Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Box-Office Predictions (Over $200 million)

10. Transformers: Age of Extinction (Paramount, 6/27)- $200 million
The last two Transformers passed $300 million, but as The Hobbit, X-Men and Pirates of the Caribbean has shown continuing a series after a trilogy can feature a pretty large drop.  Starring Mark Wahlberg should help this to stay in the public's eye, but there has been little marketing so far and audiences tend to move on quickly.  This series does have its strong fan base, but I think there is enough competition to keep this from doing too incredibly.

9. Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Disney, 4/4)- $215 million
Last year's two sequels have done better than the originals.  This should be around Thor: Dark World's total.  Captain America: The First Avenger was Marvel's second lowest grossing film, but after The Avengers and raising the stakes in this film this should do significantly better.  The early release should help it from getting swallowed up and this definitely feels more like The Avengers than last year's movies.

8. Big Hero 6 (Disney, 11/7)- $220 million
Will not reach Frozen's totals, but the combination of the Marvel and Disney brands should make this one of the highest grossing animated features of the year.  Should do a little better than Wreck-It Ralph.  Disney has a good hold on November.  Still need to see the characters and the voice cast, but Disney is definitely putting a lot into this one.

7. The Hobbit: There and Back Again (WB, 12/17)- $260 million
Harry Potter and Twilight had a box-office bump in their final installments and this trend should continue with the final Lord of the Rings.  After Desolation of Smaug not doing as incredible as previous Lord of the Rings movies this will not cross $300 million.  The cliffhanger ending of Smaug will either bring people back or make this less accessible.  It will make money, but still underperforming by the standards of this franchise.

6. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (Columbia, 5/2)- $270 million
Sony got a hold of the weekend Marvel Cinematic Universe usually dominates.  Amazing Spider-Man did well, but not as well as the previous Spider-Man series.  However the trailer has been well received, even though the new villains are not all that popular.  Spidey remains a dependable character and he will do well, but probably only a bit better than the previous movie unless this is really good.  It will bring in a lot of people for opening weekend, but it will need to bring them back.

5. Interstellar (Paramount, 11/7)- $275 million
I may be overestimating this, but this is Christopher Nolan's follow-up to the Dark Knight trilogy.  This has an impressive cast that is headlined by the popular Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway.  The November release could mean Oscar potential.  Right now I am estimating between that it will make somewhere between the totals of Gravity and Inception.  There is still a market for original sci-fi if they are really good.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past (Fox, 5/23)- $290 million
This is another tough one to judge.  There is a lot of hype and marketing in this.  The stakes are incredibly raised, but the X-Men movies have made less each film released since 2006.  Featuring Jennifer Lawrence post-Hunger Games should help its total in addition to combining the casts.  This has people excited, but it needs to live up to the excitement.  If it disappoints it may gross a bit lower.  But Fox is calculating this one pretty well.  They will make it a hit, just not sure how much of one.

3. How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Fox, 6/13)- $325 million
The original How to Train Your Dragon was a huge critical and commercial hit.  A big part of that was that it used 3D really well and followed Avatar.  But Dreamworks has been keeping the franchise in the public's eye with a TV series and holiday specials.  The stakes are raised in this one and the characters have grown.  If it is impressive enough in its visuals and storytelling people will keep coming back.  However I am potentially misjudging this as the audience could skew too much older and this is a lot to predict for an animated movie that isn't a stupid comedy.  Despicable Me 2 did incredible because of the Minions, this lacks that simple attraction.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy (Disney, 8/1)- $350 million
I am playing a hunch on this because there is really nothing to compare it too.  But Marvel is clearly being very careful and intentional with this one.  This is following Gravity as a successful space movie and is a Marvel movie that raises the stakes from The Avengers.  Disney will not only use this as the lead in for Avengers: Age of Ultron but also Star Wars Episode VII.  They will be able to turn Rocket Raccoon and Groot in to marketable characters.  The August release worries me, as I am predicting well above Rise of the Planet of the Apes numbers.  But the hype is high and Marvel seems to be extremely confident in this.

1. Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Lionsgate, 11/21)- $430 million
Easily going to be the highest grossing movie of the year.  Catching Fire just passed Iron Man 3 domestically.  People loved it and have went back to see it several times.  That movie ended on a  huge cliffhanger and a promised of stakes being raised.  People love the books and these movies have turned out incredibly.  I may be underestimating this total, but it will be an incredible sum.

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