Skip to main content

There's no earth-shattering hump in the works?

Prediction: 2015 Box Office
Part I: 115 - 31



So here’s my annual combination of good bets and (mostly) complete guesswork about what I think will and won’t do well the next year. The Top Five are pretty much a given, although even there the order is less of a fait accompli. Last year’s tries and fails are can be found at the end of this section.



115=. American Ultra 
(US: $20m: WW: $30m)

Hyperactive scribbler Max Landis gives us Jesse Eisenberg as a sleeper assassin on the run from the CIA with Kristen Stewart.

115=. The Whole Truth 
(US: $20m, WW: $30m)

Keanu Reeves defends a teenager accused of killing his rich dad. Renée Zellweger co-stars, but the whole truth is, you may not recognise her.

114. The Kitchen Sink 
(US: $15m, WW: $30m)
(6 November UK, 4 September US)

Vampires, and humans, and zombies, living together. Total anarchy.

113. Man Down 
(US: $15m, WW: $30m)
(30 October)

More post-apocalyptic-ness, with Jai Courtney.

 112. Jane Got a Gun 
(US: $15m, WW: $35m)
(4 September UK, 25 September US)

That troubled Natalie Portman western. Everyone will probably wonder if it was worth the effort.

111. Legend 
(UK: $15m, WW: $35m)
(Autumn 2015)

Tom Hardy plays the Krays. Both of them.

110. Untitled John Wells project 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)

Bradley Cooper is a chef with a pearly white smile. That’s not essential to the role, it just comes with the Cooper package.

109. McFarland, USA 
(US: $35m, WW: $40m)
(20 February US)

Costner coaches. It’s his thing.

108. Point Break 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(28 August UK, 31 July US)

No Keanu, no deal.

107. Trainwreck 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(28 August UK, 17 July US)

Judd Apatow directs Daniel Radcliffe. The world awaits with baited breath.

106. The Last Witch Hunter 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(6 November UK, 23 October US)

Vin! Killing witches! The humanity!

105. Unfinished Business 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(6 March)

"Hilarious" Vince Vaughn business trip comedy. Or maybe it will become this year’s Identity Thief (as in crappy, but incontinently popular in the US).

104. Dirty Grandpa 
(US: $30m, WW: $40m)
(25 December US)

That’s Bob De Niro. Being hilariously dirty. That’s not Zac Efron sniffing a lot.

103. Entourage 
(US: $30m, WW: $40m)
(19 June UK, 5 June US)

How popular is Entourage? As in, how many will pursue it to the cinema? I’m probably completely out of touch with this.

102. Midnight Special 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(25 November US)

Joel Edgerton’s son has special powers. Run from the Feds, Joel! Jeff Nichols’ take on Starman.

101. Ricki and the Flash 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)
(7 August UK, 26 June US)

Jonathan Demme directing a Diablo Cody script starring Meryl Streep as an aging rock star (isn’t there one of those with Pacino? Danny Collins!) Clearly intending to counter-programme to the willing Streep summer movie sleeper fanbase, but do they want this kind of Streep?


100. Z for Zachariah 
(US: $15m, WW: $40m)

Adaptation of the post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel by Robert C O’Brien.

99. Barely Lethal 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)

Hailee Steinfeld as an assassin in high school. Action comedy with Samuel L Jackson. Is the title in good taste? No.

98. Sisters 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler as… sisters! Having a house party.

97. Kidnap
(US: $20m, WW: $40m)
(9 October US)

The strangely non-descript thriller career of Halle Berry continues.

96. Triple Nine 
(US: $20m, WW: $40m)
(11 September)

John Hillcoat heist movie. Splendid cast, but then so was Lawless.

95. Sicario 
(US: $25m, WW: $40m)

Emily Blunt chases down a drug lord.

94. Child 44 
(US: $25m, WW: $45m)
(17 April)

Tom Hardy investigates a real-life Soviet serial killer.

93. The Sea of Trees 
(US: $25m, WW: $45m)

Gus Van Sant directs Matthew McConaughey, who’s feeling all suicidal in Japan. Just like Wolverine did the other year.

92. Run All Night 
(US: $25m, WW: $45m)
(17 April)

Liam Neeson not indulging in as much carefree killing as grants him huge hits.

91. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension 
(US: $30m, WW: $50m)
(13 March)

Does anyone care at this point?


90. Far From the Madding Crowd 
(US: $25m, WW: $50m)
(1 May)

Thomas Vinterberg gives Hardy a go (not that Tom). Carey Mulligan stars.

89. Max 
(US: $35m, WW: $50m)
(20 March UK, 21 August US)

A heart-warming tale of a military hound that gets all Littlest Hobo when he meets new friends and helps a grieving family heal.

