By Kaylee Brewster
As summer hits, so do the blockbusters.
These films can be successes or flops, depending on whether audiences are willing to go to theaters to see them or not.
Many factors contribute to a film being a box office hit. Some will make millions, but if a film costs $300 million to produce and only earns $200 million, well then, it’s a bomb. Word of mouth reviews, good or bad, can contribute to how many people see a film. Predicting a movie’s success rate can be difficult; films that have everything going for them — star power, strong franchise backing, audience interest and good reviews — can still tumble and fall.
However, I’m going to attempt to guess this summer’s hits anyway. Here are my predictions on films that will bomb it or break it at the box office this summer.
Release date: June 7
Predicted total domestic gross: $150 million
Why it will bomb: This is the latest addition to the X-Men franchise, a franchise that is not the box office juggernaut it used to be. The last film, “X-Men: Apocalypse,” had mediocre results. Audiences are tired of X-Men movies that don’t include the mutant characters Wolverine or Deadpool in violent and funny or violent and gritty R-rated spin-offs. Plus, with Disney’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox, this latest take on the X-Men will likely end the series, only to be rebooted in a few years anyway, meaning this film is unnecessary — and fans know it.
Release date: July 12
Predicted total domestic gross: $75 million
Why it will bomb: What’s not to love about an Uber ride gone wrong starring actors Dave Bautista (who plays Drax in “Guardians of the Galaxy”) and Kumail Nanjiani (who starred in and wrote “The Big Sick” in 2017). Well, the release date for one. The film’s opening is sandwiched between “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “The Lion King,” two giant highly hyped films; so the “Stuber” box office reign will be short.
“Dora and the Lost City of Gold”
Release date: Aug. 2
Predicted total domestic gross: $200 million
Why it will bomb: A live-action take on the children’s series “Dora the Explorer” seems too out there to be true, but it is. If there’s a film that will be destroyed by marketing, it’s this one. From watching the trailer, the target audience seems unclear. It looks too tense for little kids (when compared to the TV show) and too childish for older audiences, so it becomes a question of who, if anyone, will show up.
“The Angry Birds Movie 2”
Release date: Aug. 16
Predicted total domestic gross: $100 million
Why it will bomb: Another movie about the Angry Birds app game that is sure to include birds destroying things. The first film didn’t perform that well, and no one asked for a sequel. The release date is at the end of the summer, a time when families — the target audience — are thinking more about going back to school than going to the movies.
“Angel Has Fallen”
Release date: Aug. 23
Predicted total domestic gross: $50 million
Why it will bomb: The president is threatened, again. Or at least Gerard Butler’s character is being framed for an attempted assassination. “Angel Has Fallen” is releasing at the end of the summer when most audiences are tired of high-energy action flicks. Plus, the series, which began in 2013 with “Olympus Has Fallen,” has been slowing in momentum since the 2016 sequel “London Has Fallen” — if it ever had a fan base to begin with.
“Men in Black International”
Release date: June 14
Predicted total domestic gross: $300 million
Why it will break it: Coming off the success of “Thor: Ragnarok,” this Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson teamup will prove successful. This time, they’re starring together in a humans-versus-aliens franchise with a decent following.
“Toy Story 4”
Release date: June 21
Predicted total domestic gross: $450 million
Why it will break it: The “Toy Story” franchise is killer. Kids come for the child-friendly story and animation. Adults come for the childhood nostalgia and tear-jerker story. The toys-coming-to-life take always draws a crowd.
“Spider-Man: Far From Home”
Release date: July 2
Predicted total domestic gross: $400 million
Why it will break it: Spidey is back in this international adventure and there’s plenty of momentum after Marvel’s billion dollar hit “Avengers: Endgame,” in which the character appeared. It helps that audiences love Spider-Man and they love Tom Holland as Peter Parker.
“The Lion King”
Release date: July 19
Predicted total domestic gross: $500 million
Why it will break it: The circle of life will spin this film into gold. “The Lion King” is a live-action remake of a beloved Disney classic. Older audiences will want to see the magic unfold in live-action and take their kids to experience it as well.
“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw”
Release date: Aug. 2
Predicted total domestic gross: $250 million
Why it will break it: The “Fast and Furious” franchise is somehow still going strong, and taking two of its characters out for a solo adventure will prove profitable. The fact that those two are Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham make it even better. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to have fun action.
Others in the running
Sometimes a film can sneak up on the competition. This can happen when movies with limited releases over the summer grow into big hits. Here are a few that could get enough buzz to make a sizable dent at the box office.
“The Farewell,” starring Awkwafina, is a Sundance darling about a family keeping their grandmother in the dark about her death. Even with a release that will likely start small, the film could profit from the momentum of last year’s box office success “Crazy Rich Asians,” which featured Akwafina and an all-Asian cast.
“Yesterday” pairs newcomer Himesh Patel with a well-known co-star, Lily James (of “Downton Abbey” and “Cinderella” fame), along with other celebrity appearances. The premise is that the main character is the only person on Earth who remembers the Beatles. It sounds intriguing. However, the Beatles is a beloved band that you don’t want to mess with. If the film gets anything other than positive reviews, it’s toast.
Horror will hit the summer with darker toys coming to life in another Chucky movie, a remake and reboot of “Child’s Play.” The makers of “Hereditary,” regarded as one of the best horror films to hit the screen last year (and perhaps of all time), return with “Midsommar,” about a trip to a Swedish festival that takes a sinister turn. Both films will be irresistible to horror fans, but probably not for many others.
“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is a tricky one, a film about a fading Hollywood star in a fading time period — and Charles Manson factors in somehow. Directed by Quentin Tarantino, the movie also features a star-studded cast that includes Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt. The question is, can Tarentino break into summer and draw a big enough audience?
Faith-based drama, “Overcomer” will arrive toward the end of the summer. Although these films don’t draw many from the non-religious crowd, they do have a following strong enough to make a sizable profit. This film was created by Alex Kendrick who also wrote, directed and starred in “Facing the Giants” and “Courageous,” among other faith-based feature films.