Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Updated 2015 Domestic Box Office Thoughts (Part 2)

In the first part, I covered what I think will be the year's the heavies and how much they'll make:

Fast & Furious 7
Avengers: Age of Ultron
Jurassic World
Inside Out
Ted 2
Terminator: Genesis
The Jungle Book
Bond 24
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2
The Good Dinosaur
Star Wars: Episode VII
Kung Fu Panda 3
Mission: Impossible V

And also, the January and February releases. Now moving onto…


The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 2 (3/6) hits next spring, and it's sure to open with a much higher total the original since that well-liked film was a slow burner. A sub-$100 million total should do, maybe it'll double the original's $46 million domestic gross. Neil Blomkamp's Chappie (3/6) ought to open with less than what Elysium opened with ($29 million), unless the marketing works well. Legs should be okay as well, because Elysium climbed a bit. Vince Vaughn's untitled comedy? (also 3/6/2015) Can't say… We know very little.

Yet another Friday the 13th remake comes next spring as well (3/13), and this one ought to just open with $20 million and collapse after that. The 2009 film had one of the most embarrassing theater performances ever, opening with $40 million and then collapsing… Coughing up only $65 million at the end of its run! I think people might be really burnt out on these films.

Warner. Bros' Heart of the Sea (3/13) also has promise, with a good cast and based on good source material. It should do okay numbers if good and marketed well, WB can see a small hit with this one.

Insurgent (3/20), the sequel to Divergent, should open with around the same amount as its predecessor. The first one is just doing okay at best, and looks to finish up with close to $150 million. With that, it'll have scored a 2.7x multiplier, which is actually on par with Twilight's. Will the second film open much higher? Probably not, doesn't seem to have as much buzz. I can see this opening with around $70 million maximum, but having much weaker legs… Unless it's pretty good. $200 million could possibly be doable, but it's a bit hard to say.

Get Hard (3/27) is writer Etan Cohen's directorial debut, and it stars Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Over $100 million seems doable, if it delivers. The Penguins of Madagascar (3/27) ought to do pretty well, since the penguins are one of the most well-liked things about the Madagascar franchise. This will open well and have good enough legs, though I can't really see it opening any higher than $50 million. With that, the highest it can go is around $180 million.


Insidious: Chapter 3 (4/3) ought to be the series' Paranormal Activity 3, meaning it'll score the biggest opening. $50 million is doable, though the legs should be weak. Insidious: Chapter 2 actually didn't do too bad for a horror film on subsequent weekends. Nicholas Sparks romcom The Longest Ride (4/3) should settle for a sub-$70 million total, it'll open well enough and just come and go.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (4/17) is a bit tricky to predict because it'll have been six years since the first one, which was a surprise hit in the out-of-the-way January spot. It should open on par with the original adjusted ($35 million) and have decent legs, shouldn't be as big as the last one in the long run.

Disneynature's Monkey Kingdom (4/17) will probably make less than $25 million. These films don't really do all that well. Chimpanzee surprisingly outgrossed Oceans and African Cats, grossing a little below the highest grossing Disneynature film, Earth. ($32 million.) Maybe it can make around $25 million… Do audiences happen to like primates more than sea creatures and lions?


Comedy Mean Moms (5/8) is something we know very little about, but it should do fine nonetheless. Comedies are leggy if they are pretty good or at least deliver what the audience wants, so $100 million is doable. The title alone suggests that it could be a funny film and a hit. Jennifer Aniston is rumored to be in it.

Mad Max: Fury Road (5/15) is tough to predict. The Mad Max films weren't exactly box office gold back in the 1970s and 1980s. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdrome, the series' highest grossing entry, adjusts to $67 million today. Mel Gibson is also not going to be in it, but they could help it given his lack of popularity these days. Tom Hardy takes his place, that could help the film, but it probably will do middling business at best. Right now, I think about $90 million is the highest it can go.

