Its really great to be back to writing this! It has been close to a year since I stopped this briefly, but I’m glad to be back once more, especially in the prime time of what happens to be the biggest summer ever. After a busy late June, July promises to bring along a lot more blockbusters, along with some comedies, a follow-up to a smash hit based on a YA romance book, a drama, a horror movie and a wild-draw which will probably be the most kid-friendly film in a month. Let’s break this down week by week:
July 1 2015:
This weekend sees 2 wildly distinct sequels- a sequel to a hit about a bunch of male strippers, while the other one brings back a dormant franchise which has lately been faced with tons of criticisms, which has to live up to its first 2 well-received films, rather than the latter two. Of course I’m talking about none other than Magic Mike XXL as well as Terminator: Genisys. Let’s talk about Magic Mike first.
The sequel to the Magic Mike sequel has a lot going for it. Firstly, it has star Channing Tatum, whose popularity has only risen further in recent years. Apart from that, this film comes after a rather well-received first film, which always means word of mouth. I expect this to open a bit bigger over the 5 days as compared to the previous film, due to a strong rush out by women, before dying down quickly. Maybe $52 over the 5 days, before ending with $108 million. Meanwhile, Terminator is going to be a different beast altogether. Terminator is coming out right after its worst installment to date, Terminator: Salvation, which was slammed by critics and despised by fans alike. Meanwhile, grosses have been dropping consistently with each installment, with the previous one barely earning $125.3 million. Therefore, this terminator has a lot of things to prove, and just like how X-Men pulled it off, apparently this franchise attempts to reboot itself through a story involving time travel of sorts. Even Arnold won’t be able to save this franchise, with his last few solo films alone being unable to turn into hits. This installment has definitely suffered plenty of criticisms, mostly due to its spoilerish marketing. I don’t expect this to open that massively, earning maybe $45 million over its 5 days. Everything from that point depends heavily on how well-received this installment is- if it’s not good, this might be the first film to fall under the $100 million mark domestically for the franchise, but if reviews are good, this stands a chance at $125 million, which is still a far cry from the first few installments and their reception (let’s hope James Cameron was giving genuine feedback there)
July 10 2015:
Three more films attempt to dominate the box office, though only one will stand out. Minions is a spin-off to the highly popular Despicable Me franchise. One might point to Penguins of Madagascar to show that spin-offs never succeed and hit the level its main installments do, but let me point out- I believe the minions are the only reason why the Despicable Me franchise even succeeded, and not Gru. The same cannot be said about Madagascar. Therefore, expect this to earn about as much as the previous installment, or maybe fall just short. After all, these two films don’t share similar titles. Currently, I predict a $78 million opening weekend, and a $325 million end gross, both smaller than the previous Despicable Me film.
The other two are going to be much smaller than that. Firstly, The Gallows is Warner Bros attempt to capitalize on the relatively quiet horror market, after realizing The Conjuring can succeed in the middle of July. This is yet another attempt to penetrate the found footage horror market, made popular by Paranormal Activity. I don’t really expect this to open big, and definitely nowhere near $20 million, considering The Poltergeist and Insidious 3 can only barely creep past $20 million. I will be going with maybe $12 million here, but this number might change. After all, we are still a long long way from the film’s release (and I haven’t looked at the reviews). Expect this to drop quickly though, ending with maybe $28 million. The only other film releasing is Self/Less, about Ben Kingsley transferring his consciousness into Ryan Reynolds, before trouble arises. This title isn’t going to be big, as it will have to contend with an already action-packed July slate. I expect max. $17 million opening weekend for this, and $43 million end gross.
July 17 2015:
The next weekend comes yet another Marvel movie, albeit one of their riskiest bets to date, and Trainwreck, the next film from Judd Apatow.
Ant-Man, as mentioned above, is one of Marvel’s riskiest bets to date. But you must probably be wondering whether they have magic powers to make even the weirdest films succeed (Guardians of the Galaxy). This film looks refreshing, and looks like a fun popcorn ride. It is unwise to bet against Marvel right now. However, Avengers: Age of Ultron has been disappointing, so don’t expect anticipation and awareness for Ant-Man to rise as much as when it is released right after the first Avengers film. Of course, it doesn’t help that the one who brought this to the big screen in the first place, Edgar Wright, has quit after a slight dispute over creative rights. Let’s just hope that the star power behind this film will propel this higher. I am currently predicting $62 million on opening weekend, and $164 million end gross. Once again, my predictions will change closer to the film’s release.
Trainwreck is the next film from Judd Apatow, who hasn’t really been at his peak in terms of directorial debuts to date. His last two installments, This is 40 and Funny People really hasn’t been that great, with both being unable to surpass $70 million. However, this is striving to be different, with reviews being impressive as of now, claiming that this is one of his better films to date. Let’s just hope that translates to a massive gross, not like that of 40 Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up. I expect this to open small, with around $24 million, but having great word of mouth which propels this to $120 million, being one of the surprise hits of the summer.
July 24 2015:
This weekend is going to be another busy one, with three films aiming to bring people into theaters. The one with the biggest potential right now has to be Pixels, one that surely will drive people into theaters through nostalgia. I mean, who doesn’t want to see Pac-Man and all your favorite video/arcade games come to life? This looks like a life-action take not unlike that of Wreck-It-Ralph. One might be turned off upon hearing that Adam Sandler is in there, but I believe that the feeling of nostalgia, a reliant director and the lack of family films will definitely drive this to a surprisingly massive opening (hopefully). I am going with $40 million opening weekend, before ending off with $132 million. Anything higher will definitely be a surprise, and will immediately elevate this to the status of sleeper smash hit of summer.
This weekend sees two other films- Paper Towns and Southpaw. Paper Towns is the follow-up to the Fault in Our Stars, a surprise hit from last year, opening to $48 million. Considering the Fault in Our Stars was really well received, this one has also been tracking strongly. Meanwhile, Southpaw is a rare drama coming out in the heart of the summer moviegoing season. This one will definitely serve as counter-programming, especially for the drama lovers who have been neglected for much of the season. I am currently expecting Paper Towns to have an opening of around $37 million and an end gross of $103 million. Meanwhile, I am predicting $17 million for Southpaw, and $65 million in the long run.
As Vacation and Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation’s first weekend is on July 31- August 2, it will be covered in the August box office preview coming next month.
Last year’s July slate was led by Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, which led with $180.6 million. Transformers: Age of Extinction was a distant second (note that this is the amount the film grosses during the entire month of July, and is not representative of its final gross), with only $128.4 million. Only one July film closed with above $200 million (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), while Lucy was far behind in second with $126 million. This year is going to be much, much better. I mean, just look at my predictions for the top 5 films of the month (and I’m going to include MI5 and Vacation, since they technically opened in July)
1)Minions- $325 million
2)Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation- $220 million
3)Ant-Man- $164 million
4)Pixels- $132 million
5)Terminator: Genisys- $125 million
Of course, Paper Towns, Trainwreck and Magic Mike XXL are all expected to surpass the $100 million mark too, giving this month 8 $100 million grossers, better than last year’s two. Last year’s July openers, including limited releases, grossed a combined $814.6 million. I expect the wide releases alone to be responsible for $1.513 billion. Yes, only the films above. Isn’t it to be a fantastic time to talk about the box office?
Anyway, the films above will be covered in their weekly box office forecasts next month, so be sure to check back for a more detailed forecast. That’s all for now, remember to check out the rest of the site if you haven’t done so!