November 2015 Box Office Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
November 5, 2015
3. Spectre (November 6th)
The month's first blockbuster is the 24th "official" James Bond film, headlined by Daniel Craig's fourth turn at bat as Bond, and given more than a smidgen of villainy by Christoph Waltz, a great actor who nevertheless would probably seem much more at home in a 1960s James Bond film (not that I've seen any of those... whoops). Arriving as it does after a box-office slump, Spectre may in fact be only the second film since October 17th to open to double digits! (assuming Spectre does open in double digits, of course). The film already has solid reviews overseas, though critics across the pond tend to respond to some films much better than locals (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 went from around a 75% Rotten Tomatoes score at the time of its U.K. release down to under 55% when it hit the U.S. three weeks later; though in this case, the Brits were right).
The previous Bond film, epic-scale drama Skyfall, opened to $90 million and finished with over $300 million, almost certainly reaching the absolute domestic high point of the James Bond franchise; the fact that Skyfall was released to coincide with the series' 50th anniversary was part of why, and it does feel like there's less excitement this time around (the last Hunger Games movie and the first of the new 23 Star Wars films are stealing away a lot of attention). Still, the box office is clearly looking for a sleeping giant to wake it from its late-October malaise, and a new James Bond film, and one without significant drawbacks, is as good as anything to get the job done.
Opening weekend: $77 million / Total gross: $238 million
4. Creed (November 25th)
Among the month's sequels, reboots, and remakes is this seventh installment in the saga of a Philadelphia boxer named Rocky Balboa, who is surely one of the few fictional athletes to have inspired such a long-running franchise (who knew there was this much story to tell?). The Rockies haven't been around as long as Mr. Bond, not quite, but Balboa's series has survived in one form or the other since all the way back to 1976. Once among the top summer blockbusters and box office mega-hits of their day, the films have gradually evolved into nostalgia pieces with a bittersweet tone.
This time, after some late-career redemption in the last installment, Rocky trains an apprentice, not a hand-picked up-and-comer (as in Rocky V), but the son of former opponent and eventual confidante Apollo Creed. Creed Jr. is played here by Michael B. Jordan, reuniting with his Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler, and in what may be a bold move, Creed's taken over the name of the film, too, inexplicably disguising the series' origins as a long-standing franchise. The last entry in the series, released over holiday season 2006, tallied up an impressive $70 million. There's probably less pent-up demand for another sequel right now, but early word on the film gives it some good vibes, and so it, too, might shore up a more-than-respectable total. Among the early reports is Oscar buzz for star Sylvester Stallone - Best Supporting Actor nominee, maybe - and given that Sly's only two Oscar nods came for starring in and writing the series' first film all those 39 years ago, that sounds about right. The circle must be completed.
Opening weekend: $22 million (5-day) / Total gross: $57 million