Summer Movie Box Office Predictions: Blockbusters To Bombs

By Gabe Toro 2014-05-02 10:54:09discussion comments
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Modest Hits
Neighbors This fratty comedy spins on the premise of a generational struggle between an older, responsible guy and a young antagonist. But by casting Seth Rogen and Zac Efron, they basically went with two beloved actors of a similar demographic, limiting the crossover appeal to teens and young adults. That will probably keep this film from breaking out, but it wouldn't be a surprise to see Neighbors do basically the same, or slightly better numbers as last year's This Is The End, which grossed $126 million.

A Million Ways To Die In The West Without the appeal of a teddy bear and an A-List star, this picture's not going to even sneeze at Ted's preposterous $549 million take. But international audiences have begun to show a kindness towards westerns they never did before, with True Grit and Django Unchained scoring high in overseas regions. The somewhat narrow appeal of Seth MacFarlane as a leading man gives this film a bit of a handicap, and a comedy-western isn't exactly blockbuster material, but it wouldn't be strange to see this film push $200 million globally on the back of MacFarlane's fanbase.

Edge Of Tomorrow Stateside, the profile for this film is limited, given Tom Cruise's shrinking appeal. Coming a week after the kiddie-courting Maleficent, this should at least have a robust opening. But Cruise's biggest business comes overseas, where each of his last four starring vehicles grossed 70% or more of their totals, none of which had aliens or exoskeleton mechs. This could surpass a solid $120 million over here, and land at $450 million worldwide.

The Fault In Our Stars Expectations are managed for this film, which only cost $12 million. This is counter-programming against the boy-centric blockbusters, even if the cancer storyline is a surprising downer for the target age group. Shailene Woodley is liked by her audience, but Divergent's $233 million global take was a bit below expectations. Still, if this passes $60 million domestically, it's a big win.

22 Jump Street The first film was a surprise springtime smash, with $201 million worldwide. Since then, you could argue that stars Channing Tatum and Jonah Hill have plateaued: Hill's Wolf Of Wall Street Oscar nomination helped him, but didn't give him any real box office traction, while Tatum experienced a disappointment with White House Down. Still, the first was well-liked enough that this one might not open big (particularly not against How To Train Your Dragon 2) but it could perform steadily enough to gross at least $180 million globally.

Think Like A Man, Too If you'll look around the summer schedule, you'll notice a severe lack of entertainment options for black and Hispanic audiences. Here comes this sequel to fill that void, having an added hook of a Vegas setting to distinguish this from the first film. This is coming out in a much more competitive environment than the first one, but it should open big, even if it only comes within a few dollars of the original's $91 million take.

Deliver Us From Evil It's not entirely clear how Screen Gems is positioning what looks like a September dump into the Fourth Of July weekend, but here it is. And because there's very little to offer audiences that holiday aside from comedy Tammy and the Transformers, expect this film to reap a genre windfall. Maybe not at the level of last year's The Conjuring, as Screen Gems is a mixed bag as far as genre offerings (last year brought Carrie and Mortal Instruments: City of Bones), but a $130 million global gross and $80 million domestic should be solid.

The Purge: Anarchy The bloom is off the rose with this series, as ticket-buyers turned on the film almost immediately during it's massive opening weekend. But you can live with negative feedback when you gross $89 million on a budget of only $3 million. This film adds the hook of an outdoors expansion of the concept, which should bring fresh eyes, but it doesn't look like the series has breakout potential beyond that. Still, a global tally close to the original with added support overseas is absolutely in play.

Step Up: All In These films are basically cheap and designed almost solely for the international market, where they are, in some regions, retitled Sexy Dance. Step Up: Revolution was the weakest performer in the series domestically, but it still registered a $140 million global gross. This one should experience a slight uptick, given that it reunites characters from all the earlier films, essentially making it Step Up: Days Of Future Past. A final number close to the $159 million collected by Step Up 3D is certainly possible.

Guardians Of The Galaxy A Marvel gamble back in 2008 meant something different than a wager by them now, and Guardians is one of the biggest. Looking at the schedule, it's entirely possible this film opens in a vacuum, and Marvel's increased profile suggests it could play strongly throughout the month. Thor was a similar risk, and opening at the beginning of May in 2011 it grossed $449 million, mostly on the strength of foreign audiences. Comparatively, 2008's The Incredible Hulk was the weakest of the Marvel films thus far, with $236 million worldwide. Split the difference, add in 3D, and there's no reason the Guardians can't register a $400 million global gross.

Get On Up Late-summer dramas always have a good shot to break out, and some serious-minded audiences are already prepared for fall. An example would be The Help, which opened in August and grossed $216 million on its way to Oscar nominations. That film's director Tate Taylor returns for a James Brown biopic that promises lively music, high drama and the chance to honor the life of a legend. Walk The Line and Ray were two recent music biopics released in the fall to $186 million and $124 million worldwide numbers. This one could snuggle in right between those two at around $150 million globally.
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