Follow us on

2005 Preview: November

November 1st, 2005

Wow, that sucked.

October was a terrible month at the box office and all the gains made in September were erased. November promises to be better than October, but the real question is whether it will be better than November of last year. On the plus side, last November was pretty bad, with most films missing expectations. On the down side, there is only one guaranteed hit this month, and only a couple of others that should also perform well with both the critics and the moviegoers. If you have predictions of your own to make, feel free to head over to our forum and share them with our readers.

Name: Chicken Little
Studio: Disney
Official Site: Disney.Go.com
Release Date: November 4th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated G for general admission
Source: Traditional tale, sort of
Major Genre: Animated
Genres: Alien Invasion and Digital Animation
Production Budget: $60 million
Box Office Potential: $125 million
Notes: The first real test for Disney's new Digital Animation studio. This time last year, The Incredibles opened with $70 million on its way to a $260 million box office. This film has almost no chance of making the same kind of dough, but $100 million is almost guaranteed as is a rather healthy profit. This film will do well with the critics, well enough with the moviegoers, but it won't go down as a classic like the Pixar movies are. Last minute update: early reviews are not as strong as I would have predicted, but that should not affect the box office too much.

Name: Derailed
Studio: Miramax
Official Site: WeinsteinCo.com
Release Date: November 11th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong disturbing violence, language and some sexuality.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Action / Adventure
Genres: Revenge
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $40 million
Box Office Potential: $35 million
Notes: Two people meet while travelling, fall in-love, have an affair, and all hell breaks loose. The film is based on a popular book, but the subject matter will be a little too intense for most people. On the other hand, if it can earn some Oscar buzz it could double its box office potential. I think the most likely scenario has it earning a similar box office to Closer.

Name: Get Rich or Die Tryin'
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: GetRichOrDieTryingMovie.com
Release Date: November 9th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong violence, pervasive language, drug content, sexuality and nudity.
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Music Industry and Gangs
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $25 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million
Notes: A look at the life of 50 Cent. A highly dramatized look at the life of 50 Cent. The film should benefit from the high level of publicity MTV will undoubtedly give the film, plus the recent controversy over its "Get Rich, or Die Tryin'" publicity campaign, but it won't be the next 8 Mile. On the other hand, I'm so far from the target audience here that I may be underestimating the film's chances.

Name: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Studio: Warner Bros.
Official Site: GobletOfFire.com
Release Date: November 18, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sequences of fantasy violence and frightening images.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Fantasy
Genres: Boarding School
Production Budget: $130 million
Box Office Potential: $280 million
Notes: The only surefire hit of the month. Fans of Harry Potter will surely flock to this movie and nothing anyone says will change that. But there are some points on interest about the movie; for instance, it is the first film in the franchise to earn a PG-13 rating, although that should neither hurt nor help its box office. Secondly, despite the studio's desires, the book wasn't split into 2 movies but instead into one 2 hour and 40 minute movie. As the books get longer, it is more and more likely that they will be split into two movies. If they do so with the next three books, then there will be 10 total movies in the series, which is a nice, round number. As for the box office potential, the film should bounce back from the declines suffered by the second and third movies, but likely won't beat the first's total box office. It's another story for its opening weekend. It should have the best opening weekend of the series, and $100 million is within reach, but an all-time record is almost assuredly out of reach. Lastly, the film has a solid shot at becoming the highest grossing film of the year on both the international and worldwide charts, but not domestically.

Name: The Ice Harvest
Studio: Focus Features
Official Site: TheIceHarvest.com
Release Date: November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for violence, language and sexuality/nudity.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Mafia
Production Budget: $8 million - $16 million, reports vary
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: I'm a huge fan of John Cusak, but he's never really made it to the level of box office draw that I thought he should. This film won't change that, but it should still become a solid, midlevel hit. That is, if it gets a wide release. Right now different sources say different things, and a wide release is winning by a 2-1 margin, but with Shopgirl sources were even more tilted toward a wide release, and that didn't happen. If the film does take the limited release route, then its box office potential will obviously drop accordingly. It should still earn enough to cover its production budget, but the majority of the films profits will come from the home market.

Name: In The Mix
Studio: Lions Gate
Official Site: UsherInTheMix.com
Release Date: November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for sexual content, violence and language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Cross Class Romance and Mafia
Production Budget: Unknown - estimate at under $20 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million
Notes: There are some reports that this film will open in limited release, and if it does, it will most likely not start well enough to go wide, leaving it with a much smaller box office. Good news, it opens on the lucrative Thanksgiving weekend; bad news, it's one of five or six films opening wide or expanding wide that weekend and it will likely not be the number one choice for many moviegoers. On the other hand, if it can draw in a lot of Usher fans, it could be a surprise, midlevel hit.

Name: Jarhead
Studio: Universal
Official Site: JarheadMovie.com
Release Date: November 4th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated R for pervasive language, some violent images and strong sexual content.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Military Life and Historical Battles
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $85 million
Box Office Potential: $70 million
Notes: Obvious Oscar-bait. But its box office potential depends on two factors, firstly, and most obviously, is how much Oscar buzz the film generates. If the early buzz has it being a major Oscar contender, then $100 million is in the works. Secondly, are moviegoers ready to watch a movie about the first Gulf War with the second one not going as planed? I think the film will do well with critics and might pick up a few nods for technical Oscars, but I think the more prestigious awards will be out of reach.

