Tuesday, October 15, 2013

2014 Box Office Predictions (The Pre-December 31 Edition!)

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This will be a different set of predictions... A set of predictions that I will NOT, I repeat, will NOT alter after December 31, 2013. I've done this outside of blogs for my own amusement last year and the year before it, but this time, it's here... It'll be interesting to come back here at the end of 2014 and see which ones lined up and which ones didn't.

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#1. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1
Release Date: November 21, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $169 million
Domestic Box Office: $422 million
Overseas Box Office: $511 million
Worldwide Box Office: $933 million

Despite the mass hype and anticipation, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire only opened a little bit over the amount that the first film took in back in March 2012. It stayed flat, but to be fair, the first opened so big… Bigger than most sequels and summer blockbuster tentpoles, so a not-much-higher opening seemed inevitable in hindsight. That being said, Mockingjay, Part 1 ought to open even higher since it's the first part of the series' epic finale.

Legs should be the same as the previous films, so a total north of $400 million is pretty much locked at this point. I can see this performing similarly to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1. Overseas, it'll increase even more.

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#2. Transformers: Age of Extinction
Release Date: June 27, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $89 million
Domestic Box Office: $316 million
Overseas Box Office: $894 million
Worldwide Box Office: $1,210 million

If anything, franchise fatigue may be setting in... But Transformers still appeals to its target audience, so the teens and 15-25 year old blockbuster crowd will be there - the weekend gross should just be a good-sized dip in attendance from the last one. Despite how poorly received the second film was, the third one still held on and had decent legs. No worse than part two's legs, really. This will clear $300 million easily, plus the new direction it's going in might win some audiences who are iffy on the series back. Or maybe not, this is Michael Bay after all.

Worldwide, it’ll obviously take off like a rocket - especially with the film mostly taking place in China.

Actuals (as of 10/9/2014)
Opening Weekend: $100 million
Domestic Box Office: $245 million
Overseas Box Office: $841 million
Worldwide Box Office: $1,087 million

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#3. How To Train Your Dragon 2
Release Date: June 13, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $70 million
Domestic Box Office: $312 million
Overseas Box Office: $441 million
Worldwide Box Office: $753 million

If anything, How To Train Your Dragon 2 can be summer 2014’s Despicable Me 2 for animation. Maybe. How To Train Your Dragon was beloved in theaters and it’s probably gotten new fans between its home media release and now. Also, there’s the spin-off show that’s currently playing on Cartoon Network, that’s probably getting the franchise some new fans as well.

Though 4 years may seem like a long wait for a sequel, How To Train Your Dragon 2 is poised to do really well. The teaser is great, the following marketing should gets fans hyped up and others as well. This will be one of those animated sequelss that increases quite a bit from the original - DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda 2 didn’t increase because of lazy, uninspired marketing and a very, very poor choice of release date. This doesn’t have those two misfortunes saddled with it.

Plus, it pretty much has the summer all to itself. Planes: Fire and Rescue and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles really aren't much competition to this, this will have a lot of staying power, thus it will climb its way up to a sub-$300 million total. Or it may just even pass that mark. It will only increase overseas, too.

Actuals (as of 10/26/2014)
Opening Weekend: $49 million
Domestic Box Office: $176 million
Overseas Box Office: $438 million
Worldwide Box Office: $614 million

Post-Release Thoughts: The domestic box office performance of this movie is frustrating, and while it's only been a few weeks, it is safe to talk about it. Most of us expected this film to exceed $250 million stateside, being a sequel to a beloved DreamWorks film. Well, Fox's bad marketing for this film held it back from opening higher than $50 million. Then the word of mouth apparently wasn't so good. Why? Was it concerns over the sequel's tone? Is there a stretch right now where people are super-choosy with their movies? Or do audiences just not like it? Who knows… It's going to do very well overseas though. Expect another post-release thoughts the day it makes a lot overseas. (7/4/2014)

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#4. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Release Date: May 2, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $93 million
Domestic Box Office: $303 million
Overseas Box Office: $603 million
Worldwide Box Office: $906 million

The Amazing Spider-Man seemed to be well-liked by audiences. For a reboot that arguably came too soon, it opened with a good amount and made an impressive $262 million stateside. Now before Man of Steel came out, this held the record for highest grossing superhero film reboot - its predecessors certainly didn’t make marks at the box office (i.e. The Incredible Hulk), however.

Anyways, The Amazing Spider-Man did very well despite dipping from its predecessor. But perhaps the generally positive reaction to it (a solid 72% on Rotten Tomatoes, A- CinemaScore) could boost the sequel a bit. The sequel looks to be bigger and perhaps darker, and it all may compel audiences to go see this continuation of the new Spider-Man series. It won’t exactly set the world on fire, but a good-sized increase is in sight. The “wow” factor isn’t there anymore, Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy was very fresh and new at the time. With superhero films everywhere, and three Spider-Man films behind it that already knocked audiences' socks off, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 just doesn’t have all that hype going for it. $400 million is pretty much out of reach.