88. Ex Machina 
(US: $20m, WW: $55m)
(23 January UK, 10 April US)

Alex Garland directs Star Wars guys Domnhall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. Will it all go pear-shaped in the third act? If Garland has anything say in the matter, most certainly.

87. Mortdecai 
(US: $25m,WW: $55m)
(23 January)

I don’t think anyone is expecting much from this. Depp’s moustache won’t save it.

86. Money Monster 
(US: $35m, WW: $65m)

Gorgeous George directed by Jodie Foster in a Network-esque satire.

85. A Hologram for the King 
(US: $35m, WW: $65m)
(November)

Hanks and Twyker reunite, to as mixed reception as Cloud Atlas?

84. Macbeth 
(US: $25m, WW: $65m)

The latest adaptation of the Scottish play has Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard chewing highland scenery.

83. Chappie 
(US: $35m, WW: $70m)
(6 March)

Oh dear. Has a director so quickly exhausted his goodwill? Stop writing your own scripts Neill Blomkamp. A tale of a loveable robot getting involved with gangsters.

82. The Woman in Black 2 
(US: $25m, WW: $70m)
(1 January)

No Daniel, but as if that would kill a franchise…

81. Sinister 2
 (US: $45m, WW: $70m)
(21 August)

More nasties in the family home.


80. The Visit 
(US: $30m, WW: $70m)
(11 September)

M Night Shyamalan does a low budget comedy horror, but excises the comedy.

79. Silence 
(US: $40m WW: $75m)

Will this be out in 2015? I doubt it, but it would be remiss not to consider the possibility. Will it be successful when it arrives? Jesuit priests Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver seek out Liam Neeson in 17th century Japan. Whether or not it finds an audience, it’s likely to be Martin Scorsese’s most resonant picture in years.

78. Amityville: The Awakening 
(US: $50m, WW: $80m)

Amityville exhumed once again, 10 years on.

77. Straight Outta Compton 
(US: $75m, WW: $85m)

F Gary Gray’s NWA biopic.

76. Black Mass 
(US: $45m, WW: $85m)
(18 September US)

Depp will want to get behind the make-up again in short order, as this might not be the best of box office years for him. This Whitey Bulger picture sounds interesting, but will people want to see Baldy D in it?

75. Don’t Mess with Texas 
(US: $55m, WW: $85m)
(8 May)

Police officer and prisoner on-the-run comedy. But the twist is, they’re ladies! With Reece Witherspoon and Sofia Vergara.

74. Survivor 
(US: $30m, WW: $85m)
(November 2015)

Milla Jovovich whups butt once again. Framed, Salt-like, for a terrorist attack she didn’t commit, she tries to clear her name. James McTeigue continues to prove his directorial chops away from the Wachowskis.

73. Hitman: Agent 47 
(US: $35m, WW: $85m)
(28 August)

I’ve no idea how this got rebooted, but it probably has something to do with how the first one scraped together nearly $100m eight years ago.

72. A Walk in the Woods 
(US: $55m, WW: $85m)
(August 2015)

Robert Redford is Bill Bryson, Nick Nolte his pal on the Appalachian Trail.

71. Victor Frankenstein
(US: 40, WW: 90)
(2 October)

Paul McGuigan in the latest Frankenstein take, this time Max Landis (overflowing with ideas, that lad) furnishes a screenplay from Igor’s (Daniel Radcliffe’s) point of view.




70. The Disappointments Room 
(US: $50m, WW: $95m)
(23 September US)

Horror flick with low expectations from DJ Caruso and Wentworth Miller (Stoker).

69. By the Sea 
(US: $45m, WW: $95m)

Angelina Jolie is directing like a demon unleashed, and here she gets Brad to appear in a very ‘70s very Frenchy affair. Maybe a bit like A Good Year, but good?

68. Untitled Christmas Eve Project 
(US: $65m, WW: $100m)
(11 December UK, 25 November US)

Boorish oaf Seth Rogen co-stars in this tale of partying like tomorrow is Christmas Day. Expect copious toking and mild persistent homophobia.

67. Blackhat 
(US: $45m, WW: $100m)
(20 February UK, 16 January US)

We’ll find out if this is any good very soon. The cyber-terrorism theme couldn’t be more topical, but will Michael Mann “get it” or make it look a bit daft and pumped-up? That its release is mere weeks away and no one is talking about it suggests a bit of a fizzle.

66. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies 
(US: $45m, WW: $100m)

Long in development (David O Russell was attached), Burr Steers might be able to give this an appropriately twisted appeal given that Seth Graham-Smith isn’t credited on the screenplay. Even Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter made more than $100m.

