The Biggest Movies Coming to Theaters in October 2021

Images courtesy: United Artists Releasing, Warner Bros., United Artists Releasing.

September had one huge movie: Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, which singlehandedly earned more than half the month’s box office. October seems poised to be much more diversified, with a mixture of several potential hits and awards contenders. Here are the wide releases set for the cinema that month.

Venom: Let There Be Carnage

Friday, October 1

Premise: Tom Hardy returns in the Sony Pictures sequel as Eddie Brock, a human controled by an alien parasite named Venom, the Marvel Comics character first introduced onscreen as a villain in 2007’s Spider-Man 3. Woody Harrelson plays the antagonist Cletus Kasady, a man who’s also controlled by an alien parasite named Carnage, hence the film’s title.

Box office comparisons: 2018’s Venom was released the exact same weekend, the first weekend of October, and beat expectations with a $80.2M opening and $213.5M domestic total.

The Addams Family 2

Friday, October 1

Premise: The iconic characters from the 1930s comics, 1960s television show, and 1990s live-action movies return for this second animated installment from United Artists Releasing. In this one, the family — including Wednesday, Gomez, Morticia, Pugsley, Fester, and Cousin Itt — take a road trip around America. Read our interview with co-director Conrad Vernon about the movie here.

Box office comparisons: 2019’s original animated The Addams Family opened to $30.3M and earned $97.8M domestic. In terms of second installments based on these characters, 1993’s second live-action installment Addams Family Values opened to $14.1M ($31.2M adjusted for ticket price inflation) and earned $46.2M domestic ($102.4M adjusted).,

The Many Saints of Newark

Friday, October 1

Premise: Tony Soprano, protagonist of the eight-season 1990s/2000s HBO drama The Sopranos, gets a feature film origin story taking place in 1960s-70s New Jersey in this Warner Bros. crime drama. The future mob boss is portrayed as a teenager by Michael Gandolfini, son of the late James Gandolfini, who played the adult character in the television series. Read our interview with the film’s director Alan Taylor here.

Box office comparisons: Other comparable 2010s gangster/mobster movies include The Town ($23.8M opening / $92.1M total), Black Mass ($22.6M opening / $62.5M total), and Gangster Squad ($17.0M opening / $46.0M total). 

No Time to Die

Friday, October 8

Premise: James Bond returns in what Daniel Craig promises will be his fifth and final appearance as the British secret agent character, for United Artists’ and MGM’s action-adventure sequel. This installment finds 007 enjoying his Caribbean retirement when he’s inadvertently swept up into one last espionage mission, involving people he thought he’d left behind years ago.

Box office comparisons: The most recent James Bond installment, 2015’s Spectre, opened to $70.4M and earned $200.0M domestic. Prior installment Skyfall set the bar as the highest-grossing Bond film ever, at least in terms of pure dollars, with with an $88.3M opening and $304.3M total. (Although such 1960s installments as Goldfinger and Thunderball beat Skyfall when adjusting for ticket price inflation.)

Halloween Kills

Friday, October 15

Premise: A full 43 years after 1978’s original horror classic Halloween, Jamie Lee Curtis is still back as Laurie Strode, the woman trying to fend off the masked serial killer Michael Myers, still played by Nick Castle. This 12th installment in the franchise is a sequel to 2018’s movie, also called Halloween. A sequel to this movie has already been announced for October 2022, titled Halloween Ends.  

Box office comparisons: 2018’s Halloween beat nearly all expectations with a $76.2M opening weekend and $159.3M total, coming out that same mid-October frame as Halloween Kills.

The Last Duel

Friday, October 15

Premise: Matt Damon and Adam Driver star in the true story of two friends in medieval France who duel to the death, after one man’s wife (played by Jodie Comer) accuses the other man of raping her, in this 20th Century Studios historical drama. Ridley Scott — already nominated for three Academy Awards for Best Director for Thelma & LouiseGladiator, and Black Hawk Down — directs.

Box office comparisons: Other 2010s action dramas set in medieval times include King Arthur: Legend of the Sword ($15.3M opening / $39.1M total) and Assassin’s Creed ($10.2M opening / $54.6M total).


Friday, October 22

Premise: Timothée Chalamet stars in this Warner Bros. adaptation of Frank Herbert’s classic 1965 intergalactic sci-fi novel. The ensemble cast also includes Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Jason Momoa, Oscar Isaac, and Javier Bardem. It’s the first of an intended two parts, though a release date for a supposed second installment has not yet been officially announced.

Box office comparisons: Two recent “cerebral sci-fi” films also directed by Denis Villeneuve include Arrival ($24.0M opening / $100.5M total) and Blade Runner 2049 ($32.7M opening / $92.0M total). 1984’s original Dune earned $27.4M total, or $74.8M adjusted for ticket price inflation.

Ron’s Gone Wrong

Friday, October 22

Premise: In a futuristic world where every child has their own talking and moving digital assistant called a “B-bot,” one middle school boy’s version named Ron is comically defective. Zach Galifianakis voices the title character in this animated family comedy from Disney and 20th Century Studios. 

Box office comparisons: This year’s other animated family films include The Boss Baby: Family Business ($16.0M opening / $57.2M to date as it nears the end of its theatrical run), Raya and the Last Dragon ($54.7M total), and Tom & Jerry ($46.0M total).

Last Night in Soho

Friday, October 29

Premise: A woman transports back to mid-Sixties London but something is amiss, in this psychological thriller from Focus Features starring Anya Taylor-Joy and directed by Edgar Wright.

Box office comparisons: The trailer is so weird that there truly may be no comparisons here, but several of Wright’s other films have earned roughly similar amounts: The World’s End with $26.0M, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World with $32.8M, and Hot Fuzz with $23.6M.

A Mouthful of Air

Friday, October 29

Premise: Fresh off her Academy Award Best Supporting Actress nomination this past year for Mank, Amanda Seyfried stars in Sony Pictures’ drama about a new mother who attempts to overcome her severe postpartum depression, based on the novel by Amy Koppelman.

Box office comparisons: Other movies about new parenthood include 2012’s What to Expect When You’re Expecting ($10.5M opening / $41.1M total) and 2008’s Baby Mama ($17.4M opening / $60.4M total), though Air is likely expected to earn less than both of those. Other 2010s adult dramas about women with mental illness include Still Alice ($18.6M total) and Blue Jasmine ($33.4M total).

Images courtesy: United Artists Releasing, Warner Bros., United Artists Releasing.

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