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New in Theaters January 13: Bye Bye Man, Sleepless, Patriots Day, Live by Night, Monster Trucks

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By Chris Kavan - 01/12/17 at 06:49 AM CT

There are so many movies coming out this weekend that once again, I couldn't fit them all in the title! Granted three are expanding, three are new - but that is still six, new wide-release films hitting at the same time. Silence is also expanding (and the one I couldn't fit above) but is also hitting the least amount of theaters at just 750. In any case, horror fans, action fans, patriotic drama fans, crime fans and crappy movie fans will all have something to look forward to this weekend as the genres are all over the place. Granted, Rogue One, Hidden Figures and Sing should still be able to put up quite a fight so we'll see how this avalanche of releases does in the face of such stiff and established competition.

PATRIOTS DAY Even though this film has performed only so-so in its limited debut ($881,000 so far), this is exactly the kind of film that will drive audiences to theaters. While I think the film is being released a bit too soon after the fact, Mark Wahlberg is enough a crowd-pleaser to drive in general audiences. The film essentially covers the days leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the manhunt that followed. John Goodman plays commissioner Ed Davis, while Wahlberg plays one of the officers. Some may say the movie is playing on fears and the too-fresh wound of the event but if you recall both United 93 and World Trade Center were released just five years after 9/11 - this is little different. I don't think this film will resonate as well, but it has enough ingredients to play well with general audiences and we'll see if Boston Strong can lead to a box office win.

SLEEPLESS If you want just solid action without all the real-life drama, join Jamie Foxx as a cop playing both sides of the law in Sleepless. It turns out, working with the criminal underworld while also being a cop has its downside - as he finds out when his son is kidnapped and he must deal with the fallout at a local nightclub. Michelle Monaghan, Dermot Mulroney, David Harbour, Gabrielle Union, Scoot McNairy, T.I. and Octavius J. Johnson round out the cast. The movie has been ramping up its advertising as of late, but I just don't know if that is going to be enough for this one to stand out among the crowd. While its trying hard to be a Training Day type gritty action/crime film, I just don't see it working out that way. It just looks too generic to really have that much of an impact and Foxx just isn't a huge draw. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling Sleepless isn't going to do too much at the box office.

THE BYE BYE MAN Aside from Underworld: Blood Wars (which is really more action than horror), it has been over a month since we had a true horror film, Incarnate (that came and went with nary a whisper). Bye Bye Man seems to incorporate several elements: it has a Slenderman vibe with the main villain, an inescapable villain ala It Follows and a curse ala The Ring. All in all, this actually looks decent for a January horror offering and, in the past, horror has done well in this month. The big hit against it is the fierce competition - not from horror, but just better movies in general. Essentially Bye Bye Man is the evil that lurks behind mankind's most despicable acts - and you invite him in merely by saying his name - and once you do, he will come after you with a vengeance. Much of the film is discovering his true nature - and then trying to prevent that secret from spreading like a virus, allowing evil to promulgate worldwide. It's an interesting concept, but we'll see if it entices audiences.

LIVE BY NIGHT If Patriots Day hasn't scared up much limited release business, Ben Affleck's Live By Night has been even more dismal. With a scant $172,252 since opening, Live By Night hasn't exactly lit up the limited release crowds. Based on the cast - Affleck, along with Elle Fanning, Brendan Gleeson, Sienna Miller, Zoe Saldana, Chris Messina, Chris Cooper, Titus Welliver, Clark Gregg and Anthony Michael Hall, you would think this prohibition-era crime drama would be a sure hit. We know Affleck has proven himself behind the camera, but I just have heard very little about this film. General audiences might be a bit kinder to it, but without much push this one looks to be lost in the crowd as well and, unless it shows some real magic, I have a feeling Live By Night is going to be in and out of theaters very shortly.

SILENCE The latest from director extraordinaire Martin Scorsese follows a pair of Catholic priests (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who are trying to locate their mentor (Liam Neeson) who has gone missing in Japan while performing missionary work. This is a Japan where Catholicism is outlawed and priests are forbidden - putting faith to the ultimate test. This seems much more like a movie for critics than the general audience - especially considering its nearly three-hour run time. The movie is barely cracking the wide-release margin, but even so, I doubt it is going to find a huge audience for its rather heavy subject matter (even though it looks solid). It's going to play well - but to a very select crowd and I don't see it having a significant impact at the box office.

MONSTER TRUCKS You know that old saying about saving the best for last, right? Well - forget that, I've saved the most disturbing for last. I don't even know how to describe Monster Trucks - fantasy - sci-fi - action - family? It's certainly... something. Viacom doesn't have much faith in the high-budget film - having already taken a $115 million write-off for the film. It has also been delayed numerous times (never a good sign) - having been originally scheduled for a May 29, 2015 release. For what its worth, Lucas Till stars as a small-town guy looking to escape the small-town life, and also get the girl (Jane Levy) and he gets that chance when a chance accident at an oil-rig site releases a subterranean creature - one that merges with his self-built monster truck to create a real "Monster" truck. In any case, the trailers make this look terrible - effects, story, characters - just... I can't even put in to words how bad this makes me feel. It's going to get slaughtered and be the first bomb of 2017.

It's going to get very crowded at the box office - with so many films fighting for control, we'll see if the big holdovers can hold their own or if any of these newcomers can put up a decent fight.>/p>


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