July of 2015 will likely feature some of the biggest films of the year, as it typically does. The month starts out slow over fourth of July weekend but will heat up in the coming weeks, with such films as Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation (featured above), Minions, and Marvel’s newest film Ant-Man. How will these films stack up? Let’s take a (chronological) look.
1. Terminator: Genisys – July 1
Boldly taking the fourth of July weekend is the newest and second reboot to the Terminator franchise. Up to this point, the film is still essentially running off of goodwill from the first two installments, with Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and Terminator: Salvation receiving very poor receptions from both critics and fans alike. Those also weren’t very profitable, so the budget for Genisys has been knocked down a bit ($170M as opposed to $200M for both of those previously mentioned) but still will have a tough time reaching that $400M it will need to break even. Given how much each of the Terminator sequels has fallen after Terminator 2, it seems that this newest installment will likely miss $100M domestically, meaning this is almost entirely an international play.
2. Magic Mike XXL – July 1
Not too much to say about this one. Most of the audience will likely come back for a sequel to the surprise low budget hit from 2012, and given how cheap these are to make, it should do decent business.
3. The Gallows – July 10
This low budget found footage horror film boldly took a mid-July slot, one of the biggest time frames of the year. It appears they are trying to go after the same success of The Conjuring, which opened over $40M on a similar weekend back in 2013. Don’t expect this to do nearly as well, however. The trailers for Conjuring were much more interesting whereas this is simply another found footage film in the vein of Paranormal Activity, As Above/So Below, and some others. The genre is very hit or miss, so don’t look for this to do too much business in theaters.
4. Minions – July 10
Given that there hasn’t really been a big hit kids movie since Home, Minions is basically just marketing itself as Despicable Me 3 (which also happens to be scheduled for June 2017) but the Despicable brand is so strong that it can easily overcome spinoff-syndrome. What’s strange is that this comes out right after fourth of July weekend where DM2 found so much success, and there isn’t exactly much competition from Terminator Genisys. While the series likely peaked at number 2, this newest installment (with some added power from Sandra Bullock) still has a shot at topping $300M.
5. Self/Less – July 10
Ben Kingsley and Ryan Reynolds star in
Limitless 2 Self/Less, a new sci fi thriller that seems to be marketed to the same audience as Lucy from last summer. However Scarlet Johannson was cashing in on her Marvel popularity in addition to an extremely well marketed action film that somehow opened to over $40M. Don’t expect Self/Less to even approach that, instead probably only opening around $5-$10M at the most.
6. Ant Man – July 17
This is Marvel’s first real gamble and true test of their fanbase, as last years Guardians appeared as a fun, exciting and comedic sci fi adventure that didn’t really have a chance of failure. It was like a combination of Star Wars and Futurama, and was a breath of fresh air from the usual dark gritty superhero films that audiences have become so accustomed to. Ant-Man, however, just appears as a very bland paint-by-numbers superhero film that is pretty much exclusively marketed at those who are already planning on seeing it because it has “Marvel” on the poster. Look for this to be one of Marvels lowest grossing films yet.
7. Trainwreck – July 17
Amy Schumer has been massively popular lately, with her TV show and standup gaining extreme traction in the last few months. One of the few very female marketed films of the summer, Trainwreck should be able to do excellent business, possibly even opening over $30M. Schumer has amassed quite a fanbase who will most likely show up en masse to see her big screen debut.
8. Paper Towns – July 24
Adapted from the popular novel of the same name from the author of last years mega-hit The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns will likely not be as big of a hit as Stars but still do decent business. For starters, the novel which it is based off of basically appeals to the exact same fanbase but isn’t quite as popular. Still, the millions of teenage girls that will inevitably show up for this on opening weekend should give it a solid result.
9. Pixels – July 24
Another Adam Sandler comedy takes a summer spot for the 10th year in a row, this time with a risky, big budget adaptation of a short film from several years back. The trailers seem to be going for a surprisingly serious look, with jokes and slapstick taking a back seat to several somewhat impressive looking action sequences and a unique retro videogame look. This appears firmly within Sandlers wheelhouse and should probably do decent business domestically.
10. Southpaw – July 24
Most years have at least one late summer counterprogramming sports drama, and 2015 is no different. Southpaw stars Jake Gyllenhaal as a boxer, but instead of solely focusing on the sports aspect is more about the drama he experiences. It doesn’t seem like a very marketable hit, and Gyllenhaal has an unfortunate tendency to star in excellent but financially disappointing films (Enemy, Nightcrawler, etc) so look for Southpaw to open in the low teens and fall fairly quickly.
11. Vacation – July 29
In this remake of
We’re The Millers, Ed Helms stars as Chevy Chases’ son from the original Vacation, this time also doing the same exact thing as the first film. The red band trailers seemed to have swapped the somewhat risque but still somewhat mild original for a full on very sexually explicit R rated style. Fan reactions have been mixed so far but late July and early August is a great time for a new comedy, especially one with strong brand recognition. Vacation should probably be able to make over $100M domestically by the end of its run.
12. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation – July 31
Opening on the very last day of the month is the fifth film in the Mission Impossible series, and the second in the somewhat “rebooted” series. This is a follow up to 2011’s very well received and very commercially successful Ghost Protocol, and seems to be offering more of what fans loved about that film. More Tom Cruise, more Simon Pegg humor, and more ridiculous practical stunts that are in the center of the marketing. Ghost Protocol had posters solely featuring Cruise climbing up the tower in Dubai, and the first posters for Rogue Nation feature Cruise hanging onto the side of a plane. Given how well received the first trailer for this next one is, and how well received the last film was, this sequel should be able to buck the typical trend of drops for summer sequels to winter films.
That’s my take on the box office for this coming month of July, check back each week for updates and new previews each month!