Tuesday, May 2, 2017

2017 Box Office Predictions Part 2 (May Thru August)

Last year my nephew Kyle sent me a list of his 2016 box office predictions, and I posted them here on my blog, along with my own thoughts and comments about the upcoming films.

Unfortunately we didn't do so well, as Kyle's predictions had a 41% accuracy rate, and mine was even worse at 37%. That's less than an F on the standard grading scale! I guess we vastly underestimated the general moviegoing public's willingness to sit through literally anything.

I found a list of upcoming 2017 releases, so we decided to try our hands at predicticating again. 
There were way too many movies to cover all in one go, so I'm splitting them up. The following reviews are for May through AugustYou can see our predictions for January through April here.

My comments are in red, while Kyle's are in blue. Note that he isn't making very many predictions this year, as he's only concerned with films he plans to see.

May
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2
Marvel’s space opera hit gets a sequel, bringing back all your favorite characters and adding a few new ones too, including Kurt Russell as Star-Lord's dad. 
Premieres May 5.

Bob: No question this will be another major hit for Marvel. The first Guardians grossed $773 million worldwide. I would expect this one to do at least $800 million, if not more.

Kyle: $850-900 million easy. One of the biggest hits of the summer.


King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword

Guy Ritchie's take on the Arthurian legend was announced way back in 2014, as the first of a SIX film series (!). 

Bob: I reeeeeeally wouldn't get my hopes up for five more sequels. The trailer doesn't look bad, but it's got a brutal release date, coming out just a week after Guardians Of The Galaxy. Ouch! 

It was supposed to come out in July of 2016, but Warner Bros. moved it back to February of 2017, then March, and then finally May. Multiple delays like that are never, ever a good sign.

Plus I don't see the public turning out in droves to see Charlie Hunnam. I don't see it passing the $100 million mark. I think it'll be lucky if it makes $80 million.

Alien: Covenant
Sigh... somebody please stop Ridley Scott! He's making yet another ALIEN prequel, and says he wants to make SIX more! It's got a great cast, including Michael Fassbender, Danny McBride and Billy Crudup, but it looks like a virtual remake of the first film. 
Premieres May 19.

Bob: I have a strange love/hate relationship with the ALIEN franchise. I like ALIEN a lot, I absolutely love ALIENS, I've never seen ALIEN 3 and refuse to acknowledge that it even exists, and I was disappointed and underwhelmed by ALIEN: Resurrection.

I was also NOT a fan of Prometheus, as I thought it was nothing more than a lame stealth remake of ALIEN. It made an astonishing $403 million though, proving people will see anything with a title they recognize. I think some viewers will feel burned by
Prometheus (HAW!) though, and may skip this one. I'm predicting it'll make around $200 million.

Kyle: Like with King Kong: Skull Island, this is another movie I wish would hurry up and get out of the way so we can get Neil Blomkamp's Alien 5, which will see the return of Sigourney Weaver and Michael Biehn, and will ignore the events of Alien 3 and Alien: Resurrection (I'm assuming that Alien 5 will not be the final title). 


This was about to enter production when Ridley Scott "politely asked" (read: strong armed) the studio to delay that movie until after his Prometheus sequel. Alien 5 is now planned to enter production in late 2017 with a possible release in late 2018 or early 2019. Thanks for nothing Ridley.

Box office prediction: I hope it bombs hard enough to end Ridley Scott's career, but not hard enough to delay Alien 5 any further.


Bob: Don't mince words, Kyle. What do you really think?

Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Six years after his last cinematic outing, Captain Jack Sparrow returns and gads about the screen again, muttering incoherently about treasure or something. Johnny Depp, Javier Bardem and Geoffrey Rush star, and Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightly reprise their roles as well. 
Premieres May 26.

Bob: Ugh, another one of these? I saw the first three, but gave the fourth a miss. I guess I can see why Johnny Depp wants to keep pumping them out though, as he's not exactly setting the box office on fire these days, and this series is about all he's got going for him. The alleged domestic abuse case against him was eventually proved false, but the damage is already done, as it irreparably tarnished his image.

The fourth film premiered a whopping six years ago, and only grossed $241 million in the States. However it made an unbelievable $804 MILLION in the rest of the world, for a grand total of over a BILLION DOLLARS!!!

I think it'll be a flop here, grossing less than its $320 million budget, but the worldwide market will save it.


