The Biggest Movies Coming to Theaters in November 2023

Images courtesy: Disney, Lionsgate, Disney

A new Disney animated musical, a new Marvel Cinematic Universe installment, a new Hunger Games prequel. With 14 wide releases, by Boxoffice PRO‘s count, this might mark the largest amount of new wide releases of any post-pandemic month to date.

Here are the biggest films of November 2023, listed chronologically by wide release date.

What Happens Later

Friday, November 3

Premise: Bleecker Street’s romantic comedy stars Meg Ryan and David Duchovny as two exes who run into each other at an airport. When a massive snowstorm cancels both their outbound flights and traps them in the terminal, they decide to spend the night together. (No, not like “that.”)

Ryan also directs.

Box office: It’s doubtful either of these two leads still remain big box office draws, with both their fames peaking in the 1990s.

Last year’s comparable romantic comedy about two similarly-aged exes reuniting, 2022’s Ticket to Paradise starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts, earned $68.2M. But with less bankable leads and a smaller distributor than Universal, Later will be lucky to reach anything more than a fraction of that box office.

The Marsh King’s Daughter

Friday, November 3

Premise: Lionsgate’s and Roadside Attractions’ psychological thriller stars Daisy Ridley, of Star Wars sequel trilogy fame, as a woman trying to confront and possibly kill her estranged father who’s escaped from prison, before he can kidnap her young daughter.

Neil Burger (Limitless, The Upside, Divergent) directs. Based on the novel by Karen Dionne.

Box office: A psychological thriller with a female protagonist, taking place in a rural setting, based on a bestselling 2010s novel? Sounds like 2022’s Where the Crawdads Sing, which earned $90.2M. However, Daughter seems likely to reach only a fraction of that, maybe even less than one-quarter.


Friday, November 3

Premise: A24’s biopic shifts the focus from the iconic Elvis Presley to his wife Priscilla, played by relative newcomer Cailee Spaeny alongside Jacob Elordi (television’s “Euphoria”) as the King. Sofia Coppola (Lost in Translation) writes and directs.

Elvis and Priscilla Presley married in 1967 and divorced in 1973. Priscilla is still alive today at 78, serving as an executive producer on the film. 

Box office: 2022’s smash biopic Elvis ($151.0M) is a poor comparison here, since that had several factors going for it that Priscilla lacks: a focus on one of the world’s most famous musical artists, a major distributor like Warner Bros., plus a lot more fun musical numbers.

Better comparisons might be found in the works of Coppola, all of whose theatrical releases besides Translation have earned less than $20 million.

The Marvels

Friday, November 10

Premise: Disney and Marvel Studios’ newest Marvel Cinematic Universe entry sees Brie Larson return as as Captain Marvel, now teaming up alongside Iman Vellani as teenage superhero Ms. Marvel (from the 2022 Disney+ series of the same name) and Teyonah Parris as Monica Rambeau, who was first introduced in the 2021 Disney+ series “WandaVision”.

Nia DaCosta (2021’s Candyman) directs, taking over from Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck who jointly directed 2019’s Captain Marvel.

Box office: Some speculate this could become the lowest-grossing MCU entry ever, a status currently held by 2008’s The Incredible Hulk with $134.8M. (That film was the MCU’s second installment, coming out before the franchise grew into the cultural phenomenon it would later become.)

2021’s Eternals marks the MCU’s “modern” low with $164.8M. In a worst-case scenario, The Marvels could fall below that.

Journey to Bethlehem

Friday, November 10

Premise: In anticipation of the holiday season, Sony Pictures and Affirm Films release this pop-musical retelling the biblical story of Mary, Joseph, and the birth of Jesus. Perhaps you’ve heard of it.

Box office: Don’t sleep on faith-based titles. In addition to the obvious juggernaut that was this summer’s Sound of FreedomThe Blind spent two weekends in the box office top five in September, while After Life premiered in fourth place on the final frame of October.

The Holdovers

Friday, November 10

Premise: Focus Features’ comedy-drama stars Paul Giamatti as an unlikable history teacher at a boys-only boarding school in 1970, forced to confront his vulnerable side when he’s assigned to remain at school over the holiday break to look after students who can’t go home.

Alexander Payne (Sideways, The DescendantsAbout Schmidt) directs.

Box office: It’s almost certain that The Holdovers will fail to reach the level of Payne’s biggest box office hits, like 2002’s About Schmidt with $65.0M, 2004’s Sideways with $71.5M, and 2011’s The Descendants with $82.6M.

A more realistic best-case scenario here might be Payne’s most recent theatrical release: 2017’s Downsizing with $24.4M.

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes

Friday, November 17

Premise: Lionsgate’s action drama prequel reveals the origin story of how the Hunger Games competition began. Four 2010s films depicted the dystopian battle royale, in which teenagers and children are selected to fight to the death.

Rachel Zegler (Steven Spielberg’s 2021 West Side Story) stars alongside Viola Davis and Peter Dinklage in a tale taking place 64 years before The Hunger Games.

Francis Collins, who helmed the original franchise’s second (Catching Fire), third (Mockingjay Part 1), and fourth (Mockingjay Part 2) films, returns to direct.

Based on the bestselling pandemic-era 2020 novel by Suzanne Collins, who also penned the original Hunger Games novels.

Box office: The original franchise’s box office sputtered out on the final two films, particularly the final one. While the first two earned a huge $408.0M and then an even-larger $424.6M, the third declined -20% to $337.1M, with the fourth falling a further -16% to $281.7M.

