2015 Summer Movie Wager: A Game of Box Office Predictions

The Totally Rad Show, through rules given by TimeTravelReview’s, has this little game:

The object is to pick the films that you think will be the top-ten grossing films of the summer, in order of box-office performance. As I’ve said, that means only films released from May 1st 2012 to the Labor Day weekend, counting only the money those films make domestically (US and Canada) in that period. In other words films from March or April might still be making money after May 1st, but they don’t count; films released from May on could start racking up foreign B.O., but that doesn’t count; films released from May on could still be making money into September, but that doesn’t count either. Box Office numbers are generally available late Monday or Tuesday after the weekend closes. For the last seven or so years, I have been using box office numbers from Yahoo Box Office which gets their numbers in turn from Box Office Mojo. So what you will be doing is figuring out what 10 films will make the most money, and putting them in order of what you think they will gross at the box office. BUT, in addition to your top 10, you get to pick 3 “Dark Horses”- films you think *might* make it, but that you are not confident enough about to put into the top 10 proper.


Think of it like fantasy sports for movie nerds. You pick what ten films will make the highest profit in the U.S. and Canada and the next three that don’t quite make the cut.


The point system is as follows:


  • Getting number 1 or number 10 dead-on gets you 13 points (each).

The rest of the scoring goes like this:

  • 10 points for numbers 2-9 dead-on
  • 7 points if your pick was only one spot away from where it ended up
  • 5 points if it was two spots away
  • 3 points if your pick is anywhere in the Top 10
  • 1 point for each dark horse that makes it into the Top 10

The scoring is tabulated so that you get the SINGLE HIGHEST point value for each pick- that is, if you get number ten right, you don’t get 13+3, you only get 13.


Finding this game has piqued my interest, and, as such, I want in. I know it is already past May 1, but the only contender that has been released this weekend has always been the clear choice for the number one spot. Sequels almost always do better, and Avengers is currently the third highest grossing film domestically of all time. So, I think I can be given a pass on my late entry.


Here is my list:


  1. Avengers: Age of Ultron
  2. Minions
  3. Jurassic World
  4. Inside Out
  5. Tomorrowland
  6. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
  7. Ant-Man
  8. Ted 2
  9. Terminator: Genisys
  10. Mad Max: Fury Road


Dark Horses

  • Magic Mike XXL
  • Fantastic Four
  • Pixels


Some Explanation:


Avengers: Age of Ultron, as I have eluded to previously, could become the highest grossing film of all time (domestically, not adjusted for inflation), before being bumped off by this Christmas’s uber-anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I see it easily surpassing its predecessor, as it is of the same quality and hype as the original. Having recently seen the film (in a decently packed 1:00 PM Friday showing), I am confident that people will want to see this movie throughout the next month. Avengers 2 could stay in theaters until mid-June if it doesn’t draw huge competition from other early summer releases like Mad Max and Pitch Perfect 2.


The family-friendly animated threequel Minions is in good company with its predecessors, the first grossing over $250m and the second grossing over $350m. I hold this one in close competition with Jurassic World, whose name could draw huge numbers. If Minions doesn’t flop, it could reach close to $400m. If it doesn’t do as well as expected, it still could pull in $300m. Either way, no Jurassic Park sequel has grossed more than any of the Despicable Me franchise installments. The ill-fated Jurassic Park III didn’t even break the $200m mark. Sure, the reboot could breath new life into the dinosaur franchise, and I hope that it does. However, you can’t count out the power of children animation.


The farther I travel down my list, the harder it is to make my decisions clear. It is hard to make distinctions. I personally find it easy to see Ant-Man fail, but it could also be 2015’s Guardians of the Galaxy.  Tomorrowland has Brad Bird, George Clooney, Disney, and a strong marketing campaign behind it, and it could be Disney’s next Pirates of the Caribbean. Or it could be a colossal failure. I want Mad Max to be number one on my list, but that is entirely impractical. It is a film that some audiences will probably hate, the premise essentially being a two-hour car chase in the desert. I also expect a Terminator flop, but it is a summer action film. That is sure to draw some sort of crowd. Ted did well, blah-blah-blah in the West did not, so who knows if audiences still have faith left in Seth MacFarlane.


The Post-Script

The real box office gem of the year doesn’t land in this time frame at all. From late December until early February, Star Wars will linger in theaters, gathering substantial sums of money until it surpasses Avengers. Until it surpasses Titanic. And, if it isn’t a pitiful attempt at a space opera, until it surpasses Avatar. I’ve been waiting for a movie capable of dethroning James Cameron’s Pocahontas, and Star Wars is (I’m so, so, so sorry about the pun you’re about to be exposed to), perhaps, the only hope.



As always, thanks for reading!


What do you think? What will be the biggest blockbusters of Summer 2015? Let me know in the comments!


–Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)

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