It’s a festive film landslide as Home Alone, The Polar Express, The Grinch, Last Christmas, The Muppet Christmas Carol, and Elf ensure that the Christmas party is in full swing!
“And that’s how I found out there’s no Santa Claus“. Ok, I admit I’m not the greatest lover of Christmas and almost all it entails but I do love the occasional Christmas movie…IF it’s ‘Die Hard 1 &2‘, ‘Batman Returns‘ (it’s set at Christmas so it counts, ok?),’ White Christmas‘, Jim Carrey’s ‘The Grinch‘ or the above-quoted ‘Gremlins‘. I adore ‘Gremlins‘. There’s nothing better than putting it on and watching evil little creatures run riot and destroy a town with their violent, gory, and quite hilarious actions. Many people will sit happily and watch ‘It’s A Wonderful Life‘ and ‘Miracle On 34th Street‘, I’m happy with Gizmo, Stripe and the crew. Children will happily watch and sing along with ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol‘. I’d rather see the Gremlins rip them to pieces and after hearing Michael Caine sing in the movie, destroying the image of him being a hardman in ‘Get Carter‘, HIM too! But in all honesty, just as long as the TV isn’t tuned into Christmas24 (drives me insane!) then I will get into the festive mood and watch a good Christmas film. And I’ll admit it, I DO get a lump in my throat and have ONCE shed a tear at the end of ‘The Polar Express‘. And that is all the emotion you’ll get from me!
And as we are now days away as I’m writing this, welcome once more to the official chart for what, we the British public have been buying over the past week. This past Monday has seen the release of ‘Tenet‘, one of the only big-budget movies to open at the box office this year onto all formats. We can guess that we will see it make a rather high appearance as a new entry into next week’s charts but for this week, it’s the same story as we have been seeing over the past few months. Titles coming and going, holiday-themed titles entering the chart, and old favorites grabbing whatever places they can ahead of the big day next Friday. People are grabbing DVDs and Blu-Ray’s to give away as gifts to their loved ones and friends. And this week, we see re-entries into the top ten placings. And as such we must bid goodbye to’1917′, ‘A Christmas Gift From Bob‘ and ‘The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy‘. And it’s a complete Christmas landslide in the chart this week, to be honest. But what is occupying that all-important number one spot ahead of the official Christmas chart next week? Wrap up warm, put your hat, coat, and gloves on and let’s find out.
Will Ferrell and ‘Elf‘ hold onto the top spot again for the third week. The 2003 film continues its domination at the top of the chart ahead of the big day next Friday and is still spreading joy to the British public. The streaming and physical sales of the film continue to hit the heights and 75% of its sales this week have come via the digital format. It appears that yet again, the United Kingdom can’t get enough of Buddy the Elf and his hilarious adventures in New York.
Holding firm in the second spot this week and becoming the week’s highest-selling DVD and Blu-Ray is Emilia Clarke, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, and Emma Thompson in ‘Last Christmas‘. The film leads home three Universal Studios titles in succession in the chart for the past seven days but continues its march to becoming another quality and much-loved Christmas movie that we all sit back and enjoy. The quality of the film and the acting from the entire cast means that the film is the perfect movie to sit down and watch at home on the buildup to Christmas or even on the day itself.
Jim Carrey and his masterclass of comic acting and performance that is ‘The Grinch‘ is a non-mover at number three. Twenty years after it made its cinematic debut, the film, like many others in the chart, is a festive favorite that we all return to year in, year out. The marvelous comedic tale from director Ron Howard and with narration from Sir Anthony Hopkins is another tale that needs to be owned in whatever format you desire.
Guess what? ‘Love Actually‘ is another non-mover as it ends the week in fourth place. The interlinked stories that star Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, Liam Neeson, Colin Firth, Laura Linney, and Billy Bob Thornton to name but a few remain a Christmas favorite around the country and is playing on TV at the moment. Not that it’s stopping the film from selling well once again. Richard Curtis’ script brings the passion, the tears, and the laughs to our screens again and again.