Still, it’s going to increase a bit from the original and do some solid business. The trailer promises more action and a bigger scale, plus fans will be there despite any divineness the marketing is creating. (Intentionally?) Worldwide, it’ll undoubtedly do great. Spider-Man is one of the most successful superheroes at the overseas box office, and the rebooted series’ first installment more than proved that last year.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $91 million 
Domestic Box Office: $202 million
Overseas Box Office: $506 million
Worldwide Box Office: $708 million
(Close Date: August 17, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Audiences did flock to see it on opening weekend, proving that those who actually did see the reboot series' first installment were indeed pleased with it - hence their excitement to see what happens next. However, the legs were awful. Why's that? Audiences most likely didn't like the movie's overcrowded structure (over 4-5 plots going on, way too many characters, tonal imbalances) among other things. It has had the worst legs for a Spider-Man movie yet. Very, very telling. Overseas though, it did expectedly well. I wasn't too far off there, only by around $100 million. (7/4/2014)

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#5. The Hobbit: There and Back Again
Release Date: December 17, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $85 million
Domestic Box Office: $290 million
Overseas Box Office: $909 million
Worldwide Box Office: $1,199 million

The Desolation of Smaug's legs are a notch below the first film's, plus that lower opening didn't do much favors. It shows that the first film left some audiences cold, and many of them didn't see the sequel as big of an event. Audience response seems mixed for the most part, the exit polling grades are lower than the first film's. This may effect the finale, which doesn't seem to have too much hype riding on it. In total, this whole trilogy doesn't seem to have that "event" status. $84 million and $73 million are good, but they are not the original trilogy's second and third installments' adjusted openings.

Hard to call at the moment, as the film is picking up some momentum right now.

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#6. Interstellar
Release Date: November 7, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $68 million
Domestic Box Office: $282 million
Overseas Box Office: $423 million
Worldwide Box Office: $705 million

Christopher Nolan’s name alone is going to sell this film, and Warner Bros. will definitely put together a very effective marketing campaign for it. It promises potential and audiences will flock to see it since Nolan is very close to being a household name, if he isn't already. Future trailers and marketing will of course mention Nolan's other achievements, whilst making the film look grand. After all, Man of Steel was marketed right and Warner Bros. made it look fantastic, not to mention adding Nolan's name and mentioning the Dark Knight trilogy. It'll open big, have strong word of mouth like Inception (the Christmas season release will most likely help it in this department) and come close to $300 million.

Worldwide, it’ll catch on as well. It has all the makings of a big blockbuster.

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#7. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Release Date: April 4, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $104 million
Domestic Box Office: $280 million
Overseas Box Office: $441 million
Worldwide Box Office: $721 million

Thor: The Dark World opened well, though it didn't reach lofty heights. $85 million is great, but Tony Stark still rules the Marvel roost as far as solo outings go, as Iron Man 3 took in $174 million on its opening weekend. If anything, marketing somewhat held The Dark World back from going a little higher, opting to show us desaturated scenes and trying to sell it as a darker picture when it was arguably anything but - it felt more lighthearted and action-packed to this blogger. While the film has its fair share of dark elements, it's not significantly darker. Iron Man 3's marketing was able to convince audiences that Tony Stark's post-Avengers adventure was going to be a rather bleak one when it actually wasn't. Thor: The Dark World's marketing gave us little to care about.

Had the marketing defined the stakes and whatnot, The Dark World definitely would've opened a lot higher. Captain America: The Winter Soldier's marketing on the other hand is much better, giving us a taste of the stakes while also being enigmatic and mysterious. It'll pay off greatly, especially with the jaw-dropping sneak peek that was shown before 3D/IMAX 3D screenings of The Dark World. A much bigger opening weekend is in play. Legs should be okay as well, typical for a comic book movie. The first film had a solid 2.7x multiplier, this should repeat that and get a near-$300 million gross.

