As expected, April was the month of Captain America. He led pretty much wire to wire and aside from Rio 2, there really wasn’t a single other noteworthy release for the whole month. May will assuredly not continue that trend. It is jam-packed with potential blockbusters and should be one of the most crowded months we’ve seen in a long time. As he has twice before, Spider-Man will kick off the month of May. So check out my thoughts on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and all the other flicks coming your way in the next month.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2
My Thoughts: Spider-Man remains a very popular character, and 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man was a solid reboot. In particular, Andrew Garfield proved himself a more than capable Peter Parker. This sequel promises to ramp things up with more villains, but I’d like to think the people behind this movie are handling the villains with some delicacy considering the disaster that was the bloated Spider-Man 3. Nonetheless, it’s good that they’re bringing in Spider-Man’s archenemy, the Green Goblin, and it’s also nice to see Electro, a villain hitherto unseen on the big screen.
As far as the box office potential goes, TASM2 does have a weekend all to itself and will have been a full month since The Winter Soldier premiered. The Spider-Man franchise has always pulled in big grosses, but TASM made by far the least of all the entries, pulling in $262 million. It was a well-liked film, but not quite enough to revive the franchise to its old heights. Furthermore, it doesn’t feel like the buzz for the sequel is that fantastic, so I think, like its predecessor, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will have a solid, if unspectacular, gross.
Opening Weekend: $88 million
Total Gross: $242 million
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return
My Thoughts: I really don’t know how many times we can revisit the land of Oz, but I guess it’s the kind of story that everyone likes to take a crack at. This seems like a pretty earnest effort, but I also don’t see anything to make this stand out. The animation looks a bit half-assed and I think parents would rather save their money and wait for better animated flicks to take the kids to.
Opening Weekend: $5 million
Total Gross: $15 million
Mom’s Night Out
My Thoughts: At least once during each of these monthly previews, there’s that one movie for which I really have to wrack my brain just to come up with anything to say. Say hello to this month’s iteration. I have no interest. Wikipedia tells me it’s a “Christian comedy” and Christian movies have done very well this year, but I figure that well has to run dry at some point, right? So I’m thinking Mom’s Night Out will be the first misfire for Christian movies this year.
Opening Weekend: $6 million
Total Gross: $21 million
My Thoughts: I like Seth Rogen. I also like Zac Efron. And I like movies produced by Evan Goldberg (This is the End, Pineapple Express, Superbad, Knocked Up). And I think the concept of what essentially amounts to a prank war is a potential comedy gold mine. So there’s really a lot to like here. Then again, Goldberg and Rogen can also have misfires, like The Green Hornet. But for the most part, they make good movies that make people laugh. Plus, the addition of Zac Efron and his chiseled physique can help bring in female moviegoers, who might otherwise be a bit reticent about seeing a movie like this. Neighbors has a lot going for it and I think it should do solid numbers.
Opening Weekend: $34 million
Total Gross: $105 million
Million Dollar Arm
My Thoughts: Note to self: watch Mad Men. I’ve really liked Jon Hamm in everything I’ve seen him in. He has such an easygoing, yet rugged, masculinity to him that really draws me in. Uh….what? Anyway, Million Dollar Arm seems to play into a lot of underdog sports movie clichés, but hey, clichés can be fun sometimes. If nothing else, I think it looks better than and should gross more than Draft Day.
Opening Weekend: $14 million
Total Gross: $42 million
My Thoughts: This approach to the legendary kaiju has done pretty much everything right. Godzilla himself is huge and badass-looking (from what few glimpses we’ve seen), the cast is very strong–with Bryan Cranston fresh off Breaking Bad front and center in the advertising so far–and it looks to promise the large-scale fighting and destruction that everyone wants to see in a Godzilla movie. Special effects technology has progressed since the 1998 effort, but the special effects were the least of that flick’s problems.
