my favorite things that we do, which is to highlight the amazing work of others that compile spectacular mashups of the year's film offerings.

That's what we call a tease. If you want to get more, check out the Quick Hitters after our box office recap.

Box Office 411

If you were stopping off here hoping for a long exposition on the middling box office, then I'm sorry to disappoint you. We are really at a crossroads at the box office. I like to call it the deep breath period.

No, it doesn't have anything to do with Darth Vader, although it is related to Star Wars, so I guess it could be construed in that fashion. Thanks to Disney positioning a new Star Wars film in late December for the second year in a row, they have inadvertently thrown a monkey wrench into the traditional awards season.

As a result, films are being released in a more limited fashion earlier with the hopes that the buzz will build through December and fully blossom in January after Rogue One cools off a bit. Case in point, Jackie and Miss Sloane enjoyed some of the best per-screen-averages this week at the box office, but they only played on a few screens each.

Slow and steady wins the race, right?

What doesn't win many races is falling right down on your face. This week, that honor belongs to Incarnate, which opened wide and only managed to scrape up $2.6 million. Overall, the box office was down from last week and last year as expected, but this performance is a bad sign for other counter-programming releases in future years.

The top five films remained the same with a bit of a shakeup from 3-5, while Moana and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them remained at #1 and #2 respectively. Moana took in $28 million and has earned about $120 million in two weeks of release. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them held strong in second place with $18 million to push its total up to $184 million.

Moana's performance was a bit worse than other recent Disney animated films, but it should still have no problem hitting $250 million, which is a bit less than the $350 million I predicted last week. The holiday weeks coming up might help push it up a bit, but only time will tell how much business will be leftover once Rogue One debuts. Fantastic Beasts should cross the $200 million mark this week and should stay on course to hit $275 million.

Quick Hitters

  • One of the film from this year that I really enjoyed was The Witch. It was just so truly terrifying that it reminded me of the horror classics from my youth. I also like Wes Anderson films, so when I found out that there was a mashup that created a trailer for a Wes Anderson version of The Witch, I had to watch it and now you can too.

  • Back to the tease from above, one of our favorite hobby editors out there Clark Zhu is back with his "Moving Pictures 2016." If you recall, we featured his mashup in 2015 and once again, I was taken by the obvious care and love that he put into this year's edit.

    The tonal shifts are perfect and he does a great job capturing the complicated year that was 2016. Also, rather than simply ignoring the single most important event of the year and its impact on film, he embraces it about two minutes in cutting expertly to Elle Fanning's character from Live by Night telling us that "we're all going to hell."

    Yep, pretty much. Better yet, I'm already looking forward to next year's montage from Clark.

    Moving Pictures 2016 - Movie Trailers Mashup from Clark Zhu on Vimeo.

  • Finally today, we got our first look at Universal's upcoming film The Mummy. I know, I know, do we really need another reboot of The Mummy franchise? That's a good question, but this film is interesting because it is the first film in a new "shared universe" in which Universal is going to attempt to reboot their classic monster movies.

    They have tapped Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci to oversee the franchise and The Mummy is the first film in this new shared universe. All of the films will be set in the present, which is rather interesting in itself and I would imagine that characters will overlap between films. One prime candidate for this overlap would be Russell Crowe's Dr. Henry Jekyll who has a juicy name that seems ripe to pop up in various monster movies.

    Will this new shared universe take off? Time will tell, but this first look is at least promising. What do you think?