After a year of shuttered theatres and delayed releases due to the pandemic, the box office is poised for a comeback.
Movies like Shang-Chi, Venom: Let There Be Carnage and James Bond’s No Time To Die all proved audiences were willing to make their way back to the theatre, though without the same wealth of choice. This week though, the marquee will look more familiar than it has in quite a while.
There are a number of big-ticket movies premiering all on the same day — Friday, Oct. 22 — including some titles moviegoers have been waiting on for years.
CBC News has compiled some of the most notable premieres from that list — as well as a few options for those who would rather stay at home.
The French Dispatch
Director Wes Anderson’s tenth feature, The French Dispatch, has had a long and difficult journey to the screen. Originally scheduled for a July 2020 release, it was first delayed to October of that year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and then pushed back indefinitely.
After a premiere at Cannes in July 2021 — where it received a nine-minute standing ovation — the tale of a fictitious American magazine in a small French town will finally be released to wide audiences on Friday. Like all Anderson films it boasts a star-studded cast, including Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Owen Wilson, Tilda Swinton, Adrien Brody, Christoph Waltz, Timothée Chalamet and more.
Speaking of Chalamet, he has another film hitting theatres — also with a long and difficult journey to the screen. Denis Villeneuve’s Dune was first supposed to hit theatres in December 2020, before being pushed to Oct. 1 the following year, then to its current date of Oct. 22. Then — according to Variety — it was almost pushed to 2022.
That would have put the movie outside of Warner Bros.’ streaming deal with HBO Max though, meaning it would debut exclusively in theatres. Instead, the sci-fi space epic will come out in theatres and on HBO simultaneously in the United States. Unfortunately, Canadian audiences will have to wait until Dune completes the standard theatrical window before it premieres on Crave for home streaming.
Ron’s Gone Wrong
The Disney kids’ movie Ron’s Gone Wrong, starring Jack Dylan Grazer and Zach Galifianakis, also saw some COVID-related delays, though not as extreme as Dune and The French Dispatch. It was moved from its original release of February 26 to April, then to its current date.
Described by IGN as a “fun coming-of-age movie” about the dangers of social media, it’s already gained strong reviews from its Oct. 15 premiere in the United Kingdom. This September, Disney announced that their upcoming releases — including Ron’s Gone Wrong — will have a minimum 45-day exclusive theatrical release before moving to Disney+.
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain
The Electrical Life of Louis Wain was one of two Benedict Cumberbatch-led features at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, and for some reviewers that proved to be a bit too much.
Cumberbatch plays the real life Louis Wain, the 1900s British artist whose popular drawings of human-like cats helped popularize the animal as a household pet. But Cumberbatch’s portrayal of the neurotic genius proved too similar to his past roles in Sherlock and The Imitation Game for some reviewers, while other reviewers found the whole film too quirky.
Invasion; Locke & Key; Sex, Love & Goop
Don’t want to risk a theatre visit but still want to watch something new? There are a few new releases for the streaming crowd. After its Isaac Asimov inspired Foundation, Apple TV+ is doubling down on the sci-fi content with Invasion. The series, starring Sam Neill and Golshifteh Farahani, details a “massive alien invasion of earth,” shown through the eyes of five characters on multiple continents.
On Netflix, the second season of the horror series Locke & Key will continue telling the supernatural story it began last year.
And for those still hankering for more Gwyneth Paltrow, her six-episode docuseries Sex, Love & Goop will premiere the day before on Thursday.