Can Minions or Jurassic World beat Avengers: Age of Ultron for no. 1 this summer?
After massive early year success for "Fifty Shades of Grey," "Cinderella" and "Furious 7," Hollywood believes it has a record breaking summer on its hands. Moviegoers are excited about returning franchise flicks such as "Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation," "Ted 2," "Pitch Perfect 2," "Mad Max: Fury Road" and "Magic Mike XXL." Original flicks such as "Inside Out," "Spy" and "Trainwreck" have also created a tremendous amount of buzz. What everyone really wants to know though is…
…who is going to finish no. 2?
That's right, it would take some calamity of biblical proportions for "Avengers: Age of Ultron" not to win the summer. The original "Avengers" is the no. 3 highest grossing film of all time behind "Titanic" and "Avatar" (perhaps you've heard of them) and it's pre-release polling already has theater owners salivating over the prospect of the blockbuster hitting an all-time domestic opening. The contenders for the second slot? "Jurassic World," "Minions," "Inside Out" and, maybe, the aforementioned "MI5." Or, one of many other potential players could surprise.
Before we segue you to our predictions for the top movies at the 2015 summer box office, let's look over some potential hits that didn't make the list. It may surprise you that some of these hyped films couldn't crack a top 15 ranking, but that's how competitive this summer is.
Judd Aptaow and Amy Schumer's "Trainwreck" looks like a smash, but it may top out at only $80-90 million (still very profitable for Universal Pictures). Another Universal release, "Pitch Perfect 2," was tough to leave off the list, but it could still earn a $100 million.
20th Century Fox's "Poltergiest" feels like a $75-80 million player and Warner Bros. inexpensive horror flick "The Gallows" could be a cash cow if it hits $30 million. And, speaking of horror, "Insidious Chapter 3" has a built in fan base that should easily survive the summer onslaught.
Sony Pictures' "Ricki and the Flash" with Meryl Streep could be a solid $60 million player and Universal's "Straight Outta Compton" could be hit even if it clears just north of $50 million.
Some of the films we're concerned about? "The Man from U.N.C.L.E.," "Southpaw" (perhaps better as a fall release?), "Entourage," "Aloha" and, sadly, "Tomorrowland" (maybe a word of mouth hit?). Movie fans are fickle bunch, however, so you never know what's going to hit and what won't. Three months from now we could be speaking about the surprise success of indies "Dope" and "Me and Earl and the Dying Girl" (or not).
Keeping all that in mind, check out our predictions for this summer's box office winners in the embedded gallery below. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments section.