Predicting Box Office Success of Ongoing, Returning, Budding Movie Franchises For Year 2016 – PART 3.

Note: The article was based solely on my own speculations and guess-work, so it may or may not turn out to be accurate or true, in future. Have fun and patience reading this.

If you were really been following my previous posts, welcome back. As you know by now, that I am not so good at delivering promises, yet I will regret so much if I hadn’t been able to pull off this one and finish what I had once started. So without further ado, let hop into my box office predictions of existing/potential  franchise entries for 2016(Fall/Winter). We are now going to see 6 such franchise entries, in this post. After that, I am going to present an overall picture of where the franchise’s Box office performance stands, against my  own predictions.

  1. First, we are going to discuss the fate of one sequel which was entirely or heavily banking on its lead actor’s star power. Yes, I am talking about Paramount’s October release, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back featuring none other than Tom Cruise, one of the most bankable stars in Hollywood at the moment (and also for nearly past four decades). Throughout his career, he was very rarely been accounted for a box office disappointment or outright underperformer, still on most accounts his movie’s success were often largely credited to his screen presence. While the original film Jack Reacher back in 2012, performed unlike most of modern tentpole or star-driven films, as it opened with considerably moderate $15m+ weekend but legged out to gross a little over $80m in US and Canada. With foreign grosses accounting for $138m, its final worldwide box office managed to climb above $200m, which was a norm for  many Tom Cruise movies. So it was safe to bet yet another $200m+ grosser, but Paramount was hoping more than just an average hit from this sequel, as they seek for a crucial turn around from an already miserable run at the box office this year. Still a month to go and marketing push might change the fate of movie drastically now-a-days, and so does the word of mouth as well as critical response (to some extent). Even if everything things turns out ‘just’ okay, then it will open with $30m+ in US and will gross above $80m there. Overseas, with Tom Cruise box office momentum, it may flirt with $200m. I see a total gross over $250m globally. Further, it will be facing stiff competition from four other major wide release launching alongside it on the same weekend, which might hurt it’s prospects. So my final say on this already prolonging discussion will be, that we will be probably (still) looking at $310m+ grosser, with performance in US providing $90m+ coupled with strong overseas performance by collecting over or under $220m. Jack Reacher 2, also starring Cobie Smulders, opens in theaters on October, 21.

  2. Next up was Tom Hanks starrer, Sony/Columbia’s Inferno, which will see him reprise his role as, Dr. Robert Langdon, a fictional character adapted from Robert Ludlum’s popular novel series. Historically speaking, this silver screen adaptation of said novel series did pretty well at box office. Series original, Da Vince Code grossed over $750m worldwide, but as most franchise do these days,  then the sequel titled Angels and Demons grossed significantly less than its predecessor as it totalled out for $485m. Solid but not great. Speaking of threequel, there was very little chance the movie we are seeing here was less likely to gross $700m, since the original got big boost from the curiosity or interest or whatever you wish to call, from its controversial story premises. Here stays my current prediction for this movie, which I predict will likely gross more in line with sequel both in US or overseas or both. It will likely open to $40m and will pull around $120m in US and will probably more than double that figure overseas for likely $250m-$275m overseas, for the global haul between $375m-$400m range. Even though it may out gross fellow October launch Jack Reacher 2, yet I hate to see this franchise’s box office trend going downwards. But this is probably what we can expect, when it opens in theaters on 28, October 2016. It also stars Felicity Jones, Irrfan Khan, Omar Sy, Ben Foster. Also the music was composed by my personal favorite, Hans Zimmer.

