Weekend Forecast for November 27-29, 2015
By Reagen Sulewski
November 25, 2015
And with barely any time to contemplate the failings of the last Hunger Games film, we turn around quickly to Thanksgiving and a solid holiday lineup, plus one turkey… Sorry.
For the first time since they started releasing features, Pixar will release two films in one calendar year, bringing The Good Dinosaur to the big screen this weekend, following Inside Out from this summer. Now, this is largely a payoff from having no Pixar films in 2014, but let's take what we can get, shall we?
Positing a world in which the meteor that wiped out the Dinosaurs missed the Earth, it follows one particular Apatosaurus, separated from his family after a flash flood, who adopts a wily little human as he journeys across an unforgiving landscape. It's basically a reverse of the Boy and His Dog trope, and mixes a bit of Finding Nemo and Monsters, Inc. And while it's perhaps the most visually impressive Pixar film to date (I mean, of course it should be), it's in some ways the most ordinary-seeming Pixar film they've ever made, excluding Cars 2. While Pixar films have rarely sold well in commercials and trailers, being as high concept as they usually are, the thinness of the script is peeking through and this feels a lot more like a lesser Disney film or (gasp) Ice Age than the high quality associated with Pixar.
Reviews are politely positive, veering away from the typically reverential reviews (again, excluding the Cars films) that typically accompany these films. For as much as the voice cast matters (and we all agree we're past that now right? Or is Ed Asner that big a draw?), it's a medium level of fame, with Sam Elliot, Anna Paquin, Frances McDormand, Jeffrey Wright and Steve Zahn the most recognizable names (and answering the initial questions of whether it would be a totally dialogue-free film).
Financially, Pixar remains without a true swing and a miss and while the peak opening weekend remains Toy Story 3, they've basically held serve against most trends, with this summer's Inside Out hitting a massive $90 million and falling just shy of being their second biggest hit ever. That was in large part based on legs and the quality of the film (a Best Picture nomination isn't totally out of the question), so I'm skeptical that this will transfer over to Dino. Complicating things slightly is that this is the first Pixar film to be released in the holiday season since 2004 and The Incredibles. The opening weekend will likely be suppressed because of that, as well as the spread-out Thanksgiving opening, and a start of about $62 million over three days is likely.
A film that could verge on the edge of self-parody, Creed continues the Rocky mythos with the story of Apollo Creed's son, Adonis. As a young troubled boy on the streets of L.A., Creed (played by Michael B. “Not That” Jordan) struggles to live up to the legacy of his father, the former world champ killed in the ring by Ivan Drago. The product of an extramarital affair, he winds up being cared for by Creed's wife (awkwaaaard) and potentially settling into a normal life but finds himself pulled towards the boxing world. And so he seeks out his father's old rival and sparring partner, one, uh, Rocky Balboa. Stallone returns to his signature role, albeit in a supporting position, now the same age as Burgess Meredith was in the original Rocky.