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2017 Preview: July

July 1st, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

I hate it when the first of the month lands on a Saturday. By the time this story goes live, we will still have almost no box office data for Despicable Me 3, so we won’t know if June ended on a positive note. Fortunately, Wonder Woman beat expectations and might end up as the biggest hit of the summer, at least for a little while. July begins with Spider-Man: Homecoming, which should make at least $300 million and is the last film being released this summer that has a shot at being a $400 million hit domestically. It is very likely that nothing else this month will come within $100 million of that movie, so that could help its legs. There are a few potential $100 million hits, including War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, and a couple of other long shots. Last July had a similar feel with The Secret Life of Pets topping the list with well over $300 million, while there were five other $100 million hits. This July would have to beat expectations substantially to match this performance. I’m not confident 2017 will be able to maintain its pace at the box office. I’m worried at least one big film will struggled and 2017 will end the month behind 2016’s pace.

Weekend of July 7th, 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming

The first weekend of July is also the biggest weekend of the month, as Spider-Man: Homecoming is coming out. It is the only film coming out this week, so it should have an explosive opening and earning more than $100 million during its first three days is likely. This weekend last year was the weekend The Secret Life of Pets debuted, so it will be a battle of the titans in the year-over-year comparison. Spider-Man: Homecoming does have the advantage, because family films tend to open slower, but have longer legs.

Spider-Man: Homecoming

Spider-Man: Homecoming
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: SonyPictures.com/Movies/SpiderManHomecoming/
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Release Date: July 7th, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi action violence, some language and brief suggestive comments.
Source: Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Genre: Action
Keywords: Marvel Comics, Reboot, Super Villains, High School, Coming of Age, Secret Identity, Revenge
Directed By: Jon Watts
Written By: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher D. Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Stan Lee, Steve Ditko
Starring: Tom Holland
Production Budget: $175 million
Box Office Potential: $350 million

This is the fourth super hero film to open wide this year and it should be the fourth box office hit. As I’m writing this, there are still no reviews, but there have been some press screenings and the leaks are positive. Also, the buzz is loud and positive. During Transformers: The Last Knight’s opening, more than twice as many people were talking about this movie than The Last Knight. Moviegoers are super excited to see Spider-Man return to the MCU and all of this should add up to at least $100 million during its opening weekend. I think it will open with $125 million, while its legs will be better than average, because it is the last monster release of the summer. I think there will be a significant number of people in late July / early August who will look at the new releases and decide to watch Homecoming again.

Last Minute Update: Spider-Man: Homecoming’s reviews are flooding in and they are overwhelmingly positive. I’m bumping up from box office potential from $350 million to $375 million.

Weekend of July 14th, 2017

War for the Planet of the Apes

This is a busy / slow week, depending on how you look at things. War for the Planet of the Apes is the only big release of the week and it should earn top spot with ease. Meanwhile, Wish Upon is opening wide-ish. I wouldn’t be surprised if it only opened semi-wide. On the other hand, it only cost $12 million to make, so if it does open truly wide, it could match its production budget during its opening weekend. Finally, The Big Sick is hoping to expand truly wide this weekend. I’m cautiously optimistic, as its opening weekend in limited release was the best of the year so far. This weekend last year was led by The Secret Life of Pets, while Ghostbusters was close behind. Those two films earned nearly $100 million over the weekend, which is a great result. However, War for the Planet of the Apes and Spider-Man: Homecoming should actually top that, giving 2017 a small win in the year-over-year comparison.

The Big Sick

The Big Sick
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: TheBigSickMovie.com
Distributor: Lionsgate
Release Date: July 14th, 2017 (Expands Wide)
MPAA Rating: R for language including some sexual references.
Source: Based on Real Life Events
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Keywords: Arranged Marriage, Relationships Gone Wrong, Chicago, College, Romance, Stand-Up Comedy, One Night Stand, Medical and Hospitals, Interracial Romance, Dysfunctional Family, Muslims, Screenplay Written By the Star, Family Affair
Directed By: Michael Showalter
Written By: Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar
Production Budget: Unknown - Distribution rights cost $12 million
Box Office Potential: $20 million

This film had the best theater average for the year during its opening weekend, while its reviews are fantastic. However, it is never easy for a limited release to expand wide and there’s always a chance it will struggle as it tries to expand. I really hope that is not the case and if things go smoothly, then it could double the above box office potential. On the other hand, it could slump during its second weekend and after the third weekend the wide expansion could be downgraded to a nationwide expansion. If this happens, it will never expand truly wide. The above box office potential is a weighted average of the two extremes.