Worldwide, it'll appeal more than the first film since there's no more overt (but genuine) patriotism, and plus they can simply call the film The Winter Soldier and release it in other countries like they did with the first film. The action is bigger, the modern setting will also help. This may have a shot at besting the God of Thunder internationally.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $95 million
Domestic Box Office: $259 million
Overseas Box Office: $454 million
Worldwide Box Office: $714 million
(Close Date: August 21, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Was close with the weekend, which I thought would happen since - from the marketing - it looked like a real must-see. Something Thor: The Dark World's marketing did not have. Anyways, legs were expectedly pretty good for a superhero film. Was even closer with the overseas total, I knew this would do better worldwide thanks to The Avengers and the fact that this film was a lot different from the very patriotic first film. (7/4/2014)

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#8. The Lego Movie
Release Date: February 7, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $62 million
Domestic Box Office: $254 million
Overseas Box Office: $373 million
Worldwide Box Office: $627 million

An out on a limb prediction, but Lego is a toy that everyone knows and loves. This movie will especially appeal to family audiences, and adults will go for the humor and for some nostalgia... I mean, who doesn’t like Lego? No matter what age? A big opening for this is guaranteed, plus there are no legitimate, big family films (The Nut Job, at best, will be 2014’s Escape from Planet Earth to some extent) opening between Frozen and Mr. Peabody & Sherman. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing, so it’ll most likely be brilliant and hilarious - that’ll get the teens to go see it too.

Couple that with the usual multipliers that animated films get, especially ones released during this time, and this will be a massive hit. Worldwide, it ought to catch on as well.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $69 million
Domestic Box Office: $257 million
Overseas Box Office: $210 million
Worldwide Box Office: $468 million
(Close Date: September 4, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Was very close with the opening weekend and domestic totals, was far off on the overseas total. Still, I knew a Lego film would be huge to begin with, but with Phil Lord and Christopher Miller behind the film, I knew something big was in store at the box office. (7/4/2014)

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#9. Big Hero 6
Release Date: November 7, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $57 million
Domestic Box Office: $221 million
Overseas Box Office: $322 million
Worldwide Box Office: $543 million

A big risk for Walt Disney Animation Studios, who are finally being allowed to experiment properly under the stewardship of John Lasseter (unlike the early 2000s where experiments like Atlantis and Treasure Planet were affected by poor management and executive meddling), the successes of the familiar Tangled and the risky Wreck-It Ralph behind them, and of course, the big success that is Frozen. Given the fact that it’s based on a Marvel property, it’s an animated film for family audiences and everyone else inbetween, this will score one of Disney Animation’s biggest opening weekends and will be one of their highest grossing films in the past fifteen years.

But here's one thing: It's a team-up film of sorts (more X-Men than Avengers), and we'll have another opening this year (X-Men: Days of Future Past)… Will audiences be tired of team-ups outside of The Avengers? How will they take to a theatrical animated Marvel team-up? Or a theatrical animated Marvel movie, period? Well, if The Incredibles is any indicator, this can be a great big success. It's up to Disney to market it correctly so that it intrigues audiences and generates a big opening weekend. If anything, that test footage should've been attached to Frozen as a teaser.

Given superhero popularity worldwide, and the setting of San Fransokyo (the film also has a heavy focus on technology and sci-fi elements, and there’s a character who can transform into a Kaiju), this will be big in other markets.

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#10. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: July 11, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $60 million
Domestic Box Office: $195 million
Overseas Box Office: $335 million
Worldwide Box Office: $530 million

The first film was an unexpected hit, and it also had some pretty good legs at the domestic box office. People gravitated towards this blockbuster more than other ones, so this will undoubtedly open higher and gross a little more. It won't increase by a huge amount, but the momentum will be kept.

Actuals (as of 10/23/2014)
Opening Weekend: $72 million
Domestic Box Office: $208 million
Overseas Box Office: $498 million
Worldwide Box Office: $707 million

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#11. Maleficent
Release Date: May 30, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $70 million
Domestic Box Office: $182 million
Overseas Box Office: $279 million
Worldwide Box Office: $461 million

Will the grittier fairy tale fad still be a thing by next Memorial Day weekend? How will audiences respond to a film that’s sympathetic of the Mistress of All Evil? Maleficent will probably do very well, after all, Oz The Great and Powerful opened big and this ought to fall within the PG frame... Unless Disney aims for a PG-13. It all depends on the marketing and audience enthusiasm at this rate, but...

Given the fairy tale craze, this should do very well. Worldwide, it’s obviously going to do some good business.

Actuals (as of 10/23/2014)
Opening Weekend: $69 million
Domestic Box Office: $241 million
Overseas Box Office: $516 million
Worldwide Box Office: $757 million

Post-Release Thoughts: This movie is having better legs than I expected, though I did get the opening weekend correct. Worldwide it's doing very, very well. (7/4/2014)

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#12. X-Men: Days of Future Past
Release Date: May 23, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $68 million
Domestic Box Office: $176 million
Overseas Box Office: $225 million
Worldwide Box Office: $401 million

This could be the box office turn around for the X-Men film franchise, given how well-received X-Men: First Class was - which unfortunately hadn’t done so well given the stain of the two films that preceded it (X-Men: The Last Stand and X-Men Origins: Wolverine). But this film has a bigger cast (the original trilogy’s characters team up with their younger selves, that’s new), a time-travel plot and many other things... It could reverse the series’ current misfortunes. That is, if it’s a good-quality film. Bryan Singer is back in the director’s chair, so it very well may be.

