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New in Theaters February 17: Fist Fight, The Great Wall, A Cure for Wellness

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By Chris Kavan - 02/16/17 at 06:46 AM CT

Last weekend brought some big numbers for the box office and now with an extended holiday (for the government and kids anyway) should bring in some added revenue. Three new films join the lineup - another horror movie looking to have the same luck as Split, a big name in a big gamble action film and an after-school comedy. It is difficult to say if any of the new films will have as big an impact as last weekend's winners, but February looks to continue posting some decent returns either way.

THE GREAT WALL Matt Damon can be considered an action star - what with the Bourne movies under his belt, but The Great Wall is turning out to be a great gamble for the actor. A joint effort between American and Chinese film companies, the film follows William (Damon), a European mercenary, who winds up being imprisoned in the Great Wall, only to learn that the wall is the only thing standing between humanity and an army of monstrosities. The joint cast includes the likes of Tian Jing, Willem Dafoe, Andy Lau, Pedro Pascal, Hanyu Zhang, Lu Han, Kenny Lin and Eddie Peng. The film carries a price tag of $150 million and the good news is that is already has a $224 million foreign total (including a decent $170.4 million in China). But we'll have to see what American audiences make of this action film - previews are a bit mixed for me - a lot of action but not much else. I don't think this is going to break out big, but if it can open to decent numbers we'll see if this brings on a new era of joint cooperation between U.S. and Chinese film companies.

A CURE FOR WELLNESS After the success of M. Night Shyamalan's Split, I am once again reminded that people will turn out, and pay good money, for good horror films. That brings me to A Cure for Wellness. Every since seeing the first trailer, I admit to being intrigued by this tale of a young executive (Dane DeHaan) who is charged with retrieving his CEO from a remote resort deep in the Swiss Alps only to find that this "wellness center" holds a dark secret. Each subsequent trailer has only made me more and more excited - as does the extended cast with features the likes of Jason Isaacs and Mia Goth. Director Gore Verbinski cut his teeth on The Ring - still one of the creepiest horror films in recent memory, before moving on to The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. It's nice to see him returning to horror and I, for one, am very interested in how this turns out. The crowded box office probably means this won't do as well as Split, but I'm hoping it at least scores a decent opening.

FIST FIGHT Also ramping up its advertising over the last few weeks, Fist Fight brings us the showdown of the century (at least at this school) between the rather meek Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) who gets called out by the toughest teach in school, Strickland (Ice Cube) after he gets him fired. Day tries to enlist the help of some fellow teachers - played by Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell and Christina Hendricks in order to survive for another day. The previews make this look pretty funny, and it's also the only adult-targeting comedy out there right now, but I don't know if it will be enough to stand out in the crowed. It just depends on what audiences are in the mood for.

It's looking like Lego Batman still has the upper hand among all the films, but it will be interesting to see if any of the new three can stand up to rest of the crowd.


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