Impressively, the month of June was largely able to sustain the large amount of momentum that began in May. Man of Steel and Monsters University brought the blockbuster numbers, while some other films broke out and surprised us all (The Purge, World War Z). July gets started a bit early because of the Independence Day holiday
The Lone Ranger
My Thoughts: To get straight to the point, I just don’t think this film looks good. It gets way too happy with the CGI and Johnny Depp is yet again doing his tired Johnny Depp thing, i.e. playing an off-beat, oddball character who’s basically just a retread of Jack Sparrow. It’s nice to see Armie Hammer, AKA The Winklevii (The Social Network) getting a crack at being the titular character in a big budget action flick, but it bothers the hell out of me that Johnny Depp is getting top billing and most of the attention in advertisements when he is not the main character.
I had that same problem years ago when The Mad Hatter–oh, I mean Alice in Wonderland came out. You hardly would’ve known that Alice was the protagonist by the way the Mad Hatter was plastered all over the place. That rant aside, I get the feeling this movie will get destroyed by critics, be met with at best a tepid response from (non-Johnny Depp fangirl) audiences, yet still somehow, make boatloads of money. Both wide releases this weekend are opening on Wednesday because of the holiday, so my predictions are for the three day weekend.
Opening Weekend: $43 million
Total Gross: $160 million
Despicable Me 2
My Thoughts: While I enjoyed the first Despicable Me, I didn’t think it was quite as good as some make it out to be. Nonetheless, it was a clever film with a strong concept, engaging characters, an appropriate animation style, and perhaps most importantly, supporting characters (the minions) who became so popular that they have transcended the film itself.
The sequel figures to be pretty huge. Holiday weekend, a well-received first installment….however, animated films sometimes don’t see the same growth from original to sequel that live action films do. Despite that, I expect DM2 to buck that trend. But like The Lone Ranger, this is debuting on Wednesday, and being a sequel, a lot of demand will be met on the first two days, diluting its opening weekend. In the end, though, DM2 should be one of the year’s highest grossing films.
Opening Weekend: $65 million
Total Gross: $275 million
Kevin Hart: Let Me Explain
My Thoughts: I’m not the biggest purveyor of stand up comedy, but I’ll admit that Kevin Hart is very funny. And if Tyler Perry has shown us anything, it’s that when a film that really clicks with black audiences comes out, they can power it to some impressive totals. I expect that to be the case here, as even though this film is releasing in a small number of theatres (approximately 800; compare to nearly 4000 for Despicable Me 2), it can be great counter-programming, and Kevin Hart’s popularity has started to extend beyond black audiences, so a solid gross should be in store.
Opening Weekend: $8 million
Total Gross: $30 million
Grown Ups 2
My Predictions: I’ve never seen the first Grown Ups, but I assume I would hate it. Adam Sandler hasn’t done anything good in years, and I get the feeling that his films that I do enjoy are biased by nostalgia anyway. The original film did end up being quite a success actually, but was a sequel really necessary? I do hesitate to admit that I actually chuckled once or twice during the trailer for GU2, but I still hope moviegoers do the right thing and stay away from this one. Also, I’m curious to see if GU2 can do even worse (better?) than the incredibly awful nine percent the original film has at Rotten Tomatoes.
Opening Weekend: $33 million
Total Gross: $80 million
My Prediction: This film has a lot of things that I love. Giant robots. Kaiju. Guillermo Del Toro as director. And it seems like it’s all being made with a sense of self-awareness, a complete understanding of what it is, a film about little else other than the aforementioned robots and kaiju battling it out. Oh, and it has GLaDOS too. That’s pretty damn cool. Pacific Rim is almost going out of its way to appeal to the nerd crowd, but to succeed, it will have to go further.
