An Accurate Forecast of the Year's Hottest Box Office Season
Summer is upon us, and everyone’s getting ready to enjoy free time, whether hanging out with friends, relaxing at the beach, or simply going to the movies. The pandemic era hasn’t been too kind to movie theaters. Many highly anticipated flicks in 2020 and 2021 performed terribly at the box office as the world settled for the many streaming services that sprouted like mushrooms in the last few years.
Luckily, things changed in 2022, and this summer promises to be even more packed as a huge number of must-see flicks are waiting to hit the theaters. These huge blockbusters are expected to make billions at the box office – or are they? One can never be too sure about the audience’s reaction, as the numbers are often rather unpredictable. This list will analyze trailers, marketing campaigns, and online reactions to figure out how much every film coming out in the next few months is going to make.
Without further ado, let’s dive into these box office predictions for this summer’s biggest movies
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse June 2
Back in 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse blew everyone away, and audiences all over the world showed their love as the movie went on to gross $384.3 million on a 90 million budget. Fans have been craving a sequel that would explore even further the many over-the-top possibilities of the Spider-Verse, and it looks like Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is going to be that sequel.
Should it turn out to be close to the first in quality, it’s safe to say that this film will easily outgross its predecessor domestically and internationally. However, even if it isn’t as good, the film boasts a number of exciting new characters, including Spider-Man India, Scarlet Spider, and fan favorite Miguel O’Hara, aka Spider-Man 2099. Every trailer, sneak peek, or announcement so far has been nothing short of spectacular, and the audience’s hype has been increasing exponentially. Early tracking based on previews and online buzz predicts an opening weekend between 85 and 105 million dollars – and that’s just in the US and Canada.
If Across the Spider-Verse lives up to its sky-high expectations, we are definitely looking at a final box office run of at least $600-650 million worldwide.
June 9 Transformers: Rise of the Beasts
Ever since Transformers: The Last Knight (2017) bombed at the box office, the excitement about this brand has been cooling off… until Bumblebee (2018) hit theaters to unanimous acclaim, proving that audiences still care about the transforming robots.
This summer’s Transformers: Rise of the Beasts may have more than one trick up its sleeve. While the teaser trailer ranked fifth in the “most viewed trailers in the first 24 hours” chart, the presence of fan favorite Maximals, a breed of Transformers that turn themselves into great mechanical animals, seems to be a huge selling point. Moreover, the movie’s overall aesthetic is clearly reminiscent of Bumblebee, so whoever enjoyed the spin-off will probably show up for this one, too.
Let’s not be too optimistic, though – there are some factors working against this film. The release date squeezed between the much more anticipated Across the Spider-Verse and The Flash will definitely affect Rise of the Beasts’ box office run, not to mention that domestic pre-sales are in line with other famous underperformers like Morbius (2022) and Shazam! Fury of the Gods (2023).
Counting on international appeal (especially from China, where the Transformers movies tend to overperform), Rise of the Beasts will probably make around $450-500 million, and possibly more should the film be a better-than-expected ride.
The Flash June 16
Here comes the MVP – well, the MVM of this list. Andy Muschietti’s The Flash may not be the movie the DC Universe deserves, but it definitely is the one it needs. This is the film set to restart the DC timeline, opening a new chapter for the franchise and effectively erasing the “Snyderverse”, i.e., the previous version of this cinematic universe centered around director Zack Snyder’s original vision.
The good omens are several, starting off with the outstanding early reactions by both audience members and Hollywood A-listers (Tom Cruise is rumored to have personally complimented Muschietti on his work) and the action-packed, emotional trailers that were released a few weeks ago. On top of that, the film will benefit from the “No Way Home effect”, i.e., the insane hype of seeing characters from previous franchises unite in a multiversal adventure – just to name a few, there are Michael Keaton’s and Ben Affleck’s Batmen, Michael Shannon’s General Zod, Sasha Calle’s Supergirl, and counting.
