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New in Theaters November 17: Justice League, Wonder, The Star

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By Chris Kavan - 11/16/17 at 06:39 AM CT

Thor: Ragnarok has been dominating the box office for the past two weeks, but Marvel's god of thunder is going to face big competition from DC's ultimate team. That's right - this is the weekend we find out how DC's superhero super group matches up to Marvel. Justice League will go a long way to determining how the rival superhero franchise does after the success of Wonder Woman and whether Gal Gadot's increased presence helps elevate the rest of the film. Aside from that, we have a pint-sized Wonder and an animated, uplifting tale The Star. Those two are likely going to pale in comparison, but we'll see if this weekend finally delivers a win compared to last year with two big superhero films fighting it out.

JUSTICE LEAGUE It has been a rocky road for DC. While all their films can be considered worldwide hits, tonally, it has been a bit all over the place. Man of Steel and Batman v. Superman were incredibly dour affairs, Suicide Squad was fun, but messy but Wonder Woman managed to bring a new intensity and excitement to the series. Now with Justice League, the gang's all here - Gadot's Wonder Woman was apparently given more screen time based on the success of Wonder Woman, but Ben Affleck is Batman, Jason Momoa is Aquaman, Ezra Miller is The Flash and Ray Fisher is Cyborg with Ciarán Hinds playing our bad guy, Steppenwolf. Oh, and don't worry, I have a feeling that the "dead" Superman Henry Cavill will be back as well. The ever-expanding supporting cast includes - Amy Adams, Robin Wright, Amber Heard, Diane Lane, J.K. Simmons, Billy Crudup, Jeremy Irons, Jesse Eisenberg, Kiersey Clemons and Joe Morton - who will have varying levels of involvement here. In any case, at least the trailers make this look more like Wonder Woman than Batman v. Superman - that is, a bit lighter without sacrificing the action. The story still looks all over the place, but hopefully it comes together. It will be interesting to see how this compares to Thor: Ragnarok, but also to Wonder Woman and even horror mega-hit, It. I have no doubt it will top Thor for the weekend win, but we'll have to wait and see just how big it gets.

WONDER Breakout star of Room, Jacob Tremblay has had plenty of films come his way following that amazing performance but nothing has yet matched that stunning debut. Wonder is a pint-sized version of Mask (the 1985 film starring Cher and Eric Stoltz). Tremblay plays August "Auggie" Pullman,, a young boy who has a facial abnormality that has left him unable to attend school - until 5th grade. Despite his differences, he wants nothing more than to be accepted by his new school and the community at large, and his loving parents Nate and Isabel (Owen Wilson and Julia Roberts) want nothing more than to make that dream come true. It's an inspirational story - and heartwarming, I just hope they don't try to make things too heartwarming, because there's a fine line between being compassionate and being saccharine. It should be more well-received than Book of Henry, but it faces an uphill battle. Still, if it can bring in a female audience, it could be a good counter-point to Justice League.

THE STAR There hasn't been a lot in theaters lately for families. The Star is the first animated film to hit theaters in over a month, since My Little Pony back in the beginning of October - and both that film, and the Lego Ninjago Movie before it, really had a minor impact in theaters. The Star, despite the lack of animated films, doesn't look to be a major hit. The story follows a group of animals who find themselves caught up in the Nativity - the film features an all-star cast - Zachary Levi and Gina Rodriguez play Joseph and Mary, with Christopher Plummer as King Herod. The animals feature Steven Yeun as Bo the Donkey, Kristin Chenoweth as Abby the Mouse, Keegan-Michael Key as Dave the Dove, Ving Rhames as Thaddeus the Dog, Tyler Perry as Cyrus the Camel, Mariah Carey as Rebecca the Hen, Oprah Winfrey as Deborah the Camel, Patricia Heaton as Edith the Cow and Anthony Anderson as Zach the Goat. That's a lot of animals and I'm sure each and every one is going to learn a valuable lesson while making sure the first Christmas goes off without a hitch. Still, once again, it offers a good second choice other than Justice League and we'll see if families agree.

It should be a heroic weekend with Justice League finally able to topple Thor: Ragnarok, which should still have a good hold. We'll see how the rest of the box office winds up and if November can finally deliver an up weekend compared to last year.


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