With half of the summer movie season in the books, comic book heroes (Iron Man 3, Man of Steel), fast cars (Fast and Furious 6), animated buddies (Monsters University), and comedy (The Heat, This Is the End) are scoring at the box office. Coming alongside the big Fourth of July holiday weekend, the month ahead looks to notch a few more box office hits before the summer season comes to a close in August. Here are my bold and sure-to-go-wrong box office predictions for July! Enjoy!
JULY 5 RELEASES
The Lone Ranger— While this may be a completely different landscape for Johnny Depp to re-team with his Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango director Gore Verbinski, but this whole gig to remake the classic Lone Ranger character seems all too familiar. Armie Hammer gets co-billing as the title character, but we all know this is the Captain Jack Sparrow show on Fourth of July weekend. As flashy as Disney wants this to be, I have no faith in this one. I smell a Wild Wild West-level flop. I think it gets beat by jibberish-talking minions. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION (Wed.-Sun.): $63 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $125 million
Despicable Me 2— While I didn’t think much of first movie (my full review), I can’t argue with the movie’s appeal and the fun of Steve Carell. I’ve personally witness kids sing along with the yellow minions in this teaser. With a decent little break after Monsters University, the holiday weekend boost, and a two-week lead-in before Turbo, this movie should find some nice business. I predict this one might just make more money than The Lone Ranger. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION (Wed.-Sun.): $85 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $250 million
JULY 12 RELEASES
Pacific Rim— With the next Transformers a year or two away, Hellboy franchise guru Guillermo del Toro looks to make Michael Bay his bitch with an immense post-apocalyptic alien invasion movie where mankind battles the heinous beasts back with pilot-led robot warriors. This has nerds all frothed up and rightfully so. The commercials and trailers have been dished out more “wow” moments than all three Transformers movies combined. As dumb as it looks, I think people are hooked enough to try it. I think this can repeat the surprise success World War Z just did last month. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $54 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $158 milion
Grown Ups 2— As I ask every year, please, pretty please with sugar on top, stop giving Adam Sandler your hard-earned money by paying to see his movies. When you do, he keeps making crappy movies. Stop giving him the box office results that lead up to future bombs like Grown Ups 2. The first movie had one good joke and was a sad combination excuse to give David Spade and Rob Schneider relevant time in a movie with their more popular friends (Chris Rock, Kevin James, and Sandler). The first film had a $40 million debut. I’ve got to think, even with a good joke or two, people are going to see through this one, causing it to score less. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $32 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $109 million
JULY 19 RELEASES
Red 2— In a surprise studio move, of all the movies on the Warner Bros. summer 2013 schedule (Man of Steel, Pacific Rim) to get their coveted third-week-of-July slot that has previously produced record numbers for the Dark Knight and Harry Potter franchise, the studio bestows it to Red 2. While Pacific Rim and Man of Steel sell themselves, Red 2 needs the most help with a been-there-done-that cast of borderline and full-blown geriatrics, you still don’t put your third best hope in the clean-up slot. You’ve seen all of these jokes before. Expect disappointment. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $20 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $81 million
R.I.P.D.— In what could be the weirdest and most awful-looking trailer of the summer, Jeff Bridges (in full Rooster Cogburn mode) and Ryan Reynolds (in full typical befuddlement mode) are put together as a Men in Black copycat team of dead lawmen who come back to the land (as an old Chinese man and a supermodel) of the living to apprehend dead souls that escape judgement. Yup, it looks as dumb as it sounds is going to bomb badly.
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $8 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $14 million
Turbo— While Pixar and Disney have long-dominated the animation landscape, there’s always one animated movie every summer that challenges to be #2. May’s Fox release Epic didn’t set the world on fire. This year, after Monsters University, it’s between Despicable Me 2 and Turbo for second place. This entry is a racing movie about a snail (Ryan Reynolds) who acquires super-speed and joins the race circuit. Fun trailer with fun characters! I think Turbo is perfectly slotted on a soft weekend and far enough away from Despicable Me 2 to get its own earnings. It won’t catch Despicable Me 2, with its big July 4th weekend debut, but it will do better than Epic.
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $39 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $157 million
The Conjuring— Saw director James Wan teams up Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as paranormal investigators assisting a family dealing with disturbing events in their farmhouse. After the strong showing of The Purge in May, The Conjuring gets elevated from the “little movies in-between” list potential box office money-stealer. Horror movies are really hitting strong this year. Expect a Purge-like debut, but no $100 million hit. (trailer)
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $31 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $61 million
JULY 26 RELEASES
The Wolverine— With the X-Men franchise in line for a merge between the X-Men: First Class origin reboot and the old Bryan Singer-started series with next summer’s all-star X-Men: Days of Future Past directed by Singer himself, the series’s #1 character, played once again by Hugh Jackman, still has enough clout to get his second standalone solo movie. Following his own origin story from 2009, this new film from director James Mangold (Cop Land, 3:10 to Yuma, and Walk the Line) is intended to be a modern sequel to 2006’s X-Men: The Last Stand following our favorite clawed Canadian to Japan. When it comes to box office potential, the trailers has been scoring points with movie-goers. The late July debut here, long after all the Fourth of July action and Man of Steel‘s June debut, The Wolverine is setting up to put a big exclamation mark on the month of July. It also opens competition-free after a weak weekend before it. Mark down a comeback!
OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTION: $74 million EVENTUAL TOTAL GROSS: $176 million