In July, Sony and Disney duke it out for the box office bucks. Though there are a lot of really interesting films that I’m looking forward to this month, I’m focusing on two blockbusters in this edition of Box Office Predictions. Can a live-action remake dominate the month that also gives audiences the follow-up to Avengers: Endgame, or will another superhero movie define a month of the year?
SELECT NORTH AMERICAN OPENING WEEKEND PREDICTIONS – July 2019:
- Spider-Man: Far From Home – Sony / Columbia – July 2nd – $180 million*
- The Lion King – Buena Vista – July 19th – $195 million
Did you notice the asterisk? Yeah? Good. You see, while I normally try to predict the opening weekend performance of a new release, Spider-Man‘s release is a little bit different this time around due to the 4th of July holiday in the US and possibly due to the upcoming release of The Lion King. Sony and Spider-Man need to make a lot of money before Disney’s next live-action remake takes over the world with what I’m thinking will be a huge opening weekend.
This is basically a long-winded way of saying my Far From Home prediction is for the first six days due to the untraditional release day in the US. In its first six days, Spider-Man: Homecoming made $154 million back in July 2017. It’s been two years, Spider-Man has gotten a huge boost from the events of Infinity War and Endgame, and, now, here we are. For the six-day opening, I’m predicting that Far From Home will reach somewhere around $180 million.
SELECT BOX OFFICE RESULTS – June 2019:
- X-Men: Dark Phoenix – $32 million (-6)
- Men in Black: International – $30 million (-2)
- Toy Story 4 – $120 million (-37)
- Annabelle Comes Home – $20 million (-22)
So, my performance in this month’s Box Office Report is split down the middle. My predictions for the first half of the month were pretty spot-on, whereas the second half predictions were way off. Dark Phoenix was a dud. The film didn’t work for audiences, critics, and, frankly, I was extremely disappointed by it. It’s one of my least favorite superhero films of the last decade. Furthermore, it performed horrendously. My prediction was harsh and it was extremely low and somehow it even performed worse than what I predicted it to.
Nobody wanted Dark Phoenix and, perhaps, nobody really wanted a new Men in Black-movie either. I didn’t see International. I decided against it, and it looks like the vast majority of summer season audiences did as well. The marketing push was less than stellar, the original stars were absent from the film, and, frankly, Men in Black hasn’t worked since 1997, if you ask me. Sony took a chance with this one and it looks like it failed. Maybe they should’ve stuck with the Men in Black-Jump Street crossover.
So those predictions were pretty much on the money, so to speak. But I messed up with the last two. In its opening weekend, Toy Story 4 only made $10 million more than Toy Story 3 did in its opening weekend. I’m, frankly, shocked that it made less than Finding Dory did in its opening weekend, but that is the world we live in. I’d say Toy Story 4 underperformed, but $120 million is still a huge success for an animated movie sequel.
Annabelle Comes Home made less than half of what I predicted it to make in its opening weekend. So, what happened? It’s a hugely successful and popular franchise, and this film actually had both Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in its trailers. So, it should’ve been a bigger hit, right? I mean, sure. But, in retrospect, I think the release date actually hurt the film quite a bit. The first Annabelle opened in October 2014 and Annabelle Creation opened in August 2017. The Conjuring 2 is the only other film in the franchise which opened in the month of June, and The Conjuring 2 actually performed worse than The Conjuring. So, maybe, just maybe, the studio should’ve opened Comes Home in August or October.
- Avengers: Endgame – $2.76bn
- Captain Marvel – $1.12bn
While Avengers: Endgame is doing a very slow crawl up towards Avatar with the new re-release, Aladdin and Toy Story 4 are looking upward as well, but they’ve got momentum and recency on their side. At the moment Aladdin is more than $120 million away from the billion dollar mark, while Toy Story 4 only just got past half a billion. Even if they don’t make it to a billion, everything is coming up roses for Disney.
– Jeffrey Rex Bertelsen.