Worldwide, it’ll do the usual business that X-Men films do.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $90 million
Domestic Box Office: $233 million
Overseas Box Office: $512 million
Worldwide Box Office: $746 million
(Close Date: October 9, 2014)

Post-Release Thought: Back when I made the Days of Future Past predictions, I was assuming that audiences were just burnt out on X-Men. But later marketing really hyped things up, and soon I found myself saying, "Wow… $176 million? Underestimating it!" I certainly did so, it opened big and it had decent legs. Worldwide… I did not expect an X-Men film to make close to $500 million overseas! (7/4/2014)

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#13. Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
Release Date: December 25, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $42 million
Domestic Box Office: $176 million
Overseas Box Office: $297 million
Worldwide Box Office: $473 million

Even though it will have been five years since the last film, which was not as successful as the sleeper-hit first film, Night at the Museum 3 will still be embraced by family audiences and it will do well given the Christmas release date. Family entertainment released during Christmastime usually does well, especially films like this. But it’s got a lot of competition from other films, so that may effect it in the long run.

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#14. A Million Ways to Die in the West
Release Date: May 30, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $49 million
Domestic Box Office: $171 million
Overseas Box Office: $190 million
Worldwide Box Office: $361 million

Seth MacFarlane’s next feature film, and it’s bound to be a big hit given how well his Ted did. This probably won’t have the same international appeal, though.

Opening Weekend: $16 million
Domestic Box Office: $42 million
Overseas Box Office: $43 million
Worldwide Box Office: $85 million
(Close Date: July 17, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: I would've thought that Seth MacFarlane's next would've been comedy gold that everyone would flock to go see. I thought the trailer was hilarious, but I guess others didn't think so. Bad reception, bad opening, subpar legs. I was embarrassingly way off on this one! (7/4/2014)

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#15. Guardians of the Galaxy
Release Date: August 1, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $62 million
Domestic Box Office: $165 million
Overseas Box Office: $247 million
Worldwide Box Office: $412 million

Marvel’s wild card, for sure. But the Marvel Cinematic Universe isn’t stopping anytime soon, it’s only getting bigger and it’s garnering more fans. Guardians of the Galaxy isn’t such a hard sell anymore, plus if something cosmic-set like Green Lantern - bad marketing & buzz and all - managed to make over $50 million on its opening weekend, this could very well open with above $60 million. I see a Thor/Captain America-sized performance for this film. Also, Thor: The Dark World's post-credits scene gave audiences a good taste of the awesome bizarreness!

Worldwide, it ought to do well given the setting and the more fantastical angle. Thor and its sequel happened to do well enough overseas, probably because of this.

Actuals (as of 10/26/2014)
Opening Weekend: $94 million
Domestic Box Office: $328 million
Overseas Box Office: $424 million
Worldwide Box Office: $752 million

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#16. Transcendence
Release Date: April 18, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $45 million
Domestic Box Office: $157 million
Overseas Box Office: $294 million
Worldwide Box Office: $451 million

With a good cast, a promising director (Dark Knight trilogy cinematographer Wally Pfister) and a potentially good result, Transcendence should open well enough but it should appeal to adults, making for a somewhat leggy run despite an influx of blockbusters right after it opens. Why the first teaser didn't mention Christopher Nolan is beyond me.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $10 million
Domestic Box Office: $23 million
Overseas Box Office: $80 million
Worldwide Box Office: $103 million
(Close Date: June 19, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Wow... This film is really doing badly. Who would've thought that Mr. Pfister would turn out such a badly-reviewed film (it has an awful 20% on Rotten Tomatoes and keeps dipping like crazy every weekend), and yes, now you can see why Nolan's name was left out of the marketing. Way, way off on this one. Way, way off... (5/6/2014)

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#17. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
Release Date: March 7, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $41 million
Domestic Box Office: $152 million
Overseas Box Office: $202 million
Worldwide Box Office: $354 million

It’s an easier sell than the last DreamWorks film Turbo, plus the characters are from a beloved cartoon that's from the late 1950s. Other characters from said beloved cartoon, Rocky & Bullwinkle, will be getting a short that’ll be attached to the film. Anyways, nostalgia aside, the time travel hi-jinks, colorful imagery and appealing look will most likely sell the film. This should be a box office rebound for DreamWorks, but unlike March release The Croods - which had excellent legs - it doesn’t have all of the spring season to itself. That won’t stop it from doing good enough, though.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $32 million
Domestic Box Office: $111 million
Overseas Box Office: $161 million
Worldwide Box Office: $272 million
(Close Date: September 4, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Mr. Peabody & Sherman's opening wasn't far off from my original prediction, but the legs weren't great - thus my domestic prediction was too high. It just performed okay, did solid business. Worldwide, it should finish up with below $170 million (the film probably won't do much in Japan, they get it in November!), which isn't too far off from my prediction. (5/6/2014)

