Summer Box Office Wisdoms

Now that we know X-Men Days Of Future Past opened huge, and essentially revived the franchise, what about the rest of the movies this summer? How will they play out? (Come back tomorrow for my predictions on Maleficent and A Million Ways To Die In The West)

Edge Of Tomorrow

Tom Cruise has not been the box office juggernaut he once was. His last 100M starring role film that wasn’t in the Mission Impossible franchise was War of the Worlds. Oblivion is the most comparable film to Edge, and it opened to 37M (with much less competition), and only finished with 89M. I’m betting that Edge has a tentative start, and will need to have legs. GUT INSTINCT: 25M Opening Weekend, 70M Total Box Office

The Fault In Our Stars

In what could be brilliant counter programming for the summer, a novel adaptation of a book about two teenagers dying of cancer might be a breakout hit. The book is a best seller, there are a ton of fans. Usually, YA movies are action packed, but this is one that might transcend that idea. I’m actually thinking it might open above Edge, as fans will rush out to see the film on opening weekend, and others will be caught in the hype surrounding the film, as well as Shailene Woodley being the “next big thing”. GUT INSTINCT: 30M Opening Weekend, 100M Total Box Office

22 Jump Street

Right now, this film is tracking well. Its direct competition will be the 3rd weekend of A Million Ways To Die, which should be around 15M at this time. I think everyone enjoyed the first film, and the second film looks equally hilarious. I expect this to play well. It does open against How To Train Your Dragon 2, but I don’t think those two films overlap much in audience. GUT INSTINCT: 45M Opening Weekend, 150M Total Box Office

How To Train Your Dragon 2

Likely the most sure-fire thing of the summer, because the last animated film before this would have been that awful Legends Of Oz film… and it’s summer. Kids see animated films over the summer. Last summer, there were too many and some bombed (Turbo), but this summer, How To Train Your Dragon 2 should mop up. The first one opened to 43M on its way to 217M domestically, with really good reviews. This will outgross that. GUT INSTINCT: 60M Opening Weekend, 250M Total Box Office

Jersey Boys

Summer movie musicals can struggle (Rock Of Ages) or can be a hit (Hairspray, Mamma Mia). Jersey Boys is directed by Clint Eastwood, so it is more likely to do strong word of mouth business, while opening soft. Think Like A Man Too and The Rover won’t pull much from Jersey Boys, and the adult audience targeted by Jersey Boys wouldn’t have seen a drama since the underperforming Million Dollar Arm. The Jersey Boys musical has been performing well on tour, and worldwide, and has all the makings of helping this movie to be the sleeper of the summer.GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 70M Total Box Office

Think Like A Man Too

I think everyone is hoping Kevin Hart banks this movie, but he did just have About Last Night, which opened to 25M, but finished with 48M (not even twice what it made in the first three days). The first Think Like A Man opened at 33M, and uncharacteristic of a “black movie”, made 91.5M total (almost tripling the opening weekend gross). It’ll have to face off against the second weekend of 22 Jump Street. Sometimes, when you move a non-summer franchise into summer, it doesn’t pan out (see: Madea’s Witness Protection) GUT INSTINCT: 25M Opening Weekend, 65M Total Box Office

Transformers: Age Of Extinction

I think the audience can tell that we’ve reached the point with this series. We’ve swapped Shia Labeouf out, and added Mark Wahlberg (who in the previews seems to immediately be able to distinguish between car and transformer). The government is hunting Transformers. And then something bigger and badder shows up (basically, the plot of the last 2 Transformers movies). Oh, but Dinobots! GUT INSTINCT: 85M Opening Weekend, 280M Total Box Office

Deliver Us From Evil

It’s hard to tell if this film is the new ‘The Conjuring’, or not. Eric Bana is not known for being a box office king. Adding him to the movie gives it a sense of legitimacy, but word of mouth will carry this movie (or not). July 4th weekend might help to give it larger-than-expected grosses. GUT INSTINCT: 20M Opening Weekend, 50M Total Gross

Earth To Echo

A lack of kids films could help this ET knock-off get a bit more attention than it deserves. GUT INSTINCT: 10M Opening Weekend, 40M Total Gross


Melissa McCarthy is testing her own waters, after successfully pairing with Sandra Bullock and Jason Bateman. Since both of those films broke 100M, McCarthy is setting herself up for success. Unless this movie is terrible, it should do well. GUT INSTINCT: 35M Opening Weekend, 120M Total Gross

