July 2015 Box Office Recap: Minions, Ant-Man and holdovers leads third worst July since 2007

And I, for once, actually thought that this month had a shot at becoming the biggest July we mortals have seen yet. Well, blame those underperformers. What we got, instead, is just as the title says- the third worst July we have seen since 2007. And that’s not taking into account inflation or 3D or any of those large premium format screens, which are becoming more widespread by the day.

For the month, as a whole, the films combined to earn $1.181 billion. That’s up 22% from last year, which only brought in $968 million, but that isn’t even a worthy comparison, since that was by far the worst July for over a decade, and even longer if we bother taking into account tickets sold instead of box office gross. That’s far lower, though, than the over $1.3 billion earned annually from 2010-2013. Perhaps that’s due to the emphasis of summer’s biggest movies being now placed in May and June instead, and how insane the first two months of the summer moviegoing season were, with the likes of Inside Out, Jurassic World, and Avengers: Age of Ultron. July continues a trend which has been plaguing the summer- a few films outperforming to a large degree, but with as many disappointments or underperformers taking the spotlight as well. Well, lets take a look at the biggest movies of the month, and some of the disappointments:

Minions

Minions was, as widely expected, the biggest movie of the month, with $278.8 million earned over the calendar month. That definitely isn’t bad, considering its first and foremost a spin-off. That just proves how popular those tiny Minions are, being able to carry an entire movie on its own feet. In contrast, Penguins of Madagascar only earned $83.35 million domestically last year, well less than half the $216.4 million the previous Madagascar movie managed. You can’t blame Dreamworks though, considering the Minions were the stars of Despicable Me, and pretty much the only reason why the property became such a hot favorite for kids the world over. This film could have easily hit the levels of Despicable Me 2, but I guess bad reviews hampered that just a bit, resulting in sour word of mouth. However, it did open big, with $115.7 million over its opening weekend. This film won’t be having the legs of its predecessors, but that really shouldn’t matter, since Universal is having a record breaking year anyways, filled with the likes of Pitch Perfect 2, Jurassic World and Furious 7.

Inside Out

In the runner-up spot was Inside Out, which earned $125.5 million over that 31 day period. This Pixar film is one of the most critically acclaimed Pixar film in years, and naturally, people loved it. It has earned $332.7 million to date, which is the third highest grossing Pixar movie domestically to date. It’s gonna catch up with Finding Nemo’s $339.7 million by the end of its run. Inside Out has been having remarkable holds week after week, dipping less an 40% for a few consecutive weeks now, thanks to the remarkable word of mouth, and at opening, it easily snitched the title for biggest opening weekend by a film for an original property not based on any pre-established property. This also returns Pixar to the quality era, especially after a number of well-reviewed, but non-phenomenal films which pale by Pixar’s standards in the past few years. Let’s just hope Pixar can keep this up with The Good Dinosaur, Finding Dory and Toy Story 4.

Ant-Man

Ant Man’s up next, with $123.2 million. This is Marvel’s smallest film in years, though it continues Marvel’s trend of only opening films at number 1. This film was plagued with production problems, where several cast and crew members, including Edgar Wright, left the film due to disputes with Marvel. However, what we ultimately got happened to be really good. However, word of mouth seems to be decent enough, allowing Ant-Man to potentially end off in the range of other Phase 1 Marvel movies. Its soft relative to Phase 2 films, but it’s still a success story in its own rights, for Ant-Man is first and foremost an origin story for a Marvel character without any prior links to other characters already on film, one which is smaller in scale as compared to recent Marvel heavyweights.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World is up next, with $114.4 million, for a cumulative gross of $633.7 million. It’s already the third biggest movie of all time, unadjusted for inflation, though it doesn’t look like it has much steam left. This week will be its last week where it will stay within the confines of the top 10. Regardless, this is the biggest success story of the year, and only goes to show how far nostalgia can carry a film, and how obssessed we are with dinosaurs in general.

Look who's coming

Rounding out the top 5 is Terminator: Genisys, which is nothing short of an outright disappointment. It has only earned $87 million since its release on 1st of July, which would make this the first installment in the enduring franchise, the brainchild of James Cameron, to not hit the $100 million milestone domestically. I guess Paramount might have to scrap future plans for the series again, as Alan Taylor and his new cast has failed to revive the dormant franchise, after several harsh reviews. Regardless, overseas grosses at the moment aren’t as bad as domestic grosses, for the latest installment in the franchise has earned $230 million abroad, without the aid of China, the second buggest film market in the world. It seems like Arnie isn’t lying, after all, when he says ‘I’ll be back’. He probably would.

The rest of the top 10 are scattered with several disappointments, and few success stories. Among that bunch, only Trainwreck has bragging rights, for it firmly establishes Judd Apatow as a go-to comedy director. It grossed $72.9 million over the brief two weeks period it had since opening. Magic Mike XXL ($64.3 million), Ted 2 ($39.2 million, cume of $80.74 million), Pixels ($38.4 million), and Southpaw ($26.4 million) filled up the remaining spots, in which the first three underperformed (by either having a huge drop off from its predecessor, or from bold predictions and tracking). Paper Towns, with $20.9 million, was also a mega letdown, taking into account The Fault in our Stars last year, and it failed to hit the top 10.

This same month last year wasn’t much to write home about as well. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes was tops with $180.6 million, with Transformers: Age of Extinction far behind with $128.4 million. No other film managed a figure above $80 million, a far cry from past Julys. 2013, in comparison, 2013 had Despicable Me 2 ($314 million), Grown Ups 2 ($106.7 million) and The Heat ($104.9 million), and several strong holdovers and new openers.

Here’s the top 10 of the month. This isn’t based on the film’s final gross, instead, it signifies how much each film earns over the course of the 31 days in July. Here you go, and as a form of comparison with 2014, I have left it below for you as well:

(Non-holdovers/films which opened in the month of July will be bolded)

Rank Film (2015) Gross Film (2014) Gross
1 Minions $278,819,900 Dawn of the Planet of the Apes $180,629,673
2 Inside Out $125,544,231 Transformers: Age of Extinction $128,423,251
3 Ant-Man $123,209,113 Tammy $79,962,705
4 Jurassic World $114,396,225 Lucy $61,287,385
5 Terminator: Genisys $87,032,756 The Purge: Anarchy $57,410,975
6 Trainwreck $72,939,800 22 Jump Street $44,541,847
7 Magic Mike XXL $64,338,559 How to Train Your Dragon 2 $43,128,125
8 Ted 2 $39,167,345 Hercules $41,648,048
9 Pixels $38,378,690 Planes: Fire and Rescue $41,172,206
10 Southpaw $26,359,274 Earth to Echo $36,507,669

And here’s the overall gross managed by all the films combined, in the month of July. Once again, versus 2014:

2015 Accumulative Gross 2014 Accumulative Gross Change
$1,181,323,704 $968,133,472 +22.0%
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