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#18. Exodus
Release Date: December 12, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $41 million
Domestic Box Office: $151 million
Overseas Box Office: $242 million
Worldwide Box Office: $393 million

Ridley Scott will probably deliver a Biblical epic out of this in every sense, and the release date is smart. It could go either way, but I can see this opening big and then having good enough, if not strong legs. Good cast, too.

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#19. Rio 2
Release Date: April 11, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $42 million
Domestic Box Office: $149 million
Overseas Box Office: $377 million
Worldwide Box Office: $526 million

This should stay flat at the domestic box office. Worldwide, it’ll do a little better.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $39 million
Domestic Box Office: $131 million
Overseas Box Office: $364 million
Worldwide Box Office: $495 million
(Close Date: September 4, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Was close with the opening, it had weaker legs than its predecessor though. The overseas total is close to matching my prediction though. (7/4/2014)

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#20. Tammy
Release Date: July 2, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $38 million
Domestic Box Office: $148 million
Overseas Box Office: $41 million
Worldwide Box Office: $189 million

Melissa McCarthy. Comedy. Guaranteed to do well, she's on top of the world right now. Plot involves a woman who goes on a road trip with her foul-mouthed, boozer grandmother. Yep, it's got success written all over it.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $21 million
Domestic Box Office: $84 million
Overseas Box Office: $12 million
Worldwide Box Office: $97 million
(Close Date: October 16, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Boy was I wrong about this one. You'd think a Melissa McCarthy-headlined comedy would repeat the success of Identity Thief and The Heat, right? Well, Tammy certainly didn't look good from the marketing thus not too many people went to see it. Melissa McCarthy doing Melissa McCarthy stuff is not enough. (9/21/2014)

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#21. Divergent
Release Date: March 21, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $47 million
Domestic Box Office: $140 million
Overseas Box Office: $177 million
Worldwide Box Office: $317 million

You got to give it to Lionsgate/Summit. They know where the money is at, and young adult novels is the location. Look at Twilight, look at The Hunger Games. Now they've got Divergent, apparently this novel got good reviews unlike Twilight and is also very popular. They lucked into this, got a more-than-competent director to handle it (Neil Burger, director of The Illusionist and Limitless) and they are putting their all into the marketing. It seems very similar to The Hunger Games, so that could help it. Lionsgate/Summit is also so confident that the two sequels have already been scheduled.

As for failed young adult novel movie adaptations… The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones looked lame and apparently turned out to be lame. Ender's Game is a classic, but the marketing made it look like another shoot-em-up sci-fi flick with no emphasis on the characters. The boycott also didn't help, given the author's homophobia. Legs were weak, suggesting that audiences were left cold. Divergent doesn't seem to be shackled with these problems, it's most likely going to be something of a hit.

Now, I have no idea if this will break out or just do okay, but back in December 2011… I had predicted that The Hunger Games would make less than $170 million domestically. I had grossly underestimated the popularity of the books, so this prediction may very well be blown out of the water after March wraps up. Just watch, I'll come back here in May to see that the film has grossed $250 million domestically or something. Maybe…

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $54 million
Domestic Box Office: $150 million
Overseas Box Office: $137 million
Worldwide Box Office: $288 million
(Close Date: July 10, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Did as I expected, though I was off on the overseas gross, but I didn't go above $200 million. (7/4/2014)

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#22. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Release Date: August 8, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $38 million
Domestic Box Office: $136 million
Overseas Box Office: $167 million
Worldwide Box Office: $303 million

The new show is doing very well with younger audiences, and it will no doubt open well given that and some of the star power - but a big opening isn’t in store because the news and casting has only alienated several fans and those who grew up with the original iteration of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. With all of August and September to itself (it’ll undoubtedly be a family film, and the only new one until The BoxTrolls opens), it’ll pull strong legs. It happens to family films released in areas where this is no competition. (See Gnomeo & Juliet, The Smurfs and Escape from Planet Earth.)

