What were the most popular films at the UAE box office last week?
Time Out staff
10 Sharknado 2: The Second One Director: Anthony C. Ferrante Stars: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Vivica A. Fox
A sweet film with lots of chirpy songs for kids to enjoy. Maya is a curious creature, raised by her teacher, Mrs Cassandra. Despite Mrs Cassandra’s warnings, Maya wants to spread her wings and explore the world but she commits the crime of leaving the hive and is sent away. Plucky Maya befriends other insects and takes on new adventures with her friends.
Oh sorry, our mistake – this is the one about the whirling tornado stuffed full of sharks. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs381,686 Weekly admissions: 10,531 Total box office: Dhs381,686 Total admissions: 10,531
9 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Director: Jonathan Liebesman Stars: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Alan Ritchson, Noel Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremy Howard, Danny Woodburn
‘A little froth’ is what NYC journalism-school grad April (Megan Fox) seems headed for, as her station steers her toward puff pieces. It’s a good thing, then, that one night’s snooping around the docks puts her in contact with our crime-busting ‘heroes in the half shell’, who quickly take over the movie (relegating Fox to the duty of cowering behind pylons).
Utterly inessential, this slightly cheap-looking reboot of the Turtles franchise is froth too – it might even be too tame for the kids who make up the target audience. Exec producer Michael Bay has put his stamp all over the thing, from the tower-snapping action mayhem in Times Square to the fair amount of flirty wisecracking (super awkward coming from the mouths of reptiles).
Mainly, though, this is as generic as Hollywood gets. Motion-capture technology doesn’t make the turtles any more believable – that is, if you can see them through the murky cinematography – and when you find yourself aching for more scenes with bad-guy William Fichtner, there’s a serious problem. The film is for all those painfully postironic teenage boys who don’t want to just watch Megan Fox. Have a good time, sirs, whoever you are. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs615,422 Weekly admissions: 13,322 Total box office: Dhs10,659,439 Total admissions: 221,462
8 Maya the Bee Movie Director: Alexs Stadermann Stars: Noah Taylor, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Richard Roxburgh
A sweet film with lots of chirpy songs for kids to enjoy. Maya is a curious creature, raised by her teacher, Mrs Cassandra. Despite Mrs Cassandra’s warnings, Maya wants to spread her wings and explore the world but she commits the crime of leaving the hive and is sent away. Plucky Maya befriends other insects and takes on new adventures with her friends. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs818,579 Weekly admissions: 19,836 Total box office: Dhs818,579 Total admissions: 19,836
7 Al Harb Al Alamiya 3 Director: Ahmed El Gendy Stars: Chico, Hesham Maged, Ahmad Fahmy, Alaa Morsy
Arabic film directed by Ahmed El Gendy. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,069,663 Weekly admissions: 28,742 Total box office: Dhs1,069,663 Total admissions: 28,742
6 Dolphin Tale 2 Director: Charles Martin Smith Stars: Morgan Freeman, Ashley Judd, Nathan Gamble
With stricken dolphin Winter re-homed in a Florida aquarium and fitted with a life-saving prosthetic fin, you’d think the story had peaked in the original movie, but this unexpected sequel offers a worthwhile follow-up. When her older dolphin companion passes away, a depressed Winter turns aggressive towards faithful teenage handler Sawyer (Nathan Gamble), but there are more serious consequences, since government regulations forbid dolphins to be housed alone. Aquarium chief Clay (Harry Connick Jr.) must find her a new partner or face closing down the whole operation.
Laying out the challenges of preserving wildlife within a commercially viable context gives the movie dramatic ballast for grown-ups, leaving the friendly dolphin action to keep the younger ones content. Meanwhile, a teenage romantic undertow between Gamble and the boss’s daughter (Cozi Zuelsdorff) caters to older siblings. It’s all very capably done, despite often clunky dialogue and untaxing roles for marquee names Morgan Freeman (wise scientist) and Ashley Judd (smiley mum). Clearly, though, this is creditable family fare – less an ersatz Hollywood confection than a cannily packaged true story, as underlined by end-titles footage of a real Florida aquarium. Trevor Johnston
Weekly box office: Dhs1,126,966 Weekly admissions: 31,619 Total box office: Dhs1,126,966 Total admissions: 31,619
5 The Maze Runner Director: Wes Ball Stars: Dylan O'Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Will Poulter
Lord Of The Flies via Lost. On the one hand, this dystopian vision of a bunch of hot teens stranded in a futuristic maze reads like yet another Hunger Games riff on a quest for a slice of its box office. On the other, the cast is a knockout – Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario, Dylan O’Brien and Thomas Brodie-Sangster – and its director, Wes Ball, is a man going places very fast indeed.Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,651,882 Weekly admissions: 36,905 Total box office: Dhs8,408,035 Total admissions: 197,432
4 The Prince Director: Brian A Miller Stars: Jason Patric, Bruce Willis, John Cusack
This action movie has a familiar story line: a former assassin is enjoying his retirement as a mechanic until his daughter is kidnapped and he has to dust off his gun to save her. Bruce Willis lends his action hero clout, and combined with John Cusack the headline bill appears attractive but the film still seems pretty predictable. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs1,792,043 Weekly admissions: 44,194 Total box office: Dhs1,792,043 Total admissions: 44,194
3 The Equalizer Director: Antoine Fuqua Stars: Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas, Chloë Grace Moretz
Denzel Washington’s hyper competent avenging angel, a Boston widow and all-night-diner regular, likes to even the odds: if you’re a chubby co-worker lacking the motivation to lose weight and land that big security-guard promotion, he’ll put you on a fitness regime. But there’s some sad math happening when Hollywood tries to equalize one of its most distinctive leading men with generic action parts that even Liam Neeson would scowl at.
The Equalizer is a stone-dumb movie, unwilling to allow Washington even a hint of uniqueness (apart from the usual silverware straightening and public book reading, shorthand clichés for smart). The guy doesn’t need to stand out, because unlike the Reagan-era TV show on which this movie is based – a slick cross between Miami Vice and Death Wish – Washington’s Robert has no weakness, no personal stakes, no grown-up children to apologize to.
All he has in director Antoine Fuqua’s tedious action film are interchangeable Russian scumbags to impale, and impale them he does. The vigilante reckoning gets more ridiculous with an impromptu excursion to a secluded mansion and some ominous porch conversations about ‘the Agency’. These murky mano-a-manos require no further explanation, apart from why they were shot in a poorly lit superstore – an apt climax for a movie in desperate need of retooling. Joshua Rothkopf
Weekly box office: Dhs2,172,283 Weekly admissions: 46,773 Total box office: Dhs6,360,946 Total admissions: 139,823
2 Annabelle Director: John R. Leonetti Stars: Ward Horton, Annabelle Wallis, Alfre Woodard
A husband thinks he has found the perfect gift for his wife as they prepare to have a new baby, a rare porcelain doll. But the doll’s arrival in the home sets about a series of supernatural happenings, and their house is invaded by violent cultists. This creepy slasher is both a prequel to, and spin-off from, 2013’s The Conjuring. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs2,655,097 Weekly admissions: 73,436 Total box office: Dhs2,655,097 Total admissions: 73,436
1 Bang Bang Director: Siddharth Anand Stars: Katrina Kaif, Hrithik Roshan, Ron Smoorenburg
Hindi film directed by Siddharth Anand. Time Out staff
Weekly box office: Dhs9,046,068 Weekly admissions: 255,497 Total box office: Dhs9,046,068 Total admissions: 255,497