Summer Movie Hits and Misses

This summer, as with many summers past, not every film ends up a guaranteed hit. Sometimes, even though it looks good on paper, the film ends up flopping. I know a lot of people were skeptical heading into Jurassic World this summer, but it proved everyone wrong… and then some. Jurassic World ended up with a worldwide cume (so far) of 1.6 BILLION dollars, which as you probably guessed is about the same that both Jurassic Park and The Lost World made. It’s still climbing too. So, Jurassic World definitely gets labeled a HIT.

Avengers: Age Of Ultron would have been an impressive #1 summer hit on its own, without Jurassic World around. The sequel made 1.3 billion worldwide, and is the 6th biggest film of all time in that respect. Sure, it didn’t pass the original, but that doesn’t make the feat any less astounding. It proved there’s still life, and still a lot of demand for the franchise, even as superhero films seem to be at max saturation. So, again, an easy HIT.

Inside Out is the third biggest film of the summer, the fourth biggest film of the year, 89th all time worldwide (639.5 million and counting), and serves as another notch in Pixar’s belt. A lot of critics are calling it the best film of the year, so far, and many believe it has a shot at a Best Picture nomination. So, all things considered, this is also definitely a HIT.

Kids also turned out for Minions, which is the 5th biggest film of the year (closing the gap on Inside Out), and 29th worldwide with 957.5 billion so far. It very well should break the billion mark before it leaves theatres. It at least should pass Despicable Me 2 (970.8 million) to become the top grosser for the franchise. I don’t think it can beat Despicable Me 2’s domestic take, but it’ll sure try. HIT.

Pitch Perfect 2 really launched the franchise. The original made only 65M domestically, and 115M worldwide. The sequel blew that out of the water with 183M domestically, and 284M worldwide. Pitch Perfect 3 is already on the way. Did I mention this film only cost 29M to make? Definitely a HIT.

I suppose you could say the jury is still out on Ant-Man, but I’m willing to say it was a hit. I mean, come on, it’s an Ant-Man movie, and it’s made (so far) 157M domestically and 336M worldwide. Yes, it’s the lowest grossing of the Marvel universe, (unless you count The Incredible Hulk), but I think the bar should have been lower for Ant-Man anyway. Plus, it’s been holding well and will end up probably just shy of 180M domestic. Not bad. The production budget was 130M though, so this makes it a narrow HIT.

San Andreas was non-franchise effort that opened off of The Rock’s star power, and went to 153M domestic and 468M worldwide off of a 110M budget. The worldwide gross is really what pushes San Andreas into the hit category. I wonder if we’ll see a sequel? HIT.

Mad Max Fury Road took a franchise that was 20 years old and made 373M worldwide from it. I don’t care what people say, this is a HIT. Critics loved it. There’s rumors already of a sequel, or doing a spinoff with Charlize Theron’s Furiosa character. I’m on board to see more Mad Max films, and critics are too.

Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation already has 373M worldwide. Ghost Protocol is the highest grossing entry in the series, with 694.7M. Mission Impossible is still debuting in foreign territories, so the worldwide gross is definitely going to grow. I’m not sure it’ll be the top grossing entry, but this is definitely a film everyone should be proud of. I’m going with HIT.

Spy is what you would call a sleeper hit. It ended up with 109M domestically and 234M worldwide off of a 65M budget. It’s really the budget that solidifies its status as a hit, because it ended up making bank in the end. I’d say there’s a 50/50 shot we’ll see a sequel, as critics enjoyed the film (94% on Rotten Tomatoes is not bad at all). HIT.

Trainwreck has almost gotten 100M domestically, but it’s not translating overseas to a lot of money. Even with just domestic money factoring in, the film cost only 35M, and starred Amy Schumer in her film debut. I’d say that’s a HIT. It’s definitely going to cross the 100M mark.

Terminator Genisys is probably the biggest miss of the summer, domestically. It made only 88M domestically, but it has made 323M worldwide. In fact, since it is still rolling out, it might end up passing Terminator Salvation on the worldwide charts (its less than 50M away right now). There’s still life in this franchise overseas, but is there enough domestically to warrant doing another film? I doubt it. A costly 155M budget plus whatever they spent on P&A means this film isn’t making much profit. Another Terminator film would be a gamble. MISS.

Ted 2 killed the franchise. 81M domestic, 173M worldwide, down from the original which made 218M domestically and 549M worldwide. There won’t be a Ted 3. The production budget was 68M, but money can be spent wiser on other franchises. MISS.

Magic Mike XXL has the harsh reality of having followed Magic Mike, which was a breakout hit. A movie about strippers should have never made 113M domestic, and 167M worldwide, but it did. So the sequel had a really high expectation to live up to. With 65M domestic, and 115M worldwide, it would be easy to write it off as a flop until you look at the production budget, which was only 14M. It’s a soft HIT. Very soft. Had that budget been much higher, I’d have a hard time calling it a hit.

Pixels has made 64M domestically so far, and it’s not going to make much more. It likely will fall short of 75M. It wasn’t a crazy expensive production, costing 88M, and making 155M worldwide, but considering everyone involved, it really needed to do better to be a hit. Global rollout is still happening, and it’s possible this might catch fire overseas in some territories, but I’m going with a MISS here.