Pitch Perfect 2 (5/15) on the other hand will do well. The first was a sleeper, this will open higher but will probably have weaker legs. $130 million perhaps is the ceiling.

Monster Trucks (5/29) will be Paramount Animation's second film, a live action/animation hybrid that Paramount hopes will start a big franchise. With a rather questionable release date and very little details on the plot, I really can't say. Paramount is being extra secretive with their animated films, but if it turns out to be decent, it could make more than $100 million. Animated competition will either hurt it or not affect it, and there's a lot in the weeks after it opens.


Speaking of animation, DreamWorks opens B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (6/5) the week after Monster Trucks. The studio has had trouble with originals since last summer's Turbo, and while Mr. Peabody & Sherman is doing okay, it's still going to be deemed a disappointment. Fox marketing needs to step up their game and make audiences want to see these films, because they aren't terrible. Shoot, we have no idea how Home will do. Again, with animation these days, it's all down to the marketing. It better look good, or else it'll have trouble. Lowest this opens with is $25 million, and finishes with $100 million. It could also pull a Croods on opening weekend, but won't have great legs because competition will be heavy. (Inside Out, Minions.)

San Andreas (6/5) stars The Rock and is not based on the Grand Theft Auto series, but instead it's an action flick about the San Andreas fault. Has good-sized hit written all over it, should make an easy $100 million unless it's nothing special.

Entourage (6/12) is interesting because the highest grossing films based on TV shows are typically ones based on classic or iconic shows, rather than ones that are more recent. Entourage ended in 2011, this film will debut four years after that - same deal with Sex and the City. That show ended in 2004, the film opened in 2008, and did very well. $100 million is very doable since the show went on for quite a while. Heck, $150 million isn't out of the question.

Okay… The Fantastic Four (6/19)… Sigh… Many superhero fans know exactly why Fox is readying this film, and they're not pleased. I sure am not, myself. Not to mention, the casting was met with controversy - regardless of whether the flack was misguided or not, it was still met with skepticism. Also, the only two theatrical Fantastic Four films were badly received and did just okay, so the bad taste is probably lingering. This kind of happened to The Incredible Hulk, no matter how good or bad it looked (marketing was minimal, from what I can remember, though it still opened well)… The Fantastic Four could undoubtedly open big if it looks very good from the trailers (Man of Steel, anyone?), but right now I don't see this film doing all that well. It can cross $100 million, but the production is reportedly a real mess. I can actually see it flopping, grossing as low as $50 million.


Magic Mike XXL (7/3) is sure to open a bit bigger than its predecessor, but will it have its legs? Probably not, but it should still do fine. $130 million seems to be in the cards for this one, perhaps a bit lower. While Judd Apatow's last two films didn't do too well, Trainwreck (7/24) could go either way. If the script matches the likes of The 40-Year Old Virgin and Knocked Up, it'll open well and have strong legs and make over $100 million, $150 million perhaps. If it's on the level of Funny People and This is 40, it'll make less than $50 million.

Sacha Baron Cohen's Grimsby (7/31) will probably make less than $50 million, since Borat was the only film of his that cracked $100 million domestically. Bruno opened well but then crashed, The Dictator just didn't do much. I don't expect this to do all that well either, unless it really ticks with audiences.

Tim Burton returns to the director's chair for Peregrine's Homes for Peculiars (7/31), based on a book that happened to do really, really well. If good, it should open well enough and have strong legs being a late summer release that's also a family film. It has no animated competition to go up against either, that is until something is pegged for August. For now, it's got room to breathe so $100 million is in the cards for this one.

August - December

These months are pretty sparse at the moment…

Assassin's Creed (8/7) can go either way, being a video game adaptation. If it's surprisingly good, it can make $100 million, but I won't hold my breath. The untitled Smurfs film (8/14) from Sony Animation isn't going to be a sequel to The Smurfs 2, it's going to be a complete reboot that'll be all-animated as opposed to being a live action/animation hybrid. The second Smurfs did very poorly domestically, since it's a kiddie-only film. I doubt a reboot like this, unless it looks really really good (which I also doubt), will save the series or win it any new fans. A sub-$70 million gross seems doable at this rate, unless this one is radically different from the first two. (i.e. new cast, new look, new tone.) Untitled Smurfs was moved, see 5/7/2014 update...