War for the Planet of the Apes

War for the Planet of the Apes
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: WarForThePlanet.com/
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: July 14th, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi violence and action, thematic elements, and some disturbing images.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Action
Keywords: Animal Lead, Talking Animals, War, Post Apocalypse, 3-D, 3-D - Shot in 3-D
Directed By: Matt Reeves
Written By: Mark Bomback, Matt Reeves
Starring: Andy Serkis, Woody Harrelson
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $180 million to $200 million
Box Office Potential: $180 million

I heard that War for the Planet of the Apes was the final chapter in the rebooted Planet of the Apes franchise and I got really excited. Nope. Turns out they are already working on a fourth film and there are plans for a fifth and sixth installment in the franchise. I think this will lead to franchise fatigue and a drop at the box office from the previous installment. Fortunately, this film is earning amazing reviews, so it won’t crash at the box office and it will make enough worldwide to break even.

Wish Upon

Wish Upon
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: WishUponMovie.com/
Distributor: Broad Green Pictures
Release Date: July 14th, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for violent and disturbing images, thematic elements and language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Horror
Keywords: Supernatural, Suicide, Bullies, High School, Wish Granters, High School Hell
Directed By: John R. Leonetti
Written By: Barbara Marshall
Starring: Joey King
Production Budget: Reported at $12 million
Box Office Potential: $15 million

Wish Upon is the latest from Broad Green Pictures. They have not had a lot of success at the box office, which is why I’m not sure this film will open truly wide. There are no reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, but I have heard some buzz that it is an effective horror film and should please fans of the genre. That is if it gets a wide release. If it doesn’t, then it will die at the box office, as horror films almost never do well in limited release. The above box office potential is a weighted average of the two films.

Weekend of July 21st, 2017

Dunkirk

The third weekend of July is an odd one. The biggest film in terms of box office chance is Dunkirk. Early buzz suggests this film could be an Oscar contender, although early buzz doesn’t have a great track record when it comes to this. On the other hand, the biggest film in terms of budget is Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, as it cost $180 million to make. However, some are suggesting it will be the biggest box office flop of the summer, at least when compared to its production budget. Finally there’s Girls Trip, an R-rated comedy aimed at African American women. This weekend last year was dominated by Star Trek Beyond, while four other films earned more than $20 million over the weekend. That’s a lot of depth to deal with and I don’t know if 2017 will be able to handle it.

Dunkirk

Dunkirk
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: DunkirkMovie.com
Distributor: Warner Bros.
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense war experience and some language.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Action
Keywords: World War II, France, 1940s, Nazis, Germany, Mass Evacuation, War
Directed By: Christopher Nolan
Written By: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Fionn Whitehead
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $150 million to $160 million
Box Office Potential: $160 million

Christopher Nolan is earning $20 million to make this movie, plus 20% of its net. This makes him one of the highest paid directors of all time. Will this pay off for Warner Bros.? It’s too soon to tell for sure, but the early buzz is a good omen. In fact, there are some who think this will be the movie that get Christopher Nolan his Oscar. It is an historical epic and Oscar voters tend to love them. Unless something has gone horribly wrong, it should be in contention for some technical nominations. As for its box office chances, it won’t have the sense of wonder some of the biggest hits have, but the more grounded nature should pull in a more mature audience and that will help its legs. It should break even, eventually.

Girls Trip

Girls Trip
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: GirlsTripMovie.com
Distributor: Universal
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Comedy
Keywords: Music Festival, New Orleans, Louisiana, African-American, Road Trip, Girls' Night Out
Directed By: Malcolm D. Lee
Written By: Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver, Erica Rivinoja, Kenya Barris, Tracy Oliver
Starring: Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith, Tiffany Haddish, Queen Latifah
Production Budget: $28 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million

Four friends go on a road trip to a music festival. This would be a very generic movie, except the four friends are African-American women. There have not been a lot of R-rated comedies aimed at African-American women, so this film is a wild card. I’m predicting $50 million, but it could earn half of that or twice that and I wouldn’t be particularly surprised.

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: ValerianMovie.com/
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Release Date: July 21st, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sci-fi violence and action, suggestive material and brief language.
Source: Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Genre: Adventure
Keywords: Outer Space, Space Opera, Romance, Alien Encounters, Robot, Unrequited Love
Directed By: Luc Besson
Written By: Pierre Christin, Jean Claude Mezieres, Luc Besson, Pierre Christin, Jean Claude Mezieres
Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne
Production Budget: Reported at $180 million
Box Office Potential: $50 million

Luc Besson has made a lot of movies over the years, many of which have done well at the box office or with critics. Films like Nikita, Léon, and The Fifth Element cemented his reputation as a talented filmmaker. Unfortunately, most of his more recent films haven’t done so well. Many fans are hoping Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets is a return to form. It definitely has a similar Sci-fi epic feel that The Fifth Element has; however, I’m not sure it will earn the same reviews. Furthermore, the buzz is not where it needs to be. It’s loud and optimistic in small groups, but it hasn’t broken out into the mainstream yet. Finally, STX Entertainment has never released a film this big before and I don’t think it will be able to handle a $180 million budget.

