Tag: 2020


These Ten Movies Ruled The U.K Box Office in 2020

December 23, 2020
UK Box Office 2020 Film Collage

2020 has been an incredibly demanding year for the film industry. From postponing filming to delaying releases and to having to deal with fewer cinemas and more streaming platforms. While we certainly didn’t have many cinematic releases, there were still many movies that hit our big screens. When looking back at the ten most popular films, that were released in the cinema before hitting streaming platforms, it makes 2020 certainly feels much longer than only 366 days.

1917 (Official Trailer)

1. 1917

Yep, that stunning movie by director Sam Mendes was released right at the beginning of this year. It feels ages ago since we saw the one-shot stunning looking cinematography from Roger Deakins, telling the thrilling story of two soldiers having to prevent an extremely deadly attack during World War I. However, nothing could be further from the truth. 1917 hit the UK cinemas on the 10th of January, right before the award season during which it won 111 awards amongst which were three Oscars and seven Baftas. No wonder that this movie generated £43,903,280, especially when you look at the outstanding performances by Dean-Charles Chapman and George MacKay.

2. Sonic The Hedgehog

After being critiqued because of the bad CGI and the need to re-invented Sonic for his latest movie, director Jeff Fowler probably couldn’t have predicted that his film would be number 2 in the top 10 movies of 2020. With Ben Schwartz voicing the hyper-active Sonic and James Marsden and Jim Carrey accompanying him in this adventurous and joyful movie, Sonic The Hedgehog raced towards £19,148,545.

3. Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker

Ok, this movie was released in 2019 but due to its 19th of December release date, Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker was part of the 2020 box office. Director J.J. Abrams decided to bring the Skywalker saga to an end with the legendary and thrilling conflict between the Jedi and the Sith. Even after all those years, the likes of  Luke Skywalker, Chewbacca and Rey are still relatively popular as they helped Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker gaining £18,830,197 at the UK Box Office.

Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker

4. Little Women

Little Women didn’t only mean another collaboration between Greta Gerwig and Saoirse Ronan but also a new revival of the story of the four March sisters. With a cast including Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen and Timothée Chalamet, the beautiful Louisa May Alcott’s story and the lovely cinematography, it’s no surprise that the movie collected £17,705,104.

5. Tenet

If there’s one movie that was talked about the most this year, it’s without a doubt Tenet by director Christopher Nolan. Not only because this was the only movie (apart from the recent Wonder Woman 1984) released mid-pandemic but also because of its mind-blowing storyline, cinematography and cast. The movie ‘only’ generated £17,454,173, but knowing that it was released when not a lot of cinemas were open and that it still made it into the top five, Tenet didn’t do too bad.

6. Bad Boys For Life

It was more than 17 years since we saw the last adventures of the detectives Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) and Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and it was time to bring them together for one more investigation. The audience loved Bad Boys For Life as the movie got £15,969,160 and another sequel.

Bad Boys For Life (Official Trailer)

7. Dolittle

Seeing Robert Downey Jr. talking to adorable animals while stepping into the fantasy world of Hugh Lofting and his creation Dr. John Dolittle? This was something the audience could do from the 7th of February. Some people were hailing Dolittle as a wonderful escape while others were declaring it one of the worst movies of 2020. Despite those mixed reactions, the film still had a box office of £15,938,399.

8. Jumanji: The Next Level

Just like Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker and Little Women, Jumanji: The Next Level was released at the end of last year. Still, it was eligible for this years’ box office, and therefore it made it into this top 10. During this sequel to the 2017 movie Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle, Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Kevin Hart and Karen Gillan came back together, and this latest adventure generated £14,798,295.

9. Parasite

If there’s one movie that described the darkness and strange time we’re going through, it’s Parasite. While the storyline is different, it’s as twisted as 2020, and it seems that both the critics and audiences loved it. The story of one family taking over the lives of another wasn’t only the biggest winner of the Oscars (that photo from director Bong Joon-Ho holding those four awards seems like it was taken so many years ago) but it was also £12,033,376 worth at the box office.

10. The Gentlemen

This latest Guy Ritchie was the very first movie released this year, and despite its £11,555,773, The Gentlemen delivered an entertaining and action-packed movie. Not surprising though, if you know that the stellar cast includes the likes of Matthew McConaughey, Charlie Hunnam, Michelle Dockery, Colin Farrell, Henry Golding and Hugh Grant.

The Gentlemen (Official Trailer)

Also Read: Top 10 Films at the UK Box Office in 2020 (So Far)

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Is 2020 the Year of the Musical?

April 5, 2020

In 2017, pundits set their sights on La La Land, the little-jazz-musical-that-could, as taking Best Picture at the Oscars. Famously, that did not happen, but it marked a substantial cultural reawakening for the movie musical. The circus-based extravaganza The Greatest Showman followed a year later and, after a slow start, dominated at the box office, and its music infected the radio with remixes and covers. Then came Cats, inarguably a phenomenon from its first trailer, which arrived last December to a somewhat muted reception. Still, the derailing and strange spectacle that was Cats doesn’t change the fact that 2020 is expected to a pretty big year for the big ol’ thumping musical.