June

Wonder Woman
DC's latest attempt to emulate Marvel and cash in on that sweet, sweet shared-universe pie. Critics and fans haven't been kind to the DC Extended Universe films, so there's a lot riding on this one. If it tanks, it's gonna damage the upcoming Justice League as well, and may do in the DCEU altogether. Premieres June 2.

Bob: Batman V. Superman and Suicide Squad made $875 million and $745 million respectively, despite both being steaming piles of hot garbage. So it doesn't matter if Wonder Woman is a good film or not, it'll inexplicably make a crap-ton of money as well. I don't think it'll do quite as well as Suicide Squad though, so I'm gonna say it'll gross around $600 worldwide.

Captain Underpants
Based on the popular series of kid's books, and starring Ed Helms as the title voice. 
Premieres June 2.

Bob: Kids love the book series, and it's a CGI cartoon, so it's already a hit. If Boss Baby can gross almost $400 million worldwide, I see no reason why this won't do the same or better.

The Mummy
Tom Cruise hunts an ancient evil Egyptian princess in modern times. Depending on who you ask and which story you believe, the film may or may not be an attempt at starting a new Universal Monsters shared universe. 
Premieres June 9.

Bob: The trailer didn't do anything for me, as it looked more like another Mission: Impossible movie than a horror film. The film went through three directors, which is never a good sign, and it's produced by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, the hacks, er, producers who brought the world such fine cinematic achievements as Star Trek Into Darkness, Now You See Me 1 & 2 and Enders Game

As a result of this I have absolutely zero confidence in the film, and no desire to see it whatsoever. Despite this, I think it might gross around $250 million.

It Comes At Night
A moody horror film about a man (Joel Edgerton) trying to protect his family in a remote location after a world-wide disaster. Premieres June 9.

Bob: The trailer certainly looks good, but I've been burned by flashy previews before. I can't tell if the titular threat is an actual creature stalking the characters (good!) or if it's one of those "The Real Danger Is Man!" movies (bad!). 

There's a lot of buzz about this film, and low budget horror films generally always make a small profit. This comes out the same weekend as The Mummy though, so I have a feeling it's gonna get buried. I think it'll make around $50 million.

Cars 3
It's been six years since the previous movie came out— will kids flock to this followup, or will they finally tire (get it?) of talking cars? The trailer indicates the franchise is taking a very dark turn, which seems ill-advised for a kids' film. 
Premieres June 16.

Bob: I wasn't a big fan of Doc Hollywood, er, I mean Cars when it came out, and I didn't even bother seeing the second one. They're not making these movies for me though, so what I think doesn't matter. It's Pixar, so it'll automatically gross at least $350 million.

Transformers: The Last Knight
Michael Bay hates humanity with a white hot passion, as evidenced by the fact that he keeps pumping out these films. This one's supposedly a soft reboot of the franchise. Yes, we wouldn't want the Transformers movies bogged down with too much story and continuity now, would we? 
Premieres June 23.

Bob: I have just one question for Michael Bay: How the hell did he talk Sir Anthony Hopkins into starring in a goddamned Transformers movie?


Man, Transformers: Age Of Extinction will go down in my personal history as the film that almost broke me. It was a grueling endurance test to sit through, felt like it was six hours long, and I just wanted to get up and go home. I would have, but I didn't drive to the theater. Maybe I should have sprang for a taxi.

Against all logic and reason, these films have always been huge hits— Age Of Extinction grossed over ONE BILLION DOLLARS!!!! I expect no different from this one. I'm gonna predict it'll gross at $800 million at the absolute least.


Amityville: The Awakening
According to wikipedia, this is the 
tenth installment in the main Amityville franchise and nineteenth overall. I have no idea what that means, but I do know that nineteen Amityville movies is about eighteen too many. Premieres June 30.

Bob: No lie, I've been seeing the trailer for this cinematic turd off and on since 2014. That is not an exaggeration. It must be exceptionally bad if it's been delayed for three years. I smell a bomb.

Despicable Me 3
Gru's back, and this time clashes his long-lost, more successful brother Dru. Oh, and the Minions return too, of course. 
Premieres June 30.

Bob: The first film grossed $543 million, while the second made a mind boggling $970 million. Could this one cross the billion dollar mark? I'm gonna say no, as the all-Minions Minions movie may have stolen some of this film's thunder. I predict around $750 - $800 million.

