Thursday, December 22, 2016

Predicted Box Office for 2017 Comic Book Movies

VIEW MARCH UPDATE WITH LEGO BATMAN UNDERPERFORMANCE

The reign of comic book movies at the box office continued strong throughout 2016, with the slate of 7 mainstream CBMs pulling in approximately $5 Billion worldwide (on a total budget of just $1.2 Billion) and taking 6 of the Top 15 slots for the year. Overall, it was CBMs and family films (e.g., Finding Dory, Zootopia, Secret Life of Pets) that dominated the box office.

The feared slowdown or "superhero fatigue" has not yet materialized. At the beginning of 2016, I did an adequate (but not great) job with my 2016 CBM predictions -- I thought Deadpool would be huge, but I didn't realize how huge; I overestimated BvS and underestimated Civil War (which I kind of knew I was doing); and I was very close with my prediction for Suicide Squad. I give myself particular credit for my prediction about the sum total CBM performance -- I predicted $4.9 Billion total across the 7 CBMs and it looks like they are going to come in right at $5.0 Billion, so I had the size of the pie right, I just didn't portion it out perfectly.


Looking ahead to 2017, here are my box office predictions for worldwide gross. I based these numbers on past performance, trailers, social media buzz, competition in the release calendar, and my own gut instincts.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie (WB, 2/10/2017) -- $610 Million
  • Logan (Fox, 3/3/2017) -- $560 Million
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Marvel, 5/5/2017) -- $875 Million
  • Wonder Woman (WB, 6/2/2017) -- $725 Million [EDIT: 2/6/17]
  • Spider-Man Homecoming (Sony/Marvel, 7/7/2017) -- $995 Million
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Fox, 10/6/2017) -- $325 Million
  • Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel, 11/3/2017) -- $610 Million [EDIT: 1/12/17]
  • Justice League (WB, 11/17/2017) -- $1,015 Million
Some notes:
LEGO Batman has no real child/family competition before or after its release, so I think it can do $140 Million better than its hit predecessor. It has a chance for big success because of humor that appeals to parents combined with a story and LEGO setting that appeals to their kids. Logan looks good and the R rating may allow it to tackle some mature themes in sophisticated ways, but it has some March competition, and March is not a great month to fend with competition at the box office. I think positive reception will help Logan surpass X-Men Apocalypse ($544 Million), but just barely. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 has the first part of May to itself, so it should be the first summer hit. I think it will do $100 Million more than the original (which was released in August). If it's a crowd pleaser, it could definitely go higher.

The trailers for Wonder Woman have been outstanding, and I think it is time for a solid box office hit with a woman lead. So I have it at a very profitable $725 Million (against a $120 Million budget) -- I would like to think it could break even higher, but it will have stiff competition against Pirates of the Caribbean (releasing just before) and The Mummy and Transformers (same month). If one or more of those other movies underperform, then Wonder Woman should be okay. Spider-Man is probably going to be a big hit, competing somewhat with War for the Planet of the Apes, but S-M should be fine.

Moving to the fall with Kingsman, I think it will be hard for it to make a big run with competition from Blade Runner 2049 and the horror releases -- perhaps Fox should have kept it as a winter property. Thor 3 has a couple weeks to itself in early November, but I just don't think the box office can support 7 big comic book hits (everything minus Kingsman), so I have it underperforming Thor 2 by about $35 Million. Finally, I predict Justice League will own the box office until Star Wars comes out and I think the JL marketing thus far has been good and, assuming Wonder Woman was a hit, it will have momentum from summer and give WB its first billion dollar hit in the DC Films era.

Looking at the sum total, my predictions put me at about $5.7 Billion for the 8 films. That means I am assuming CBMs maintain an average of about $710+ Million per film, or basically right on pace with the $710 Million average in 2016 even though there's one additional movie.


EDIT 12/23/2016: Here is my same list but in descending order of performance:
  • Justice League (WB, 11/17/2017) -- $1,015 Million
  • Spider-Man Homecoming (Sony/Marvel, 7/7/2017) -- $995 Million
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (Marvel, 5/5/2017) -- $875 Million
  • Wonder Woman (WB, 6/2/2017) -- $725 Million
  • The LEGO Batman Movie (WB, 2/10/2017) -- $610 Million
  • Thor: Ragnarok (Marvel, 11/3/2017) -- $610 Million
  • Logan (Fox, 3/3/2017) -- $560 Million
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle (Fox, 10/6/2017) -- $325 Million

16 comments:

  1. I do hope "Wonder Woman" does well, here is me hoping the critics are done with their bias next year and give that film (and "Justice League") a fair chance.

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    1. I really, really want Wonder Woman to do well. I think the trailers look really good, so let's hope it breaks through critically.

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  2. 560M$ for Thor ? lol Thor 2 top 640M$, + in Thor3 we have Doctor Strange and Hulk

    Every marvel studios sequel do it better than the first (except Avengers ultron)

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    1. I know, I know. But the Thor movies are just so bad, in my opinion. I can't imagine they continue overperforming, especially when so many other CBMs are in the market (and so many other better MCU movies, too).

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  3. Im basing my predictions of event status of a film and release date (competition before and after)
    I'll rank them
    Justice League - $1.1b
    GotG - $900m
    WW - $800m
    Spiderman - $800m
    Thor - $650m
    LOGAN - $650m

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    1. Your Thor number (higher than mine) is probably the better prediction, I just think the box office of the Thor movies has been out of whack with their quality and something has to give with a slate of so many CBMs.