The Bourne Redundancy, I mean, the untitled fifth Bourne (8/14) will probably make much less than the last one. The last one opened with an okay $38 million but had legs that were weaker than usual, so it mustered up $113 million at the end of its run. I don't think audiences will really show up for this, in fact I can see this making less than $100 million. The series has run its course, and many have jumped ship without Matt Damon on board. Weinstein-distributed thriller Regressive (8/28) will probably not make much of a mark, very little is known about it.

Everest (9/18) has potential, being a thriller set on… Where else? Mt. Everest! This one could go either way, though it could be a surprise success if it's very good.

Hotel Transylvania 2 (9/25), I think, will pull a Rio 2. It will stay absolutely flat, grossing no more than $150-160 million. It's still a good total, though. A comedy called The Intern from director Nancy Meyers (Something's Gotta GiveIt's Complicated) can also make $100 million if it's as well-liked by audiences as her other films.

Frankenstein (10/2) was originally set for a January release, but Fox wisely moved it to October. Being a remake of a horror/creature classic rather than a slasher film, this could hold on if it turn out to be a good remake. It stars Daniel Radcliffe and Chronicle writer Max Landis is handling the script, it does have some promise. Over $50 million is doable if it's worth seeing…

Horror film Crimson Peak (10/16) comes from Guillermo del Toro himself, and if really good, it can be a surprise hit. It can perhaps make $100 million, but this one is pretty hard to predict because del Toro isn't quite exactly a box office draw. On the other hand, The Conjuring 2 (10/23), even if it disappoints, should make an easy $100 million.

November has no other movies yet, but December has a couple. Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 (12/11) should miss $100 million this time, and huge family-friendly competition ought to push it to the side. The third one was lucky, as it had legs and no competition, thus it made it to $100 million off of a terrible opening. That's the deal with kiddie-only films, if there isn't anything else around, it'll slowly but surely make quite a few bucks. It happened with the first Smurfs.

Inferno (12/18) is the next Dan Brown adaptation, but 2009's Angels & Demons clearly showed that The Da Vinci Code was big for a reason: Controversy and the subsequent buzz the controversy created.  That film opened big with $77 million, but had weak legs. Angels & Demons opened with a much smaller amount and had the same legs. I suspect this will open significantly below $40 million and have the same legs, missing $100 million.

Lastly, crime film Live By Night (12/25) should do fine. It's Ben Affleck's next film, as he directs and stars in it. The Town was an unexpected sleeper, Argo did even better, I expect this one to pass $100 million and perhaps - if really good - garner Oscar buzz. Live By Night has been pushed back to 2016. See 5/7/2014 update...

Update - April 26, 2014:

A couple films have been added recently...

David Koepp-directed action comedy Mortdecai will open February 6, 2015. Hard to say, since the man's work hasn't even made more than $50 million domestically. Even his well-liked Premium Rush didn't even do all that well.

2014 Western starring Natalie Portman Jane Got a Gun was moved to February 20, 2015. Hard to say, given the track record of Westerns these days. I'm guessing above $40 million is doable...

An untitled Seth Rogen/Joseph Gordon-Levitt Christmas film is set to open on December 11, 2015. This could really go either way, even if it's good.

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler star in a comedy called The Nest, which the Pitch Perfect director Jason Moore is directing. It's also being released on December 18, 2015... I guess Universal sees it as good counter-programming to Episode VII. It could be one of those leggy holiday comedies if it's good.

Update - May 7, 2014:

Wow, a lot of changes happened over the past week or so...

