Home Alone, The Polar Express, The Grinch, Last Christmas, and Elf ensure that the Christmas party is in full swing but it’s TENET that bags the top spot
The Official Film Chart has gone festive.
“Well, you coming?”. “Where?”. “Why, to the North Pole, of course!“.
Well, the big day is almost here, not that many of us can celebrate it and those that can, only for a single day. But the spirit still exists and so, we must cling to the hope that by this time next year, 2020 and the pandemic which has destroyed the year for us all is nothing but a distant memory. We must be thankful for our family and friends, even though we may not see them or celebrate the season with them this year by pausing for a moment and thinking about those less fortunate than ourselves. Not everyone made it to this point alive and many will sadly fall victim to the virus that is sweeping the world before the light at the end of the tunnel shines brighter than ever. It could be that someone you know, love, or care about didn’t make it out of this year. It is only fitting that during what should be a joyful time, we pause to remember these people, raise a glass in their honor and give thanks for their lives and for having known them. Although we all feel low at this time, we must embrace the spirit we all have inside us and show it off to the rest of the world.
And with that, I welcome you all in once more for what is the final top ten countdown of what we have been buying as presents or for our own personal collections to keep us going through these dark times. Are there any particular titles you’re hoping will be under the tree on Friday? Or have you gifted one to someone close to you? If so, your selection may feature in the list this week. As it is, we see a deluge of Christmas related titles occupying the placings again this week. One title actually occupies TWO spaces on the chart! (You’ll see how later) But as is customary, not all of last week’s offerings inside the top ten made it this week and so we say merry Christmas and thanks for coming to ‘Mulan‘, ‘Home Alone 2: Lost In New York‘ and ‘Frozen II‘. But what has grabbed the all-important top spot for this year? The title that has outsold, outrun, and become the nation’s favorite title for this Christmas? Grab your mince pies and Christmas sherry, sit on Santa’s sleigh, buckle up and get ready for the reindeer to fly you through the placings!
Coming out of nowhere and taking the top spot for the Christmas period and our final number one title for 2020, we welcome in the only new entry this week as Christopher Nolan’s big-budget epic ‘Tenet‘ (read our review) beats everyone else to grab the coveted Christmas number one. The film was caught up among the delays and departures from this year’s summer season but managed to open around the world and make back some of the revenue it lost out on thanks to the pandemic. John Patrick Washington stars in a time-twisting tale that has to be seen to be believed. Ably supported by Robert Pattinson, Michael Caine, and Sir Kenneth Branagh, the film is another masterpiece from Nolan and will leave audiences to work out what they make of it all. There is no right or wrong answer again, just Nolan and his sublime storytelling.
Rising into the chart from last week’s number seventeen position to take the silver spot on the chart this week, we welcome the Robert Zemeckis remake of Roald Dahl’s tale of ‘The Witches‘. The film was destined to hit the cinema screens this year but instead was pulled from the screens to get a PVOD release. Starring Anne Hathaway in the title role, the remake received mixed reviews although Hathaway did get praise for her role as the Grand High Witch, with many critics calling the film inferior compared to the 1990 Nicolas Roeg version. But the film is still an enjoyable family film to sit down with and spend time together watching over the festive period.
Holding onto his third-place again this week, we find Jim Carrey in the best version of ‘The Grinch‘. Twenty years and counting for the rubber-faced comedian’s completely brilliant and never bettered performance in a film that deserves to be regarded as one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time. There isn’t a year ever since the film was released where it wasn’t playing in my home on the buildup to the big day and continues to be on a loop on some of the days I’m stuck indoors. A true Christmas classic.
Also holding onto its place this week is comedy/drama ‘Love Actually‘ that continues to claim the fourth spot in the chart. The film is currently playing on Sky Movies Christmas and will appear on ITV again over the holiday period on both ITV1 and ITV2 in regular rotation. But that doesn’t stop the selling power of the film in the final chart of the year.
Rounding out the top five this week, we find Will Ferrell and ‘Elf‘ has fallen four places, down from last week’s number one to become this week’s number five. Again, the film is playing on TV on rotation and is still being enjoyed by families across the country. Not too shabby for a film that is regarded as a favorite and is now seventeen years old and still selling and going strong. And the snowball fight is still a classic comedy scene that makes me cry!
We hold things here for a short while we check out a final film to download and keep that hits streaming from December 28th in the form of ‘The New Mutants‘. After two years sitting on the shelf, gathering dust, the film was scheduled to finally open in March of this year before being robbed of its slot once again. However, it did finally open in September to poor reviews. The film is a spin-off from the main ‘X-Men‘ franchise and stars Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, and Anya Taylor-Joy among others in a tale of several gifted youngsters that are confined to an institution to contain their powers. But as you can guess, things take a nasty turn and our mutant heroes must band and work together to battle an evil threat that threatens to consume them. I actually thought it was a pretty good timewaster and enjoyable in its own right. But it is most certainly not for young children as it does contain some frightening and nasty bouts of violence. But if you feel like grabbing the movie, it’s available on digital download from this coming Monday.
We return to the chart once again and find that Emilia Clarke and her wonderful movie ‘Last Christmas‘ has fallen four places to land this week at number six. Once more, the film will become a Christmas classic in the years to come and will be shown on TV every year like clockwork.
Dropping two places to become this week’s number seven, we find Macauley Culkin once again battling bumbling robbers Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern in the original and best entry in the franchise as ‘Home Alone‘ clings onto a place in the Christmas chart.
Also dropping two places as it slips back out of the station to become this week’s number eight is the CGI motion capture classic that is ‘The Polar Express‘. Tom Hanks and Robert Zemeckis deliver a heartwarming tale of childhood innocence that I admit, brings a lump to my throat at the end.
Dropping a place to still hold a Christmas chart position way down in the ninth spot, we find Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Rizzo The Rat, and the gang teaching Michael Caine’s Scrooge about the true meaning of Christmas in the musical ‘The Muppets Christmas Carol‘. Apart from shattering my illusions of Sir Michael Caine as a hardman after ‘Get Carter‘, thanks to him singing with The Muppets, the film is a wonderful, comedic, and delightful film for all the family.
And finally, we find Benedict Cumberbatch’s animated take on ‘The Grinch‘, meaning two films with the same title occupy different positions inside the top ten this week as this animated version scrapes itself in to lie above the chart exit door by rising a solitary place up from last weeks number eleven.
And that is everything for this week and indeed for 2020 in total. What a year it has been. We haven’t seen too much in the way of new titles hitting The Official Film Chart thanks to the pandemic but we have had some decent films to watch such as ‘1917‘, ‘Birds Of Prey: And The Fantabulous Emancipation Of One Harley Quinn‘, ‘Frozen II‘, ‘Bad Boys For Life‘, ‘Mulan‘, ‘Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker‘, ‘Joker‘ ‘Onward‘ and ‘Trolls: World Tour‘ among others to keep us entertained. Now with the arrival of ‘Tenet‘ and ‘The New Mutants‘ and the start of the rollout of the vaccine, perhaps we can look forward to a much better 2021 on home entertainment. Fingers crossed.
My thanks to every one of you for your support of the home entertainment industry on its various formats throughout the year and for joining me every week for the tour through what was making the grade and coming home with us. All that remains is to say I look forward to your company next year as we tour the titles that hit the heights every week.
Until next year, whatever you decide, whatever you buy, stay safe, be kind, look after each other, happy viewing, and of course, a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!
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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!