Sunday, April 30, 2017

Sunday Best: Summer Box Office Predictions 2017

With the opening of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 later this week, we are officially in the Summer Movie Season.

Over at Screen Junkies, they have an annual tradition of making predictions of what the top ten highest grossing films of the Summer will be.  I find this a fascinating challenge and I am usually wrong.  I would not have predicted Jurassic World would beat out the 2nd Avengers movie and I would never have predicted Guardians of the Galaxy would be as big as it was.  Last year I thought Captain America: Civil War wouldn't have been beaten by a talking fish sequel.  So what do I know.

So with little hope of being correct, here are my predictions for the top grossers:

1.  Despicable Me 3
I am not the biggest fan of this franchise.  It doesn't hold the same place in my heart as Toy Story.  But little kids love Gru and the Minions.  The Minions movie alone grossed over $300 million.  And the plot for this one actually looks more interesting than what has come before.  Little kids will beg their parents to take them to see this film and the theaters will be packed.

GotG Vol2 poster.jpg
2.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
This will be the biggest non-children's movie of the summer. The first Guardians was a surprise, but this one has a much higher anticipation and a ubiquitous marketing campaign.

Transformers The Last Knight poster.jpg 3. Transformers: The Last Knight
This feels like a critic-proof franchise. Every one of these films has been savaged by critics and yet audiences flock to the Bayhem.

Spider-Man Homecoming poster.jpg
4. Spider-Man: Homecoming
As someone pointed out on Screen Junkies, every successive Spider-Man film has made less money than the one before. But the advertising for this is so heavy with Iron Man that it may give this film a boost.

5. Wonder Woman
For people who don't know anything about comics, the name "Wonder Woman" is still very familiar. That recognition alone is a huge draw. On top of that the trailers have been really, really good and should bring people in.

The Mummy (2017).jpg
6. The Mummy
Tom Cruise is one of the few remaining movie stars, meaning someone who can open a movie to larger numbers because of his name. I would not have thought much of this film, except the trailer looked very exciting. It surprises me how much I have enjoyed his last few action-movie outings. And I think audiences will be drawn to the familiar title and familiar star.

Cars 3 poster.jpg
7. Cars 3
While the second Cars movie did about $50 million less than the original, the trailers for this movie have marketed it with more of the traditional PIXAR heart. We'll see if that has enough to draw more people in.

Caesar, equipped with a shotgun, rides on a horse in the snow with the film's billing and tagline "WAR" underneath as well as the film's release and credits.
8. War for the Planet of the Apes
Again, name recognition is important and the fact that most people who saw the last one, including myself, greatly enjoyed it. Good word of mouth could help this movie along too.

Dunkirk Film poster.jpg

9. Dunkirk
This is one of my gambles. Nolan has never made a bad movie. And there is a bit of counter-programing here. As it said in Nolan's Inception, "People yearn for catharsis." Even amid all the explosions of the Summer Movie Season, there is room for a movie that pulls at the heartstrings. I'm hoping this is it.

10. Baywatch
This is my dark horse because it is R-Rated and that limits box office. But Deadpool proved that audiences will flock to raunch if it is really original and funny. And Dwayne Johnson is also one of the few movie stars left. His mediocre outing from last Summer, Central Intelligence, was the 9th highest grossing movie of the season.


Alien: Covenant
-I would think that this franchise was finished, but anecdotal conversations with people have generated some buzz.

King Arthur- Legend of the Sword
-this movie looks terrible, but the name recognition could bring people in.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
-The trailers look different than anything out there and could intrigue people enough to check it out.

The Emoji Movie
-This could either be horribly lame or incredibly clever. If the ads are witty, people might give it a chance.

The Dark Tower
-This is a famous book series, but we haven't really seen how it will turn out, unlike the horrifically good IT trailer.

-Another sober, serious film by a good director. It looks like the feel-bad movie of the year but might get pushed hard by critics.


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