November 2015 Box Office Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
November 5, 2015
8. Love the Coopers (November 13th)
Arriving almost under-the-radar, the somewhat excitably-titled Love the Coopers is the season's token holiday-themed family reunion picture, and has been slotted onto the month's quietest weekend, the only one free from the burden of having to carry a blockbuster. In the tradition of He's Just Not That Into You, Valentine's Day, and all of the rest, the film has, as obligated, assembled a cast of notables to populate every corner of its poster: in particular, there are veteran character actors (John Goodman, June Squibb), current comedy stars (Ed Helms, Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried), and a few worthy stragglers, like Diane Keaton and Marisa Tomei, who always make everything better.
The family reunion film is actually one of my favorite sub-genres (for me, it's right up there with road trip movies, and with my absolute favorite, slasher films), and Love the Coopers is sort of a thematic follow-up to another cast-heavy reunion film, The Family Stone (2005), a title which must have some fans, given how much its name is invoked in advertisements for this one. The magnificent Diane Keaton appears in both, of course, and I dearly hope that her character can make it out of this one alive for a change (yes, I just spoiled The Family Stone). Love the Coopers' release date may hit just a little too early, though; while the film could do okay, I don't think it'll still be around to get the benefit of full holiday legs in December.
Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $33 million
9. The 33 (November 13th)
Released opposite all those Coopers, who probably outnumber 33 themselves, The 33 is a dramatization of one of the big news media stories of 2010, the Copiapó mining accident in Chile: after a cave-in at a century-old copper-gold mine, 33 miners survived being trapped underground for 69 days, between August and October (by the way, the other big 2010 story, the BP oil spill, is getting its own movie next year, too). While Chilean affairs are not often near nor dear to the heart of Americans, this particular event was followed closely in the United States, and there ought to be some remaining interest even five years later. The cast is headed by familiar faces like Antonio Banderas, Juliette Binoche, and James Brolin (not to be confused with Josh Brolin), but there isn't a really big draw to advertise around. The film has already been released in some parts of South America, where reviews have been somewhere on the borderline (pun not intended, of course!), so it's difficult to see the film doing better than marking time between the month's really big movies.
Opening weekend: $10 million / Total gross: $27 million
10. Legend (limited on November 20th; wide later)
Legend is a re-telling of the lives of notorious London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, whose exploits in mid-century London were previously depicted in the smaller-profile British film The Krays (1990), where they were portrayed by siblings Martin and Gary Kemp, who sadly were not really twins. Here, both Krays are played by Tom Hardy, who isn't a twin, either, but he does look a lot like himself. There's an echo of Johnny Depp's showy turn in Black Mass from earlier this fall, with a tone promising much darkly comic underworld mass-murder. The Depp film got decent reviews and a duly positive audience reception that nevertheless didn't translate to a big breakout hit; the Krays themselves are already a lot less known on American shores than Depp's Whitey Bulger, and reviews for Legend generally land only on the mildly fresh side. Hardy looks to be a hoot, though, and if the film goes into wide release, it might do okay trading on his growing fanbase.
Opening weekend: $7 million / Total gross: $22 million
As was true of October, November is home to a large number of top-tier Oscar contenders slowly stretching their awards-worthy feet across the country. Most of the big-hitters are out early, on November 6th, when the film world sees the debuts of Brooklyn, with Saoirse Ronan as an Irishwoman in 1950s New York; Trumbo, with Bryan Cranston as the 1950s Hollywood screenwriter; and Spotlight, about 1950s reporters exposing the Boston church sex abuse scandal (okay, okay, Spotlight is actually set mostly in 2001, but I didn't feel like breaking the time period trend). The first and third films have received exceptional, unanimous (Brooklyn) and near-unanimous (Spotlight) praise, with both films considered top-of-the-line best picture contenders. Brooklyn will do well enough with its talented young actors (maybe a $20 million total), while Spotlight, headlined by A-list stars like Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, and Mark Ruffalo, could go above $50 million, or even double that, as it rolls out nationally over the next three months.
Mid-month, on November 13th, there's By the Sea, with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie Pitt, and directed by the latter, which might even be a wide release. A week after that there's Carol, another very well-reviewed film festival veteran, starring Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara in a same-sex romance... set in the 1950s (for real, this time). And closing out the month on the 27th is The Danish Girl, Eddie Redmayne's bid for consecutive Best Actor trophies, starring as transgender Dane Einar Wegener. These films' eventual expansions will keep early December very busy, even though they'll presumably be overshadowed by the gargantuan arriving to stomp on everything in town on December 18th.