13. The Fault in our Stars (June 6): As usual, there's not a ton of compelling content for women this Summer. One exception to that is The Fault in Our Stars, which is a romantic drama based off the popular John Green novel. The trailer has over 15 million views on YouTube—in line with most would-be blockbusters—and star Shailene Woodley is coming off a break-out role in Divergent. Look for this to be a solid hit as well. (Domestic: $120 million, Foreign: $55 million)
14. Deliver Us From Evil (July 2): Horror movies can provide a nice alternative to all of the big-budget spectacle, R-rated humor, and animated fare that dominates multiplexes during the Summer months. Last year's The Conjuring was a surprise hit with $137.4 million; if anything is going to match that this year, its Deliver Us from Evil. The strong trailer features a lengthy, very frightening scene that provokes an audible response when playing in theaters, and it has made this a must-see for fans of supernatural horror movies. (Domestic: $115 million, Foreign: $80 million)
15. Planes: Fire and Rescue (July 18): The first Planes was conceived of as a direct-to-video Cars spinoff. Disney ultimately decided on a theatrical release, and it pulled in a solid $90.3 million last August. Less than a year later, sequel Fire and Rescue is again reaching theaters nationwide. While this one arguably looks less appealing, it will benefit from the void of family entertainment in late Summer. Don't be surprised if this gets past $100 million. (Domestic: $110 million, Foreign: $140 million)
16. Hercules (July 25): Dwayne Johnson is one of the biggest stars in the world, though his success has mainly come from stepping in to pre-branded movies like G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Fast Five. For Hercules, he's trying to start a franchise on his own, though his role here seems to be lacking the comedic touch of his bigger hits. It's possible that this surprises and performs in line with Clash of the Titans, but a more reasonable expectation would be closer to 300: Rise of An Empire or Robin Hood. (Domestic: $105 million, Foreign: $230 million)
17. Tammy (July 2): Melissa McCarthy is coming off two major hits in 2014, and her role in Tammy seems to be safely within her wheelhouse. Unlike The Heat and Identity Thief, though, the movie lacks a clear hook or a strong co-star (Sandra Bullock, Jason Bateman). Add in a crowded comedy lineup this Summer, and Tammy will likely wind up lower than Identity Thief's $134.5 million. (Domestic: $105 million, Foreign: $45 million).
18. Blended (May 23): Adam Sandler has been one of the most consistent names at the box office for nearly two decades. He did have two major miststeps recently in Jack and Jill and That's My Boy, but he seems to be back on the right track with family comedy Blended. The movie reteams Sandler with 50 First Dates and The Wedding Singer co-star Drew Barrymore. While initial previews were fairly unappealing, Warner Bros. has put out more likable material lately, and Sandler remains a draw with family audiences. (Domestic: $100 million, Foreign: $95 million)
19. Get On Up (August 1): At the tail end of a season full of effects-heavy sequels, broadly-appealing dramas like The Help and Lee Daniels' The Butler have thrived in August. The movie most likely to follow that pattern is Get on Up, a James Brown biopic directed by The Help's Tate Taylor and starring 42's Chadwick Boseman. Previews nicely mix comedy and drama, and this appears to be the kind of movie that's going to draw older crowds for many weeks. (Domestic: $95 million, Foreign: $50 million)
20. Edge of Tomorrow (June 6): Over a month out, this seems poised to be one of the big-budget disappointments of the Summer. Tom Cruise hasn't had much success with original material as of late: Oblivion, Knight & Day, Valkyrie and Jack Reacher all failed to reach $100 million at the domestic box office. There's a lot going on in the marketing for Edge of Tomorrow: mechanical suits, a vague alien enemy, some kind of romance, and of course the "Live Die Repeat" Groundhog Day scenario. None of it gels quite right, and its hard to imagine this being a huge hit with domestic audiences. Still, look for international returns to pick up the slack a bit. (Domestic: $90 million, Foreign: $220 million)
Legends of Oz (May 9): This is the first release from Clarius Entertainment, which is giving the animated movie a substantial marketing push. Unfortunately, its cheap aesthetics will hold it back, as will the fact that audiences just traveled to Oz in 2013. The best case scenario is grosses in line with similar independent animated movies The Nut Job and Free Birds ($55 to $65 million).
Million Dollar Arm (May 16): This movie is essentially an amalgamation of Moneyball, The Blind Side and Slumdog Millionaire. The lowest-grossing of those is Moneyball with just $75.6 million; even with good word-of-mouth, it would be surprising if Million Dollar Arm wound up significantly higher than that.
