T-1: Summer 2015’s Tremendou$ 20 E$timated BlockBu$ter$
Date Title Genre Studio Prd Bdgt (M) Dom Box
Proj $(M)
For Box
Proj $(M)
% For Box Movie DNA Dom $(M) For $(M) World $(M) % For
5/1 Avengers 2 Act/Adv BV $250 $650 $1,250 66% Avengers 1 $623.4 $895.2 $1,518.6 58.9%
5/15 Mad Max Sci-Fi/Adv WB $100 $75 $110 59% 3 Mad Max $68.6 N/A $68.6 N/A
5/15 Pitch Perfect 2 Comedy Univ $45 $125 $150 54% Pitch Perf 1 $65.0 $48.0 $113.0 42.5%
5/22 Tomorrowland Sci-Fi BV $190 $150 $350 70% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
5/29 Aloha Com/Dra SONY $75 $50 40% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
6/5 Spy Comedy FOX $130 $50 28% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
6/5 Entourage Comedy WB $30 $80 $35 30% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
6/12 Jurassic World Sci-Fi/Hor UNI $150 $225 $550 71% Jurassic Park $767.3 $1,203.9 $1,971.2 61.1%
6/19 Inside Out Animation BV $165 $225 58% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
6/26 Ted 2 Comedy Univ $175 $325 65% Ted $218.8 $330.6 $549.4 60.2%
7/1 Magic Mike XXL Com/Dra WB $150 $100 40% Magic Mike $113.7 $53.5 $167.2 32.0%
7/1 Terminator 5 Action Para $170 $200 $400 67% Terminator 1-4 $518.9 $884.0 $1,402.9 63.0%
7/10 Minions Animation Univ $300 $600 67% Despicable Me $619.6 $894.3 $1,513.9 59.1%
7/17 Ant-Man Act/Adv BV $150 $250 62% Marvel* $190.0 $261.4 $451.4 57.9%
7/17 Trainwreck Comedy Univ $90 $50 36% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
7/24 Pixels Act/Com SONY $110 $125 $125 50% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
7/24 Southpaw Drama Wein $85 $75 47% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
7/31 MI-5 Action Para $200 $450 69% Mission Imp 1-4 $739.8 $1,356.8 $2,096.6 64.7%
8/7 Fantastic Four Act/Adv Fox $122 $250 $450 64% Fan 4 1 & 2 $286.6 $333.0 $619.6 53.7%
8/14 Man From UNCLE Action WB $75 $125 $150 54% none N/A N/A N/A N/A
TOTAL $1,242 $3,525 $5,745 62%      
*Avg Box Office From the Avengers Marvel Series
** All movie data is from Box Office Mojo or IMDB
*** Projections are our own here at the mIKE-rOSCOPE

Summer is blockbuster season. In each of the last 8 yrs the 1st full wknd in May features a superhero blockbuster success. 2015 makes it 9 yrs in a row with Avengers 2. This star studded action packed sequel stars Robert Downey Jr, Scarlett Johannsson, and Samuel L Jackson just to name a few. Domestically we predict that The Avengers: Age of Ultron will gross $650 M±, crushing last year’s The Amazing Spiderman 2 ($203 M domestic) and beating its predecessor by a margin of 4%. The film has already made a splash overseas with a $201 M opening weekend on Apr 22nd.




The Avengers will not be the only sequel to hit the silver screen this summer. An astounding 50% of our estimated summer blockbu$ter$ (at least $100 M domestic box office) are sequels/reboots. (That % inflates to 60% if you count Entourage and The Man from U.N.C.L.E. both of which are based on TV shows of the same name. They, so to speak, are TV sequels). While some of us may see sequels, reboots, etc as a representation of Hollywood’s lack of creativity, it is hard to deny their ultimate box office result$. The previous installments of this summer’s blockbusters have grossed over $4 B domestically. A wk ago, the 7th installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise sat atop weekly box office data for the 4th straight wk as it became the 4th biggest global box office ($1.4 B+), EVER with a good chance of becoming #3. WOW!! Hollywood will stop churning out $equel$ when they stop making money.


This summer also seems to be the time for those “come back” flicks.  4 movie franchises are “coming back” this summer. 2 of them are from the 80s & 2 from the 90s.  Mad Max goes the furthest to 1980 (There were 3 films b/t 1980 & 1985).  Next, the Terminator was released for the first time in 1984 (Arnold did say he would be back and, from ’84 to ’09 he returned 4 times).  Then, everyone’s favorite dinosaurs are returning to terrorize our planet. Jurassic Park’s 1st 3 films were box office behemoth$ b/t 1993-2001.  Then finally, the Mission Impossible franchise is rebooting again with lead man Tom Cruise who will be saving the day for the 5th time since 1996.  We wonder if Hollywood is out of ideas or just doesn’t see a need to break what isn’t broken.  Outside of Mad Max, all of the other 3 franchises are $1 B+ movie brands.  The latest Mission Impossible in 2011 grossed almost $700 M worldwide.  We note however, that the most recent Jurassic Park film was the WOR$T of the series grossing 3 flicks & the most recent Terminator was the 2nd WOR$T in its 4 part franchise.  This time around the dance floor, for the abovementioned movies, we are challenging whether renew & redo is a sound box office strategy or are the dropping $$ a signal to pitch & ditch the sequels/prequels? The declining box w/i each of the above franchises may well signal their la$t dance$?


Historically, M-Day has produced multiple box office blockbusters. This year we have 1 new release in May that didn’t make our Terrific 20 list that we should mention. We have hopes for Hot Pursuit’s $ucce$$ (release on May 8th) b/c of its stars (Oscar Award Winning Actress Reese Witherspoon along with budding superstar Sofia Vergara).  While this movie brings star power, it is a comedy and lacks the box office potential shown by any of the superheroes flicks such as Marvel’s Iron Man 2 or Thor which grossed over a $1 B worldwide and were released on M-DayF-Day this yr is facing the same dilemma as M-Day this yr.  Inside Out is a F-Day wknd opener (June 19th) and did not make our list, either. It is directed by Pete Docter, one of the directors of Monsters, Inc & Up (which each made $500 M, domestically). B/C it is an animated film it has great family appeal potential. Recent animation films have had success on F-Day like How to Train Your Dragon 2 & Toy Story 3. Both have had an established film history with successful previous flicks.  Can Inside Out turn into another F-Day animation domination?!?! Stay Tuned, Stay Tuned! (JUST 4 THE HOLIDAY RECORD there are 2 Independence Day wkend flick$ with big buck$ potential. They are Magic Mike XXL & Terminator 5. No Labor Day releases have such potential. Slim Pickens for the summer holiday of ’15).

About bernacmd

For over 24 years, University of Detroit Mercy Marketing Professor Michael Bernacchi, Ph.D., J.D, has produced "uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE", a newsletter discussing current "marketing and advertising¹s bends, trends & ends." A well-know fixture in Detroit and national media, UDM's marketing guru has made several appearances on CNN's "Talk Back Live," the Voice of America worldwide radio network (VOA), ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and on the pages of Sports Illustrated, Time, TV Guide, the New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, to name a few. At University of Detroit Mercy, he has taught courses in Marketing Management, Consumer Behavior, Marketing Communications, Research and Corporate Social Responsibility and Sports and Entertainment Marketing. Michael Bernacchi can be reached at 313-993-1116 or bernacmd@udmercy.edu. Please appropriately attribute the following for their work on uNDER tHE mIKE-rOSCOPE: Yen Ju Lee Robert Rouse Vidhyasagar Natarajan Eric Baumgardner & Ian Young
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