Tavern Talk: Video Review - 1917

This week on TAVERN TALK by initial reaction we were lucky enough to have writer/director Daniel Campbell (Antiquities) join us to discuss what is now seemingly the front-runner for Best Picture at this year's Academy Awards in Sam Mendes' WWI film, 1917. While 1917 racked up an impressive ten nominations on Monday morning when the 92nd annual Oscar nominations were announced the film had even more to celebrate when it learned it not only earned an impressive $37 million after its nationwide expansion, but that it also unseated Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker to be the number one film at the box office. 1917 expanded into nearly 3,500 locations last weekend after playing in just eleven theaters over the previous two weeks. Prior to last week, tracking had the film opening somewhere in the $25 million range, but following a pair of Golden Globe wins on January 5th and some seriously strong word of mouth the film ultimately had no choice but to shatter such expectations and given this upcoming weekend only has the action/comedy Bad Boys for Life and family film Dolittle on the docket I wouldn't be surprised to see 1917 gain even more traction after its multiple Oscar nominations. Internationally, the film also debuted in thirty markets adding nearly $20 million, pushing the current worldwide total to nearly $67 million including what it earned in those first couple of weeks of limited release. 1917 also earned an "A" CinemaScore as general audiences seem to agree with the rave reviews being lauded upon it by critics. Yes, folks just like with Zero Dark Thirty (a $24 million opening weekend in 2013), Lone Survivor (a $37 million opening in 2014) and American Sniper (an $89 million opening in 2015) the first major "wide release expansion" of the year is a war themed film ripe with awards buzz and Universal knew exactly what it was doing in positioning 1917 in this spot primed to be consumed by the masses after screening it for critics just before Thanksgiving, letting that positive buzz build for a month before its limited run began on Christmas Day thus leaving both general and attentive audiences anxious to see what all the fuss was about. Kudos to Universal, DreamWorks/Amblin as well as Mendes himself for doing much of the press rounds on this thing and promoting it as an experience that is best seen on the big screen. 1917 is certainly that and while the film didn't make my top ten of 2019 it would certainly land somewhere in the top twenty as it is a film I'd highly recommend for its ambition alone. As always, be sure to follow the official TAVERN TALK by Initial Reaction YouTube channel as well as on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can find a new review (or reviews) each week!

Read my full 1917 review.

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