The Transformers movies were able to bring in much more than just the nerds and I fear that PR will have trouble doing the same, especially considering it’s not based on a pre-existing popular franchise like that, but it has its obvious influences from popular anime like Neon Genesis Evangelion as well as films like the Godzilla franchise, so there are familiar elements here to bring in different crowds. I’m thinking a modest debut with strong legs, as while I’m still a little cautious, I ultimately think Pacific Rim will deliver the goods.
Opening Weekend: $40 million
Total Gross: $150 million
My Thoughts: I’m a bit perplexed as to why Patrick Wilson seems to be doing a lot of horror movies lately, but who knows, maybe he just wants to follow in Ethan Hawke’s footsteps. It worked out pretty well for Hawke with The Purge after all. Nonetheless, I see no reason why The Conjuring will do anything much more than standard horror movie numbers, despite a fairly creepy trailer.
Opening Weekend: $15 million
Total Gross: $37 million
My Thoughts: I would hope most people who saw this trailer would think to themselves would think, “wow, this movie looks horrible.” I sure did. But, hey, to each their own. I like the concept actually, but the execution looks horribly and it seems as though Ryan Reynolds, as charismatic as he may be, is taking the role too seriously. Jeff Bridges, on the other hand, seems fully aware of how utterly ridiculous the film is and hams it up accordingly. Anyway, I’m really not expecting much from R.I.P.D.
Opening Weekend: $15 million
Total Gross: $45 million
My Thoughts: Back in 2010, the first Red actually became a pretty decent success. A $90 million gross was pretty solid against its budget, and also the fact that the concept was a bit of a tough sell. Now that said, was anyone really clamoring for a sequel? I expect this to still do solid numbers, but especially on a heavily crowded weekend, it probably won’t match the same heights of its predecessor. That said, all the posters are cool. Making them blood-red is a nice touch.
Opening Weekend: $18 million
Total Gross: $65 million
My Thoughts: Interesting that Ryan Reynolds will be competing against himself this weekend, and it’s also interesting that the film in which he plays a snail will handily defeat his live action performance. But this is a good role for Reynolds, and the animation looks nice, plus that Dreamworks brand name still goes a long way. By this point, Despicable Me 2 will be two and a half weeks old, so competition won’t be a big factor, but Turbo is oddly opening on a Wednesday, so that will bring its weekend gross down a bit.
Opening Weekend: $24 million
Total Gross: $92 million
The To-Do List
My Predictions: Well, I never would’ve heard of this film if I wasn’t doing this preview. Interestingly, Julie from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World is the main character in this, so it’s nice to see her get a lead role, even if I don’t expect this to be released in that many theatres nor do particularly great roles. It seems like a fairly run of the mill teen sex comedy, but I chuckled a few times during the trailer. But I can’t see this pulling in much money.
Opening Weekend: $4 million
Total Gross: $15 million
My Thoughts: Most everyone agrees that X-Men Origins:Wolverine was at the very least disappointing. Many would also have little hesitation in calling it a terrible movie. While very entertaining, Origins just left a bad taste in the mouth of movie-goers, but fortunately, X-Men: First Class went a long way toward regaining some of the good will for this franchise. Taking their most popular character and putting him in a fresh setting in Japan, with characters new to the film series might be just what Logan needs.
I want to believe that this film will be legitimately good. And I want to believe it can do good numbers at the box office. That said, I am keeping my expectations low, although I really can’t imagine it being any worse than Origins. First Class opened to $55 million, and considering the popularity of Wolverine, I think that’s a reasonable number to hope to surpass. In the event that The Wolverine is actually good, it could easily play well throughout August.
Opening Weekend: $62 million
Total Gross: $170 million
There’s a lot of potential in this June, but aside from Despicable Me 2, there’s not a guaranteed hit. Some of the gambles, especially Pacific Rim and The Wolverine, could fall well short. And The Lone Ranger could do disappointing numbers as well. But if everything comes together, we’ll be looking at our third very strong month in a row at the box office. So there’s definitely plenty of intrigue heading into July and I can’t wait. Until we meet again.