In terms of spinoff prequels, the first Fantastic Beasts finished -38% off from the final Harry Potter, while the first Hobbit ended -20% off from the final Lord of the Rings. If Songbirds fell -20% from the last Hunger Games film, it would make around $225M, while a -38% drop would mean around $175M.

Trolls Band Together

Friday, November 17

Premise: Universal’s animated threequel sees return of Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick to the recording booth. In this one, with a premise referencing Timberlake’s boy band past as a member of *NSync, his character Branch seeks to rescue his kidnapped brother and reunite his childhood boy band BroZone.

Jointly directed by Walt Dohrn, who co-directed the prior two installments, and Tim Heitz, who directed 2021’s NBC animated television special “Trolls Holiday in Harmony.”

It also boasts the first new song (“Better Place”) by *NSync since “Girlfriend” in 2002.

Box office: 2016’s original Trolls earned $153.7M, though this installment appears poised to fall short of that.

2020’s sequel Trolls World Tour, originally intended for theatrical exclusivity, was instead released in April 2020 during the Covid pandemic on VOD (video on demand).


Friday, November 17

Premise: Sony Pictures’ Thanksgiving-themed horror release follows a serial killer who dresses up like a Pilgrim and kills victims in Plymouth, Massachusetts.

Eli Roth (The House with a Clock in its Walls and 2018’s Death Wish) directs.

Box office: It’s unclear if this film’s release—a mere six days before Thanksgiving proper—will help or hurt it, the latter by potentially cutting into its post-Thanksgiving grosses. Avoiding a similar fate is why many Halloween films come out in late September or early October, and many Christmas films come out in late November or early December: to give themselves a full month or more of earnings before their onscreen holiday arrives in real life.

Next Goal Wins

Friday, November 17

Premise: Searchlight Pictures’ based-on-a-true-story sports comedy stars Michael Fassbender, departing from his usual typecasting in a rare comedic role, as a coach sent to American Samoa to lead “the world’s worst soccer team” in their attempt to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

Taika Waititi (Thor: RagnarokJojo RabbitThor: Love and Thunder) directs.

Box office: The famous American hesitance towards soccer has traditionally been reflected at the domestic box office. Compared to $100M+ smashes about football, basketball, and baseball, the biggest 21st century films about soccer include 2005’s Kicking and Screaming with $52.8M and 2003’s Bend It Like Beckham with $32.5M.

Though a basketball instead of a soccer film, another recent sports comedy about a team which seemingly stood no chance was March’s Champions with $16.2M.


Wednesday, November 22

Premise: Disney releases a major animated film on Thanksgiving week almost every year. This time around, it’s an original animated musical starring Ariana DeBose, in her first major film since winning the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for 2021’s West Side Story. Chris Pine voices the villain.

Jointly directed by Chris Buck (who previously co-directed FrozenFrozen IISurf’s Up, and 1999’s animated Tarzan) and Fawn Veerasunthorn.

Box office: The film Wishes to replicate the box office of such Thanksgiving-released Disney animated musical smashes as 2013’s Frozen with $400.9M, 2019’s Frozen II with $477.3M, and 2016’s Moana with $248.7M.

The studio’s 2021 Thanksgiving animated musical release Encanto underperformed theatrically with $96.0M, as Covid’s surging Omicron variant kept some portion of the would-be audience away.

(The film later found a larger streaming audience on Disney+, which helped propel “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” into becoming only the second Disney animated song ever to top the Billboard Hot 100 chart.)

Disney is adopting a novel marketing strategy here, releasing one Wish song online per week in the run-up to the film’s debut. Streaming counts for tracks “This Wish” and “This is the Thanks I Get?!” have been lackluster so far, which may be an ill omen when it comes to box office…  though the songs may still take off once audiences see them on screen.


Wednesday, November 22

Premise: Apple Studios’ historical drama, released by Sony Pictures, stars Joaquin Phoenix as the French dictator and military general Napoleon Bonaparte.

Vanessa Kirby (Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 and Academy Award-nominated for Pieces of a Woman) costars as his wife Josephine.

Ridley Scott (The MartianGladiatorBlack Hawk DownBlade RunnerAlien) directs.

This marks Apple Studios’ second release to receive an exclusive theatrical run before later dropping on their streaming service Apple TV+, after October’s Killers of the Flower Moon. (Third will be February’s upcoming action comedy Argylle.)

Box office: To the extent that Killers of the Flower Moon is an apt comparison—as another adult-centered drama that takes place in the past and is released by Apple Studios—that film appears on track to likely earn somewhere between $50M and $80M.


Wednesday, November 22

Premise: MGM and Amazon Studios’ drama thriller stars Barry Keoghan, in his first major film role since his Academy Award Best Supporting Actor nomination for 2022’s The Banshees of Inisherin, as a college student who spends a summer at his classmate’s titular sprawling estate.

There, he’s drawn into a series of complications with an eclectic cast of characters played by Jacob Elordi, Rosamund Pike, and Richard E. Grant.

Written and directed by Emerald Fennell, in her first film since 2020’s Promising Young Woman, for which she was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director and won for Best Original Screenplay.

Box office: This isn’t the type of film that’s designed to make big bucks. A best-case, though unlikely, box office scenario might be the similar “hijinks ensue at a luxury retreat for the rich” film The Menu (2022) with $38.5M.

Images courtesy: Disney, Lionsgate, Disney

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