Martin Grove’s Hollywood Report 10-29-12

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” – In theaters November 16th

“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2” – In theaters November 16th

“Lincoln” L-001131R Daniel Day Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. Ph: David James, SMPSP ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

“Lincoln” L-001131R Daniel Day Lewis stars as President Abraham Lincoln in this scene from director Steven Spielberg’s “Lincoln” from DreamWorks Pictures and Twentieth Century Fox. Ph: David James, SMPSP ©DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved.

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall”

Daniel Craig as James Bond in “Skyfall”

November numbers: You don’t need a crystal ball to see that November’s boxoffice numbers should make Hollywood very happy.

With new episodes in the “Twilight Saga” and James Bond franchises, a new Steven Spielberg drama starring Daniel Day Lewis, a new Robert Zemeckis drama starring Denzel Washington, new 3D animated features from Disney and DreamWorks Animation and a long Thanksgiving holiday weekend that’s perfect for moviegoing, there’s every reason to be optimistic about November.

Here’s a quick overview of wide releases to look for at the multiplexes in November.

Paramount and ImageMovers’ R rated drama “Flight” is one of a trio of new films landing in theatres Nov. 2. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (“Forrest Gump”), “Flight” stars Denzel Washington, John Goodman and Don Cheadle.

Washington plays a pilot who saves his plane and passengers from crashing, but finds himself in hot water when the near-crash is investigated. It’s tracking best with 25-plus females and next best with 25-plus males.

Universal’s R rated action adventure “The Man With the Iron Fists” is directed by first time feature director/hip hop producer RZA and stars Russell Crowe, Cung Lee and Lucy Liu.

Set in feudal China, it’s a story about warriors seeking gold and is tracking best with 25-plus males and next best with under-25 males.

On a lighter note, there’s Disney’s PG rated 3D animated comedy “Wreck-It Ralph.” Directed by first time feature director Rich Moore, it stars the voices of John C. Reilly, Jack McBrayer and Jane Lynch.

Reilly voices Wreck-It Ralph, who wants to be loved the way his video game’s good guy Fix-It Felix (McBrayer) is loved. But nobody loves a Bad Guy. Ralph sees a way out when a modern, first-person shooter game arrives featuring the tough Sergeant Calhoun (Lynch). Ralph sneaks into that game hoping to win a medal, but accidentally unleashes a deadly enemy that puts every game in the arcade in peril.

“Ralph” is tracking best with under-25 males and next best with under-25 females.

James Bond is back in theatres Nov. 9 in “Skyfall,’ the 23rd episode in the Eon Productions franchise. It’s the episode marking the series’ 50th anniversary and is the 25th Bond film if you include two non-Eon episodes produced in past years. While 007 will, as always, face formidable opponents onscreen, he won’t have to worry about competition from any new wide releases at the multiplexes as everyone’s keeping well out of the way of “Skyfall.”

The PG-13 rated action adventure from MGM, Danjaq and Eon Productions is being released through Sony’s Columbia Pictures. It’s directed by Sam Mendes, who won the best directing Oscar in 2000 for “American Beauty,” which won the best picture Oscar. Mendes is the first Oscar winning director to direct a Bond film.

In “Skyfall” the storyline deals with 007’s loyalty to “M,” whose past now poses a threat to MI6 that only Bond can resolve.

“Skyfall” is already tracking solidly in double digits and is particularly strong with 25-plus males.

Daniel Craig returns in his third appearance as Bond. Javier Bardem plays the villain Silva, who was once aligned with “M,” but is now out to settle old scores. Judi Dench is back for the seventh time as “M.” Ben Whishaw takes over as “Q,” who hasn’t appeared since 2002’s “Die Another Day,” when John Cleese played the role. Desmond Llewelyn, who began playing “Q” in 1964’s “Goldfinger” and became famous for sparring onscreen with Bond, last played him in 1999’s “The World Is Not Enough.” Llewelyn died Dec. 10, 1999 at the age of 85. Naomie Harris and Berenice Marlohe are on hand as the Bond Girls Eve and Severine.

Steven Spielberg’s PG-13 biographical drama “Lincoln” from DreamWorks, Fox, Reliance Pictures and Participant Media opens wide Nov. 16 via Walt Disney Studios.

Daniel Day Lewis stars as Abraham Lincoln who with the Civil War raging fights members of his own cabinet on his decision to emancipate the slaves.

Spielberg, an Oscar winning director in 1994 for “Schindler’s List” and in 1999 for “Saving Private Ryan,” is widely expected to be a best directing contender for “Lincoln” in the Oscar, Golden Globes and British Academy’s BAFTA races. Day Lewis, a best actor Oscar winner in 1990 for “My Left Foot” and in 2008 for “There Will Be Blood,” is also likely to be a best actor awards contender for “Lincoln.”

