October 2015 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

October 1, 2015

I still make a better Steve Jobs than Ashton Kutcher.

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12. Jem and the Holograms (October 23rd)

Like Goosebumps a week before it, this is an adaptation of a children's property from days gone by, and one from yet another great decade, the 1980s. Jem and the Holograms is based on a girl-powered television cartoon series that mixed music with fantasy and even action, although the film seems to re-play the story as basically a straightforward live-action musical biopic. I'm not sure there's enough of an audience for the material, though the director is Jon M. Chu, helmer of Step Up and G.I. Joe sequels, and there are some lively up-and-comers (Stefanie Scott, Ryan Guzman) in the cast. It's hard to say how Jem and the Holograms will play opposite Goosebumps, but you know, many moons ago, I ridiculously overpredicted another 1980s musical remake, Fame, and that's not a mistake I'll make again.

Opening weekend: $7 million / Total gross: $21 million


13. Rock the Kasbah (October 23rd)

Many films seem ready to converge on poor, blameless, October 23rd, and this somewhat proudly uncommercial looking all-star Afghanistan-set comedy is probably the weirdest. Rock the Kasbah reminds me for whatever undeniable reason of The Men Who Stare at Goats, that oddball Kuwait-set film with George Clooney (and a few goats). Bruce Willis, Kate Hudson, and Danny McBride are among the supporting actors here, and the lead is Bill Murray, whose star power can carry a good film to decent numbers (St. Vincent finished with $44 million last October). Rock the Kasbah, though, just looks and feels so very strange, and its plot (with Murray's character training an Afghan Idol contestant) is so bizarre and decidedly non-mainstream that it's hard to see it breaking out above base wide release numbers. If the Kasbah gets good reviews, it might have a decent future as a cult film, although this month, there's a lot of competition even for that designation.

Opening weekend: $7 million / Total gross: $17 million

Also opening in this already busy October are various likely Oscar contenders making their platform starts, most prominently Freeheld (October 2nd), with Julianne Moore and Ellen Page, about a famous same-sex relationship lawsuit from a few years back; Truth (October 16th), about the Killian papers, with Robert Redford as a blonder-than-usual Dan Rather and Cate Blanchett as his producer Mary Mapes; Suffragate (October 23rd), about right-to-vote activists in Britain of old; and, last, and perhaps best, Room (October 16th), a dark thriller with Brie Larson giving what is already being hailed as a revelatory performance. Room will go wide in November, and will likely stick around long after that.

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