65. The Boy Next Door 
(US: $50m, WW: $105m)
(27 February UK, 23 January US)

Rob Cohen recently underwhelmed with Alex Cross. J-Lo recently underwhelmed with everything post-Out of Sight.  She also hasn’t had a solo hit in years. But this one might have a bit of draw (woman falls for younger man across the street, unsettling events ensue) even if it is complete toss.

64. Goosebumps 
(US: $55m, WW: $105m)
(7 August UK, 15 April 2016 US)

An adaption of R L Stine’s series of children’s books. This has been knocking around in development limbo since 1998.

63. Pitch Perfect 2 
(US: $60m, WW: $110m)
(15 May)

Singing sequel.

62. Untitled Cameron Crowe project 
(US: $60m, WW: $110m)

And still crusty Cameron keeps trying. Will the team of Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone dispel public indifference any more than Matt Damon and Scarlett Johansson did when surrounded by zoo animals? Rachel McAdams and Bill Murray also show up in a plot that sounds a wee bit laborious (a love triangle involving a military contractor).

61. The Gunman 
(US: $50m, WW: $110m)
(20 March)

Pierre Morel, clearly given up on Dune, directs principled Sean Penn (so there will be real consequences when he shoots someone in the head) and Idris Elba in an adaptation of Jean-Patrick Manchette’s 1981 novel The Prone Gunman.


60. Masterminds 
(US: $45, WW: $115m)
(14 August)

Heist comedy based on the Loomis Fargo robbery, with Owen Wilson and Kristen Wiig. Could be a summer sleeper hit if gets the balance right.

59. Paper Towns 
(US: $70m, WW: $115m)
(19 June UK, 5 June US)

Adapted from John Green’s novel and positioned by Fox as a next Fault in Our Stars (they share Nat Wolff).

58. The Man from U.N.C.L.E. 
(US: $55m, WW: $120m)
(14 August)

Much like Kingsman, I’m eager to see Guy Ritchie’s period spy movie (presumably, like Matthew Vaughn, he’s rankling at not getting a Bond gig). I’m just not convinced it spells box office with these guys starring. Perhaps U.N.C.L.E. will be saving the world from the very Illuminati itself, the one to which the ex- Mr Madonna’s wife is currently dedicating her lyrics.

57. The Walk 
(US: $65m, WW: $120m)
(2 October)

Zemeckis directs Joseph Gordon Levitt on a high wire in a movie you probably don’t need to see if you’ve seen Man on Wire. The thing that might make the difference here is the 3D. If it really wows audiences, to the point of attacks of vertigo in cinemas, You might be talking another £100m or so.

56. The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel 
(US: $45m, WW: $125m)
(26 February UK, 6 March US)

Aged sequel with Richard Gere acting all smooth and piggy-eyed.

55. The Intern 
(US: $75m, WW: $125m)
(2 October UK, 25 September US)

Nancy Myers directs Robert De Niro as an intern at a fashion magazine. With Anne Hathaway as the firm boss and Rene Russo (probably falling for Bob). De Niro, as we all know, is a comedy legend.

54. Insidious: Chapter 3 
(US: $75m, WW: $130m)
(5 June)

Prequel following the psychic investigators on another case. Well, a prior case.

53. London has Fallen 
(US: $75m, WW: $140m)
(2 October)

Gerard Butler is back, stabbing and snapping necks, this time in dear old Blighty.

52. Poltergeist 
(US: $70m, WW: $140m)
(31 July UK, 24 July US)

Monster House’s Gil Kenan directs an unnecessary horror remake of a classic original. Is there any reason to think it will be more worthwhile than any of the others? Sam Rockwell and Rosemarie de Witt are leads, and they’re great, but expectations should be tempered.

51. Magic Mike XXL 
(US: $80m, WW: $140m)
(31 July UK, 1 July US)

Channing Tatum in his skimpies might have been a novelty, but will anyone’s pants be bulging at the thought of seconds? Without McConaughey?


50. Kingsman: The Secret Service 
(US: $55m, WW: $165m)
(25 January UK, 13 February US)

Apart from an awful title, Matthew Vaughn’s attempt to do his own bone-crunching, sweary version of a Bond movie is to which I’m looking forward. But do I rate its chances of success? I’m doubtful, even with a kick-ass Colin Firth.

49. Everest 
(US: $65m, WW: $165m)
(2 October UK, 18 September US)

Baltasar Kormakur leads Jake Gyllenhaal up a mountain in this based on fact tale. Will Jake make love to the mountain? Here’s betting Sam Worthington (the next Sean Bean?) doesn’t make it.

48. Shaun the Sheep 
(US: $50m, WW: $165m)
(6 February UK)

Aardman seems to have an upper limit, and this Wallace and Gromit spin-off has a built-in audience but might find it difficult getting any higher.

