June 2017 Box Office Forecast

By Michael Lynderey

June 1, 2017

Is Lightning McQueen mooning us?

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7. Rough Night (June 16th)

Rough Night is a bawdy R-rated comedy, in the tradition of any number of films about friends reuniting and inflicting debauchery on an unsuspecting city's population. In a bit of novelty, that city is not battle-hardened veteran Las Vegas but the comparatively unsoiled Miami.

The carnage begins at a bachelor party. Scarlett Johansson is the bride-to-be (will she rethink her impending ball and chain through the film? Stay tuned!), Kate McKinnon tries a new accent as the Australian one, Zoe Kravitz is another college friend, Jillian Bell is the lusty one who may have accidentally killed a male stripper, and Ilana Glazer's character really digs on marijuana, in what is not a radical break in her on-screen recreational activity preferences. Rough Night is helmed by Lucia Aniello, responsible for many episodes of TV's Broad City, though the film's title was sadly changed from Rock That Body, a superior name (hurry, you still have two weeks to change it back!).

So, this is all kind of interesting, and given the premise and cast the film is of course all about painting itself a sort of Bridesmaids Have a Hangover. However, as with the other comedies this summer, I can forecast all I want, but critical reception gets final cut on the grosses.

Opening weekend: $28 million / Total gross: $80 million

8. The House (June 30th)

The House teams Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, who shared about a year together on Saturday Night Live (2001-2002), and who here deliver what looks like another "bored and middle-aged couple vs. the seedy night life" film, in the tradition of Date Night, Keeping Up with the Joneses, and, I suppose, Mr. and Mrs. Smith.

Ferrell plays his trademark role, a suburban malcontent who lashes out of his doldrums in unique and unlikely ways. This time, to alleviate the financial burden of a middle-class lifestyle, he and spouse (Poehler) embark on the operation of an illegal casino in their basement, which must lead to appearances by surprisingly depraved neighbors, mafia tough guys, and police officers who just barely miss out on the crime scene. You get what you ask for.

The House will arrive smack deb center into a summer whose comedies have so far been granted receptions ranging from middling (Snatched) to hostile (Baywatch). So June may be fertile ground for a straightforward funny film, and this is a month that presents only one other contender (Rough Night), though I assure you, there's room in the culture both for disaffected upper-middle-class gamblers, and rowdy millennial survivors of murderous bachelor parties, so they shouldn't beat up on each other all too much.

Opening weekend: $26 million / Total gross: $77 million


9. Baby Driver (June 28th)

Action thriller Baby Driver premiered at SXSW in March, where it received reviews so favorable that the studio stepped on the gas and inserted the film into the already busy June schedule, moving from mid August to the heart and heat of mid summer.

The titular Baby drives getaway cars rather well, and is played Ansel Elgort, the New York stage actor who showed real movie star charisma in The Fault in Our Stars (2014), and who has hung around the edges of a few films since without landing another real lead. He could become one of the bigger '90s-born male stars if the film does well, and even if it doesn't.

Lily James of Cinderella fame co-stars, playing that favorite trope of action and thriller films, the sweet and beautiful waitress who joins the hero in running from men and bullets, and who one way or another never quite goes back to work the next day. The young lovers are surrounded by an all-star cast of smoldering men of ill repute - Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey, and, ever more prolifically on the big screen, Jon Hamm.

Of course, most importantly for many, Baby Driver looks like it may be the first American breakout hit for Edgar Wright, a director whose film work - Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, The World's End - has inspired varied degrees of enthusiasm amongst myself, and unquenched adulation from certain segments of the filmgoing population. Given the box office reception of Wright's work (his biggest film grossed $31 million in the U.S.), these segments can be viewed as a cult audience.

Baby Driver might change that. Let's see if they got something right with that date change.

Opening weekend: $19 million / Total gross: $73 million

10. All Eyez on Me (June 16th)

Tupac Shakur, perhaps the most legendary and beloved rapper of all time, made verse, raged, and died. In 2017, he finally gets a big screen biopic, after two decades of documentaries, lost music releases, remixes, and re-dos, as well as supporting roles in other films and a hologram that terrorized the Coachella festival in 2012. The film is scheduled for what was to be his 46th birthday.

Demetrius Shipp Jr. plays Shakur. Remarkably, Jamal Woolard, the actor who starred as his cross-country rival The Notorious B.I.G. in the 2009 film Notorious, reprises the man here, and all relevant biographical milestones and supporting players will be touched along the way (Puff Daddy and Snoop Dogg will appear as characters among the large cast).

I haven't heard too much about All Eyez on Me going in to the month, but maybe I'm not the right audience. More to the point, I'm reliably informed there's a groundswell of support for this title that's waiting to burst. The most recent rap biopic, Straight Outta Compton, broke out to a $161 million total and easily won the month in August 2015, while Notorious had a shorter run, finishing with $36 mil in January 2009. At the moment, I see this tribute to Shakur coming in roughly in the middle, though of course that covers a lot of ground, intentionally. It's just nice to finally have it made.

Opening weekend: $35 million / Total gross: $68 million

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