April gave us the eighth film in the Fast & Furious franchise, but May is even better for American audiences. The summer movie season is gearing up, and it’s time for the U. S. to finally see the fifteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe: Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2. How much will it make in its opening weekend? Will it be the third film to join the 2017 Billion Dollar Club? And what about general summer movie season predictions? Let’s discuss.
NORTH AMERICAN OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS:
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – Disney – May 5th, 2017 – $165 million
- King Arthur: Legend of the Sword – Warner Bros. – May 12th, 2017 – $20 million
- Alien: Covenant – 20th Century Fox – May 19th, 2017 – $50 million
- Baywatch – Paramount – May 25th, 2017 – $50 million
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Disney – May 26th, 2017 – $70 million
While most reviews say that Volume Two isn’t as good as the original Guardians of the Galaxy, most critics agree that it is still a fun time at the movies (I loved the film). The first film was a huge success (worldwide box office total: $773m), people loved it, and it made Chris Pratt into the star he is today.
Marvel Studios is seemingly confident in the film, and I think it’s going to have a fantastic opening weekend in the U. S.. However, I’m not sure it’ll reach Beauty and the Beast-like numbers ($174m).
While I am actually interested in seeing the film at some point, I don’t think King Arthur is going to have a lot of success. It’s going to open in Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2‘s second weekend, and that may be a recipe for disaster for Warner Bros..
It has been five years since Prometheus was released, and now Ridley Scott is ready to release a new chapter in the Alien story. I have high hopes for Covenant, and while Prometheus may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, I think the Alien-title is going to help this movie a lot.
I’m pretty excited about Baywatch not because of the original show, but because of the cast and the direction this film seems to be going in. The producers clearly want to see if they can do with the series what Phil Lord and Chris Miller did with the Jump Street-franchise. I think this is going to be a hit.
The fourth Pirates film opened to $90 million, but, even though Dead Men Tell No Tales will bring bring back the two main characters from the ‘original trilogy’ not named Jack Sparrow, I’m not sure it’ll get as close to $100 million as Disney is hoping it will.
SUMMER MOVIE SEASON (U.S.) – TOP 10 OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS:
- Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 – Disney
- Transformers: The Last Knight – Paramount
- Despicable Me 3 – Universal
- Spider-Man: Homecoming – Disney
- Wonder Woman – Warner Bros.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales – Disney
- War for the Planet of the Apes – 20th Century Fox
- Cars 3 – Disney
- The Mummy – Universal
- Baywatch – Paramount
I’ve also been meaning to list my top 10 summer movie season opening weekend predictions. Here they are. Now, the summer movie season includes all films opening in the U. S. from May until the end of August. This list is going to give me a chance to do a full box office report at the end of the summer movie season.
Now, I’m not going to comment on all of the movies here, and I won’t comment on any film released in May as they have been covered above. There is one film that I want to touch upon here and that is Wonder Woman. While audiences will undoubtedly be more familiar with her than they were with Doctor Strange prior to ‘his’ film, I don’t think it’ll open better than that film. I’m expecting it to open to similar numbers as Doctor Strange.
MAJOR OPENING WEEKENDS – APRIL:
- Smurfs: The Lost Village – Sony / Columbia – April 7th, 2017 – $13 million (-7)
- The Fate of the Furious – Universal – April 14th, 2017 – $98 million (-17)
- The Circle – STX Entertainment – April 28th, 2017 – $9 million (-3)
I don’t know why I ultimately put so much faith in the Smurfs-franchise’s power at the box office. It made seven million less than I thought it would in its opening weekend, and even though it has done fairly well internationally, the U. S. audience seems to be tired of the little blue creatures.
Unsurprisingly, the eighth film in the Fast & Furious-franchise had a fantastic international opening weekend – breaking records in the process – but while the domestic opening weekend box office total is still fantastic, it couldn’t stay at the box office opening weekend level that Furious 7 was at in 2015 ($147m).
And now, let’s talk about the biggest disappointment of the month: The Circle. Now, I haven’t seen this film yet – it hasn’t been given a Danish release date yet – but the response to this film has been awful. The trailers didn’t sell the movie well, and while the cast is really strong (Tom Hanks; Emma Watson; John Boyega), this film opened with a poor $9 million.
At the time of writing, it sits at only 17% on Rotten Tomatoes, it has a score of 43 on Metacritic, and it got a truly awful CinemaScore (D+). Yikes.
THE BILLION DOLLAR CLUB:
- Beauty and the Beast – Disney – $1,144 billion
- The Fate of the Furious – Universal – $1,100 billion
Box office totals as of May 3rd, 2017
While Beauty and the Beast is currently on top, The Fate of the Furious will surely overtake the lead sooner rather than later. Now, the big question on everyone’s lips right now is if Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2 will join those two films in the Billion Dollar Club.
Now, while I’d love for it to happen, no Marvel Studios film not including Robert Downey, Jr. has ever made a billion dollars at the box office, and the fact of the matter is that Downey, Jr. isn’t in Volume Two. Yet if any Marvel Studios film without Downey is going to cross that billion dollar mark, then the sequel to the most unlikely superhero hit of all-time may be the film to do it.
– Jeffrey Rex