47. Crimson Peak 
(US: $85m, WW: $165m)
(16 October)

Guillermo Del Toro does the horror thing in the English language this time. A strong cast (Tom Hiddleston, Mia Wasikowska, Jessica Chastain), its pedigree might get this into the upper $200ms if it breaks the horror ceiling.

46. Vacation 
(US: $115m, WW: $170m)
(13 November UK, 9 October US)

Chevy Chase as granddad Griswald, with Ed Helms inheriting the Rusty mantle.

45. Get Hard 
(US: $125m, WW: $175m)
(27 March)

Will Ferrell’s businessman hires Kevin Hart to teach him how to tough it out in prison. The results? Big in the States, mediocre elsewhere.

44. Joy 
(US: $125m, WW: $180m)
(1 January 2016 UK, 25 December US)

David O Russell, something of an awards-whore with his choices of late, dives back in with a star vehicle for Jennifer Lawrence (playing inventor/entrepreneur Joy Mangano). Nominations ensue.

43. San Andreas 
(US: $70m, WW: $185m)
(29 May)

Yeah, earthquake movies do well. Just like volcano movies. And Rock movies do too, if they star Sean Connery. Brad Peyton gives it the 3D boost, but will it become another Journey 2?

42. Acme 
(US: $100m, WW: $195m)
(13 November UK, 30 October US)

Will this latest attempt by Warner Bros at a live action/CGI Loony Tunes appear this year? Possibly not, but Glen Ficarra and John Requa are certainly funny guys, so I wouldn’t bet against it working if they’re steering it to completion (Back in Action! is underrated).

41. Peanuts 
(US: $120m, WW: $200m)
(21 December UK, 6 November US)

What’s the scope for something as 2D as this being turned 3D? And will this be a Muppets affair where a big screen reboot didn’t quite take? It comes from Blue Sky, a fairly sure thing for Fox, but still…

40. The Age of Adaline 
(US: 105, WW: 205)
(1 May UK, 24 April US)

Blake Lively in a swoon-inducing immortality romance could turn out to be one of the year’s sleeper hits. M83 on the trailer helps sell the emotive flourish.

39. Grimsby 
(US: $95m, WW: $210m)
(24 July UK, 31 July US)

Sacha Baron Cohen up to spy larks, pulling double duty as a 007-type and his football hooligan brother. Could be good fun, given The Dictator was, and Louis Letterier’s presence suggests Cohen wants to make sure the action chops are convincing.

38. Me Before You 
(US: $120m, WW: $215m)
(21 August US)

Picking up where Fault in Our Stars left off, Emilia Clarke falls for wheelchair-bound Sam Claflin. Tears will flow, noses will be blown. Or will Paper Towns score first, and audience will be all cried out by the time this is released?

37. The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water 
(US: $125m, WW: $220m)
(27 March UK, 6 February US)

This just looks offputtingly odd as a live action CGI movie. Maybe that’s the point, maybe it will be freakishly huge (like the superhero versions of the characters), but SpongeBob’s natural home feels like it ought to be in 2D animation.

36. The Jungle Book 
(US: $110m, WW: $230m)
(16 October UK, 9 October US)

What’s with this Jungle Book fever? Dictating that there’ll be an audience for this live action version is dicey, and Jon Favreau’s not proved himself since Iron Man. It could be great, of course.

35. Focus 
(US: $115m, WW: $235m)
(27 February)

I don’t doubt the public are dying to see a Will Smith movie they can get behind, but I’m dubious this is it. Glen Ficarra and John Requa direct. Big Willy is a grifter, Margot Robbie his protégé. It doesn’t have the buzz or broadness of tone of another Hitch, that’s for sure (that’s not saying that, with these writer-directors involved, it wont be pretty good).

34. In the Heart of the Sea 
(US: $105m, WW: $250m)
(13 March)

Little Ronny Howard goes berserk once more with his new favourite cinematographer and his star from Rush. With the true story that inspired Moby Dick to hand, this finds first mate Chris Hemsworth and the rest of his whaling crew buffeted by a sperm whale. Before too long, they’re reduced to chowing down on each other. Howard rarely enthuses me, but Rush was pretty good by his own pedestrian standards, and Anthony Dod Mantle’s eye candy visuals actually managed to make the movie seem bright and lively. Is Hemsworth a star outside of Thor?

33. Spy 
(US: $165m, WW: $245m)
(5 June UK, 2 May US)

Melissa McCarthy misfired with Tammy, but this looks to be in safer fat=funny territory. Instead of police (The Heat) she’s a spy! My, that will be a hoot. Paul Feig, about to kill Ghostbusters stone dead with a reboot, directs. Expect this to make a mint in the US, and be met with a shrug elsewhere. The supporting cast includes the Stat, deadpanning.