Rounding out the top five places this week, we find that ‘Home Alone‘ has risen a place from last week’s sixth position. The original and best of the franchise starring Macauley Culkin, thirty years after it made its bow is a firm staple of Christmas viewing. What made the film so good and ensured its success is simply the fact that it was original, heartwarming, and of course, comedically violent and devilish. You will never look at an old paint can the same way again! Or run about in the house, by the stairs when there’s a child around! I must have seen the film around fifty-odd times now but it still makes me roar and cry with laughter.
We pause for a moment to take a sip of Egg Nog, munch on a mince pie, and look forward to this coming Monday and the release of ‘Jiu-Jitsu’. The film is a science fiction, Martial Arts action flick which stars Alain Moussi as the main character of Jake Barnes with support coming from martial arts legend Tony Jaa, Frank Grillo, and sporting an appearance from Nicolas Cage. The film is based on the 2017 comic-book of the same name and follows the character of Jake, who while running away from flying ninja stars, is hit by some, causing him to plummet into the ocean where he blacks out. This begins Jake on a journey to finding out who he is, why he was being attacked, and why he is rescued by the mysterious Keung (Jaa) from his fate. If that floats your boat, pick it up from Monday of next week.
We return to our tour through the charts as ‘The Polar Express‘ arrives at the number six position, rising a single place. The CGI animated film, starring Tom Hanks in a variety of roles including Santa Claus is an enjoyable and moving film for the whole family. The themes it deals with throughout will melt a cold heart and will bring a sense of warmth to the viewer.
‘Mulan‘ has seen her long-awaited welcome start to wear thin as she tumbles two places to this week’s seventh place. After all the problems the film faced getting a release, it has shown its metal by holding onto a chart place once again.
At number eight, we welcome back ‘The Muppet Christmas Carol‘ which rises twenty places over the past seven days. In all honesty, and I know I’ve had a pop at it earlier, the film is quite the enjoyable romp through the Dickens tale. The Jim Henson creations seem pretty well suited to the material and I have to admit that I did enjoy it when I finally saw it for the first time two years ago on a cinematic re-release. But what I said about Sir Michael Caine, here playing Scrooge for all its worth, I stand by!
Coming into the chart in the ninth-placed position and another film that rises twenty places to say hello, we find Macauley Culkin once more in the slightly inferior sequel ‘Home Alone 2: Lost In New York‘. Why is it inferior? It’s because the surprise factor has gone, the originality has diminished and despite it’s expanded length compared to the first film and an even nastier and in some places, funnier climax featuring Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern being royally pummelled by various tricks and traps, it feels like a retread of the first film in many ways. And that isn’t always a good thing. But despite these failings and a cameo from Donald Trump (who demanded a role in exchange for granting permission to film in one of his hotels and an acting fee to boot), the film is still an enjoyable, fun-filled romp and one that continues to entertain the masses.
And finally…once again…refusing to let it go…you can guess where this is going! ‘Frozen II‘ has once more returned to the top ten by rising three places to claim the tenth and final position in the chart.
It’s cold outside and I need brandy to warm myself up with. And so, I wish you all a fond farewell for this week while I sit down with my drink by the fire. Thank you all again for joining the tour through the retail chart. But this week, I have decided to ask, what will YOU be buying to watch over the festive period? What Christmas title will you be putting on to view and to get you in the festive mood? Why not drop us a line and let us know what your go-to Christmas movie is?
Until next time and our final chart before Christmas Day, whatever you decide, whatever you buy, be safe, be kind, look after each other, keep the receipt (just in case), and happy viewing!
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Carl Roberts is a Senior Entertainment/Books and Literature Correspondent for The Future of the Force. Aside from being our horror genre aficionado, he is also passionate about Star Wars, Marvel, DC, and the Indiana Jones movies. Follow him on Twitter where he uses the force frequently!