In just four short months, 2017 is set to become one of the highest grossing years in box office history. There has already been nine $100 million+ hits, and there is no signs of things slowing down. Now the summer movie season is upon us, and the next four months is filled with movies that are a mix of crowd pleasers, blockbusters, and family films. Some smaller movies could become breakout hits, and some surefire smashes could potentially flop. Here are what I believe will be the top 12 of the summer.
(1) GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY: VOL 2
When the first film released, not many were expecting much. It was the first Marvel movie to feature more obscure characters, but the movie broke out and became a smash. It consistently ranks high on favorite MCU lists, so there’s no reason to think the sequel won’t do even better.
Prediction: $375 million
(2) DESPICABLE ME 3
The first two Despicable movies, as well as the Minions spin-off, were both well loved and hugely successful. Interest in the franchise is still huge, and truthfully this one looks like the funniest yet. The question isn’t if the movie will be a hit, it’s how big can it be?
Prediction: $350 million
(3) SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING
When it was announced that Spider-Man would be joining up with the Avengers, to say there was some fanfare would be an understatement. Since superhero movies became the phenomenon they are today, this was at the top of most people’s wish list. The first team up in Captain America: Civil War was a success, and now he gets a solo film (with Iron Man in tow!)
Prediction: $300 million
(4) WONDER WOMAN
The first three movies in the DC universe were met with huge grosses, but were not exactly loved. The one thing that most people agree on is that the best part of the franchise so far is Wonder Woman. You’d think that after decades of superheroes in the movies, she would have made an appearance before, but you’d be wrong. Set during World War II, this will be most likely be the movie that determines if the DCEU will ever match Marvel.
Prediction: $250 million
(5) TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
While the first Transformers film was both highly entertaining and a massive hit, the next three films in the franchise became increasingly over the top and suffered for it. While still raking in the cash, they just aren’t fun anymore. There is no reason to think that the fifth movie won’t be a success, but with 14 (!!!) more planned, let’s hope it can at least keep us invested.
Prediction: $225 million
(6) PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES
Much like I said about Transformers above, the Pirates movies started off great but became a chore as the series went on. Unlike Transformers, though, this is (supposedly) the final film in the franchise. The bigger issue here is that Johnny Depp fatigue has set in, and people aren’t nearly as interested in watching him as they were a few years ago. Still, being the final chapter may pique interest.
Prediction: $215 million
(7) CARS 3
Never underestimate the power of Pixar. The Cars franchise has always been the black sheep of the Pixar family – movies made more for merchandising than entertainment. They aren’t bad, but they get no respect. So far, the trailers make it look like a better movie than Part 2. With a summer lacking many big name animated movies, Cars 3 should be able to cruise to the same heights at its predecessors.
Prediction: $200 million
(8) WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
Rise of the Planet of the Apes was one of the most pleasant surprises of summer 2011. Not many expected anything from it, but the prequel/re-imagining of the classic Apes movies kick-started a new franchise. The latest chapter seems like a direct lead in to the original from 1968, so this may also be the final film in the series. If this is the case, interest may be higher than expected.
Prediction: $190 million
(9) THE MUMMY
When Universal announced an “extended universe” featuring their classic monsters, I was confused. Seeing Dracula and Frankenstein teaming up to fight the Wolfman wasn’t really high on my must see list. Thankfully that isn’t the direction they seem to be going. Getting a couple big name stars and going the action route, as opposed to horror or campy, is a good start. Of course, this is still a big risk. If any movie on this list could fail, this is it.
Prediction: $180 million
Gritty, realistic war movies are a tough sell. No matter how good they are, many people find them hard to watch, and often they don’t do as well as they should. With Christopher Nolan at the helm, this one should be closer to Private Ryan than Hacksaw Ridge.
Prediction: $175 million
Never underestimate the power of The Rock. He has become one of the most reliable actors on the planet, and his appearance in even the most mediocre movies virtually guarantees interest. This R-rated version of the late 80’s/early 90’s television “classic” could be a tough sell if any other actor were involved. Then again, in a summer movie season surprisingly devoid of any big name comedies, this may have done well regardless.
Prediction: $150 million
(12) ALIEN: COVENANT
Considering the franchise has been around as long as Star Wars, and that the first two films are considered two of the best sci-fi movies of all time, the Alien films somehow don’t make a ton of money. Covenant, the sixth movie in the series, definitely has people paying attention. The problem is that the last movie in the franchise, Prometheus, wasn’t exactly beloved and this ties more into that than the previous four films. Still, it should do well enough to keep the series going.
Prediction: $120 million
There are obviously some other movies opening this summer that have potential to become big hits. Snatched, Captain Underpants, Baby Driver, The Beguiled, The House, All Eyez on Me, Atomic Blonde, The Dark Tower & Annabelle 2 all could easily break out and bring in the crowds.
Of course, not everything can bring in big money. There is always one movie that is destined to fail, and this year I believe that film is King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. I can honestly say I don’t know a single person who is actually excited for this. You can never count out director Guy Ritchie, but this looks like nothing more than a rock video with some flashy camera work.