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  4. A person on my YouTube channel was saying that Justice League won't reach $1 Billion because the critics really had it out for BvS and Suicide Squad this year. But I look at it this way --- BvS and Suicide Squad got negative numbers according to RT and they did $873 and $754 Million, which is huge. The audience reception on the two has been solid in terms of the general population (divisive amongst the fanboy/fangirl community, yes, but that is a minority compared to the millions who go to see the movies). So why would expect Justice League to do worse than those? We wouldn't, so that puts Justice League already at $900 Million. Add to that the fact that BvS got more fans from Blu-ray who will be looking forward to JL even if they didn't go to BvS, plus there will be new fans from the Wonder Woman standalone brought on board, so Justice League should be > $900 Million.

    Add to that the fact that Warner Brothers has been cultivating a new relationship with the blogger community (e.g., the open set visit where they basically stroked the egos of the bigtime bloggers) and WB is pushing the fact that JL is the lighter follow-up to the dark BvS... PLUS Justice League has Aquaman, Cyborg, and the Flash in the mix to broaden their appeal. Plus, even if people don't love the new Superman like I do, they will be curious about how he's coming back.

    Plus, people who like the MCU over the DCEU will want to come see it just to size up their competition.

    All of that puts it to the $1 Billion prediction that I made.

    Now, it might even get better received than BvS and MoS because if it's lighter in tone, the critics will all want to take credit for it and say, "It's much better now because WB and the filmmakers listened to us, we're so smart!" Reviews are largely about the narrative that they want to tell about the movie. So an uptick could fit their narrative, and in this case I think $1 Billion is in the bag and it could go higher than I predicted.

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    1. "the critics will all want to take credit for it"

      I can REALLY see that happening. What you are about to read is my own opinion, and you may disagree with me and it may trigger some people, but part of me actually WANTS JL to remain "dark" in tone and critics to hate it.

      You see, after all the damage they have actively caused to DC Films and the entire fanbase, they seriously don't deserve the satisfaction to think they've won. If JL is indeed light in tone, then they should state that DC did a good job at continuing their own original plans and praise the people involved in the films, not themselves for the influence they think they have in the films.

      Like I said once in your JLUniverse Podcast page, the critics are a bunch of prideful crybabies. They don't care about a film's quality, nor the effort the filmmakers and actors did, all they care about is being right, thinking that they have won. MoS, BvS and SS so far have proven the critics how powerless they are, and that is why even though part of me wishes the critics to praise DC Films, other part of me wishes that they continue to hate them, since DC Films will make money regardless.

      I know that you are aware that critics thinking they've won would be for the best, and yes it may help the B.O. performance of future films, but I'm not asking you to agree with me, I just ask that you understand why I don't want the critics to think that they've won. They just don't deserve it.

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    2. I know exactly what you mean. Not all but some of the critics have really taken this to be an us vs. them thing with the DC films. They tried to blast BvS and Suicide Squad (often by just saying it should've been a different sort of movie, rather than critiquing it for what it was trying to do) but didn't succeed in killing the films. Like you, I would be very frustrated if I see those same critics trying to take credit for Justice League. The filmmakers work tirelessly for months and months to actually create something that they care about... they should get the credit, not the critics.

      So we're on the same page. I would be fine with the critics continuing to bash JL as long as I knew the box office would survive, because I definitely want to keep getting a lot more movies, especially from Snyder and co. (I know Snyder will take a break after JL, which is much deserved, but I hope he comes back for at least one more DC film.)

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  5. This is from @Neel_Madtings on Twitter. I think it probably follows the conventional wisdom a bit better than my list:
    Lego-$560m
    Logan-$600m
    Guardians-$920m
    WW-$720m
    Spider-Man-$900m
    K-$300
    Thor-$710m
    JL-$1.1b

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  6. Yeah, i agree for Thor 2, but we talk about Box Office, not quality, look the Transformers franchise or recently Suicide Squad... Today the critics dont have the power on The box office of Franchises (MCU, Dc, Star Wars, etc) like that

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    1. You're right. I'm just coming more from my own personal opinion -- I think Thor has overperformed in the past (and actually the critics liked Thor and Thor2 okay, even though I thought they were pretty bad) and should come down to earth. With several other CBMs that I think will be much better than Thor, I just predict Thor 3 will take a dip... but $560M is still a solid money maker.

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  7. Ehh... Here's mine

    Guardians of Galaxy Vol. 2 $1.1 billion
    Justice League $1 billion ( depends on reviews)
    Spider-Man: Homecoming $860-$900 million
    Wonder Woman $720 million
    Thor: Ragnarok $715 million
    Logan $550 million
    The lego Batman $520 million

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    1. Very plausible. You're probably right that GotG is the safer billion dollar bet, whereas Justice League will be contingent upon reception. But I'm hoping JL is decently received by critics and well received by fans, pushing it past $1 Billion.

      Your Thor is higher than mine, which is probably smart on your part. I have LEGO Batman a bit higher than you, which I'm still sticking with as my prediction -- I think it will be the family hit of the winter.

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  8. Well, last year I started by underestimating Deadpool in February and now I started this year by overestimating LEGO Batman. I thought LEGO Bats would already be at around $130 Million domestic after the President's Day holiday, but instead it's only at $107 Million. That's a solid number, don't get me wrong, but it is not going to clear the $600 Million worldwide that I had hoped. I think it's legs will be decent, and on an $80M budget (plus merchandise), it is a solid money maker. But my prediction was too high.

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