Jersey Boys (June 20): When director Clint Eastwood stays behind the camera, the results aren't all that impressive: his last six director-only gigs all failed to hit $40 million. While Jersey Boys is based on a popular Broadway musical, that hasn't always been a guarantee of success: around the same time in 2012, Rock of Ages earned just $38.5 million.
Think Like a Man Too (June 20): This is an on-the-fence title, and there's definitely a chance it cracks the Top 20. The first Think Like a Man earned $91.5 million, and star Kevin Hart is coming off his biggest hit yet in Ride Along ($134.2 million). Unfortunately, About Last Night missed $50 million, and that was also a battle-of-the-sexes romantic comedy that shared cast members with Think Like a Man. With its Vegas setting and ensemble cast, Think Like a Man Too is definitely more appealing; a finish close to $90 million is definitely possible.
Earth to Echo (July 2): This could benefit from being the only family-friendly movie for the Fourth of July weekend. Its found footage style seems played out at this point, though, and it also feels derivative of Super 8 (and, of course, E.T.).
Jupiter Ascending (July 18): This sci-fi adventure, from the Wachowski siblings, will likely be one of the big bombs at the box office this Summer. As Cloud Atlas and Speed Racer showed, their brand alone isn't enough to get people to the movies. While previews present strong visuals, they also include a lot of bizarre makeup and accents that are going to turn off many. Moviegoers looking for a space adventure will be likely bypass this odd, humorless outing for Guardians of the Galaxy two weeks later. Don't be surprised if Jupiter Ascending winds up being the latest John Carter or Battleship.
The Purge: Anarchy (July 18): The first Purge movie had a massive $34.1 million debut, but couldn't even double that by the end of its run. That's not a good sign for the sequel, which does at least take the action to the streets of Los Angeles. Ultimately, look for The Purge: Anarchy to fall a bit short of its predecessor.
Sex Tape (July 25): In Summer 2011, Bad Teacher became a solid comedy hit with $100.3 million. Sex Tape reunites that movie's stars (Cameron Diaz and Jason Segel) and director (Jake Kasdan), and has a solid premise. The first trailer didn't make much of an impact, though. This could be a late Summer surprise, but for now we're keeping it out of the Top 20.
Step Up All In (July 25): Each Step Up movie has earned less than its predecessor at the domestic box office. These are now mainly an international play: the last two each earned over $100 million.
The Hundred-Foot Journey (August 8): As of publication, there isn't any marketing material available yet for The Hundred-Foot Journey. The cooking drama could pull a Julie & Julia and connect in a big way with female audiences, though that's impossible to predict at this point.
Into The Storm (August 8): This movie looks way too close to Twister, which still holds up fairly well almost 20 years later. Without any star power—and with a challenging release date—Into The Storm probably won't break out.
Lucy (August 8): Scarlett Johansson has become an action star thanks to her role as Black Widow in The Avengers and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Lucy has an undeniably intriguing trailer. Still, with the exception of Taken, Luc Besson's movies historically have a low ceiling. This could break out beyond the typical sub-$40 million range, though coming anywhere close to $100 million seems unreasonable given the action movie competition.
The Expendables 3 (August 15): The second Expendables movie earned $85 million at the domestic box office, which was an 18 percent decline from the first installment. Marketing promises that The Expendables 3 is the "last ride," which could keep it from dropping again. Still, it's hard to imagine this fending off all of the original competition this month.
The Giver (August 15): Similar to The Golden Compass and Ender's Game, The Giver is based off a popular young-adult book that came out long before the young-adult craze. Unfortunately, the first trailer failed to generate the kind of excitement one would expect, which suggests this will wind up in the same range as those other young-adult adaptations ($60 to $80 million at best).
Let's Be Cops (August 13): This buddy comedy is in the We're the Millers release date spot, and it could theoretically drum up surprising late-Summer business. Unfortunately, it lacks any star power whatsoever: its co-leads are from TV's New Girl, which doesn't compare to bonafide box office stars Jennifer Aniston and Jason Sudeikis.
Sin City: A Dame to Kill For (August 22): The first Sin City earned $74.1 million in 2005. For whatever reason, it took over nine years to get the sequel to the big screen. As shown recently by Scream 4, 300: Rise of an Empire and Spy Kids: All the Time in the World (also directed by Robert Rodriguez), that kind of gap virtually guarantees a decline in domestic grosses.
Other releases: Other nationwide releases this Summer include Mom's Night Out (May 9), And So It Goes (July 11), The Fluffy Movie (July 11), As Above, So Below (Aug. 15), If I Stay (Aug. 22), When the Game Stands Tall (Aug. 22), Jessabelle (Aug. 29) and The Loft (Aug. 29).
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