December is always the most exciting movie month of the year. Holiday Season + Awards Season = Box Office Bonanza. So when do all these blockbuster and trophy contenders open… and where? It’s time for your official December Movie Preview.
Friday December 7
There are no new wide releases to kick off the month. But there are a trio of dramas that will be released in select theaters (most likely New York City and Los Angeles only) before expanding nationwide over the next several weeks. They are:
“BEN IS BACK” (R) NY & LA ONLY
Julia Roberts and Lucas Hedges play a mother and son in this opioid addiction drama. It’s written and directed by Lucas’s dad, Peter Hedges.
“MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS” (R) NY & LA ONLY
This Focus Features historical picture sees Oscar nominees Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie square-off.
“VOX LUX” (R) NY & LA ONLY
Natalie Portman plays an unstable pop singer, alongside her “Closer” co-star Jude Law.
Saturday December 8
Paramount is holding special advance screenings of “Transformers” prequel/spinoff “Bumblebee” in hundreds of locations nationwide.
Wednesday December 12
“ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL” (PG-13)
It’s “Deadpool 2” footage cut down for a PG-13 rating, plus a couple new scenes with Ryan Reynolds and Fred Savage. That’s it.
Friday December 14
“IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK” (R) NY & LA ONLY
Barry Jenkins’ follow-up to “Moonlight” is based on the acclaimed James Baldwin novel.
“MORTAL ENGINES” (PG-13)
Peter Jackson is a writer and producer of this epic fantasy action/adventure.
“THE MULE” (R)
Clint Eastwood directs and stars in this dramatic thriller with his “A Star Is Born” leading man, Bradley Cooper.
“SPIDER-MAN: INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE” (PG)
Sony Pictures Animation’s highly-anticipated CGI Spidey film includes cast members Shameik Moore (“Dope”), Hailee Steinfeld, Jake Johnson, Mahershala Ali and Brian Tyree Henry.
Saturday December 15
Amazon Prime members can see WB’s “Aquaman” five days early with special screenings in approx. 1,000 theaters nationwide.
Wednesday December 19
“MARY POPPINS RETURNS” (PG)
Tickets are on sale now to see Emily Blunt as the practically perfect flying nanny in Disney’s eagerly-awaited musical sequel.
Friday December 21
The latest DC Comics big screen adaptation is led by Jason Momoa, Nicole Kidman and the original Poppins, Julie Andrews.
Steinfeld and John Cena face-off in this non-Michael Bay directed “Transformers” series entry. (The director is “Kubo and the Two Strings” Oscar nominee, Travis Knight).
“COLD WAR” (R) NY & LA ONLY
Poland’s Foreign-Language Film entry to this year’s Academy Awards is an icy, powerhouse romance.
“SECOND ACT” (NOT YET RATED)
Jennifer Lopez appears in her first live-action film in more than three years in this comedy from “Get Smart” director Peter Segal.
“WELCOME TO MARWEN” (PG-13)
Steve Carell stars in the latest visionary true story from “Forrest Gump”‘s Robert Zemeckis.
Tuesday December 25
“DESTROYER” (R) NY & LA ONLY
Nicole Kidman is earning rave reviews for her performance in this Annapurna drama.
“HOLMES & WATSON” (PG-13)
Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly re-team to play the iconic detectives in this comedic interpretation.
“ON THE BASIS OF SEX” (PG-13) NY & LA ONLY
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is portrayed by “The Theory of Everything” Oscar nominee, Felicity Jones.
Adam McKay’s follow-up to “The Big Short” stars Christian Bale as former VP, Dick Cheney, and Amy Adams as his wife.
Friday December 28
“STAN & OLLIE” (PG) NY & LA ONLY
Steve Coogan and Reilly embody 20th century comedy duo, Laurel & Hardy.