Though it isn’t officially here yet (this happens December 21), the winter season has descended on us. As I sit here typing, I’m digging out of a 12+ inch snowfall, so it certainly feels like winter in my part of the world. This is why it now feels appropriate to talk about the best movies that are heading to a theater near you.

Among the films set to open between now and February, there is a nice variety. From family films to period dramas, this is typically the season when the sci-fi and action-packed big budget films take a bit of a break. Instead, the list mostly consists of quieter dramas that hope to vie for an Oscar nomination.

RELATED | Romance and Period Drama Watchlist For December 2018

Below you’ll see many a familiar face bringing to life historical characters. You’ll also spy some book-to-screen adaptations! Whether you have plans to see something fun with the family over Christmas or want something with more weight, there’s variety. Whatever you see below, the hope is you’ll find something that’s just what you’ve been seeking.

Winter 2019 Box Office

Mary Queen of Scots. Photo: Focus Features

Of note is also the fact that Schindler’s List will appear in some theaters on December 7th and Sleepless in Seattle will today on December 5th. Both are in celebration of their 25th anniversary! Check your local theater’s showtimes.

Silver Petticoat’s Preview of the Best at the Winter 2019 Box Office

Listed from A-Z by premiere date; release dates subject to change


1: Mary Queen of Scots – December 7

Saoirse Ronan, Margot Robbie, Joe Alwyn, Guy Pearce | Period Drama, Historical | R

This one boasts a talented cast with one of Ireland’s most talented actors in the titular role. The story chronicles the latter year tension between Mary, and her cousin, Elizabeth I. It looks gorgeous but comes with an R-rating.

2: Buttons – December 8 (Limited)

Angela Lansbury and Dick Van Dyke | Concert, Musical | PG

This is described as a “musical fairy tale film” about “two orphan children” who meet an unexpected duo (Lansbury and Van Dyke). Though I know little about it, it sounds really sweet. Plus, you’ll spy more than just two screen legends. Ioan Gruffudd, and Katie McGrath both of whom are period drama actors, and Timeless’ Abigail Spencer. The cast list goes on with Jane Seymour and Roma Downey, plus Robert Redford and Kate Winslet narrate.

3: Bird Box – December 14 (Limited)

Sandra Bullock | Drama, Dystopian | R

A Netflix original, this taunt dystopian thriller is set to release in limited theaters before, presumably, coming to Netflix. Sandra Bullock headlines the story of a woman who must traverse the woods (blindfolded!) in order to protect her children.

4: Mortal Engines – December 14

Hugo Weaving, Hera Hilmar, Robert Sheehan | Adaptation, Sci-Fi | PG-13

This sci-fi adaptation tells the story of a post-apocalyptic world and a “mysterious” young woman who is its savior. Newcomer (and Icelandic actress) Hera Hilmar plays the lead. Peter Jackson (plus Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens) of Lord of the Rings fame penned the script.

5: Mary Poppins Returns – December 19

Emily Blunt Lin-Manuel Miranda, Colin Firth | Musical, Fantasy, Historical Fantasy | PG

Disney prepares to dazzle us with the return of Mary Poppins! This story shows us a new Mary Poppins’ adventure, years after the end of the classic 1964 version. Of course, it also reunites her with the now adult Banks children. Many will appreciate that this is a new story rather than a re-make.

6: Second Act – December 21*

Jennifer Lopez, Vanessa Hudgens, Milo Ventimiglia | Romantic Comedy | PG-13

Jennifer Lopez returns to rom-com bliss (following her recent role in a gritty TV crime drama) in a comedy that looks adorable. It’s about a working-class woman who fakes a resume to get a high powered job. Milo Ventimiglia of Gilmore Girls (and more recently of This Is Us) co-stars. *Originally, this one was to release November 21.

7: Welcome to Marwen – December 21

Steve Carrell | Fantasy, Drama | PG-13

In the aftermath of a brutal attack, a man creates an imaginary world where he can be safe, and become a hero. Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump) directs.

8: On the Basis of Sex – December 25 (Limited)

Felicity Jones, Armie Hammer and Justin Theroux | Drama, Historical | PG-13

This one stars the young British talent, Felicity Jones in a biopic about Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

9: Stan and Ollie – December 28 (Limited)

Steve Coogan, John C. Reilly, Shirley Henderson | Comedy, Period Drama | PG-13

This one promises to tell the iconic story of the world-famous entertainers known as Stan and Ollie!

10: A Dog’s Way Home – January 11

Ashley Judd, Bryce Dallas Howard | Family | PG

Though films about animals who talk or have an inner narrative aren’t my personal favorites, I can’t deny that this film looks heartwarming. It follows a dog who’s been separated from his owner, and his journey to find his home again. Plus, Jonah Hauer-King from Howard’s End (2018) and PBS’ Little Women co-stars!

11: Under the Eiffel Tower – February 8

Gary Cole, Matt Walsh | Romance | Rating Unknown

This one is about a divorced man who discovers he’s falling for his friend’s daughter. Rumor has it, it’s also inspired by an event in the director/writer, Archie Borders’ life.

12: Isn’t It Romantic – February 14

Rebel Wilson, Chris Hemsworth, Priyanka Chopra, Tom Ellis | Romantic-Comedy | PG-13

With its star-studded cast, this Valentine’s comedy could either be really fun or an epic fail. For now, I’m hoping for fun with its unusual premise (an overlooked woman wakes up inside a romantic comedy), and star power cast, I have hopes for some good laughs. Adam Devine, Rebel Wilson’s Pitch Perfect co-star also stars.

ALSO COMING TO THEATERS:

Looking for something else? These films are also set to release this winter!

1: If Beale Street Could Talk | Drama, Romance | December 14 | R

2: Aquaman | December 21 | PG-13

3: Bumblebee | December 21 | PG-13

4: Cold War (foreign film) | December 21 (limited) | R

5: Holmes & Watson | December 25 | PG-13

6: The Upside | January 11 | PG-13

7: Glass | January 18 | PG-13

8: The Kid Who Would be King | January 25 | PG

9: Serenity | January 25 | R

10: The Invisibles (foreign film) | January 29 | Rating unknown

11: What Men Want | February 8 | PG-13

12: X-Men: Dark Phoenix | February 19 | PG-13

13: Fighting With My Family | February 22 | PG-13

14: How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World | February 22 | PG

15: The Rhythm Section | February 22 | Rating Unknown

16: The Turning | February 22 | Rating Unknown


Do you spy one you plan to see during the Winter 2019 Box Office season? Did we miss one you’re looking forward to? Comment down below with all of your thoughts and anticipation! I’d love to chat with you.

Feature image: Second Act. Photo – STX Entertainment

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