November 7th - 9th-
It might be unfair to say that Interstellar disappointed at the box office. I mean, $47 million is nothing to cry over. But considering Christopher Nolan's very popular reputation, especially after The Dark Knight trilogy and Inception, that total was on the lower end of expectations. However, as Nolan is pretty good at, the film has managed to get a lot of people talking and so it seems pretty likely that this is also going to be another popular choice throughout the holidays as people seem to want to get in on the conversation. Reviews are literally all over the map, which is actually quite impressive. Some are calling it the best movie of the year while some are calling it one of the worst and there's plenty of opinions on nearly every level in between. Moral of the story is don't trust anyone's opinions because yours might be completely different from whatever they say.
The strong limited-release debut that I was speaking of in my intro from this week was none other than The Theory of Everything. Having killed it in limited release ($208,000 in 5 theaters), it'll be expanding throughout the month and should be available to the public by the end of the month. The movie brings lesser-known actors Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones to center stage as both are practically guaranteed to get Oscar nominations. Now, Redmayne and Jones aren't completely unknown. Redmayne played Marius is Les Mis and Jones played Felicia Hardy in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. But they aren't what you would call household names.... yet. But that could change. However, regardless of the popularity of the actors, the characters they play certainly are very well known. This movie is a biopic of the famous physicist Stephen Hawking. And if for some reason that name doesn't immediately ring a bell, if I tell you he's the scientist in the wheelchair with the computer voice, then you'll know exactly who I'm talking about.
November 14th - 16th-
Opening up in a moderate number of theaters is Beyond the Lights, a movie with some fun female names attached to it. Gina Prince-Bythewood directs and Gugu Mbatha-Raw stars in this drama about a young superstar singer and a young cop trying to help her out. Prince-Bythewood's previous directing work includes Love & Basketball and The Secret Life of Bees while Mbatha-Raw is known for playing the title character of Dido Elizabeth Belle in the movie Belle from earlier this year and is also set to star in next February's Jupiter Ascending, so you can say that she is an actress on the rise.
Opening up in 6 theaters this weekend is the highly anticipated movie Foxcatcher. I say highly anticipated because this was a movie that almost was released towards the end of last year and was thought to be a big awards player. Now after being pushed back to this November it has received great reception in a few festivals and will finally reach art house theaters before expanding nationwide throughout the month. Foxcatcher has the all-star trio of Steve Carrell, Channing Tatum, and Mark Ruffalo, all three of which are getting decent Oscar buzz surrounding them, although it's hard to imagine all three getting nominations. In the movie, Tatum and Ruffalo play two Olympic wrestlers who are brothers and Steve Carrell plays their psychopath coach. This is definitely newer territory for Carrell and Tatum especially, but both are getting praised for their roles, so it should be a good change of pace for the actors and their respective fan bases.
Not done yet for this weekend. There are a couple more limited releases to talk about. Kirk Cameron's Saving Christmas will be playing in about 400 theaters this weekend. It is a Christian movie that is trying to remember people to put Christ back in Christmas. There's been a lot of good Christian dramas this year that have come out of no where to surprise audiences and being that this is coming out in the holiday season, this could potentially do decent business. Kirk Cameron is known for his other Christian drama Fireproof, so fans of that movie could show up to check out this one.
And finally opening up in just under 400 theaters is Rosewater. This movie is written and directed by Jon Stewart, who is the host of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is based on the true story of journalist Maziar Bahari, who was blindfolded and interrogated for four months in an Iranian prison.
November 21st - 23rd-
November 26th - 30th-
While adults have their option during Thanksgiving, family audiences will also have another option to see as Dreamworks' Penguins of Madagascar hits theaters the day before Turkey Day. Dreamworks has had their fair share of duds recently, so they are really scrambling for a big hit and they hope that the popular penguin characters from their huge Madagascar franchise can do the trick. The problem is, Big Hero 6 will most likely still be a big player in the market at this time as families who missed it earlier in the month will be probably using the Thanksgiving holiday to catch up, so that will definitely hurt the penguins prospects. On the upside, though, families who have already seen Big Hero 6 might be looking for another option.
Not coming out before Thanksgiving, but rather waiting to come out the day after will be The Imitation Game. This strategy is of course due to the fact that it will only be playing a few theaters during this weekend before expanding. The Imitation Game brings the fourth of a our "big four" when it comes to the best actor race and that is Benedict Cumberbatch, the other three being Michael Keaton, Steve Carrell, and Eddie Redmayne. Whoever ends up getting that fifth spot is anyone's guess, but these four seem pretty safe. Although at this point, that really doesn't mean much because there are still a lot of candidates coming up. Anywho, getting back on focus, Cumberbatch has had quite the career as of late. After entering many people's favorite actor radar thanks to his role of Sherlock Holmes in BBC's popular series Sherlock, he seems to be everywhere including Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness and Smaug in The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. He made a few unsuccessful attempts at the Oscar game last year and is trying his luck again this year with The Imitation Game, which is looking like a big success. In fact, he's the current front-runner to actually win the award as he plays Alan Turning, who helped crack the Enigma code during World War II. The movie got raving reviews out of festivals and is currently one of the highest reviewed films of the year.