32. Monster Trucks 
(US: $90m, WW: $250m)
(22 May UK, 29 May US)

Chris Wedge (Ice Age) directs this live action/CGI combination, which sounds about as enticing as its title. One imagines something in the ball park of Cars meets Transformers, but the plot is unknown at present. It’s going to have trouble making its presence felt in its release slot. A Duel sight gag seems inevitable.

31. Jupiter Ascending 
(US: $70m, WW: $260m)
(6 February)

The Wachowskis’ unloved sci-fi fantasy was bumped from summer 2014 to February 2015, with effects issues cited. But still too late to fix pointy-eared Channing Tatum and his chemistry-free entanglement with Mila Kunis. I’m sure this will be sporadically good fun, but it seems to sorely lack the sense of humour (think The Fifth Element) that lets this kind of campery play. A lot of people may just find it silly, but, without post-Guardians of the Galaxy self-awareness, not in an endearing way.



 My 2014 scorecard

Final grosses above, my guesstimates below.


1. Transformers: Age of Extinction 
(WW: $1.087m/ US: $245.4m)
(1) WW: $1.1bn/ US: $325m

The only thing to note here is the declining US stake; whatever it lost there (and it was significant) it made up and then some elsewhere (not least the Chinese attendance).

2. Guardians of the Galaxy
 (WW: $772.2m/ US: $333m)
(13) WW: $425m/US: $145m

I suspect everyone, Marvel included, is quietly surprised by how well this did. It’s why every imbecilic studio exec now wants a talking raccoon in their movie.

3. Maleficent 
(WW: $757.8m/ US: $241.4m
(19) WW: $280m/ US: $100m

A success like this is nigh on confounding. No one is saying it’s a great movie, and probably no one can really countenance the business it did. The dearth of strong female-led roles? Certainly, it gives heart to all those aware they have made something crappy and wondering if it will sell.

4. X-Men: Days of Future Past 
(WW: $746m/ US: $233.9m)
(11) WW: $450m/US: $145m

I seriously underestimated the power of having the old gang back, and the hi-concept; given the deteriorating performances of the last couple of X-flicks, this is highly impressive. Curious that there’s only $40m in it, but this is seen to have resuscitated a franchise whilst Sony’s Spidey outing is regarded as a killer.

5: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 
(WW: $722.9m/ US: $220.8m)
(2) WW: $975m/ US: $250m

Yet early days, but it’s running on a par with Desolation of Smaug so it ought to ultimately end up in the $900m+ range and No.2 for the year.

6. Captain America: The Winter Soldier 
(WW: $714.1m/ US: $259.8m)
(7) WW: $610m/ US: $225m

7. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 
(WW: $709m/ US: $202.9m)
(6) WW: $665m/ US: $215m

I liked this more than most people, it seems, and more than I expected, but it’s one of the few in the Top 10 I called pretty much right in terms of position and gross.

8. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes 
(WW: $708.3m/ US: $208.5m)
(8) WW: $605m/ US: $200m

One thing about this 2014’s performances; if in doubt bet ever-upwards on international and ever downwards on US. This is a franchise grower, but that $200m bump is mostly outside of home turf.

9. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 
(WW: $695.5m/ US: $323.9m)
(3) WW: $900m/ US: $375m

Still in release, this will end up the most successful movie of 2014 Stateside, but it won’t get anywhere near the stratosphere of its predecessor. It could yet hit the No.4 spot for the year globally, if it’s lucky. Still, though. Franchise burnout, or just that it’s a bit of a fizzle as a movie?

10. Interstellar 
(WW: $653.4m/ US: $182.7m)
(5) WW: $675m/ US: $275m

Not too far out, but the US factor again let down its performance.

11. How to Train Your Dragon 2 
(WW: $618.9m/ US: $177m)
(4) WW: $865m/ US: $350m

Animation-wise, 2014 was a big disappointment for the US market. I expected Shrek 2/ Despicable Me 2 things from this sequel, and even internationally it was about $100 less than my guesstimate. DreamWorks can’t catch a break, but this is still the biggest animation of the year. It’s the first time since 1997 that the Top 10 globally hasn’t featured an animated movie.

 12. Godzilla 
(WW: $525m/ US: $200.7m)
(12) $445m/ US: $125m

Hailed as a success, but it appears I was right to be sceptical. It did much better in the US than I expected (the opposite to Pacific Rim, in fact), and secured a sequel, but its lack of legs were down to it not being much cop.

13. Rio 2 
(WW: $498.8m/ US: $131.5m)
(10) $560m/ US: $120m

14. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 
(WW: $477.2m/ US: $191.2m)
(26) $215m/ US: $75m

I did admit I was in the dark about this one’s potential. Michael Bay works his inscrutably bombastic magic.

