October has proven to be a surprisingly solid month at the box office, and November releases “The Grinch” and “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” hope to keep the end of the year going strong.
Universal and Illumination are getting in on the holiday spirit early when “The Grinch” opens on Nov. 9. Early tracking shows the animated family film, based on Dr. Seuss’ classic Christmas tale, is heading for a start between $50 million and $60 million.
This is the third Grinch adaptation following the 1966 TV special and the 2000 feature with Jim Carrey. Carrey’s take on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” bowed with $55 million and is still the second-highest grossing holiday movie of all time with $345 million worldwide.
Yarrow Cheney and Scott Mosier directed the newest version, which has Benedict Cumberbatch voicing the green grouch who threatens to destroy Christmas. The voice cast also includes Rashida Jones, Kenan Thompson and Angela Lansbury.
Meanwhile, estimates shows Sony’s “The Girl in the Spider’s Web” is eyeing $12 million to $15 million for the three-day period. While that’s in line with 2011’s “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo,” the sequel arrives with less fanfare and a lesser-known filmmaker than David Fincher, whose film starred Rooney Mara and Daniel Craig. The first movie opened with $12.7 million and enjoyed a long life at multiplexes, with $102 million in North America and $230 million globally, thanks to its Christmas season release.
The follow-up, based on the novel by David Lagercrantz, sees Claire Foy taking on the role of Lisbeth Salander. Even if “Spider’s Web” doesn’t have the same legs as its predecessor at the box office, the studio doesn’t need to break a sweat. Director Fede Alvarez’s take only cost $43 million to produce, compared to “Dragon Tattoo’s” $90 million price tag.
While “Spider’s Web” will benefit from counter-programming against “The Grinch,” it still faces a crowded marketplace. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Fox’s biopic centering on Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, is pacing for a debut north of $30 million when it launches the weekend prior, while adult-targeted films “Creed 2” and “Widows” release later in the month.
The final wide release of the weekend is “Overlord,” Paramount’s horror war film produced by J.J. Abrams. It looks to make between $8 million and $15 million during opening weekend.