However, it’s impossible not to discuss the many controversies the film is facing. Ezra Miller’s criminal misconduct from last year will have an impact on the film’s performance, even though it’s hard to tell how much. Not only that but there has been some kind of confusion about the DC brand lately following its many changes. Regardless, this is still set to be one of this summer’s biggest movies – a box office north of $850 million is expected, but it wouldn’t be surprising if it went on to break the $1 billion mark.
Will Pixar Break its Box Office Curse with Elemental?
Pixar has been in deep water during the pandemic years, and Disney preferring a Disney+ release over a theatrical one has led to many Pixar films bombing terribly at the box office. Lightyear (2022) was expected to redeem the studio and instead ended up losing over $100 million.
This year’s Elemental will be a huge testing ground, but things aren’t looking too good as of now. The teaser and the trailer sure look cute and show some staggering visuals when it comes to animation – but let’s face it, so did every other Pixar film, including their recent flops. Also, Pixar fans and casual viewers seem to agree that the Zootopia-meets-Inside Out concept isn’t the most original. However, what is probably going to affect Elemental’s box office run the most is the release date, as it will have some incredibly tough competition to face (The Flash is coming out the same day).
Pixar has proven in the past that even off-brand animated films can do great at the box office – just think of Coco (2017), which went on to gross $814.3 million worldwide. There’s one thing, though – those films were good. Like, really good. If Elemental reaches the same heights, it’s possible we’re looking at a $500 million total run, but a more conservative estimation would put the film in the $300-350 million range.
June 30 Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny
It’s been 15 years since Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) shattered all franchise records, grossing a stunning $790.7 million worldwide despite mixed-to-negative reactions from diehard fans. A potential fifth film has been in development hell for years, with some rumors of Chris Pratt taking up the mantle (er, the hat) of the famous adventurer.
Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny has a lot of potential. Sure, it’s the first and only Indy film not being directed by Steven Spielberg (who will, however, still serve as an executive producer), but James Mangold covering for him is more than enough to ensure a solid direction. Harrison Ford is back as well in his final outing as the character and audiences all over the world seem to dig a good “one last ride” kind of adventure. Add to the mix an insane supporting cast (Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Mads Mikkelsen, and Antonio Banderas), a good dose of nostalgia, and a wonderful first trailer – and your box office juggernaut is served.
Should the movie turn out to be disappointing in quality, its final run might be affected. However, one gets a feeling that this will play out as the Top Gun: Maverick of the Indiana Jones franchise even despite the busy summer schedule, and it very well could get as high as $800-850 millionI
Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 July 12
Speaking of long-living franchises, one cannot ignore Mission: Impossible’s insane streak. While the original trilogy was a huge box office success, it wasn’t until Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol came out in 2011 that the franchise was elevated to tremendous new heights. This is particularly evident in the last installment of the franchise, Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which grossed $791.7 million worldwide back in 2018.
Hot off the unbelievable success of last year’s Top Gun: Maverick, it looks like Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 is going to ride the Tom Cruise wave even more. As the title suggests, this will be the first of a two-part finale to the saga, and we all know this trick tends to work pretty well – just think of Avengers or Harry Potter. Not only that, but the awesome first trailer and the excellent results of every test screening so far all seem to point toward another huge success for Paramount Pictures. There has been growing appreciation for the franchise ever since Christopher McQuarrie took over with Ghost Protocol, and we’ll probably see it reaching an all-time high with the last two installments.
What’s uncertain is how strong the film’s legs will be since a week later, Christopher Nolan’s Oppenheimer and Greta Gerwig’s Barbie will hit theaters simultaneously. That shouldn’t be too much of an issue, though – an $850-900 million total seems reasonable, with some serious chances of joining the billion-dollar club.
Oppenheimer July 21…
Christopher Nolan is one of those Hollywood filmmakers whose movies haven’t once disappointed financially – except for Tenet (2020), but let’s be honest, if that movie had been released anytime other than in 2020, it would have been a huge success. Nolan is finally back with what promises to be his most ambitious project so far, a biographical drama about the father of the atomic bomb, J. Robert Oppenheimer.
