July 2015 Box Office Forecast
By Michael Lynderey
July 3, 2015
3. Ant-Man (July 17th)
It's somewhat surprising, given all the talk of film superheroes, that Ant-Man is one of this year's relative few superhero movies, and it's also perhaps the toughest title of the month to predict. One the one hand, it comes from the storied and apparently infallible stable of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. On the other, the character seems sort of atypical for a superhero, and is largely unfamiliar to mass audiences (it should be noted that these last two statements are frequently made about Marvel films, often mere days before they open to something approaching one hundred million dollars). Paul Rudd is an interesting choice for the lead, and indeed seems to have forsaken his comedy roles, which have served him long and well, to take up super-heroics (he has no traditional comedies lined up at the moment). The supporting cast is promising - Michael Douglas, star of a few of the biggest films of the 1980s and '90s, in a rare special effects blockbuster role, and busy luminaries like Michael Peña, Bobby Cannavale, Corey Stoll, and The Hobbit's Evangeline Lilly in key roles.
Almost without question, and indulging in the pun, Ant-Man will be the smallest-scale action adventure of the year (if we don't count Inside Out). Whether the film is well-liked and audiences catch on to it are two things I'm not absolutely certain about at the moment, but its credentials ought to at least buy Ant-Man a decent opening.
Opening weekend: $55 million / Total gross: $151 million
4. Magic Mike XXL (July 1st)
The sequel with the bizarre, in-jokey title arrives just in time for the Fourth of July! (uh, take the whole family?). The first Magic Mike was one of Steven Soderbergh's last theatrical films (or so he claims), and was certainly one of his biggest: released within the height of Channing Tatum's year, 2012, right on the heels of The Vow and 21 Jump Street, it took in a $113 million total, staggering for what was in fact a low-budget indie film (it cost a mere $7 million). Also worth noting: the original was released on the same unsuspecting day as Ted was, and the films' sequels are running essentially neck-and-neck here again. Of the two, it seems like Magic Mike is the one that's gained in stature (no pun intended. I swear!) over the last three years. Matthew McConaughey's contribution to the original shouldn't be forgotten, and he's not back this time, but I can't help and suspect that the numbers here will somewhat resemble how the Pitch Perfect sequel broke out earlier this summer (and some of the audience must surely be the same). As surprising as it would have been to me three years ago, I don't quite think the first Magic Mike reached the ceiling for this most unexpected franchise.
Opening weekend: $75 million (5-day) / Total gross: $152 million