Musicals exist in this strange realm, akin to sci-fi and fantasy. They live in parallel universes, similar to our own, except a character can take five and sing a power ballad about how they’re feeling with a full orchestra playing somewhere off-screen. They appeal to our need to be heard, to process the complicated and confusing emotions we run through daily living in the modern world. It feels like 2020 might be when we need that escape the most.

Initially expected in JuneIn The Heights will likely arrive later this summer. The adaption of the Tony-winning musical, from Hamilton creator Lin Manuel Miranda, follows a group of characters in the predominantly Latinx community of Washington Heights, New York City. Things take an exciting turn when Usnavi (Anthony Ramos) sells a winning lottery ticket from his struggling bodega, meaning someone from that rundown section of Manhattan has won a whopping $96,000. The film, directed by John M. Chu (Crazy Rich Asians), looks like a colourful and vibrant visual feast full of optimism and is, potentially, tipped for Oscar glory.

IN THE HEIGHTS / PHOTO: Warner Bros. Pictures

Another Broadway adaption, this time for Netflix, comes in the form of The Prom. This star-studded story, directed by Glee’s Ryan Murphy, follows a self-involved Broadway actress (played by Meryl Streep) as she and gaggle of theatrical characters descend on a small town in Indiana where the school has cancelled their prom. Why? Because a female student has asked if she can bring her girlfriend and this rag-tag bunch of performers are looking for an ‘issue’ to solve. The original show wasn’t a massive hit during its initial Broadway run but seeing the likes of Streep alongside Nicole Kidman, Andrew Rannells, and Kerry Washington will likely be something that draws in a big audience. But, The Prom isn’t the only choice when it comes to queer-centric musicals expected this year as Billy Elliot meets RuPaul in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie which due this October. Richard E. Grant and Sharon Horgan join newcomer Max Harwood in this adaption of the Olivier nominated musical set in Sheffield the story follows a sixteen-year-old boy with aspirations to become a drag queen.

It’s also safe to assume we’ll see Leos Carax’s Annette on the film festival circuit this year (if they go ahead). The film, which finished shooting last year, has been in the works for a while with stars like Rooney Mara, Natalie Portman, Rhianna, and Michelle Williams all attached at some point before Oscar-winner Marion Cottillard joined Adam Driver for this Los Angeles set love story with original music from 70s alt-rock band Sparks. Described by Cottillard as having ‘profound depth’ and a ‘singularity’ to it, Annette is likely to be one of the stranger, yet like visually stunning and moving, musical offers of the year.

WEST SIDE STORY (2020) / PHOTO: Amblin Entertainment

The last musical release of 2020 is likely to be a big one as a beloved classic returns to the screen after 60 years. Despite most of its promotional shots looking like they’ve been swiped from a Marks & Spencer catalogue, Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake is expected on December 18th. The story, a revised take on Romeo and Juliet, sees young love blossom at the centre of a gang war between the Jets and the Sharks. This remake aims to update the 1961 classic for today’s audiences though it’s unclear, outside of the casting actual Puerto Rican actors to play the Sharks, how it’s planning on doing that. From the on-set photographs and the new stills released in Vanity Fair last month, it looks as though the film is retaining the 1950s setting unlike the latest ‘millennial’ revival currently running on Broadway that does away with most of the iconic choreography (as well as two songs) and aims for a stronger political message adding Black Lives Matter and border walls into the mix. It may well go the route of the 2009 Broadway revival, a production saw Stephen Sondheim, the original lyricist, team up with Lin Manuel Miranda to translate some of the lyrics and the dialogue into Spanish for a more authentic feel. Still, it’s unclear if Spielberg’s remake, which explicitly sought Spanish speaking actors, is going to do the same. Whatever Spielberg does, will it be enough? Will any of these big, bold, musicals be enough? Will the singing and dancing be enough to raise our spirits?

It might seem facetious to ask what it is about our current times that is drawing us back towards the musical? The constant onslaught of politics, social issues, Brexit, division, COVID-19, and the rise of populism (to name a few) might mean that, globally, we are craving the escapism and magic that movie musicals bring. After all, it’s scientifically proven that music makes us feel better and who doesn’t need a pick me up in 2020? 

WEST SIDE STORY (2020) / PHOTO: Amblin Entertainment

Hell, even beyond 2020 we’ll be craving that hit of dopamine a big dance number brings. Thankfully, it was recently announced that Jake Gyllenhaal will star in an adaption of Fun Home, the award-winning musical based on Alison Bechdel’s seminal graphic novel, while Scarlett Johansson and Taron Egerton are supposedly circling a Little Shop of Horrors remake but that casting has already been criticised. There’s still a long-awaited adaption of Wicked in the works and, of course, the much talked about Hamilton movie will eventually make its way to the screen. By the looks of it, we’ll have the movie musical to escape into for a few years yet. Fingers crossed.

Once, the musical was once the toast of Hollywood, almost like comic-book movies are today, and now it’s safe to say they’re less bankable. But, it’s still here. It’s fighting, with every jazz hand and Fosse neck it can, to stick around and we need it. In the face of it all, we need the singing, the dancing, and the joy. We need the escape, to find a place that isn’t like our modern times, one where emotion is made sense of through song. To quote one of the aforementioned musicals, we hope that ‘peace and quiet and open-air / wait for us somewhere’ but until then, let the musicals whisk us away. God knows we need it.

Also Read: How The Coronavirus has Affected The Film Industry

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