Summer of Family Movies

Summer movies3

Recently I was going over the upcoming summer movie slate and trying to make my predictions on what will hit and miss at the box office. I’m notoriously awful at these predictions but it is fun nevertheless. While going over the releases it occurred to me how many family films are being released this summer. 2015 summer had 8 family films- Avengers: Age of Ultron, Tomorrowland, Jurassic World, Inside Out, Minions, Ant-Man, Fantastic 4, and Pixels. Some might count Mission Impossible 5 but I think that is a stretch. In comparison this year there are 4 just in May.

First let’s talk about the animated films. There are 5 (6 releases but Sausage Party  not family friendly.) These 5 are: Angry Birds Movie, Finding Dory, Secret Life of Pets, Ice Age: Collision Course, Kubo and the 2 Strings

Then we have comic book movies. I’m not counting Suicide Squad because I think that will be a pretty hard PG-13. There are 3 films: Captain America: Civil War, X-Men Apocalypse and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2: Out of the Shadows.

We have other live action family films. (I’m not sure about Warcraft family friendly status as I’ve never played the game). But here’s some of them that could attract a family audience:Alice through the Looking Glass, Ghostbusters, Independence Day: Resurgence, The BFG, Legend of Tarzan, Star Trek Beyond, Pete’s Dragon.

That’s 15 movies, almost double what we had in 2015 using basically the same criteria. Even if a few turn out to not be family films it’s still kind of amazing. That leads me to my next question- which will rise and which will sink?

I mean just Disney alone has 5 films within all of their brands and one of them has to strike out. Will it be Pete’s Dragon? Will it be Alice Through the Looking Glass? The BFG? That last one would make me sad because The BFG is the one non-sequel/remake of the group but the book is less well known than Roald Dahl’s others and it doesn’t have a big star like Johnny Depp or Robert Redford.

Other interesting films to look at is the nostalgia wars. Will Star Trek Beyond, Ghostbusters or Independence Day: Resurgence be this year’s Pixels or Terminator: Genisys to bomb at the box office or will they be huge like Jurassic World?

You have 2 video game movies with Angry Birds Movie and Warcraft that will be interesting to watch and 2 studios, Illumination and Liaka, trying something new with Secret Life of Pets and Kubo and the 2 Strings. Will audiences embrace new or flock to known properties like Ice Age Collision Course, X-Men Apocalypse and Finding Dory?

I’m really curious to see how it all plays out. What do you think? What will be the big hits and misses for family films 2016? Have I left something out? Let me know in the comments section. It’s all speculation so let’s have fun talking about it.

Summer Box Office Predictions

summer 2016

My friend Conrado just put up his summer box office predictions. You can read them here.  I’m normally awful at box office predictions but the more we discussed it I figured I should offer up my best guess just for fun and give my reasons for my guesses.

Here goes!

  1. Captain America: Civil War it opened huge and even bigger overseas. It will cross the 1 billion mark before weekend 2 and there is no competition then. Movies people like have had great legs this year (Zootopia, Deadpool, Jungle Book) so I think it could even do well against Alice and X-Men which I think will underpreform.
  2. Finding Dory- all of Pixar’s sequels have done well and this is to a beloved classic, Finding Nemo. You have a celebrity voice cast who are going to promote including Ellen with her platform. I can’t imagine it doing badly. It would have to get totally panned by critics to keep people away and that seems unlikely (even dreaded Good Dinosaur has a 74% on RT).
  3. Suicide Squad- people love the Joker and have responded well to the trailers. I could see a backlash from Batman v Superman but it seems like everyone is pulling for this to be the savior of DC.
  4. TMNT: Out of the Shadows– The first one made a ton of money and Michael Bay associated films seem to be critic proof and always do well at box office. This one has fan favorites Krang and Bebop and Rocksteady.
  5. Independence Day: Resurgence- We are in a nostalgia age and I think people will flock to what I’m sure will be a dopey, fun popcorn flick.
  6. Jason Bourne- This movie has everything going for it. Matt Damon back and Paul Greengrass directing. I have a feeling it will get good reviews and people will want to see it. Plus, it comes out a weekend where the only other major opening film is Bad Moms. Look at what Matt Damon just did in The Martian and this is an established brand. It will do very well.
  7. Central Intelligence– All you have to do is look at Kevin Hart’s Ride Along and The Rock’s San Andreas and we know this movie is going to do well. San Andreas was so stupid and yet it did very well and people like Hart’s comedies. The two of them should be critic proof.
  8. Secret Life of Pets- I debated whether to put this one or the next Ice Age movie because those do so well overseas. Illumination is a marketing machine and I think people like movies about pets. It will be interesting to see how Illumination does without the comfort of the Despicable Me characters.
  9. Pete’s Dragon- This is a bit of a risk but Disney has already hired the director of Pete’s Dragon for their Peter Pan project which shows they have some faith in the film. And it’s main competition the weekend it comes out is Sausage Party. These Disney remakes have just done so well, and I think this one will continue the trend.
  10. Sausage Party- Speaking of Sausage Party this is my risky pick. I just saw the amount of money an R rated comedy, Deadpool, made and I think Sausage Party could follow suit. Kids see Pete’s Dragon. Adults see Sausage Party. It has a lot of big names in the cast and the trailer was received very well.

There’s a bunch of big ones I left off my list. I’ll explain why.

X-Men Apocalypse- pains me to say it but the reviews have not been good. X-Men movies have never done as well as MCU films and I think people will keep going to see other established films like we saw with Jungle Book or Zootopia already this year.

Alice Through the Looking Glass- same with Alice. Reviews don’t look good and I don’t think this is critic proof. The first movie made a ton of money but that was in the hey-day of 3D which is kind of old hat now. I hear very few people buzzing about it and when I suggested it for Church Movie Night there was an audible groan.

Ghostbusters– This had the most disliked trailer in youtube history. I think it will be the Pixels of this year. Good in concept with a decent director and it bombs.

Ben Hur- See box office for Point Break remake. People don’t want this and sword and sandles have not been doing well (see Gods of Egypt box office).

Kubo and the 2 Strings– I desperately want this film to do well and be Liaka’s first huge hit but audiences have shown themselves resistant to non-CG animated films. The only one to do any business despite being fantastic is last year’s Spongebob: Sponge Out of Water and that was only because it was advertised as CG. It’s sad but true.

Star Trek Beyond- This does come out on a good week with only Ice Age: Collision Course as competition, but I don’t feel any buzz or excitement about it. I feel like a lot of people didn’t like the last entry and aren’t excited about this one. Plus, marketing has been lame.

BFG- This is a wild card and I think it will do well but I couldn’t fit it into my top 10. There’s so much family entertainment this summer. It has Steven Spielberg behind it but no major stars like a Tom Hanks. I feel like it is one of Roald Dahl’s lesser-known books. Critics will make a big factor in this ones success I think.

Legend of Tarzan– It comes out the same weekend as BFG so one of them could soar and one sink. I don’t think both will do well. The trailers look good but it couldn’t make my top 10.

So there you go. Now watch me totally be proven wrong as is usually the case with box office predictions! What are your top 10 predictions? Share in the comments section.