Actuals (as of 10/26/2014)
Opening Weekend: $65 million
Domestic Box Office: $190 million
Overseas Box Office: $201 million
Worldwide Box Office: $392 million

Post-Release Thoughts: Another shocker. The marketing must've really hit a sweet spot with general audiences: 80s nostalgia combined with Michael Bay-style action. It's legs are surprisingly good enough too, it's like the first three Transformers films. No matter how much critics and film buffs hate them, audiences go. They just happen to like this kind of stuff. (9/21/2014)

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#23. Home
Release Date: November 26, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $34 million
Domestic Box Office: $133 million
Overseas Box Office: $211 million
Worldwide Box Office: $344 million

DreamWorks’ more outlandish and perhaps hard-to-market concepts have been having trouble at the box office. Paramount’s bad marketing for Rise of the Guardians kept what could’ve been a big hit from doing well. Turbo, on the other hand, just wasn’t something you could legitimately sell to adult audiences - it only appealed to kids, hence the very low opening weekend and subsequent low grosses it’s pulled in.

Home is already shackled by a terrible title that says very little about the story (Epic, anyone?) or the sci-fi flavored book it’s based on. The trailers had better work for audiences, or this one could be in trouble.

Home has been pushed back to 2015 in early 2014...

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#24. Godzilla
Release Date: May 16, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $48 million
Domestic Box Office: $130 million
Overseas Box Office: $327 million
Worldwide Box Office: $457 million

I’m currently seeing a Pacific Rim-esque performance for this film. Will audiences be excited about a reboot of one of the great classic movie monsters? Or will they mostly ignore it? Pacific Rim was literally sunk domestically by bad marketing, but it seemed to have decent legs for a blockbuster. Godzilla should open higher because that trailer is great, but how it will do from there? The last and only American Godzilla film left a very bad taste.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $93 million
Domestic Box Office: $200 million
Overseas Box Office: $324 million
Worldwide Box Office: $524 million
(Close Date: August 28, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: It did way better than I thought, thanks to Warner Bros.' excellent marketing (which was a complete 180 from Pacific Rim's dull and unengaging marketing), and the hype was there. However, its legs were pretty bad. Audiences apparently didn't like it, but what matters is that it exceeded my wildest domestic expectations by a lot. It's overseas total isn't too far from my prediction one either. (7/4/2014)

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#25. Into The Woods
Release Date: December 25, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $28 million
Domestic Box Office: $128 million
Overseas Box Office: $210 million
Worldwide Box Office: $338 million

A wild card actually, because this musical can very well be a bust. However, with the holiday release and a lot of months to itself, this can garner some very, very strong legs and be a sleeper hit. It may just be one of those, plus it has a strong cast and it is a Disney release so it could benefit from those two factors. Meryl Streep’s presence as the Witch could also generate a lot of Oscar buzz, which in turn can help the film even more.

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#26. 22 Jump Street
Release Date: June 13, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $40 million
Domestic Box Office: $124 million
Overseas Box Office: $72 million
Worldwide Box Office: $196 million

Bigger opening, weaker legs. It probably won’t recapture what made the first one work so well, since the original directors didn't return.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $57 million
Domestic Box Office: $191 million
Overseas Box Office: $136 million
Worldwide Box Office: $327 million
(Close Date: September 21, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Kind of a rare instance where the comedy sequel outgrosses the unexpectedly successful original, but this is probably because the first film didn't make too, too much money to begin with, unlike The Hangover. Great reviews made things better. (9/21/2014)

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#27. Muppets Most Wanted
Release Date: March 21, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $35 million
Domestic Box Office: $122 million
Overseas Box Office: $113 million
Worldwide Box Office: $235 million

The first rebooted Muppets film opened well enough, but then sunk like a stone afterwards… It's a box office anomaly if I ever saw one. Perhaps the marketing turned off a good chunk of the fan base, perhaps families didn't go given the more kid-friendly options around it, perhaps it just wasn't meant to be huge in the first place.

Whatever the reason, it just had trouble. The Muppets appealed mostly to nostalgic adults, despite how hard the marketing tried to get everyone else interested. Sad fact that many younger audiences probably had no interest in seeing Jim Henson’s beloved creations come back to the big screen. Teens? Forget them, only those who have knowledge of the characters' legacy would be interested. The Muppets is arguably seen as innocuous kiddie fluff by many.

Muppets Most Wanted should actually open higher than the first, with its relatively better release date and the fact that the first film has been out for a while now. New fans were probably gained (over 1 million DVD units were sold), it may make for a more successful sequel. Overseas, it’ll definitely outdo the original given the European setting. This is basically The Great Muppet Caper for this generation.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $17 million
Domestic Box Office: $51 million
Overseas Box Office: $27 million
Worldwide Box Office: $78 million
(Close Date: July 17, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Wow, this also didn't do very well... The lazy marketing didn't get audiences excited, the legs were just okay. Still, it's all way below what I had initially predicted for this sequel. (5/6/2014)

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#28. Horrible Bosses 2
Release Date: November 26, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $34 million
Domestic Box Office: $118 million
Overseas Box Office: $105 million
Worldwide Box Office: $223 million

This will probably stay flat, and it’ll probably be one of those comedy sequels that doesn’t surpass the sleeper-hit original. Plus, with the Thanksgiving date, this one may perform differently since the original had most of the summer to itself. Hard to judge, really, I don’t see much of a demand for it.