Pixels, a comedy based on the short of the same, is set for a May 15, 2015 release. At one time, this film was set for a May 2013 release, then a summer 2014 release. Looks like it's finally going to happen. Chris Columbus is directing, Adam Sandler, Kevin James and Josh Gad among others will be starring in it... It'll either do Grown Ups 2 numbers, or That's My Boy numbers. Plus, it's crammed between blockbusters so it may struggle.

TriStar has scheduled two releases: Meryl Streep comedy-drama Ricki and the Flash, and an untitled Robert Zemeckis-directed adventure film starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley. The former opens Junes 26th, the latter opens October 2nd. Not much to say on these two at the moment...

Former spring 2016 release Goosebumps is now set for an August 14, 2015 release. I have a feeling this could hit $100 million if done right, so that's one prediction right there. The Rob Letterman-directed film should score with 90s kids, and the reported meta approach could either work in its favor or not.

London Has Fallen, which is the sequel to 2013's modest success Olympus Has Fallen, will open October 2nd. Since the first one had good legs, this should open a little higher and perhaps score a $100 million total... Or maybe not.

An untitled New Line comedy is scheduled for November 13, 2015. No info on the cast or anything.

A sci-fi film called Midnight Special, which will be directed by Jeff Nichols (Mud) and released by Warner Bros., is set for a November 25, 2015 release. Adam Driver and Kirsten Dunst are in it. Could be a surprise hit.

Sony Animation moved their untitled Smurfs reboot out of 2015, it is now opening August 5, 2016. Ben Affleck's Live By Night is no longer a 2015 release. It has been moved to October 7, 2016.

Share your predictions. What films will do well in 2015? Any unexpected dark horse hits? What films do you think will surprise? Or bomb? Sound off below!


  1. Disney will definitely do well in the box office, regardless of the qualities. but I still want that high quality Disney has been delivering for several years now.

    Also, I have a question I want ur opinions on Kyle. What r ur thoughts on the present day DisneyToon? Being an animation fan, I believe u know about their complicated history. Do you think Lasseter saved the studio with spinoffs instead of sequels, or it was all the same?

    1. Having not seen any of the 'Tinker Bell' films or 'Planes', I can't really say. On the one hand, I'm happy that we aren't getting hand-drawn sequels to the Disney classics that make hand-drawn and classic Disney animation look bad. At the same time, I'm not too keen on the Tink films being connected to 'Peter Pan'. Lasseter, to me, didn't necessarily save the studio. He just undid a lot of the damage that the studio was forced to do.

      If anything, I think DisneyToon should just do television work or films that are not sequels/related to Disney classics. At least with 'Planes', Lasseter is involved and it's his franchise, unlike Tink.

    2. I can understand what u r saying. No one wants their classics ruined. Although I'm also nervous about all this, I'm also glad that their films aren't that much connected to the original film. Tinker Bell, altho with her personality dumbed down a bit, is a pretty interesting character, and her films take place in parts that won't mess with the original peter pan. The latest film features Hook and Tick Tock, so I hope the film series ends well and fast. That being said, I actually found myself enjoying the Tink films knowing they're direct to DVDs. So without high expectations, u can actually enjoy these. The latest one also gains positive reviews, so I'm glad the quality is still there.

      As for Planes, I really hope its just a trilogy and no more. The cars universe should stop there and done, unless Lasseter manage to infuse Pixar qualities into the sequel, which I highly doubt.

      even tho they arent high quality of theatrical releases, the spinoffs r still enjoyable as DTDVDs, and after all this, I really REALLY hope they make more high quality spinoffs since DisneyToons goal is to boost the profit of Disney Consumer Products. No trash plz disney.

  2. I think Peanuts (which you mentioned in Part 1) will be a pretty high grosser in 2015. It's a very well known franchise that hasn't been in the limelight lately. No doubt Inside Out will go gangbusters at the box office, it's Pixar. I think Fifty Shades of Grey will bomb pretty badly, so will that Bourne movie.