Weekend of July 28th, 2017

Atomic Blonde

The final weekend of July is the weakest of the month and it is the only week where there is no film that is nearly a sure $100 million hit. The two films that are opening wide, Atomic Blonde and The Emoji Movie, have a shot at $100 million, but at best they are a coin toss to get to that milestone. Atomic Blonde is widely expected to be the better movie, but The Emoji Movie is also aiming at a less discerning target demographic, so that will likely give it the advantage at the box office. This weekend last year was led by Jason Bourne, which earned nearly $60 million during its opening weekend. Atomic Blonde and The Emoji Movie combined might not make that much money this weekend, so 2017 is going to lose in the year-over-year comparison.

Atomic Blonde

Atomic Blonde
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: AtomicBlonde.com
Distributor: Focus Features
Release Date: July 28th, 2017
MPAA Rating: R for sequences of strong violence, language throughout, and some sexuality/nudity.
Source: Based on Comic/Graphic Novel
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Keywords: Undercover, Cold War, Berlin, Double Agent, Secret Agent, 1980s, Commies, Independent/Other Comics
Directed By: David Leitch
Written By: Kurt Johnstad, Anthony Johnson
Starring: Charlize Theron
Production Budget: Unknown - estimated at $30 million
Box Office Potential: $75 million

Directed by David Leitch, who directed the two John Wick films. It stars Charlize Theron as a Cold War spy who has to retrieve a list of double-agents just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. Obviously something goes wrong and she has to spend the rest of the movie beating up bad guys.

John Wick: Chapter-Two nearly reached $100 million domestically and there is a chance Atomic Blonde will do the same. Since it is directed by the same guy who made John Wick, the action scenes should be fantastic. Early reviews suggest the plot isn’t as engaging, which might hurt its box office chances enough that it won’t match the first John Wick. I think the higher end of expectations is slightly more likely than the lower end.

The Emoji Movie

The Emoji Movie
Trailer: Click to Play
Official Site: TheEmoji-Movie.com/
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Release Date: July 28th, 2017
MPAA Rating: PG for rude humor.
Source: Original Screenplay
Genre: Adventure
Keywords: Social Media, Internet, Family Movie
Directed By: Anthony Leondis
Written By: Anthony Leondis, Eric Siegel, Mike White
Starring: T.J. Miller, James Corden, Maya Rudolph, Jake T. Austin, Patrick Stewart
Production Budget: Unknown - Estimated at $75 million to $100 million
Box Office Potential: $90 million

It’s rare to see a movie earning this much negative buzz; however, the vast majority of the people hating The Emoji Movie are not in its target demographic. I’m not saying the movie will be good, I’m just saying the negative buzz surrounding the film now will likely not have much of an impact on its box office chances. What could hurt the film is the slump digitally animated films are in right now. We don’t have box office numbers for Despicable Me 3, but so far every digitally animated film released this year has missed expectations, except The Boss Baby. The Emoji Movie could surprise and be a solid $100 million hit, or its buzz could be right and it won’t top $75 million. Somewhere in-between is the most likely result.

Filed under: Monthly Preview, War for the Planet of the Apes, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, Atomic Blonde, The Emoji Movie, Girls Trip, The Big Sick, Wish Upon, Planet of the Apes, Marvel Cinematic Universe, John Wick, Holly Hunter, Charlize Theron, Adeel Akhtar, Jake T. Austin, Luc Besson, James Corden, John Francis Daley, Regina Hall, Woody Harrelson, Zoe Kazan, Anupam Kher, Joey King, Queen Latifah, Malcolm D. Lee, Stan Lee, T.J. Miller, Christopher Nolan, Jada Pinkett Smith, Matt Reeves, Ray Romano, Maya Rudolph, Andy Serkis, Michael Showalter, Patrick Stewart, Mike White, Tom Holland, Mark Bomback, Steve Ditko, Kurt Johnstad, Jonathan Goldstein, Dane DeHaan, Barbara Marshall, Christopher D. Ford, David Leitch, John R. Leonetti, Jon Watts, Kumail Nanjiani, Erica Rivinoja, Cara Delevingne, Kenya Barris, Pierre Christin, Jean Claude Mezieres, Anthony Johnson, Anthony Leondis, Eric Siegel, Tracy Oliver, Tiffany Haddish, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Fionn Whitehead, Zenobia Shroff, Emily V. Gordon
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