July 2015 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

July 3, 2015

Scientology just found out he's thinking about leaving.

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With June behind us and the summer's three biggest movies - Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Inside Out - now firmly entrenched in the record books, July arrives to give us most of the season's rest, with a couple of worthy challengers set to pick up the pieces. If you've been enjoying the breezy, uncrowded release schedule, you had better buckle up: July is easily the busiest month of the year, so far, and that's not even counting notable indies like The End of the Tour, Irrational Man, and that William Buckley documentary. There are roughly six or seven pretty big movies, but the end game most of them are angling for is around $200 million, so records will remain unbroken.

1. Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation (July 31st)

The fifth film in the franchise, something the title doesn't particularly advertise (not that it would matter at this point), Rogue Nation was somewhat pleasantly moved from a later date (December), and up into a summer release more resembling the first three in the series. Mission: Impossible 5 may also end up as the last really big film of the summer, circumstances pending. After all, all the elements seem to be assembled just right, with nary a misstep in sight. Star Tom Cruise has maintained a solid leading man career in what are still mostly genre films, with his previous release, Edge of Tomorrow, landing a solid mark on his resume. Memorable series supporting actors like Simon Pegg and Ving Rhames make their return, the direction is by the trustworthy Christopher McQuarrie (who helmed Cruise's excellent and over-panned Jack Reacher), and the trailers are brisk and entertaining in the style of the fourth Mission: Impossible, which is still widely considered the best in the series, by far. All this goodwill buys part 5 a lot of leeway for an opening weekend, and if it's well reviewed, that should take care of the rest.

Opening weekend: $75 million / Total gross: $235 million


2. Minions (July 10th)

Before Tom Cruise invaded the release schedule, Minions seems like a shoe-in to be the biggest movie of the month. Indeed, this follow-up spin-off to the monster hit Despicable Me 2 (which grossed $368 million!) takes what are arguably the most popular characters of their parent franchise and enshrines them as leading men, with some bright and funny trailers to announce the upgrade. But in a summer where Inside Out and even Jurassic World have dominated the kids movie marketplace, it's difficult to say if there'll be as strong a hunger for children's fare come July 10th, and the film's box office may end up more or less like its reviews: solid but unspectacular. The vocal presence of Sandra Bullock, while heartening, may not be a particular draw for the presumably largely pre-pubescent audience. Still, without a lot of other options this month, Minions should have its target audience almost all to itself, and anything over $200 million is respectable money.

Opening weekend: $68 million / Total gross: $212 million

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