November 6th - 8th-
James Bond isn't the only big name making a return to theaters this weekend. Charlie Brown and Snoopy return to theaters with The Peanuts Movie. The animation studio that is bringing them back is Blue Sky, the animation studio that brought you the Ice Age and Rio movies. They've been trying their darndest to make sure that no one forgets that they are doing this project. The first teaser trailer for this movie was released nearly two whole years ago and their marketing campaign has been going strong ever since. Wondering why everyone on social media turned themselves into Peanuts characters recently? Yup. That was them as well. That aspect was pretty smart if you ask me. Early reviews suggest that this will be a well received animated movie, but regardless of what critics say, this will be a popular choice among family audiences throughout November. There's enough space between this and The Good Dinosaur that will allow both to have a healthy run.
November 13th - 15th-
Arriving a bit early in the holiday season is the Christmas comedy Love the Coopers. Now I do say this is a bit early for Christmas, but knowing what's coming out around Christmas, this was probably the best date for this movie. The story here is nothing new. We have four generations of Coopers coming together for their annual Christmas party and the family is a bit of a dysfunctional family. I'm sure there will be some message about the Christmas spirit and coming together as a family, but that's just a guess. My gut here is that this doesn't seem like the movie that is going to connect with audiences or stand out among the crowd, but if it surprises it will be because of the ginormous cast. Starring in the movie is Olivia Wilde, Amanda Seyfried, Anthony Mackie, John Goodman, Diane Keaton, Alan Arkin, Ed Helms, Jake Lacy, June Squibb, and Marisa Tomei. Giant cast doesn't always equate to success, but it certainly can't hurt.
Finally we have the football drama My All American. This is a movie that seems to be flying in under the radar. Unless you are a fan of ESPN, of course. They've been smartly advertising this one on ESPN for quite some time now in hopes to attract sports fans to the theaters. They've also been heavily advertising that this is a movie that is written by the same guy who wrote Rudy and Hoosiers, both of which you could probably call cult classics. Neither made a ton of money in theaters, but when you ask a fan of sports movies which are the best sports movies, there's a good chance that those two movies come up, so that's a smart connection. My All American looks like your typical underdog story. A guy is deemed to small to play football, but through a lot of hard work manages to make it onto the Texas Longhorns football team, where he runs into even more challenges. It's tough to predict exactly how a movie like this is going to turn out. Sports movies are seen as inspirational plenty of times, but there's been so many of them that it's often hard to stick out among the crowd.
November 20th - 22nd-
Thanksgiving is a good time to release a Christmas movie because that gives people the entire month of December to see it if it catches on with audiences. This holiday season we get two very non-traditional Christmas movies. Coming in early December is the Christmas horror movie Krampus and coming this week is the raunchy comedy The Night Before. This is from the people who made This is the End and Neighbors and stars Seth Rogan, who was in both of those movies as well as plenty of other raunchy comedies, so you can call him a raunchy comedy veteran that is pretty good at attracting audiences just with his presence. Joining him in this outing is Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Anthony Mackie. The three of them play a group of friends who have a tradition of partying it up on Christmas Eve. Since this may be their last Christmas Eve together, they are looking to party harder than ever before, so you can guess the types of things that will happen here. This genre has a pretty big fan base and the unique Christmas theme should help it play well throughout the holiday season.
Last up is the thriller Secret in their Eyes. If this title sounds familiar to you, it is because this is a remake of a foreign film of the same English title back in just 2009. That movie won best foreign film at the Oscars and currently holds a place on the IMDb top 250. Because us Americans aren't satisfied with just enjoying a foreign film, this one hailing from Argentina, we had to do an American remake. Those who know the original from just six years ago will probably roll their eyes at this and skip it. Those who don't know the original might just say it looks like your typical crime drama and choose to see something else instead. The story is about a group of crime investigators who are devastated when they find the daughter of someone from their group has been murdered and they are out to find the killer. This does hail an impressive cast with Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, and Julia Roberts leading the way. Director Billy Ray has also had his share of success writing the screenplay for movies such The Hunger Games, Captain Phillips, and Shattered Glass. So there is some hope here, but overall it isn't looking like a holiday winner.
November 25th - 29th-
Continuing franchises has been a theme this month and that will continue with Creed, which is a spin-off of the Rocky franchise. Rocky was released in 1976 and was a huge success with critics and fans alike as it was nominated for 10 Oscars, winning three of them including the big prize of best picture. It also earned a huge $117 million at the box office, which is the equivalent of $459 million today when adjusted for ticket price inflation. This spawned four sequels with a young Rocky spanning from 1979 to 1990 as well as a sixth movie with an older Rocky in 2006 called Rocky Balboa, in which Rocky officially said that the beast has been silenced and he is done with fighting. No he's not coming back in the ring this time around. This movie follows the son of Rocky's former opponent and friend, Apollo Creed, who died in Rocky IV. Played by Michael B. Jordan, this son of Creed, named Adonis Johnson, approaches Rocky and asks him to be his trainer and mentor. This idea was initially met with a bit of skepticism, but the trailers impressed in a big way and now this is one of the most anticipated movies of the holiday season.
Forgetting that the holiday this week is in fact Thanksgiving and not Halloween is Victor Frankenstein. It's been a fairly common trend recently to take some classic Halloween stories and put a unique spin on them. It happened twice last year with I, Frankenstein and Dracula Untold. Neither of those was met with much praise, so we're going back to Frankenstein to see if the third time is the charm. In this movie, Victor Frankenstein is played by James McAvoy and Igor is played by Daniel Radcliffe. Before you get weirded out that Daniel is playing Frankenstein's monster, he's not. Igor is Frankenstein's assistant in this. Together they create a monster, which looks like just that. A monster. The human element of Frankenstein's monster seems missing in this version of the story, If it's their, the advertising is hiding it. Frankenstein does go crazy and it is up to his assistant Igor to try to save him. Had this come out during Halloween season I could've seen it making a bit of cash like Dracula Untold did despite the negative reaction. Not sure if it can do so in a crowded Thanksgiving/Christmas market, but we will see.