It has been three weeks since Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness opened to big numbers and got us off to an unofficial start at the summer box office. Everyone knows that the real start is Memorial Day weekend here in the US. This weekend sees the release of Top Gun: Maverick, with Tom Cruise looking to open his first film above the $100 million mark. We think he gets there and has smooth sailing for a couple of weeks until Jurassic World: Dominion takes over the world. Welcome to the Bleeding Cool Summer Box Office Preview.
Top Gun Opens Summer Big, Jurassic World Will Rule Overall
Top Gun: Maverick should close out May and open the summer huge this weekend. Earlier this week, we said we see it at $115 million over the four day, and then it has two weeks to earn good money until dinosaurs rule the theater again. Maverick is excellent, and word of mouth should keep it making money even after June kicks the box office into high gear.
June brings two heavy-hitters to theaters, as Jurassic World: Dominion opens June 10th, and Pixar's Lightyear opens the week after on June 17th. We think Jurassic World will ultimately be the highest grosser of the summer. The previous two films scored $652 million and $417 million in June release previously and grossing over $1 billion each worldwide. They also both finished in the top four in grosses for the year in 2015 and 2018, with the first Jurassic World topping the list domestically in 2015. Add in the return of the original cast from Jurassic Park, and this should also have the biggest opening weekend of the summer as well. Lightyear is an interesting one. Some people are still confused about the concept, being the true story of the man that the toy Buzz Lightyear is based on in the Toy Story films. Some are confused as to why Tim Allen is not in the cast (Chris Evans is voicing Lightyear). Some are mad that this is getting a theatrical release, while the last three Pixar films went straight to Disney+. It should still do well, but it will be interesting to see HOW well. Still should be high, but they need word of mouth to be huge. Never bet against Pixar or Disney, however.
Other notable June films: David Cronenberg shocks us all with body horror film Crimes of the Future (June 3 limited, June 10 wide), Leslie Mann and Dakota Johnson form a bond in Cha Cha Real Smooth (June 17), Elvis takes the stage in the latest big-budget rock bio film (June 24), and Ethan Hawke plays a psychopathic kidnapper in The Black Phone (June 24).
July is the most packed month of the year, let alone the summer. July 1st, the Minions return in The Rise of Gru, for sure one of the top three grossers of the summer. It's the biggest family franchise in the world, it would be shocking if it wasn't in the top three. Also looking to finish high is Thor: Love and Thunder, the second MCU entry of the year. Doctor Strange saw huge gains after appearing in Infinity War and Endgame, and Thor saw an uptick for Ragnarok. Will audiences propel this one higher than Strange, though? I say no, only because interest in the possibilities of putting the word "Multiverse" in the title caused that film to skyrocket. This seems like a more generic entry in the MCU, and the gross will prove that. Gangbusters still, but I don't think it gets as high as Strange's $180 millon opening, and maybe not as high as Jurassic World.
Other Notable July films: Krypto hits the big screen in DC League of Super-Pets, and voiced by Dwayne Johnson (July 29), Jordan Peele's new film shrouded in secrecy Nope (July 22), Bestseller Where The Crawdads Sing hits the big screen with big buzz (July 15), action thriller Bullet Train looks to ride a huge ensemble cast to success (July 29).
August is usually not a spectacular time to open a film, and studios are largely punting on August this year. The two biggest films opening are Jo Koy's Easter Sunday on August 5th, and then on August 31st, we get George Miller's first film since Mad Max: Fury Road, Three Thousand Years of Longing. Koy's film got a huge push at CinemaCon and is our darkhorse of the summer, where few comedies are opening at all. If I were Sony, I would be moving Where The Crawdads Sing into August and trying to make some money there instead of a crowded July.
Other notable August films: A24's latest horror film Bodies Bodies Bodies (August 5), Blumhouses' gay conversion camp thriller starring Kevin Bacon They/Them (August 5), Idris Elba vs. a lion in Beast (August 19),
Some big movies for sure; here is how we see the top 10 shaking out for the summer:
- Jurassic World: Dominion
- Minions: The Rise of Gru
- Thor: Love and Thunder
- Top Gun: Maverick
- DC League of Super-Pets
- The Black Phone
- Easter Sunday
What do you think? Will Jurassic World roar, Will Thor's latest adventure rule? Is it still the Minions rule? Check back with us every week for our box office reports on Sundays, where we will also guess the opening weekends of every film.