And So It Goes

Worst trailer I’ve seen for a movie this summer. It will attract an adult audience regardless because of Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas, but it could have been better if it had a better marketing campaign. GUT INSTINCT: 10M Opening Weekend, 30M Total Gross

Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes

The big question here is will it do as well as Rise did, which had a lot to do with the quality of Rise. If the film is good, even if it isn’t as good as the first one, it should still be a hit. GUT INSTINCT: 65M Opening Weekend, 190M Total Gross

Jupiter Ascending

Channing Tatum is due a bomb. Unless this turns out to be mindblowingly good, the trailers aren’t selling the story of the movie well enough. GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 50M Total Gross

Planes: Fire and Rescue

Because what everyone wanted was a Planes sequel. GUT INSTINCT: 25M Opening Weekend, 75M Total Gross

The Purge: Anarchy

Because what everyone wanted was a Purge sequel. GUT INSTINCT: 20M Opening Weekend, 40M Total Gross


this looks awful. We’ve already seen one Hercules film this year. I don’t think even The Rock can save this. GUT INSTINCT: 20M Opening Weekend, 50M Total Gross


Scarlett Johansson’s buzzy actioner was moved to face off against Hercules. Good move? I think so. Still, Scarlett is not a major box office draw on her own, so this film will help to start that trend. GUT INSTINCT: 25M Opening Weekend, 80M Total Gross

Sex Tape

If it’s good, it should do well. Cameron Diaz is coming hot off of The Other Woman, and Jason Segal is a pretty solid comedy man at this point. GUT INSTINCT: 35M Opening Weekend, 130M Total Gross

Step Up: All In

Awesome. Another Step Up Movie… said no one ever. GUT INSTINCT: Under 10M Opening Weekend, 25M Total Gross

Guardians Of The Galaxy

A lesser known Marvel hero group, it will have to prove itself first before the audience will find it. Strong previews will help build word of mouth, but a largely untested cast will counteract that. It has months to build, but right now I’m thinking it’ll be a moderate hit. GUT INSTINCT: 50M Opening Weekend, 155M Total Gross

Get On Up

Tough to predict this film without hearing from critics. Assuming its an Oscar contender, I’d say… GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 60M Total Gross

The Hundred Foot Journey

This one could be a sleeper crowd pleaser, much like The Help. I’d expect a slower start, as Helen Mirren is a tough act to sell a 20M opening too. GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 75M Total Gross

Into The Storm

After watching the trailer, I noticed this film has no stars, and appears to be shot semi-found footage. The found footage genre is really getting beaten to a pulp, and this film will suffer because of that. GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 40M Total Gross

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

It likely will be terrible, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t initial interest. A lot of adult fans will check out this adaptation, as well as their kids. TMNT opened to 24M in 2007, and it was animated. I think this live action version can beat that. GUT INSTINCT: 35M Opening Weekend, 105M Total Gross

As Above So Below

This is a horror film with a great trailer. It has no cast, so it will need a great trailer. If the buzz builds, it could do OK. GUT INSTINCT: 10M Opening Weekend, 30M Total Gross

The Expendables 3

The cast keeps expanding. The second installment opened to 28M, below the gross of the first one. I think the third one will do about the same. GUT INSTINCT: 30M Opening Weekend, 90M Total Gross

The Giver

I’m betting a stronger promotional push as the summer moves forward, allowing for people to get appropriately hyped for this adaptation. GUT INSTINCT: 15M Opening Weekend, 45M Total Gross

Lets Be Cops

I think this has potential to be the We’re The Millers of the summer. GUT INSTINCT: 20M Opening Weekend, 100M Total Gross

Sin City: A Dame To Kill For

The first Sin City opened to 29M nine years ago. I realize that the 300 sequel didn’t do as well as the first one, but it opened pretty big. I’m guessing Sin City has cooled off a tad over the years, but with ticket inflation the sequel will probably match the original (at least on opening weekend). GUT INSTINCT: 30M Opening Weekend, 65M Total Gross

If I Stay, When The Game Stands Tall, Jessabelle, The Loft, Underdogs, The November Man-

The remaining films opening at the end of August. None of them are major franchise films. If I Stay is based on a semi-successful teen lit book, and could do OK. When The Game Stands Tall might attract football fans, but it’s less of a football film and more of a drama. Underdogs is really the only one that could stand out, and it’s on a terrible weekend to do so. It’s been doing well internationally, but I question why they would open the film on a typically slow weekend.



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