June of 2016 has a huge act to follow as last year brought us JURASSIC WORLD in June and it became one of the highest grossing films of all time breaking many records on the way getting there. I don’t see any film that will be able to even come close to its performance, but this June has a couple of films that have potential to be big hits.
All box office predictions are for their domestic totals, and not including what they will make worldwide.
The Movie to Beat: FINDING DORY – June, 17th
When FINDING NEMO came out, it was the first Pixar film to open in the summer, whereas their other films came out in November and December, so the studio was in untested waters not knowing if audiences would accept a summer release. In the end FINDING NEMO became one of the most successful Pixar films making a total of $339mil (it was the highest grossing Pixar film until TOY STORY 3 was released 7 years later). As FINDING NEMO is much beloved, it makes complete sense why Pixar would make a sequel and then have it star the breakout character of the first film. FINDING DORY should be another massive hit for the studio and be the biggest hit of the month. Box Office Prediction: $340mil
Hits: TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES 2: OUT OF THE SHADOWS – June, 3rd; ME BEFORE YOU – June, 3rd; THE CONJURING 2 – June 10th; CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE – June, 17th; INDEPENDENCE DAY 2: RESURGENCE – June, 24th.
When the reboot of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES came out in the summer of 2014, it became a surprise hit making almost $200mil, so it comes to no surprise that we are getting a sequel. The first film was an incomprehensible mess, and critics hated it, but it still made a lot of money. Based off the trailers, I don’t think they have improved much on the quality, but it does look fun for its target audience. I am not sure the sequel will match the first film, but it should still be a solid hit for the franchise. Box Office Potential: $150mil
ME BEFORE YOU is based off a bestselling novel of the same name and it has potential to be a solid mid-level hit in a sea of action films and dumb comedies. The movie is about a caregiver who falls in love with her paralyzed patient and it is almost guaranteed to make everyone who sees it sob. The trailers have been very solid and with charming leads, all it needs is good reviews from the critics to guarantee it becoming a success at the box office. Box Office Potential: $75mil
THE CONJURING 2 is another sequel where the first film was a surprise at the box office. The first CONJURING was able to make more than $100mil back in 2014, which is rare for a horror film. Since the first film was such a hit with both critics and at the box office, the sequel has a lot to live up to. Now, I don’t think this one will be able to match the $137mil the first one made, but it should still perform better than your average scary film. Box Office Potential: $90mil
Kevin Hart has made a huge career for himself being in loud and broad buddy action comedies. For his newest film, he is teamed up with The Rock, who has really made a name for himself over the past couple of years and I think this is a perfect paring. The trailers CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE make it look rather average, but their chemistry is palpable and that should lead to big money. I don’t expect this to be the only time we see these two together. Box Office Potential: $125mil
INDEPENDENCE DAY 2: RESURGENCE came in a close second for being the film to beat for the month. The original is now an iconic summer film, setting the bar on how summer films are made and advertised. When the original came out in 1996, it made a staggering $306mil, which is still a large number in 2016. While the long awaited sequel does not have Will Smith in it, it still stars many of the original cast members and adding a couple new faces to the mix like Liam Hemsworth, Jessie Moore, and Selma Ward. I do have to say, not having Will Smith in the movie is leaving a huge void to be filled, and I am not sure this cast can fill it. In the end, I don’t think it will matter that much as the film opens the weekend before the 4th of July tying in with the holiday perfectly. Plus the trailers have been somewhat effective as they do showcase some impressive action sequences and good special effects. I am not sure how this film will completely play out at the box office as it could be like BATMAN V SUPERMAN and open huge but then fell sharply in its consecutive weekends, or will it have a tight hold at the top of the box office. No matter what path it takes, it will make a lot of money for the studio. Box Office Potential: $325mil
Misses: THE SHALLOWS – June, 24th; FREE STATE OF JONES – June, 24th
THE SHALLOWS has the pleasure of opening the same weekend as INDEPENDENCE DAY 2: RESURGENCE and that will definitely affect its box office potential. The film is about a surfer who gets injured and then is stalked by a hungry shark as she is trapped out at sea. I doubt the film was that expensive to make, but even with a smaller budget, I don’t expect much from the film. There’s not much buzz about the film and it’s starring Blake Lively who has never been much of a draw. This film should come and go rather quickly. Box Office Potential: $18mil
Based off a true story of a man in Mississippi who leads a group of rebels against the Confederates during the Civil War, FREE STATE OF JONES stars Matthew McConaughey and the film is written and directed by the man that gave us the first HUNGER GAMES film. A historical drama, with a solid cast, and a respectable director should mean it will be a hit, but based off the trailer, the whole endeavor looks rather cheap like something I would see on the History Channel and not on the big screen. Normally you would see period drama like this released in the fall for awards season where audiences will be more in the mood for an adult drama, but since it’s being released in the summer, it shows that the studio doesn’t have complete faith in the film and its quality. The only thing that can save the film is if the reviews are decent and become a mid-level hit, but I don’t see that happening. Box Office Potential: $30mil
Questionable: POPSTAR: NEVER STOP NEVER STOPPING – June, 3rd; WARCRAFT – June, 10th; NOW YOU SEE ME 2 – June, 10th
From the crazy minds of The Lonely Island comes POPSTAR: NEVER STOP STOPPING a mockumentary making fun current popstars. I can tell their intentions to be are modern day SPINAL TAP, and with the creative team behind it, I can see it possibly living up to those standards. I’m a huge fan of The Lonely Island as I find their brand a humor to be hilarious, but I don’t think it is for everyone and I can see how that could split their audiences. Andy Samberg’s track record at the box office is rather weak, unless he’s doing voiceover work in an animated film, so this will really be the test for him. I really want this film to be a success, which I think it could be. This film will depend on the reviews, and if it ends up going in the ZOOLANDER 2 direction, it will bomb, but if it gets good reviews it could become a solid mid-level hit. Box Office Potential: $70mil
Based off the widely popular video game, WARCRAFT finally hit the screens in June. This film really could go either way as films based off video games do not have the greatest track record with both critics and at the box office. For every TOMB RAIDER, we have a MAX PAYNE, SILENT HILL, HITMAN, etc… Can this be the first film based off a video game to get mostly positive reviews and a box office hit? With an up-and-coming director who has already given us some great movies, I think this could break the mold. It might not be a runaway hit, but it does have potential to break $100mil. Box Office Potential: $115mil
When the first film came out in 2013, it was a surprise success making $117mil which is why I am not sure if NOW YOU SEE ME 2 will follow suit or prove the first films success was a fluke. Maybe this is the beginning of a huge franchise like the FAST AND FURIOUS films where each film is bigger than one before or maybe this will be the last time we see these characters together. I want to say the latter, but you can’t count this film out. I am going to play it safe and say that it will get close to $100mil, but not enough for the studio to want to make a third film. Box Office Potential: $85mil