Given Spielberg and Day Lewis’s awards pedigree and the film’s high profile subject matter, “Lincoln” is likely to do well with moviegoers. But opening, as it is, opposite the concluding episode in the “Twilight Saga” franchise there’s little doubt that the top spot at this weekend’s boxoffice will be going to the vampires.

Summit Entertainment and Lionsgate’s PG-13 “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” is one of the year’s most anticipated films. Not only is it the blockbuster series’ final chapter, but it also gives Twihards a chance to see RPatz and KStew together onscreen following their cheating scandal split and, at least at this writing, their apparent reconciliation.

The previous four episodes in the franchise going back to 2008’s “Twilight” have grossed a total of $1.1 billion in domestic theatres and about $1.4 billion in international theatres. The most recent episode, “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1,” opened Nov. 18, 2011 to $138.1 million and wound up doing $281.3 million domestically and nearly $424 million internationally. With the new film being the “say-goodbye-episode,” there’s every reason to anticipate even greater boxoffice success.

The long Thanksgiving holiday weekend will start cooking at the boxoffice Wed., Nov. 21 with four wide releases, including two high profile 3D features targeted to family audiences.

DreamWorks Animation and Paramount’s PG rated animated 3D family adventure “Rise of the Guardians” is from first time feature director Peter Ramsey and stars the voices of Hugh Jackman, Alec Baldwin and Isla Fisher.

It’s about Pitch, an evil spirit voiced by Jude Law, who wants to take over the world. To stop him, the immortal Guardians must join forces for the first time to protect the hopes, beliefs and imagination of children everywhere.

20th Century Fox and Fox 2000 Pictures’ live action PG rated 3D adventure “Life of Pi” is directed by Ang Lee (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) and is based on Yann Martel’s best-selling novel. Starring are Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain.

“Pi” is the story of Pi Patel, the precocious son of a Pondicherry, India zoo keeper, whose family departs for Canada by hitching a ride on a freighter. A shipwreck leaves Pi adrift in the Pacific Ocean struggling to survive on a lifeboat along with a zebra, hyena, orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

The Weinstein Company and Mirage Enterprises’ R rated comedy drama “Silver Linings Playbook” is directed by David O. Russell, a best directing Oscar nominee in 2011 for “The Fighter,” and stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert DeNiro.

Cooper plays an ex-teacher who’s been in a mental hospital and returns home to live with his parents after which he meets Lawrence’s mysterious character Tiffany, who’s got her own problems.

Since winning the People’s Choice Award last September at the Toronto International Film Festival, “Playbook’s” been generating a loud Oscar buzz. In particular, Lawrence is considered a shoe-in for a best actress nomination and some Oscarologists already view her as the likely winner.

Academy observers are also buzzing about DeNiro as a strong candidate for a supporting actor nomination. In that category, by the way, there’s likely to be very strong competition from Alan Arkin for his performance in Warner Bros.’ best picture contender “Argo,” which moved up to the top spot at the boxoffice last weekend with about $12.4 million and a three week domestic cume of nearly $61 million.

Considering that TWC co-chairman Harvey Weinstein has essentially rewritten Hollywood’s awards competition playbook, “Playbook” has to be regarded as one of the strongest best picture candidates, at least as of this early point in the race.

MGM and Contrafilm’s PG-13 action adventure “Red Dawn” is from first time feature director Dan Bradley, who was the second unit director on such films as “The Bourne Legacy” and “Mission: Impossible – The Ghost Protocol.” Starring are Chris Hemsworth, Isabel Lucas and Josh Hutcherson.

It’s a remake of the PG-13 1984 action adventure of the same name, directed by John Milius (“Conan the Barbarian”) and starring Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell and Lea Thompson. The original opened Aug. 10, 1984 to $8.2 million and went on to do $38.4 million in domestic theatres.

In the first film a band of teens found themselves battling invading Soviet Union troops as World War III dawns. In the remake, a sign of our changing times is that the teens are now fighting invading forces from North Korea.

Two wide release R rated openings will end the month Nov. 30. The Weinstein Company’s crime thriller “Killing Them Softly” is directed by Andrew Dominik and starring Brad Pitt, Ray Liotta and Richard Jenkins. Pitt plays a professional enforcer dealing with a heist that hit during a mob protected poker game.

LD Entertainment’s suspense horror thriller “The Collection” is from writer-director Marcus Dunstan and screenwriter Patrick Melton, co-writers of the “Saw” franchise’s episodes #4, #5, #6 and 3D #7. Josh Stewart, Emma Fitzpatrick and Christopher McDonald star in a story about a traumatized man who must rescue a beautiful woman with whom a crazed killer’s become obsessed.

Bottom line: November’s boxoffice should sizzle with so many broad playability films entering the marketplace.