July 2015 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

July 3, 2015

Scientology just found out he's thinking about leaving.

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8. Terminator: Genysis (July 1st)

The fifth film in the series arrives for the same weekend, the 4th of July, that both immortalized Terminator 2 into summer movie history in 1991, and gave Terminator 3 a decent run 12 years later. As with most reboots or re-imaginings, the cast is led by some of England and Australia's finest rising stars (Jai Courtney, Emilia Clarke, and the presumably unrelated Jason Clarke), but with one notable difference, this time: T5 is a film that proudly touts original series star Arnold Schwarzenegger, reprising his most iconic role and leading the charge into battle. Arnold is surely more of a box office draw than anyone who has served as Governor of California since at least the 1960s, but the '80s-'90s action movie revival has somewhat withered, and he's lately eschewed action for some unexpectedly indie films, with decent reviews, to boot (Maggie). What isn't good for the film's hopes, though: T5 is, at least thus far, receiving reviews that are largely unkind. It's possible that fans of the franchise will make the film at least a solid hit, but general audiences seem just somewhat more enamored with dinosaurs than robots this season.

Opening weekend: $37 million (5-day) / Total gross: $73 million


9. Paper Towns (July 24th)

Always nice to see, this is that rare modern-day teen/high school picture that is set, indeed, in the modern-day (that is, in a contrast to all the post-apocalyptic flotsam that still reigns over cinemas). Paper Towns is based on a 2008 book by John Green, now singularly famous for his 2012 tome, The Fault in Our Stars, and for its subsequent film adaptation. Indeed, Paper Towns is a film that will benefit immensely from the goodwill of its target audience towards its author's cinematic predecessor. Its leads, Nat Wolff and Cara Delevingne, are basically unestablished as film stars, but they can work it, and the plot seems to fall roughly among common "one crazy night"/road trip lines (which are always fun). Fans of the author should give Paper Towns its opening, but whether or not it's well-reviewed doesn't necessarily guarantee legs (Green's 2014 film dropped big in weekend two).

Opening weekend: $32 million / Total gross: $68 million

10. Southpaw (July 24th)

This is a striking-looking boxing drama that's come to the fore lately with some distinct and hard-hitting trailers. It is headlined by Jake Gyllenhaal, who's on an unbroken streak of strong performances in films essentially designed as acting showcases (Prisoners, Nightcrawler), and it is helmed by Antoine Fuqua, who's delivered muscular action films like Olympus Has Fallen and The Equalizer into box office numbers at around the $100 million degree. It's rare to see what is clearly being positioned as an Oscar contender released at such a time of year, but it's a gamble that could pay off for adult audiences looking for counter-programming. The likely enthusiastic critical acclamation and the buzz about Gyllenhaal's performance will most probably lift the film above the fray, even in the summer.

Opening weekend: $14 million / Total gross: $48 million

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