Mamo 468: It’s A Good Friday… For Picking Summer Blockbusters!

The summer season kicks off in just three weeks and the Boys Of Summer (trademark pending) are back to pick the hits and misses of the forthcoming box office season!

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Matthew Price

And here’s mine!

Top 10

Guardians 2
Despicable Me 3
Wonder Woman
Alien Covenant
Captain Underpants
Cars 3


Not quite the summer conversation, but I’m deeply impressed with the legs on Get Out, Split, and Logan, all of which are still making bank at the Domestic Box Office. Beauty and the Beast, which would be a summer movie in most years since there has been a ‘Summer movie season’ is quietly making Star Wars level money at the moment, and is showing no signs of disappearing.

People are certainly still going to the movies in droves.

As painful as it is to say this, I expect the Emoji movie to make money, it might even crack the top 10 this summer. Never under-estimate soccer moms taking their little ones to the movies to keep them quiet, this seems like the film to punch that ticket this summer. And who knows, the Steven Wright teaser might even convince a few adults…


I sincerely hope you’re wrong on that Emoji movie. Having said that, if you’re not Pixar (or to a lesser extent DreamWorks), it’s tough to predict whether your youth-targeted movie will make bank anymore. So many VOD-level kids films get ushered in and out of theaters before they can be properly savaged.
The Mamo Matt’s may be right about Captain Underpants though. That franchise has some serious legs with the youth/parent market.

Kurt Halfyard

Yea, but the age is so young on Underpants, that the kids (like mine) that grew up with them would now not bother with it. I could be wrong on this, but I do not think so.

Also you are right in the Feature Animation department. It’s a zoo out there. Clearly Sony knows their audience with the Despicable Me franchise, and they slowly made it into a juggernaut. Like Sony, DreamWorks continues to pander to the lowest common denominator, because easy-high-stimulation-junk-cinema is an ATM machine at the box office when it comes to kids movies. (The How Train Your Dragon movies are the exception, albeit I have not seen the Kung-Fu Panda movies, which has defenders).

Laika has been kicking ass in terms of a more sophisticated storytelling style and bleeding edge 3D printing tech for their stop-motion features. I have no doubt their features will age well into classics, but they struggle to make immediate money, which is a killer in that business.

The Irish studio, Cartoon Saloon (Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea and the forthcoming Wolfwalkers) have been quietly making a name for themselves.

Pixar are still great at what they do, but have been diluted by sequels and the rush to put one film out every year.

Andrew James

Minions aside (a boring, pandering pos), I take exception with the Despicable Me films “pandering to the LCD.” These are legitimately funny, well thought out and incredibly well-made (i.e. great looking) films. The second one in particular with all of its nods to 70s and 80s cult and genre cinema was simply wonderful. I am super looking forward to part 3 this summer.

Matthew Fabb

A quick look on Amazon shows that Captain Underpants is still one of the best sellers in the children’s books category. The original audience might have grown up, but there seems to be still a new audience.

That said, I have no idea what will be successful among kids beyond the obvious choices from companies like Pixar. It’s like comedies where there still tends to be these runaway hits that are hard to see coming, among all the others that don’t succeed.

Robert Reineke

I think you guys are grossly underestimating Planet of the Apes. People will come to a more serious entertainment if it’s good. Both entries have had very good legs and have appeal outside the internet echo chamber. I’m expecting in the neighborhood of $200 million domestic.


The last Apes movie made over $700M worldwide.

Matthew Fabb

Yup, both Matt’s downplay 2014’s Dawn of the Planet of the Apes versus 2011’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but Dawn made $32 million more making $208 million. It had good legs, it just wasn’t the huge breakout hit (these days in the $300 million range) that some were expecting. Looking online at places like IMDB with fan ratings and people have given them the same rating.

So yeah, I do think War of the Apes will like it’s previous movies make around $200 million (assuming no huge competition, I haven’t looked closely at the calendar yet).

Robert Reineke

Even the Tim Burton movie made bank.

Andrew James

I don’t remember much about that movie being good. Except Tim Roth (and to a lesser extent Paul Giamatti).

This version was better:

Robert Reineke

Might as well throw in my guesses for the upcoming season.
Movie, OW in millions, Domestic Total in millions
1. Despicable Me 3, $120, $380
2. Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2, $140, $350
3. Wonder Woman, $135, $305
4. Transformers: The Last Knight, $95, $240
5. Spider-Man: Homecoming, $90, $230
6. War for the Planet of the Apes, $80, $220
7. Cars 3, $80, $200
8. Baywatch, $60, $190
9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, $70, $195
10. Dunkirk, $55, $145

Darcy McCallum

GOTG2 $180/420
WonderWoman $160/380
Spiderman $140/320
DespicableMe3 $95/280
Transformers5 $85/205
Cap Underpants $50/185
Dunkirk $55/175
POTC5 $80/165
WOTPOTA $60/155
Emoji Movie $50/150

Matthew Fabb

I haven’t had a chance to put together my top 10 and since there isn’t a contest this year, I won’t stay up throwing one together. However, if I don’t put together an estimate for Guardians, then it will be too late once the initial numbers of the midnight screenings start coming in tomorrow. So…

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – $150 / $380
Ahead of the original Guardians of the Galaxy but below Iron Man 3 or Captain America 3 (aka Avengers 2.5).

I’ll add this to my full top 10 list later.

Robert Reineke

Damn. Looking like I was dead on with GotG v2.

Honestly I’m in the minority but I wasn’t very impressed with the marketing campaign which seemed to rely on the goodwill from the first film rather than selling the stakes and uniqueness of this one. Plus Star Wars is back.

Darcy McCallum

GOTG had pretty great first and second act even for a big Marvel skeptic like me, $148m opening to get to $400m? Maybe an upset for #1 is in line now.

I should have included a comedy/frat film over Emoji but so be it.

I hope Snatched tanks, Amy Schumer will be left well bum hurt for her lack of respect for other animals who don’t joke about the skinning of an animal.