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#29. The Monuments Men
Release Date: February 7, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $35 million
Domestic Box Office: $110 million
Overseas Box Office: $124 million
Worldwide Box Office: $234 million

I can see this being something of a Shutter Island-sized success for this coming February. It'll open well, have good enough legs and appeal mostly to adults. It also boasts a good cast along with a World War II-set story that could help it perform similarly to films like Inglourious Basterds. Kind of hard to tell at the moment, but this looks like it could do pretty well.

Opening Weekend: $22 million
Domestic Box Office: $78 million
Overseas Box Office: $76 million
Worldwide Box Office: $154 million
(Close Date: May 18, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Did less than I though, I overshot this one quite a bit. The legs were good though. (7/4/2014)

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#30. Hercules
Release Date: July 25, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $40 million
Domestic Box Office: $102 million
Overseas Box Office: $274 million
Worldwide Box Office: $376 million

The Rock’s star power, the visuals and the fact that the story of Hercules is well-known should ensure a good-sized opening weekend. Word of mouth won’t be great, and competition will make it fizzle out in no time.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $29 million
Domestic Box Office: $72 million
Overseas Box Office: $165 million
Worldwide Box Office: $238 million
(Close Date: October 16, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Hercules looked generic, and despite the decent reviews, it didn't really hang on. There were simply other options out there that audiences preferred, such as the surprise hit Lucy and Guardians of the Galaxy, not to mention the well-marketed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. (9/21/2014)

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#31. Edge of Tomorrow
Release Date: June 6, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $38 million
Domestic Box Office: $100 million
Overseas Box Office: $211 million
Worldwide Box Office: $311 million

The time loop angle could help it, and it does seem like a good sci-fi actioner, as long as it’s marketed right. Tom Cruise is the lead, that should help it, but for now I see an Oblivion-esque performance. The release date isn’t doing it any favors, either. Transformers: Age of Extinction will be cutting its legs off.

Actuals
Opening Weekend: $28 million
Domestic Box Office: $100 million
Overseas Box Office: $269 million
Worldwide Box Office: $369 million
(Close Date: September 11, 2014)

Post-Release Thoughts: Thanks to a bland marketing campaign from Warner Bros., Edge of Tomorrow tripped out of the gate on opening weekend but since the film is very good, it's hanging on at the box office. It's possible it hits $100 million, which would be great. It's overseas total is thankfully exceeding my prediction. (7/4/2014)


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Under $100 million Mentions…


Robocop ($25m OW / $63m DOM / $158m OS) - Despite the marketing and how big budget-looking the film is, it looks derivative plus the PG-13 rating scared fans of the R-rated original away.

Actuals: $21m OW / $58m DOM / $184m OS
(Close Date: May 18, 2014)

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300: Rise of an Empire ($30m OW / $82m DOM / $189m OS) - 300 was lightning in a bottle. I can't see this replicating its success, nor grossing anywhere close to what it made. This will open decently, but then drop afterwards. This sequel came way too late and it isn't directed by Zack Snyder nor does it have a good chunk of the original cast.

Actuals: $45m OW / $106m DOM / $224m OS
(Close Date: May 29, 2014)

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Noah ($32m OW / $79m DOM / $179m OS) - Unfortunately… Well… This is not going to do very well despite the fact that the trailer has generated some decent buzz. I can't tell you why at the moment, though… It's information I shouldn't even really know.

Actuals: $44 million OW / $101m DOM / $258m OS
(Close Date: June 19th, 2014)

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Jupiter Ascending ($31m OW / $86m DOM / $196m OS) - Opening against Hercules: The Thracian Wars might hurt it, and the Wachowski brothers’ only big films were the Matrix films. Being a sci-fi film, risky to begin with, it will probably open with a small amount. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis are the leads, which may help it do well on opening weekend. I don’t expect the legs for this one to be particularly great. (Prediction changed on December 10th)

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Planes: Fire & Rescue ($20m OW / $70m DOM / $144m OS) - Planes may have opened with $22 million domestically this past summer, but it was leggy. It happens to family-friendly or kiddie films when they have next-to-no competition. Planes had all of August and September to itself before Cloudy 2 came into the picture. This sequel has no competition from its mid-July date up until Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so legs will be weaker but it'll still do well enough.

