May 2015 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

April 30, 2015

Imagine eating Thanksgiving dinner with these people.

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Opening weekend: $37 million / Total gross: $95 million

6. Aloha (May 29th)

Two Best Supporting Oscar nominees finally get a lead film of their own! All jokes aside, Bradley Cooper can perhaps be called the biggest movie star of the decade, and Emma Stone's got a big share of credibility, too. The presence of Rachel McAdams, Alec Baldwin, Bill Murray, and more luminaries is but a testament to the remaining draw of director Cameron Crowe's name. Crowe's work has been hit-and-miss of late, but this romantic comedy with a vacation-ready setting could play well as counterprogramming for those who think Hot Pursuit is too extravagant. The plot and trailers may not be particularly distinguished, but the month is otherwise lacking in an old-fashioned dramedies without the presence of special effects. Yes, Aloha was pushed back from December, but a similar trajectory didn't doom Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby, and there's more of a natural all-around summer feel to the film's Hawaiian setting.

Opening weekend: $28 million / Total gross: $89 million

7. Mad Max: Fury Road (May 15th)

It may surprise some that this sci-fi action extravaganza is ranked so low on the forecast list, but I don't really see another Mad Max sequel as much of a box office success. The original films never became money-making phenomenae, at least on the domestic front (the third one, Beyond Thunderdome, is the highest grossing, at $36 million in 1985 dollars). And while Mad Max's release date gives it enough distance from that unkillable superhero team, I'm not sure it will make a difference.


Star Tom Hardy, a spectacular actor and memorable Bane, is still unestablished as a draw, while cohorts Charlize Theron and rising actors like Nicholas Hoult and Zoe Kravitz are difficult to recognize in post-apocalyptic palette. Mad Max: Fury Road probably looks chaotic and confusing to those unfamiliar with the material, and the trailers don't establish a clear plot or explanation for the visual assault on the senses that they guarantee. In short, the film is a big gamble. This time, I'm betting on the safe side.

Opening weekend: $28 million / Total gross: $60 million

8. Hot Pursuit (May 8th)

Hot Pursuit teams Reese Witherspoon, coming off critical acclaim as both actress (Wild) and producer (Gone Girl and Wild), and Sofia Vergara, who's cultivated an amusing persona, used particularly well in the trailers for the film. Director Anne Fletcher has a lot of experience helming successful romantic comedies like The Proposal, though she's not always critic-proof. The actresses are immensely likeable and seem particularly well-matched, and the movie looks like unpunishing entertainment and an old-school buddy comedy. In a cinematic universe where few will be talking of anything but this month's #1 film, Hot Pursuit, as its weekend's only opener, could provide a reasonable escape.

Opening weekend: $22 million / Total gross: $53 million

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