July

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Yay, Spider-Man's getting rebooted yet again, for the THIRD time in just fifteen years. This one's produced by Marvel Studios though, which may make it worth a look. 
Premieres July 7.

Bob: You know the story by now— after the two subpar Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies, Sony admitted they have no idea what they're doing and asked Marvel Studios to make a new film for them. So it's got the Marvel Studios magic touch going for it.

On the other hand, this is the SIXTH Spider-Man film and the THIRD reboot in just fifteen years. I'm afraid the general public might be Spider-Manned out.

On the other other hand, fans made a huge deal out of his small cameo in Captain America: Civil War, so there may be some life left in the franchise after all. I'm gonna guess it'll gross around $600 million.


Kyle: Despite this being a Marvel movie on paper, Sony still has some influence on this movie, and that concerns me. This is the studio ran by Amy Pascal (who greenlit Ghostbusters 2016 and is currently pushing hard for a live action Barbie flick staring Amy Schumer) and Tom Rothman (former fox executive who fought against a Deadpool movie for over a decade, saying that he "didn't get it" and that it would never be a big hit, and who also greenlit Passengers and thought it would be a giant hit for the studio). 


Needless to say, despite Marvel's involvement, I'm not confident that Spider-Man is in good hands yet. Still, should gross at least $750-800 million.

War For The Planet Of The Apes
The third (and final?) film in the rebooted Planet Of The Apes series. This time Caesar the chimp leads his ape army against human Woody Harrelson for control of the world. 
Premieres July 14.

Bob: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes grossed an impressive $481 million, while the sequel, Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes nearly doubled that, at $710 million. I'm betting this one will do at least as well or better than Dawn. I predict around $850 million.

Kyle: I really like the last two planet of the apes movies, and I believe that they are some of the best examples of how to do a reboot-sequel-requel-prequel the right way. The last two entries in the series grossed $481 and $710 respectively, I think this one will split the difference, and land somewhere between $550-$625, which should be enough to ensure a 4th film to wrap up the series, assuming that this is not planned as the final part.

Dunkirk

Christopher Nolan's big budget WWII film, which, as you might expect from the title, is about the Battle Of Dunkirk. Premieres July 21.

Bob: I'm not a huge fan of Christopher Nolan. I liked Inception quite a bit, but his Dark Knight movies didn't do anything for me, and I hated Interstellar. So I have little interest in this one.

Oddly enough, Michael Caine's nowhere to be seen in this movie, but Nolan regulars Tom Hardy and Cillian Murphy are in it of course. It also stars Harry Styles. Yeah, that Harry Styles, of One Direction fame.

I can't find any info on the film's budget yet, but Nolan reportedly earned a whopping, record-breaking $20 million dollars to direct (!). Nolan's insisting on practical effects again, refurbishing old WWII ships to use in filming. Given all that, I'd expect the budget to be at least $200 million. It's gonna have to be a massive hit just to break even. I think it'll probably make $100 to $150 million here, but be saved by the overseas grosses.

Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets
From the director of The Fifth Element comes The Fifth Element 2, er, I mean this big budget sci-fi epic based on the long-running French comic book. 
Premieres July 21.

Bob: I've been a fan of the comic for years (the art more than the story), so I hope this does well. It looks a lot like The Fifth Element, which makes sense since both were directed by Luc Besson.

Unfortunately it also looks a lot like Jupiter Ascending, which was a huge bomb a couple years ago. Could its failure taint Valerian? Possibly.

The comic's pretty well known in Europe, but virtually unknown here in the States. It'll definitely do better overseas than it does here. Sadly I think it'll get lost among all the other summer movies— especially Dunkirk, which opens the same weekend— and flop hard here, but be saved by the foreign market. I'm betting it'll gross around $300 million worldwide.


The Dark Tower
Stephen King's epic fantasy gets the live action movie treatment. Idris Elba stars as the Gunslinger, a man who wanders an otherdimensional world as he searches for both the Man In Black and the Dark Tower. Premieres July 28.

Bob: I've been a Stephen King fan for decades, but I tried to read the first novel in this series and quickly gave up,. As a result I know little or nothing about the property and have zero attachment to it. From what I've read, the movie takes great liberties with the novel, changing a LOT of elements, which is sure to piss off the hardcore fans. I don't see it being a huge hit, and bet it'll barely break even.