Straight Outta Compton, even after three days, I can tell you is a HIT. There’s no way this film had a high production budget. Critics love it, it’ll break 100M easily. Even if the worldwide gross is almost nothing, it’s still a HIT.

Insidious Chapter 3 is a tougher call. 52M domestic, 107M worldwide, but the lowest grossing in the franchise domestically, and second worldwide. It’s not an obvious hit, but when you factor in the 10M production budget, you have to call it a HIT.

Poltergeist cost a lot more than Insidious, at 35M, and made less. 47M domestic, and 95M worldwide. I can’t see there being a Poltergeist sequel, so I’m going to go with MISS here.

Vacation is still going, and has had pretty good week-to-week declines. With 46M domestic so far, but no worldwide grosses, it’s a tough call. Comedies usually need to make most of their money domestically, as they don’t translate well overseas without a bankable star behind it. Even if Vacation reaches 70M, I still think its a disappointment. MISS.

Southpaw bucked the trend of what a summer movie actually is, and managed to make 45M so far. The production budget is high (30M), and foreign grosses are low (14M overseas so far). It hurts, but I have to call this a MISS.

Fantastic Four is a MISS. I mean, come on. Only 41M so far, 102M worldwide, and a much bigger production budget. Plus, critics hate it. Even if it made more money, it would still be remembered poorly. Mismanaged from the start.

Max, the movie about the dog who comes back from Iraq with PTSD, ended up with 40M domestic off a 20M budget. It cost 20M to make Max? Really? What the heck did you spend that on? There are no stars in this film. Very little action scenes/special effects. I was thinking about calling this a hit, but I have to call it a miss. You could have made two Insidious movies for the cost of Max.

Hot Pursuit, which you probably forgot actually happened, left with 34M domestic and 11M worldwide. It’s a MISS. It cost 35M to make. Reese Witherspoon deserved better.

Entourage, which inexplicably cost 30M to make, ended up with only 44M worldwide. Personally, I think that’s great for a movie based on the Entourage TV show. I mean, what did you actually expect? But, when money is poorly spent, Entourage becomes a flop. MISS.

Paper Towns has made 30M so far, and likely won’t make much more. A 12M production budget, and foreign grosses already of 36M push this into an interesting territory. It has probably already started making profit, and how much money does a teen romcom with unbankable stars actually need to make? Just because The Fault In Our Stars was a runaway hit doesn’t mean every film has to do the same thing. I’m going to go with HIT here, even though it feels wrong.

The Gift has made 23M so far, and has been doing so with good reviews. Its possible that this film ends up with around 40M, off of a 5M budget. Add to that at least a little foreign cash, and the fact there were no expectations for this film whatsoever, and I’m going with HIT.

The Gallows made 22M, but had a production budget of 100K. I think you know where this is going. 22M. 100K. Oh, and another 15M overseas. Do the math. HIT.

Aloha took a bunch of stars, squandered them, and ended up with 21M from a 37M production budget. It hasn’t translated worldwide either, making only 5M foreign. Definitely a MISS, and one of the bigger misses of the season.

Dope made 16.6M, but had a huge buy at Sundance, and a nice P&A push. So when you say the budget was 700K, I know there’s more money on top of that. It’s possible this film broke even, so I’m going to go with that and just say EVEN, because a star-less film from Sundance making 16.6M should actually be viewed at least somewhat positively.

Ricki and the Flash, with Meryl Streep, has only been out two weeks, but I have a feeling it’s ending up as a MISS. Unless this film was budgeted super well, it doesn’t seem like the kind of film that will have good foreign grosses.

Mr Holmes was a sleeper hit of the summer, managing 14M to be the biggest limited release breakout. HIT.

The Man From UNCLE is a MISS. It had a pretty high budget (rumored to be around 70M), and it won’t come anywhere near that domestically. It might do OK overseas, but it’ll still be seen as a disappointment.

Love and Mercy, Far From The Madding Crowd, Amy, and I’ll See You in My Dreams are all pretty solid indie HITS this summer. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl had a higher purchase price at Sundance, but I still feel like calling it a hit.

Self/Less is probably the biggest flop of the summer. Luckily it only cost 26M, but there are no reported foreign grosses, so this is still a major Ryan Reynolds film that only made 12M. MISS.

You might not know this, but Shaun The Sheep has 70M worldwide so far, which puts that into perspective really fast. It’s a flop domestically, but it’s not a domestic title. I have a feeling Aardman is quite happy with this. HIT.

Dragon Ball Z Resurrection F smashed records, and you didn’t even know it was happening. It didn’t have a traditional release, going only through Fathom events, and ended up with 7.7M domestically. It made more than Howls Moving Castle, which actually had a domestic theatrical release. On top of that, it has 60M worldwide, so it is definitely a HIT.

Irrational Man has made 3.1M, but it hasn’t quite gotten itself to the kind of breakout success of past Woody Allen efforts. Last summers Magic In The Moonlight made 10M, and the year before that Blue Jasmine made 33M. It’s a MISS.

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