It’s tough to gauge the box office for this. On the one hand, the buzz has steadily built as the marketing campaign has done a wonderful job. It also does look like it will genuinely be a good film. However, there’s also a lot of competition. TASM2 and Neighbors will both be competing for the young male demographic and X-Men: Days of Future Past arrives just one week later. Ultimately, though, I think Godzilla will deliver the goods and it has a serious chance of being the surprise victor of this very crowded May.
Opening Weekend: $85 million
Total Gross: $250 million
My Thoughts: It’s probably mostly the nostalgia filter at work, but I really don’t enjoy anything Adam Sandler has done in the last decade or so. I’ll gladly watch Happy Gilmore or Billy Madison when they’re on TV, but I refuse to ever subject myself to viewing either Grown Ups film. At least Blended doesn’t look as awful as those efforts and bringing in Drew Barrymore is a good move, as she and Sandler have found success together before. And, for better or worse, Sandler remains a solid box office draw. Neighbors might take away a little business, but Blended should do better with women and gross solid numbers.
Opening Weekend: $30 million
Total Gross: $80 million
X-Men: Days of Future Past
My Thoughts: More than any other movie this may–no, this summer–hell, the entire year–I want this to be both good and successful. The ingredients and potential are all right there. An awesome story adapted from a seminal storyline in the comics, bringing the casts together from the original trilogy and First Class, extremely well-done trailers and the promise of some amazing action scenes. Furthermore, the starpower of certain cast-members, including Michael Fassbender but especially Jennifer Lawrence (just look at the size of Mystique on the poster), has risen considerably in the last three years.
The X-Men franchise has been successful, although it could never reach the heights of the higher tier comic book franchises. The highest grossing was The Last Stand at $234.4 million. I think that’s a decent number to shoot for. Despite First Class and The Wolverine both being well-received, neither did spectacularly at the box office and I think franchise fatigue is a definite factor here. So despite the fact I’d love nothing more than to see this movie tear up the box office, I won’t buy into the hype. In short, I think DOFP will improve on the take of First Class, but not to an absurd degree. The Last Stand will likely remain the highest-grossing in the series.
Opening Weekend: $72 million
Total Gross: $190 million
My Thoughts: My distaste for Angelina Jolie has been well-documented. I know she does all sorts of volunteer work and has adopted kids and whatnot, but she just rubs me the wrong way. Furthermore, I find her quite unattractive. I never though she was hot, even in her prime. And she’s really not a good actress, nor has she ever made a convincing action star with her extremely thin frame. In short, I cannot understand she is popular and any sort of box office draw.
Now that I have my requisite Angelina Jolie-hatefest out of the way, let’s take a look at Maleficent. This is yet another updated, gritty take on a classic story. This one takes a page out of the Wicked book and shows us this story from the point of view of the villain. On the plus side, I do think Elle Fanning is a talented young actress, so at least there’s that. The best comparison might be Snow White and the Huntsman, whose $155 million total makes a good number to work toward.
Opening Weekend: $52 million
Total Gross: $142 million
A Million Ways to Die in the West
My Thoughts: Coming off the massive success of Ted, not to mention the continued popularity of Family Guy, Seth McFarlane is riding pretty high. For all his success, he’s actually rather unproven in front of the camera, and westerns are usually a tough sell. But I think A Million Ways to Die in the West should end up being fine. The trailer is funny, and it’s got a strong cast. Plus, Neeson just proved that he can comedy pretty well in The Lego Movie. By the time this comes out, Neighbors will likely be winding down and young males could be looking for their next comedy fix. AMWTDITW probably won’t reach Ted heights, but it should be successful in its own right.
Opening Weekend: $28 million
Total Gross: $80 million
That does it for a jam-packed May. There are a full five movies this month I’d like to see, which is more than I’ve seen in the first four months of the year combined. But that’s how things go; the summer movie season almost always picks the box office up. I hope you enjoyed the preview and here’s to hoping my predictions weren’t too far off. Until we meet again.