Long Range Forecast: 'Ender's Game', 'Free Birds', & 'Last Vegas'

Featured Stories - on September 06, 2013 by BoxOffice Staff

nov1.pngThe BoxOffice team takes our first official look at the holiday season this week as our Long Range Forecast welcomes Ender's Game, Free Birds, and Last Vegas to the mix. All three films are currently slated to open Friday, November 1.

Ender's Game

PROS:

- The ensemble cast featuring veteran actors like Harrison Ford, Ben Kingsley, and Viola Davis.
- Fans of the 1980s book series should turn out.
- Could appeal somewhat to young audiences given the growing familiarity of Asa Butterfield (Hugo) and Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit). 

CONS:

- The book series, being as old as it is, lacks much relevance to today's younger generation.
- Neither Ford nor Kingsley are consistent box office draws these days.

- Orson Scott Card, the author of the book the film is based on, has been generating a lot of negative publicity for anti-gay statements. 
- Will very likely be overshadowed by Thor: The Dark World and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.
- Sci-fi has statured the market this year. 

Free Birds

PROS:

- This will be the first animated film to appeal to families since September's Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2.
- Woody Harrelson and Owen Wilson provide leading star voice power to help interest older crowds.
- The pre-Thanksgiving release could ensure a leggy run. 

CONS:

- Relativity Media isn't known for delivering big animated hits, so this is something of an experimental release.
- Disney will open Frozen a few weeks later, and the Mouse House's marketing muscle could overshadow Free Birds

Last Vegas

PROS:

- The all-star cast led by Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline.
- With many November films targeting families and young adults, this could be strong counter-programming for older crowds.
- This will be the first major comedy to release since August's We're the Millers. Demand could be fairly strong for a laugher.
- Director Jon Turtletaub has found previous success with crowd-pleasers during the holiday season (the National Treasure series).

CONS:

- Will the negative reactions to the last Hangover sequels have any carryover effect on this film?
- Robin Williams and John Travolta attempted to corner older audiences during this time of year--unsuccessfully--with Old Dogs back in 2009.
- Turtletaub's most recent effort, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, didn't connect with audiences. 

Notable changes on our forecast this week include Insidious Chapter 2 (up), Gravity (up) and Rush (down)

Check out our forecast for these and other upcoming films in the table below.

Title Release Date Distributor Opening Weekend Cumulative
Ender's Game Nov 1, 2013 Lionsgate / Summit
$30,000,000 $80,000,000
Free Birds Nov 1, 2013 Relativity Media
$20,000,000 $80,000,000
Last Vegas Nov 1, 2013 CBS Films
$19,000,000 $65,000,000
The Counselor Oct 25, 2013 Fox
$19,000,000 $65,000,000
Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa Oct 25, 2013 Paramount
$27,000,000 $62,000,000
Escape Plan Oct 18, 2013 Lionsgate / Summit
$12,000,000 $30,000,000
Carrie (2013) Oct 18, 2013 Sony / Screen Gems
$21,000,000 $50,000,000
Captain Phillips Oct 11, 2013 Sony / Columbia
$18,000,000 $72,000,000
Machete Kills Oct 11, 2013 Open Road
$10,500,000 $24,000,000
Runner Runner Oct 4, 2013 Fox
$18,000,000 $55,000,000
Gravity Oct 4, 2013 Warner Bros.
$32,000,000 $85,000,000
Don Jon Sep 27, 2013 Relativity Media
$10,000,000 $32,000,000
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 Sep 27, 2013 Sony / Columbia
$40,000,000 $148,000,000
Baggage Claim Sep 27, 2013 Fox Searchlight
$10,000,000 $28,000,000
Prisoners Sep 20, 2013 Warner Bros.
$19,000,000 $70,000,000
Rush (2013) Sep 20, 2013 Universal
$14,000,000 $43,000,000
Battle of the Year Sep 20, 2013 Sony / Screen Gems
$9,000,000 $22,000,000
Insidious Chapter 2 Sep 13, 2013 FilmDistrict
$41,000,000 $97,000,000
The Family (2013) Sep 13, 2013 Relativity Media
$9,500,000 $28,000,000

Phil Contrino, Daniel Garris, Alex Edghill, and Shawn Robbins contributed to this report. 

Tags: Free Birds, Last Vegas, Ender's Game

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