There are many aspects pumping up the hype, starting off with the impressive A-list cast led by the brilliant Cillian Murphy (who’s hot off last year’s final season of Peaky Blinders), but that’s not it. The astonishing trailer has received praise, showing just enough to excite audiences without revealing too much. Moreover, Nolan’s other great historical movie, Dunkirk (2017), went on to gross more than $527 million worldwide and won three Oscars, so one could see Oppenheimer achieving similar results.
On a different note, what’s probably more anticipated than the movie itself is the clash it will have with Greta Gerwig’s Barbie. While clearly aiming at different demographics, this (and the announced 3-hour runtime) will undoubtedly affect Oppenheimer’s performance. A final worldwide gross between $450 and 550 million seems like the right prediction.
Watch Out for Barbie Opening on the Same Day!
While almost every movie on this list points toward a specific box office range, Greta Gerwig’s Barbie is as unpredictable as it gets, and no one so far has a clear idea of what Warner Bros. is going for with this film. Which is a good thing, right?
The Barbie brand is and has always been very powerful, so it’s guaranteed it will at least get its money back one way or another. Plus, the star-filled cast led by Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling, perfectly cast as Barbie and Ken, respectively, is bound to attract a wide audience. But that is pretty much all we can tell, as the first trailer does a great job of not giving away any clue about the plot of the film. What’s certain is that it won’t be the movie one might expect – both director Greta Gerwig and co-writer Noah Baumbach are known for making small, intimate dramas rather than big, flashy blockbusters.
However, this risks being a double-edged sword – a lack of balance between two very different demographics and an unfocused tone could hurt the film. Add Oppenheimer’s ruthless competition to the mix, and the film will probably clock in at around $350-400 million, but it very well might be more, should it have strong legs and good word-of-mouth.
Meg 2 August 4
Back in 2018, The Meg was presumed dead even before coming out – an estimated budget between $130 and 178 million dollars, an unoriginal premise (Jaws, anyone?), and the audience’s waning interest in disaster films all sounded like an announced flop. And yet, it went on to gross $530.2 million worldwide, thanks to a huge overperformance in China (which co-produced the movie along with the US).
Now, there have been a couple of good signs about this summer’s Meg 2: The Trench. First of all, the first trailer gained a staggering 24 million views in less than two weeks, with more than positive reactions by the audience, who seems to have embraced the concept of a “big dumb shark movie.” Also, Jason Statham’s charismatic presence is confirmed, along with several previous cast members. On the other hand, Teenage Mutants Ninja Turtles: Mutant Mayhem is opening the same day, and while Meg 2 is probably going to draw more attention, the turtles should never be underestimated.
This film grossing as much as its predecessor or more, is off the table. While it will benefit from a dignified final run that will be once again boosted by the Chinese box office, it’s highly unlikely that it will gross more than $300-350 million worldwide. Who knows, though – lightning may strike twice.
Blue Beetle August 18
The final prediction of this list is, unfortunately, far from the blockbusters we’ve analyzed so far. A Blue Beetle film has been in development since late 2018 and was originally planned for an HBO Max release until it was eventually promoted to a theatrical release, surviving DC’s many changes of direction.
The general hope is that DC chairmen James Gunn and Peter Safran know what they’re doing with this one, but the overall scenario doesn’t look too good. The character of Blue Beetle is fresh, and there’s some excitement about the first DC film starring a Latino lead. However, it’s no Batman – there’s not a lot of familiarity with the character. On top of that, the first trailer hints at a fun yet generic origin story, and it’s painfully evident how this was once supposed to be a straight-to-streaming flick. This could play one of two ways. Should the film turn out to be good, it might save face with a gross on par with Black Adam (which would be a huge success since the Dwayne Johnson-led movie had more than double the budget). If the film’s reception leans negative, Blue Beetle will be lucky to get to $200-250 million, perhaps even less.
Barbie (2023). Official Warner Bros. Trailer.
|Federico was born on July 20, 1998, in Trieste, Italy. Film enthusiast for as long as he can remember, he graduated in Philosophy at the University of Turin. His lifelong dream is to become a storyteller, and he’s currently planning his next step to (hopefully!) make this dream come true.