Corsage, Whitney Houston

Source: mk2 films (c) Felix Vratny / Sony Pictures

‘Corsage’, ‘Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody’

In a special festive edition of the UK-Ireland box office preview, Screen has pulled together all the new titles to hit cinemas from December 23 up until January 1, including Corsage, Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody and a singalong version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical.  

Out this weekend (December 23) is Wildcat for Dogwoof, in partnership with Amazon Studios. The documentary, which premiered this year at Telluride, follows a British soldier grappling with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder after fighting in the war in Afghanistan, who finds a second chance in the Amazon rainforest. It’s directed by Melissa Lesh and Trevor Frost.

Studiocanal has a re-release of Thorold Dickinson’s 19th-century set The Queen Of Spades playing at 10 sites. The 1949 melodrama follows an ambitious Russian military officer and a countess who has sold her soul to the devil.

The final release this weekend is Netflix’s gothic thriller The Pale Blue Eye, directed by Scott Cooper, and playing at under 25 sites. The murder mystery stars Harry Melling as a young Edgar Allan Poe, alongside Christian Bale, Gillian Anderson, Lucy Boynton, Robert Duvall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Toby Jones and Timothy Spall.

On Boxing Day, 112 sites will play Corsage, released by Picturehouse Entertainment. More will be added in the following week, bringing the total up to 134 on December 30. The Cannes premiere won the best film prize at the BFI London Film festival. Marie Kreutzer directs, with Vicky Krieps playing Austrian Empress Elisabeth in Vienna in 1877 as the empress turns 40, and she begins to rebel against her restrictive role in court. Krieps won the best actress prize in Cannes’ sidebar, Un Certain Regard. The feature has made the shortlist as Austria’s entry for the 2023 international feature Oscar.

Also out on Boxing Day is Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody for Sony, which sees UK actor and Screen Star of Tomorrow 2017 Naomi Ackie play US singing megastar Whitney Houston, directed by Kasi Lemmons. It will play at 678 locations and is the widest release of the Christmas to New Year period.  

On December 30, Peter von Kant will play at 33 sites for Curzon. François Ozon’s film opened last year’s Berlinale. Denis Menochet, Isabelle Adjani and Hanna Schygulla star in this adaptation of The Bitter Tears Of Petra von Kant, the German play and 1972 film from Rainer Werner Fassbinder about a narcissistic fashion designer. In Ozon’s version, the lead character of Petra von Kant has been gender-swapped, now a man and filmmaker, played by Menochet.

Also released on this date is documentary Where Are You, Adam? for Primal Screen, that unfolds within one of the monasteries of Holy Mount Athos – an important point of Eastern Orthodox faith in the north east of Greece. It initially premiered at Estonia’s Tallinn Black Nights in 2019.

On December 31, Trafalgar Releasing will have live screenings of German orchestra Berliner Philharmoniker Live: New Year’s Eve Concert 2022 playing at 84 locations.

A singalong version of Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical is playing at 378 locations from January 1. The film is directed by Matthew Warchus, with Dennis Kelly writing and Tim Minchin composing, and is based on the stage musical created by the same trio. It has grossed almost £13m at the UK-Ireland box office to-date since its November 25 release.

Key holdovers include Avatar: The Way Of Water (Disney), Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Disney) and Roald Dahl’s Matilda The Musical (Sony).