15. The LEGO Movie 
(WW: $468.1m/ US: $257.8m)
(9) WW: $600m/ US: $245m

16. Lucy 
(WW: $458.9m/ US: $100.2m)

Not even on my radar.

17. Big Hero 6 
(WW: $378.7m/ US: $211.3m)
(14) WW: $400m/ US: $175m

Still has a lot of territories in which to open, so could do significantly better than predicted.

18. Edge of Tomorrow 
(WW: $369.2m/ US: 100.2m)
(20) $275m/ US: $80m

The fact that this was very good allowed it to exceed the expected (non-M:I) performance of a Cruise film.

19. Noah 
(WW: 362.6m/ US: $101.2m)
(37) WW: $175m/ US: $90m

Perhaps it was the pre-Easter release, but I can see no good reason for this peculiar snooze-fest performing when Exodus has fizzled.

20. Gone Girl 
(WW: $362.3m/ US: $166.7m)
(23) WW: $245m/ US: $105m

In unadjusted numbers, this is the biggest hit of Fincher’s career. It should give him some clout to do something a bit less potboiler next time.

21. The Maze Runner 
(WW: $339.8m/ US: $102.1m)
(57) WW: $75m/ US: $35m

Everyone had their eyes on Divergent, but this is the real YA breakout of the year.

22. 22 Jump Street 
(WW: $331.3m/ US: $191.7m)
(30) WW: $200m/ US: $110m

Making a very smart, very funny sequel gave this a shot in the arm (But still, that’s mostly from the US; the curse of the comedy not always translating).

23. 300: Rise of An Empire 
(WW: 331.1m/ US: 106.6m)
(28) WW: $215m/ US: $70m

24. The Fault in our Stars 
(WW: $304.2m/ US: $124.9m)

Nope, didn’t see that one coming. I blame Jonathan Cainer.

25. Divergent 
(WW: $288.7m/ US: $137.8m)
(24) WW: $225m/ US: $100m

26: Mr. Peabody & Sherman 
(WW: $272.9m/ US: $111.5m
(17) WW: $300m/ US: $105m)

27. Penguins of Madagascar 
($270.7m/ US: $78.1m)

This one was brought forward. It can’t be making DreamWorks any more comfortable with the state of their animations.

28. Neighbors 
(WW: $268.2m/ US: $150.2m)
(50) WW: $115m/ US: $75m)

It more than doubled my guess, but on the plus side, audiences were mostly spared The Interview.

29. Annabelle 
(WW: $252.7m/ US: $84.3m)

Nope.

30. Hercules 
(WW: $243.4m/ US: $72.7m)
(47) WW: $140m/ US: $75m

31. Robocop 
(WW: $242.7m/ US: $58.6m)
(45) WW: $145m/ US: $75m)

32. Non-Stop 
(WW: $222.8m/ US: $92.2m)
(46) WW: $145m/ US: $70m

33. Dracula Untold 
(WW: $215.2m/ US: $56m)

34. The Expendables 3 
(WW: 206.2m/ US: $39.3m)
(18) WW: $300m/ US: $90m

The bottom really dropped out of that one.

35. Need for Speed 
(WW: $203.3m/ US: $43.6m)

36. Exodus: Gods and Kings 
(WW: $202.8m/ US: $61.2m)
(21) WW: $270m/ US: $100m

This is making a bad smell.

37. The Other Woman 
(WW: $196.6m/ US: $83.9m)
(35) $185m/ US: $90m

38. Fury 
(WW: 194.8m/ US: $84.7m)
(36) WW: $175m/ US: $85m

39. The Equalizer 
(WW: 191.7m/ US: $100.9m)
(40) $165m/ US: $80m

40. A Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb 
(WW: $180.9m/US: $89.7m)
(15) WW: $315m/ US: $120m

41. The Grand Budapest Hotel 
(WW: $172.7m/ US: 59.1m)

I’m enormously pleased for its success, but I didn’t figure on it.

42. Into the Storm 
(WW: $159.7m/ US: $47.6m)

43. The Monuments Men 
(WW: $155m/ US: $78m)

44. Ride Along 
(WW: $154m/ US: $134.9m)

45. Planes: Fire & Rescue 
(WW: $147m/ US: 59.2m)

46. Dumb and Dumber To 
(WW: $144.9m/ US: $85.4m)
(49) WW: $125m/ US: $70m)

47. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit 
(WW: $135.5m/ US: $50.6m)
(22) WW: $250m/ US: $110m

That new franchise for Jack? Er, no.

