After going over the movies that are coming out this summer, I always enjoy trying to predict the summer box office for the following year.
Michael Crichton once said that studios spend millions of dollars every year trying to predict box office. But in the end, it is all guess work. There is no magical formula and no one gets it right all the time.That is certainly the case with me.
I am going to try again this year. I am once again betting big on Marvel and Disney.
1. Thor: Love and Thunder
In the last 11 years, 6 Marvel movies have been the top Summer movies at the box office. Thor is the only one of the original Avengers left who still has his own film franchise. On top of this, Ragnarok was the highest grossing Thor movie. With this movie we not only have the return of writer/director Taika Waititi, but also the uber-popular Guardians of the Galaxy and the return of Jane Foster (though I may be the only one excited for that). If they hype this as a potential farewell to Chris Hemsworth, I predict it will go big this summer.
2. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
They set this up as a direct sequel to Spider-Man: No Way Home, with Dr. Strange featuring so prominently in that movie that marked a return to the theatrical experience in a way no movie had done since the pandemic. This movie is also leaning hard into the Disney+ TV show experience by incorporating WandaVision and What If...? elements into the story. This movie also has the advantage of being the first summer movie of the season with not a lot of competition.
The last movie was bad, but the trailer give you enough nostalgia-bait and spectacle to pull people in. As long there enough thrills like in the first Jurassic World, then this will do very well.
6. Minions: The Rise of Gru
You don't want to underestimate this franchise. I was disappointed by the first Minions movie, but then again, I am not the target demographic. Kids still seem to really like the Minions and this could be a good family outing.
7. DC League of Super-Pets
This is one of my wild cards that I'm taking a big bet on. I am basing it on the fact that children's movies tend to do very well in summer. But I am also basing it on the kids' reactions when the trailer comes up in the movie. I hear a LOT of laughter and excitement. I am betting that this will translate into box office results.
8. Bullet Train
This is my counter-programing pick. While most movies that come out this time appeal to the widest audiences, this looks like to be a slick, violent, R-Rated romp. This may be an appealing alternative to some older audience members.
Sometimes there is a more artistic/dramatic film that breaks through the noise in summer. This could be it if people are able to connect to it the way they did with Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.
This is also one of my wild card picks. Jordan Peele is able to do high-concept horror on a budget and is able to bring in audiences. The trailers are a little strange, but he may have enough of a reputation to have people come to see it.
I think they are going to market this as a dark super hero film rather than a full-on horror movie. With that in mind, it might find an audience.
The Black Phone
Teens make up a huge portion of the box office (or at least they used to) and this could be a sleeper hit. The trailer is sufficiently creepy, so we will see.