Kyle: Never heard of this? You're not alone. This is based on Stephen King's seven part Dark Tower series of novels. Depending on who you ask it's either King's magnum opus or his half-assed attempt to do a Lord Of The Rings style fantasy epic. Like George R.R. Martin's Game Of Thrones series, King was notoriously slow to write this series, with Book 1 released in 1982, book 2 in 1987, book 3 in 1991, and book 4 in 1997. In between books 4 and 5, King had his famous accident in which he was hit by a car and came very close to death. Realizing that he had a responsibility to the fans, he finished the series and book 5 was released in 2003, and books 6 and 7 were both released in 2004. Unfortunately, the rush job shows and (in my opinion) parts of book 5, and most of book 6 and 7 are basically unreadable.

A film adaptation has been in development since 2007, which J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof attached, which would have meant a version of the film that posed countless questions it had no intention of answering. Ron Howard become attached in 2010, and for a few years the plan was to have the franchise start with a film, go to a season on TV, have another film, then another TV season, and then conclude with a final film.
This was dropped due to the logistics of such a project and fears of audience confusion. 


(No doubt! I got confused just reading that sentence!)

In terms of what this film will be, see spoilers below (drag your cursor over the text to highlight it):

This will be pretty oversimplified, but the seventh book ends with the timeline essentially reset, with the main character starting his journey all over again, but this time with a special artifact that was broken and destroyed in the original timeline, and with it the journey will be able to be finished for reals this team. (told you it was stupid and nearly unreadable). 


Thus, the movie will apparently serve was a sequel or sorts to the book series, and not an adaptation. I’m confused by that, and general audiences who have no context for the books will be as well. I’m not sure why this is being made, and I can’t see it being anything other than a massive box office bomb.

August

The Emoji Movie
Another week, another CGI animated kids' movie. This one, as you might have guessed from the title, concerns talking emojis. It features an impressive cast, including T.J. Miller, Anna Faris, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Steven Wright and Rob Riggle. 


It also stars Sir Patrick Stewart, who voices the Poop emoji (!). Remember when Patrick Stewart was a respected actor, and a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company? I miss those days. Premieres August 4.

Bob: I realize I'm not the target audience for this kind of film, but this looks dreadful. And really, Sony? You're doing "Sh*t Happens" on posters for kid's movies now? Classy!

Sony's had some moderate success with their Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs series, The Smurfs movies and The Hotel Transylvania franchise. I'm gonna say this one will make $400 million at the most.


Blazing Samurai
Earth 2 Kung Fu Panda, er, I mean Blazing Samurai concerns a dog who yearns to become a master swordsman. It features the requisite all-star voice cast, including Ricky Gervais, Michael Cera (!), Mel Brooks, Michelle Yeoh and Samuel L. Jackson. Premieres August 4.

Bob: Looks like a Kung Fu Panda clone. Do we really need another one of those? It has an amazing voice cast, but CGI kid movies don't tend to do well unless they're made by Pixar, Disney or Dreamworks. This one's made by Jam Filled Toronto, whatever the hell that is. 


I don't see it being a hit, plus it comes out the same weekend as The Emoji Movie, which seems like bad planning to me. The Emoji Movie is gonna absolutely bury this one.. I'll be surprised if this one makes $150 million.

Annabelle 2
I like The Conjuring movies quite a bit. The Annabelle spinoff, not as much. Now we're getting Annabelle's completely unnecessary origin story, in what has to be a first-- a prequel to a spinoff of a movie in a successful franchise. 
Premieres August 11.

Bob: The first film was a surprise hit, grossing $256 million against its meager $6 million budget. Wow! I would expect this one to be no less successful. I predict it'll make around $300 million.

Cadaver
An ex-cop takes a job in a morgue. Hijinx ensure when an evil entity possesses one of the corpses. Premieres August 25.


Bob: I've never heard a peep about this film until now. It's the usual situation— if the budget is low enough, it could be a moderate hit. One again, it comes out the same weekend as another horror film, which seems like an idiotic idea to me. I'm betting it'll make around $40 million.

Polaroid
Another small horror movie, this one about an old polaroid camera that kills anyone whose picture gets taken with it. Premieres August 25.

Bob: I'm pretty sure The Twilight Zone did this exact same plot fifty years ago. No matter how scary it might be, it's gonna suffer from coming out the same weekend as Cadaver. I'm betting it'll make $50 million at the most.

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