While 2015 has just begun, Hollywood is already warming up to what many analysts predict will be the biggest summer box office on record, eclipsing 2013’s $4.8B domestic.
With a line-up that features over sixteen sequels and/or reboots, studios know that summer audiences want escapism chock-full of familiarity of the highest order. When you look at the final tally of the top film hits year in and year out, it’s hard to argue that considering sequels/reboots/spin-offs dominate those lists.
In 2013, and very likely in 2014, 8 of the top 10 films fall into this category.
So break out your beach towels, slap on some sun block, sip on a Mai Tai and enjoy our mini-summer preview. Rays for days and trailers for miles.
Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” (May 1, 2015)
The first one made a little scratch if you recall: $1.5B worldwide, debuting with a record-breaking $207M domestic. Gonna be tough to top that total, but depending on how mad Hulk gets, we might see another box office beat down of epic proportions.
Universal’s “Pitch Perfect 2” (May 15, 2015)
Girls singing and being bitchy is big business. The $17M surprise hit of 2012 earned $113M worldwide and made everyone fall in love with Anna Kendrick. More of the same here, which is exactly what audiences are craving. In fact, I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m already in a FB group (all dudes, mind you) that are planning to see this opening night. This is the Coachella of A cappella.
Warner’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” (May 15, 2015)
“Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome” came out 30 years ago. Let that sink in. The grand daddy of sequels this summer returns with original writer/director George Miller at the helm…and guess what? This looks bloody, drippin’ great. Just. Wow. I can’t imagine there’ll be a better action film all summer. Check out this trailer…it’s the best of the bunch. Seriously.
Disney’s “Tomorrowland” (May 22, 2015)
So it’s not exactly a sequel, but following the lead of “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Haunted House,” and to a much, much lesser extend “The Country Bears,” Disney is once again mining the Magic Kingdom for inspiration and merchandising opportunities. This one is directed by the immensely talented Brad Bird (“The Incredibles,” “Iron Giant”) and could really be something special. Stay tuned.
Warner’s “San Andreas” (May 29, 2015)
Summer just wouldn’t be complete without Dwayne Johnson and an epic disaster pic. Cue new version of The Mamas & The Papas’ “California Dreamin.” Oh my, that’s ironic, isn’t it? Boom. Oh no! Not the Hollywood sign! Anything but that! Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
Warner’s “Entourage” (June 5, 2015)
HBO’s bad boys return, jumping from the small screen to the big screen. Will this have a “Sex and the City” pre-party atmosphere. Nope. Still, looks like fun, and let’s face it…these guys don’t really have careers outside this series, so let’s just make this a trilogy now.
Universal’s “Jurassic World” (June 12, 2015)
Sure, it’s been almost 15 years since “JP3,” but that doesn’t change the fact that this is still a viable franchise capable of stomping up huge numbers. Remember, the original tracked down $1B at the worldwide box office (including re-releases), which in 1993 was really unheard of. This could be the return to top tier box office totals. Also doesn’t hurt that Hollywood’s hottest hunk, Chris Pratt, is headlining this.
Pixar’s “Inside Out” (June 19, 2015)
Praise Pixar! They’re finally done with sequels for a spell. This one comes from director Pete Docter (“Up,” Monsters, Inc.”) and looks to completely double-up the dazzle of dopamine in your brain.
Paramount’s “Terminator: Genisys” (July 1, 2015)
“I’ll be back.” Yeah, yeah…we’ve heard that before. I don’t know how many times Arnie can return, but this we know for sure: The rules have been reset! Wait, doesn’t that explain every “Terminator” sequel ever?!? No really…what the hell is going on here?!? You be the judge.
Universal’s “Minions” (July 10, 2015)
Finally stepping out of the shadow of Gru, everyone’s favorite mischievous mumblers return for an original origin pic. Might end up being one of the highest grossing movies of the summer, or as Dave, Bob and Karl like to say, the top baaaaaaa-naaaaaaa-naaaaaaa.
Warner’s “Pan” (July 24, 2015)
The last thing anyone really wants is yet another Peter Pan adaptation, right? That’s exactly what crossed my mind when I first heard about this project…and then I saw the trailer. An origin story is actually a pretty cool idea, and you can’t beat Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Joe Wright (“Hanna,” “Atonement”) at the helm. This could really surprise this summer.
“Avengers” Image Courtesy of Marvel.