Weekend Forecast for November 23-27, 2016
Weekend Box Office Forecast for November 23-27, 2016
By Reagen Sulewski
November 23, 2016
A bevy of high profile films greet this Thanksgiving weekend, hoping to continue the strong November run and counteract last year's highly disappointing holiday weekend. And while Disney was responsible for that aspect of it last year, they're equally responsible for the comeback.
The Pixar/Disney branded The Good Dinosaur was their first “flop” last Thanksgiving, with just $123 million domestic. Walt Disney proper comes back roaring this holiday with Moana, a Hawaiian-themed adventure film addition to their Disney princess roster. Set in the recent past, it follows the title character, a Pacific Islander teenager, who journeys into the ocean on a quest to reclaim her tribe's rightful place as adventurers on the vast blue Pacific. It's not a Disney movie without a sidekick, although I'm not sure this character, a demi-god named Maui played by Dwayne Johnson, would really think of himself that way.
Battling angry volcano demons, a race of sentient malevolent coconut creatures and a host of other obstacles along the way, lessons are learned, character is revealed, and songs are sung, notably this time co-written by current Broadway wunderkind Lin-Manuel Miranda of Hamilton fame. With dazzling visuals and the typical Disney formula back in effect, this looks like an easy winner, albeit not on the Frozen level necessarily. Reviews are rather ecstatic, however, and word-of-mouth could push this one to significant heights over the holiday season.
Since the revitalization of the Disney animation studio with its new direction after Tangled (versus the near Pixar subsuming of it), it's been riding a high streak, not limited to the world-bestriding success of Frozen. There's probably no parallels to be drawn between Big Hero 6, Wreck-It-Ralph, Zootopia and this movie, but it does show that there is a commitment to story and style that has come back in spades, and that the studio has recaptured its magic. Over the holiday, I predict a big win of $60 million in three days, and $85 million over five days.
Handling adult drama over the holidays is Allied, starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard as a pair of assassins who fall in love on a mission during World War II in Nazi Germany. However, upon their return to London, British intelligence informs him that they think she may be a deep cover German spy, and that if it's proven, they expect him to execute her as a test of loyalty. It's a bit of a bind.
Directed by Robert Zemeckis in a bit of a departure from his normal material (although not entirely – think What Lies Beneath), it's a gritty and dark thriller about the bounds of love and how that can be tested in times of war. Somewhere between Casablanca and Mr. & Mrs. Smith in tone, it's gained some notoriety as the film that maybe, might have been a part of breaking up Pitt and Angelina Jolie's marriage, which has a certain irony to it. It's mostly standing on its own, however, and that's basically up to the movie's quality, which is... okay. While Cotillard seems like perfect casting, Pitt is a bit off in this role, though he's played a handful of World War II roles in the past. He's a good draw for a prestige picture like this, though, and it should push the film to around $14 million over three days and $20 million over five.