Last minute update: the advertising campaign has been great, but the early reviews have been disappointing. They could recover as Friday approaches, but at the moment I've had to reduce the box office potential.

Name: Just Friends
Studio: New Line
Official Site: JustFriendsMovie.com
Release Date: November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sexual content including some dialogue.
Source: Original Screenplay
Major Genre: Romantic Comedy
Genres: Music Industry
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $15 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million
Notes: I like Ryan Reynolds, and own several of his films on DVD, but this one just looks bad. Part of the problem is it's a Romantic Comedy, but the advertising makes it feel more like a gross-out Comedy instead. Another part is the fat suit Ryan Reynolds wears; it just doesn't look realistic. Then again, they usually don't. I'm not writing off the movie yet (maybe there will be better ads coming out later), but it will take a lot for me to become bullish about this film's chances.

Name: Pride & Prejudice
Studio: Focus Features
Official Site: PrideAndPrejudiceMovie.com
Release Date: Limited: November 11th, 2005 - Wide: November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild thematic elements.
Source: Based on a Book
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Costume Drama
Production Budget: $28 million
Box Office Potential: $40 million
Notes: Another film that is being released for Oscar glory and box office profits. This is one of about half-a-dozen versions of this film, including the Bollywood version, Bride & Prejudice, which came out earlier in the year. However, the definitive version of the story is considered the BBC mini-series starring Colin Firth and although this movie is earning impressive early reviews, it will have a hard time living up to the mini-series. Look for the film to earn a few Oscar nods, especially for the costumes and sets but probably not for the more prestigious awards. On a side note, the film has already made enough internationally to cover most of is production budget and will likely start showing a profit before it goes wide domestically.

Name: Rent
Studio: Sony
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: Limited: November 11th, 2005 - Wide November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for mature thematic material involving drugs and sexuality, and for some strong language.
Source: Based on a Musical
Major Genre: Musical
Genres: Gay/Lesbian and Christmas in November
Production Budget: $40 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: This film is opening in limited release with plans to open wide two weeks later. While it should be able to earn very strong per theatre numbers in limited release, its chances of winning over a wide audience are suspect at best. I know it's based on a popular musical, but so was Phantom of the Opera, and that wasn't able to earn the kind of box office the studio was expecting either. Ulike that film, Rent doesn't even have the visual spectacle going for it. On a side note, I can't stand listening to Seasons Of Love, it's driving me nuts. For those of you who don't know the song, it's the one where they sing, "525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?" In the English language, large numbers don't flow well and should never be used in songs.

Name: Walk the Line
Studio: Fox
Official Site: WalkTheLineTheMovie.com
Release Date: November 18th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG-13 for some language, thematic material and depiction of drug dependency.
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Major Genre: Drama
Genres: Musicians and Biography
Production Budget: $28 million
Box Office Potential: $65 million
Notes: The easiest way to predict this movie's chances at the box office is to compare it to Ray. This film is earning very strong early reviews and could earn a few Oscar nods. Depending on how strong the Oscar Buzz is, the film could reach $100 million. The biggest factor working against the film is the competition. It is opening against the biggest film of the month, but it should have strong legs to make up for it.

Name: Yours, Mine and Ours
Studio: Paramount
Official Site: YoursMineAndOursMovie.com
Release Date: November 23rd, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some mild crude humor.
Source: Remake
Major Genre: Comedy
Genres: Unexpected Families and / or Dysfunctional Family
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $40 million
Box Office Potential: $30 million
Notes: I blame Steve Martin for this film. If Cheaper by the Dozen wasn't such a big hit, this would have never been given the go ahead. And since Yours Mine and Ours and Cheaper by the Dozen 2 are coming out less than a month apart, it is unlikely that both films will succeed. This one looks like the loser in the head to head competition. The reason for that is simple: Cheaper by the Dozen 2 has a lot more drawing power than this film. On the other hand, both films could fail, which seems like the most likely scenario.

Name: Zathura
Studio: Columbia
Official Site: SonyPictures.com
Release Date: November 11th, 2005
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for fantasy action and peril, and some language.
Source: Sequel
Major Genre: Action / Science Fiction
Genres: Visual Effects
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $65 million
Box Office Potential: $55 million
Notes: Jumanji in Space! The fact that this movie is so similar to the first one will turn a lot of people away. The ad campaign will have to be very strong for the film to recover from most moviegoers' initial reaction, and I'm not seeing any evidence of that so far. The film doesn't have much in the way of star power, and only the visual effects will be able to draw people into theatres. Even then the film will suffer when compared to the first movie. When Jumanji came out, some of its visual effects were groundbreaking, but with Zathura they just feel average.

Last minute update: there were sneak peaks held this past Saturday but they didn't go as well as one would hope. The audience reaction was good, with 88% giving the film a thumbs up, but they were only at 60% capacity.

Submitted by:

Filed under: Monthly Preview, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Chicken Little, Walk the Line, Jarhead, Yours, Mine and Ours, Pride & Prejudice, Derailed, Just Friends, Get Rich or Die Tryin', Rent, Zathura, In the Mix, The Ice Harvest