Actuals: $17 million OW / $59 million DOM / $80 million OS
(as of 10/23/2014)

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The Expendables 3 ($26m OW / $78m DOM / $242m OS) - It'll dip lightly from its predecessor, much like the second one did from the first one. Legs should be about the same, and worldwide it'll do a tad better.

Actuals: $15m OW / $39m DOM / $164m OS
(Close Date: October 16, 2014)

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The BoxTrolls ($15m OW / $57m DOM / $76m OS) - Sadly, LAIKA's films don't really do that well. Focus will have to really put together a great marketing campaign for this film in order to ensure a good-sized weekend gross, but I can't see that happening... Plus competition comes in the form of a similarly not-so-mainstream animated film called The Book of Life. That may affect it in the long run.

Actuals: $17m OW / $47 million DOM / $41m OS
(as of 10/26/2014)

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The Book of Life ($17m OW / $62m DOM / $125m OS) - Reel FX's next animated feature looks to be something different, and unfortunately marketing departments always shoot themselves in the foot when it comes to marketing "different" animation. It also doesn't help that it's sandwiched between The BoxTrolls and Big Hero 6. Worldwide, it ought to get a boost given the film's subject matter. (i.e. the Day of the Dead setting.)

Actuals: $17m OW / $29m DOM / $17m OS
(as of 10/26/2014)

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Update - November 7, 2013: Tomorrowland has been moved to May 22, 2015…
Update - November 24, 2013: A few weeks ago, Fifty Shades of Grey was moved to February 13, 2015…
Update - December 22, 2013: Fast & Furious 7 was moved to April 10, 2015…

FILMS THAT HAVE MOVED TO 2015
* Films I had predictions for, back when they were 2014 releases...

Tomorrowland...

#9. Tomorrowland
Release Date: December 12, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $51 million
Domestic Box Office: $247 million
Overseas Box Office: $226 million
Worldwide Box Office: $473 million

Definitely an out-on-a-limb prediction, because this is quite a gamble - no different from other Disney live-action tentpole films like John Carter and The Lone Ranger. Hopefully this film is backed by a great marketing campaign that actually entices audiences to see it, it is Brad Bird’s next film and Disney marketing better not mess things up.

With a strong marketing campaign, this has the potential to do really, really well. Brad Bird’s only money-losing film (The Iron Giant) was the victim of awful marketing, his non-Pixar Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol was a huge hit thanks to a strong marketing campaign from Paramount. Word of mouth did the work from there, so all this film needs is a more than solid opening. If Bird’s film is a critical smash and an audience favorite, it’ll most definitely do some box office damage.

Fifty Shades of Grey...

#23. Fifty Shades of Grey
Release Date: August 1, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $50 million
Domestic Box Office: $125 million
Overseas Box Office: $195 million
Worldwide Box Office: $320 million

Make no mistake, this will be frontloaded. This is probably going to be Twilight all over again, though it won’t make anything close to $70 million on opening weekend because of this film’s inevitable R-rating. But, it’s still going to open big and then it will sink like a stone on the following weekends. The distributors probably won’t care, since it’ll probably cost nothing to make.

Fast & Furious 7...

#4. Fast & Furious 7
Release Date: July 11, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $119 million
Domestic Box Office: $285 million
Overseas Box Office: $600 million
Worldwide Box Office: $885 million

This franchise gets bigger and bigger, with no signs of audience fatigue in sight. In fact, the previous installment had better legs than Fast Five did. Fast & Furious 7 will undoubtedly set the opening weekend record for the franchise, and do solid business from there.

And the series gets bigger worldwide. Expect it destroy the international box office come this next summer.

Update (December 4, 2013): With Paul Walker's untimely passing on November 30th, this film is on hold, as Universal has shut down production. This could result in a year-long delay, as the project is not being canceled completely. A lot of it has been filmed. For now, this prediction is moot…

Update (December 11, 2013): It's reported that Universal is having the script revised for the film, and that filming might resume in January. We'll see…

Even though Universal hasn't announced a new date or "TBD" status for Fast & Furious (as of this writing - December 11th - it's still pegged for July 11th), Fox moved this film into its spot.

On Planet of the Apes: Fast & Furious 7 is most likely moving at this point, now that Jupiter Ascending took this film's original release date. We'll see how it all plays out...


#30. Jupiter Ascending
Release Date: July 18, 2014

Predictions
Opening Weekend: $39 million
Domestic Box Office: $107 million
Overseas Box Office: $221 million
Worldwide Box Office: $328 million

Being a summer release and one that promises some very interesting visual thrills and whatnot, Jupiter Ascending should open well enough and have decent legs throughout August and September and make for a respectable hit for a sci-fi film. Worldwide, it ought to do a little better.

UPDATE (2/6/2015): Jupiter Ascending has been moved to February 6, 2015!

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