48. Let’s Be Cops 
(WW: $126.1m/ US: $82.4m)

49. Blended 
(WW: $126.1m/ US: $38.5m)
(38) WW: $170m/ US: $80m

50. Sex Tape
 (WW: $126.1m/ US: $38.5m)
(34) WW: $185m/ US: $90m

The rest of my picks:

52. Pompeii 
(WW: $117.8m/ US: $23.2m)
(44) WW: $145m/ US: $60m
53. The Nut Job 
(WW: $113.3m/ US: $64.3m)
(55) WW: $85m, US: $45m
57. Transcendence 
(WW: $103m/ US: $23m)
(16) WW: $310m/ US: $105m
OUCH!
59. Tammy 
(WW: $100.4m/ US: $84.5m)
(25) WW: $225m/ US: $135m
60. Horrible Bosses 2 
(WW: $100.1m/ US: 53.1m)
(46) WW: ($145m, US: $85m
61. Into the Woods 
(WW: $97.0m/US: $91.2m
(42) $165m, US: $80m
This one is a definite US hit, so the question becomes; does it catch on internationally.
65. Annie 
(WW: $89.5m/ US: $72.6m)
(40) $165m, US: $95m
Poorly reviewed and not great word of mouth mean this one won’t have the legs of Into the Woods.
69: A Million Ways to Die in the West 
(WW: $86.4m/ US: $43.1m)
(51) WW: $115m/ US: $75m
71. Alexander and the Terrible, No Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day 
(WW: 85.0m/ US: 65.7m
(41) WW: $160m, US: $75m
74. Muppets Most Wanted 
(WW: $78.2m/ US: $51.2m)
(48) $135m, US: $75m
76. The Judge 
(WW: $75.9m/ US: $46.9m)
(29) WW: $205m, US: $95m
83. Jersey Boys 
(WW: $67.3m/ US: $47m)
(59) WW: $75m, US: $45m
92. 3 Days to Kill 
(WW: $52.6m/ US: $30.7m)
(52) WW: $95m, US: $40m
96. St. Vincent 
(WW: $48.2m/ US: $43.0m)
(58) WW: $75m/ US: $40m)
97. Chef 
(WW: $46m/ US: $31.4m)
(61) WW: $65m, US: $35m
105. Frank Miller’s Sin City: A Dame to Die For 
(WW: $39.4m/ US: $13.8m)
(31) $195m, US: $95m
Robert Rodriguez drifts inexorably closer to cinematic oblivion.
118. Winter’s Tale 
(WW: $30.8m/ US: $12.6m)
(54) WW: $85m, US: $45m
139. Sabotage 
(WW: $17.5m/ US: $10.5m)
(60) WW: $70m, US: $35m
142. Vampire Academy 
(WW: $15.4m/ US: $7.8m)

(53) $85m, US: $35m

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Who’s got the Figgy Port?

Loki (2021) (SPOILERS) Can something be of redeemable value and shot through with woke (the answer is: Mad Max: Fury Road )? The two attributes certainly sound essentially irreconcilable, and Loki ’s tendencies – obviously, with new improved super-progressive Kevin Feige touting Disney’s uber-agenda – undeniably get in the way of what might have been a top-tier MCU entry from realising its full potential. But there are nevertheless solid bursts of highly engaging storytelling in the mix here, for all its less cherishable motivations. It also boasts an effortlessly commanding lead performance from Tom Hiddleston; that alone puts Loki head and shoulders above the other limited series thus far.

As in the hokey kids’ show guy?

A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood (2019) (SPOILERS) I don’t think Mr Rogers could have been any creepier had Kevin Spacey played him. It isn’t just the baggage Tom Hanks brings, and whether or not he’s the adrenochrome lord to the stars and/or in Guantanamo and/or dead and/or going to make a perfectly dreadful Colonel Tom Parker and an equally awful Geppetto; it’s that his performance is so constipated and mannered an imitation of Mr Rogers’ genuineness that this “biopic” takes on a fundamentally sinister turn. His every scene with a youngster isn’t so much exuding benevolent empathy as suggestive of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ’s Child Catcher let loose in a TV studio (and again, this bodes well for Geppetto). Extend that to A Beautiful Day in the Neighbourhood ’s conceit, that Mr Rogers’ life is one of a sociopathic shrink milking angst from his victims/patients in order to get some kind of satiating high – a bit like a rejuvenating drug, on that score – and you have a deeply unsettli

It’ll be like living in the top drawer of a glass box.

Someone’s Watching Me! (1978) (SPOILERS) The first of a pair of TV movies John Carpenter directed in the 1970s, but Someone’s Watching Me! is more affiliated, in genre terms, to his breakout hit ( Halloween ) and reasonably successful writing job ( The Eyes of Laura Mars ) of the same year than the also-small-screen Elvis . Carpenter wrote a slew of gun-for-hire scripts during this period – some of which went on to see the twilight of day during the 1990s – so directing Someone’s Watching Me! was not a given. It’s well-enough made and has its moments of suspense, but you sorely miss a signature Carpenter theme – it was by Harry Sukman, his penultimate work, the final being Salem’s Lot – and it really does feel very TV movie-ish.

