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New in Theaters November 20: Hunger Games Mockingjay, Part 2, The Night Before, Secret in Their Eyes

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By Chris Kavan - 11/19/15 at 06:58 AM CT

For the last two weeks, Spectre and The Peanuts Movie have had the run of things. But James Bond is certainly going to meet his match in Katniss Everdeen as the final Hunger Games film bows and should have no trouble dominating the box office. Aside from that, we also have a trio of grown men behaving badly in what looks like a pretty hilarious comedy and an under-the-radar American remake of a Spanish Oscar-winning film that has an excellent cast but that I have heard virtually nothing about. It's going to be a big weekend - likely dominated by one film (and a few more for support), we'll see if it will be good enough to break any records.

THE HUNGER GAMES: MOCKINGJAY - PART 2 If the previous three films are any indication, Mockingjay Part 2 should have no problem dominating the box office. Even though Mockingjay Part 1 may have been a bit down - it still made over $334 million ($785 million worldwide) while both Catching Fire and the original Hunger Games boasted a worldwide take of over $865 million. With this being the last time we're likely to see Katniss, Peeta, Gale, President Snow and many other favorites up on the big screen, this certainly has potential to be the biggest film in the series. If anything, it should at least top Mockingjay Part 1. I also have a feeling it will be one of the top opening of the year - if not the top (well, at least until Star Wars rolls in come December) and even has a chance at breaking a few records. It all comes down to how the fans respond. I, for one, already have my tickets as I have enjoyed this series. I don't know if the hype surrounding this one has had quite the fervor as the previous films, but I don't think that diminished its chances at being one of the top films of 2015.

THE NIGHT BEFORE For those who aren't interested in The Hunger Games franchise, the second-best choice for the weekend goes to The Night Before. Starring Seth Rogen, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie as three long-time friends who decide to go on one, final and epic Christmas Eve journey before they all grow up and become responsible adults. I have to say, the previews for this make this look really good - kind of like a classic Judd Apatow film full of crude yet effective humor, plenty of drug use and probably too many bodily fluids. The comedy genre is one that, personally, is very tough for me to warm up to anymore. Neighbors was the last time I was really entertained but really, The Hangover was the last time I really felt a comedy deserved to be put on the must-see list - and that was back in 2009 (I confess, I have yet to see 21 Jump Street or the sequel - two comedies that have gained much praise). Still, The Night Before has a chance of becoming the rare comedy that could join the ranks of the greats - or at least join the ranks of worthy to watch instead of skip.

SECRET IN THEIR EYES Based on the Spanish film of the same name - the one that won the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film in 2010 - this remake stars Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris and Alfred Molina the film follows two rising investigators and their supervisor. The team is torn apart when one of their teenage daughters is found murdered. After 13 years, and an obsessive search, Ray (Ejiofor) finally comes upon a lead he feels will lead to the killer, and closure, for them all. But the shocking truth behind the crime may not have the outcome Ray thought, as personal vengeance takes precedent over justice. This movie has pretty much arrived with little fanfare. I have seen a single trailer, but nothing else. Without much backing, I have a feeling this is going to languish and will probably have little impact at the box office. You would think with the pedigree (of both actors and the source material) this would be given a bigger push - but obviously something didn't work. I expect this to open well outside the top five.

The weekend should be huge - at least for one film - we'll see if the leftovers can put up any kind of challenge to make the box office truly stand out. I'll be back on Sunday with the final results.


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