I’m about a month late to this game, but, you know, life gets in the way sometimes. Who are you to judge? This said, I am cheating a bit with a month’s worth of data already available.
Either way, it is time to take a look at what Hollywood blockbusters will top the domestic box office in Summer 2017 (Summer 2017 in this case encompassing the period between the first weekend in May and Labor Day weekend). Shall we?
The Top Ten:
- Wonder Woman
- Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2
- Spider-Man: Homecoming
- Transformers: The Last Night
- Despicable Me 3
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
- The Mummy
- War for the Planet of the Apes
- Cars 3
- The Dark Tower
- Atomic Blonde
- Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie
Money-wise, Summer 2017 is shaping up to be a good haul. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is already over the $300 million mark, and it will get closer to $360 million by the time it wraps up its first run. And that’s not even my top prospect.
D.C. films have had a bad rap with critics and audiences since Nolan retired his Batman trilogy. However, the films have performed quite well at the box office. Last year’s Suicide Squad was the fourth highest grossing film of that Summer, under The Secret Life of Pets, Finding Dory, and Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War.
This Summer, I don’t think it’s out of the question to posit that D.C. will beat out Marvel. Wonder Woman is a huge property, especially compared to Suicide Squad. Suicide Squad had the benefit of working within an otherwise bare August, and Wonder Woman will have to square off against other action thrillers like The Mummy and, eventually, Transformers 5.
Still, if Wonder Woman manages to get the positive reviews that D.C. is hoping for, it could become the highest grossing D.C. cinematic universe film.
The other Marvel film of the Summer, Spider-Man: Homecoming, will not benefit from the wide open May that Guardians 2 had. But it will inevitably make gobs of cash on July 4 weekend and afterward in a July with only a handful of major action movie releases.
Included in this handful is War for the Planet of the Apes, the third in a trilogy whose films have been getting more financially successful as they go. Will War for the Planet of the Apes continue the trend, topping its predecessor’s $200+ million take? It’s entirely possible, even if its opening weekend may be undercut by Spider-Man.
Other films on the list are more uncertain than the big superhero franchise films. Even animated children’s affair—usually sure things in Summer—are question marks. The Despicable Me franchise have enjoyed much success, but the likelihood of Despicable Me 3 bringing in more many than its predecessors is unlikely.
Films like The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants are both volatile possibilities. The former looks like a misfire from the word go, but Captain Underpants could make for quality counter-programming to films like Wonder Woman and The Mummy.
Sequels like Pirates 5 and Transformers 5 are so deep into the franchise that they may lose the pulse of audiences. Both are huge properties and are guaranteed to put up numbers, but just how high they can reach is hard to say.
Then there are films like Dunkirk, a period war film from Christopher Nolan that will go against Summer movies not of the same ilk. As a result, it is hard to put the film up for comparison, but Nolan’s films do tend to make over $100 million.
There are plenty of horror releases in Summer 2017, but this doesn’t seem to be the Summer for horror. Sequels and reboots—Amityville: The Awakening and Annabelle 2—will likely make back their budgets, but that isn’t saying much. A potential critical gem It Comes at Night will likely fail to bring in the mainstream audiences needed for profit. And a film like Wish Upon doesn’t have the high concept market value required to break the top ten.
The only horror film with potential for profit is The Mummy. The star power of Tom Cruise and the classic monster movie premise will kick off Universal’s reboot universe well. Again, the question remains how high it can get.
Less likely candidates The Dark Tower and Atomic Blonde have certain things going for them that could give them an edge over other middling releases of the season. Both have big name stars attached. The Dark Tower has the lucky release date of the first weekend of August. August is the month that birthed the financial successes of Suicide Squad and Guardians of the Galaxy. It could do the same for The Dark Tower, although the film is less high profile than these superhero films.
And Atomic Blonde is an unlikely option for the top ten, but it looks to have a similar formula to the John Wick films, both of which have done good business for a hard-R shoot-em-up action flick. Not to mention that hard-R action flicks are trendy nowadays. It is a long shot, but it could surprise.
There you have it: too much talk about people filling their deep pockets. Will any of these money-makers be any good? For the most part, probably not. At least we have The Emoji Movie to fall back on. I smell Oscar!
As always, thanks for reading!
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—Alex Brannan (@TheAlexBrannan)