What's a movie star need a rocket for anyway?

The Rocketeer (1991) (SPOILERS) The Rocketeer has a fantastic poster. One of the best of the last thirty years (and while that may seem like faint praise, what with poster design being a dying art – I’m looking at you Marvel, or Amazon and the recent The Tomorrow War – it isn’t meant to be). The movie itself, however, tends towards stodge. Unremarkable pictures with a wide/cult fanbase, conditioned by childhood nostalgia, are ten-a-penny – Willow for example – and in this case, there was also a reasonably warm critical reception. But such an embrace can’t alter that Joe Johnston makes an inveterately bland, tepid movie director. His “feel” for period here got him The First Avenger: Captain America gig, a bland, tepid movie tending towards stodge. So at least he’s consistent.

You nicknamed my daughter after the Loch Ness Monster?

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012) The final finale of the Twilight saga, in which pig-boy Jacob tells Bella that, “No, it's not like that at all!” after she accuses him of being a paedo. But then she comes around to his viewpoint, doubtless displaying the kind of denial many parents did who let their kids spend time with Jimmy Savile or Gary Glitter during the ‘70s. It's lucky little Renesmee will be an adult by the age of seven, right? Right... Jacob even jokes that he should start calling Edward, “Dad”. And all the while they smile and smile.

Here’s Bloody Justice for you.

Laughter in Paradise (1951) (SPOILERS) The beginning of a comedic run for director-producer Mario Zampa that spanned much of the 1950s, invariably aided by writers Michael Pertwee and Jack Davies (the latter went on to pen a spate of Norman Wisdom pictures including The Early Bird , and also comedy rally classic Monte Carlo or Bust! ) As usual with these Pertwee jaunts, Laughter in Paradise boasts a sparky premise – renowned practical joker bequeaths a fortune to four relatives, on condition they complete selected tasks that tickle him – and more than enough resultant situational humour.

I'm offering you a half-share in the universe.

Doctor Who Season 8 – Worst to Best I’m not sure I’d watched Season Eight chronologically before. While I have no hesitation in placing it as the second-best Pertwee season, based on its stories, I’m not sure it pays the same dividends watched as a unit. Simply, there’s too much Master, even as Roger Delgado never gets boring to watch and the stories themselves offer sufficient variety. His presence, turning up like clockwork, is inevitably repetitive. There were no particular revelatory reassessments resulting from this visit, then, except that, taken together – and as The Directing Route extra on the Blu-ray set highlights – it’s often much more visually inventive than what would follow. And that Michael Ferguson should probably have been on permanent attachment throughout this era.

Somewhere out there is a lady who I think will never be a nun.

The Sound of Music (1965) (SPOILERS) One of the most successful movies ever made – and the most successful musical – The Sound of Music has earned probably quite enough unfiltered adulation over the years to drown out the dissenting voices, those that denounce it as an inveterately saccharine, hollow confection warranting no truck. It’s certainly true that there are impossibly nice and wholesome elements here, from Julie Andrews’ career-dooming stereotype governess to the seven sonorous children more than willing to dress up in old curtains and join her gallivanting troupe. Whether the consequence is something insidious in its infectious spirit is debatable, but I’ll admit that it manages to ensnare me. I don’t think I’d seen the movie in its entirety since I was a kid, and maybe that formativeness is a key brainwashing facet of its appeal, but it retains its essential lustre just the same.

I’m just glad Will Smith isn’t alive to see this.

The Tomorrow War (2021) (SPOILERS). Not so much tomorrow as yesterday. There’s a strong sense of déjà vu watching The Tomorrow War , so doggedly derivative is it of every time-travel/alien war/apocalyptic sci-fi movie of the past forty years. Not helping it stand out from the pack are doughy lead Chris Pratt, damned to look forever on the beefy side no matter how ripped he is and lacking the chops or gravitas for straight roles, and debut live-action director Chris McKay, who manages to deliver the goods in a serviceably anonymous fashion.

Damn prairie dog burrow!

Tremors (1990) (SPOILERS) I suspect the reason the horror comedy – or the sci-fi comedy, come to that – doesn’t tend to be the slam-dunk goldmine many assume it must be, is because it takes a certain sensibility to do it right. Everyone isn’t a Joe Dante or Sam Raimi, or a John Landis, John Carpenter, Edgar Wright, Christopher Landon or even a Peter Jackson or Tim Burton, and the genre is littered with financial failures, some of them very good failures (and a good number of them from the names mentioned). Tremors was one, only proving a hit on video (hence six sequels at last count). It also failed to make Ron Underwood a directing legend.