The Top Box-Office Performers So Far for November 2013

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
November 26th, 2013

The Top Box-Office Performers So Far for November 2013

Movie executives lobby Academy Awards voters by releasing their prize films in the fall, which means November and December become months full of dramatic and artistic films that producers hope will stay fresh in the minds of voters into the New Year. In 2013, the November releases had lots of those award-worthy films but also a lot of counterprogramming. For every Oscar hopeful, the studios released a potential blockbuster or comedy to help balance things out. This is the month when nearly everyone with any taste can likely find something interesting at the movie theater. Below are the top box-office performers for the month so far.

One film definitely sits atop the box-office heap, and that is "Thor: The Dark World," with ticket sales of over $150 million in just under two weeks. The second-highest earnings for the month go to "Ender's Game," though the film has earned nearly $100 million less than "Thor: The Dark World." Chris Hemsworth reprises his role as Thor, who is back in his native Asgard following the events that transpired in "The Avengers." He pines for Jane Foster (Natalie Portman), the human he was forced to leave behind on Earth. He also has to contend with his brother Loki (Tom Hiddleston), who he has very mixed feelings for, and face the possibility of soon taking over as king. The film opened on Nov. 8 and has ruled the box office since then with an iron fist, or perhaps a mystical hammer instead.

"Ender's Game" is based on the book series by Orson Scott Card, the latest in a long line of Hollywood adaptations of teen novels. This one had a science-fiction focus instead of following the popular fantasy genre that seems to dominate these types of films. It opened to $27 million during its first weekend and so far has grossed just over $54 million domestically, with a global take of $76 million. It is still in fairly wide release in theaters, so it is likely to make more before it is sent to home video.

Nipping at the heels of "Ender's Game" is "Last Vegas," a comedy starring a hot elder statesman lineup including Robert De Niro, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Kline, and Michael Douglas. They star as men who have mostly settled into life, with the exception of Douglas, who is about to finally get married. They decide to do his bachelor party right, taking a trip out to Las Vegas for one last big hurrah. Chaos and comedy ensue, of course, which is why the film has received a lot of positive word of mouth from people who have seen it. It opened the same weekend as "Ender's Game" and so far has earned $48 million domestically. Overseas numbers are not yet available for the film, so there is a good chance that it may have actually earned more than "Ender's Game" once the foreign box-office numbers are added in.

In fourth place is the animated film "Free Birds," a Thanksgiving-focused comedy featuring the voices of Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson. It has earned $42 million so far after opening on the same crowded movie weekend as "Ender's Game" and "Last Vegas." That is a fairly respectable number considering the stiff competition it faced that weekend. Right behind it is "The Best Man Holiday," starring Morris Chestnut and Taye Diggs, with a total just shy of $35 million, most of which having been earned during its opening weekend. Since it was just released on Nov. 15, the film will likely surpass "Free Birds" and possibly even "Ender's Game" and "Last Vegas" on the November box-office chart.

The entire list will change during the final two weekends of the month, because some pretty big films are about to open up that are practically guaranteed to rule the box office. On Nov. 22, "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" will open to what is expected to be huge, and possibly record-breaking, numbers. It stars Jennifer Lawrence and Josh Hutcherson reprising their roles from the 2012 original, "The Hunger Games." It is already receiving really good praise from advance screenings, so it will be no surprise if it takes over the top spot for the month. Five days later, Disney will release its latest animated film, "Frozen," featuring the voices of Kristin Bell and Jonathan Groff. The film is also receiving positive buzz and should be somewhere near the top of the list when the final tallies for November are counted.