  3. Open your mind, we are now diving into the bigger picture. Marvel cinematic universe, currently the most successful franchise in Hollywood and beyond, launching their most obscure yet more interesting entry into their franchise canon with Marvel’s Doctor Strange, arrives in theaters on November 4, 2016. Starring ‘Fan Favourite’ Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Tilda Swinton, Mads Mikkelsen  and Benedict Wong, the cast of this movie itself, a big selling point. As it’s director pointed out in SDCC 2016 event, it was the “left turn” for MCU. With MCU momentum behind it, how far can it go, speaking in terms of Box office? Well, what is the presumed ceiling for such standalone MCU entries, which does not feature ‘core members of the Avengers’? Will it perform more in line with Marvel’s Ant Man ($520m global) or more like MCU‘s critically acclaimed blockbuster hit Guardians of the Galaxy ($770m+ global) did couple of years ago. Or was it going to hit the middle ground like the likes of Iron Man($580m+), Iron Man 2($620m) and Thor Dark World($640m), when not accounting for ticket price inflation? Those questions will be answered soon. As you see and know, there was definitely huge interest for this one. But when it’s critical reception and word of mouth turns out better than expected, then we can easily be pushed to a situation, where all our predictions might go wrong. Apart from the controversy surrounding the casting choice ‘not faithful to source material’  regarding Ancient One, it has everything positive going with it.(I personally likes the choice they made with ‘Ancient one’. Strictly my personal opinion, I swear.) With lot of positive buzz, ever-growing MCU fan base as well as huge Disney-Marvel brand recognition behind it, I can see it can go mush higher than we all actually guess. With me being realistic here, as I am predicting a launch of $65m in US for the total gross of $170m or less and overseas numbers will be around $350m, which gives the worldwide total around $520m. Exactly what Marvel’s Ant Man grossed in July 2015. But I am an optimist, so I am predicting something close to $230m in US, courtesy of $85m-$90m opening, along with $400m overseas for a massive global haul of $630m. Note: If it does that, then it will become highest grossing movie in MCU franchise, which was neither a sequel nor a team up movie. As it stands now the franchise highest for such feature entry was the MCU‘s debut, original Iron Man which grossed $585m, way back in 2008.(I am betting on it.)

  4. Predicting this one was much harder that it seems. Following the successful conclusion of the original series, it seemed a while ago Hollywood was done with this franchise. Yet here we are again, with another entry looming into this mythology. With WB’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them  will bring the magical world where Harry Potter and friends belong, back to the silver screen. With audiences having found their closure with this series, which concluded with Harry, Ron and Hermione together defeated the evil Lord Voldemort and living happily ever after. So it may not inspire many such audiences who was mainly there to see, what happens next for Harry Potter and his friends. Well, franchise faithful will eventually turn out in masses to visit the Harry’s wizardry world once more, so as to witness the new adventure unfold on silver screen. Also, the ‘curiosity factor’ of finding the new corner of this famous mythology may attract more eyeballs, but it’s impact on BO will be modest. So it will have to largely depends on the marketing push, to let the audience know, ‘there is more to this wizardry world than we had already seen’, which was more likely an important selling point, based on my personal opinion. So, (phew!) considering all those I giving this silver screen ‘return‘ of this immensely popular franchise entry to close out over or under $260m in US courtesy of ‘frontloaded‘ opening in the range of $100m+. As always, this one was going to be bigger in overseas. So I am applying the franchise ‘norm’ of 32/68 split of BO revenue in US/Overseas, then we will be looking at potential $810m global picture, with overseas pulling around $550m. I assure you, this is the best case scenario, we are looking at and me being little optimistic here. It launches in theaters on November 18, which stars Daniel Radcliffe (sorry, my bad!), Eddie Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Colin Farrell among others. Also, with franchise very own, David Yates who returned to direct this spin-off.

  5. Now we are going to see a ‘stand-alone spinoff set in the mythology’ or we can call it ‘prequel-cum-sequel to the original-prequel trilogy’ or may be even bit of both. It doesn’t make sense, right? Well, no worries. This is ‘Star Wars’, we are talking about. So the very notion of that alone, was well enough to get you intrigued about this picture. Disney/Lucas Films’ Rogue One: A Star Wars Story will be launching in theaters on  it’s very own ‘week before Christmas’ slot, on December 16, 2016. Well, I presume I didn’t have to explain or emphasis on the fact about what we are dealing with or how big this one was going to be. Because, we all knew very well about that. Still, the ceiling set by its ‘theatrical‘ predecessor, Star Wars Episode VII was too high, as we were beginning to doubt even Episode VIII can’t be able to match or climb such heights. Thus, we are going to play safe with this one. A $100m+ opening was more or less guaranteed. Also, we still can’t declare this inevitable winner as ‘disappointment‘ or ‘underperformer‘ even if it gross well below Episode VII. Here, I am predicting something in the vicinity of $135m+ opening. With the December legs, then this will eventually gross around $485m+ (with 3.6x weekend multiplier) enough to end its runs as ‘highest grossing film of the year 2016, domestically’. To repeat the feat worldwide, it will eventually have to perform unlike any other ‘Star Wars’ movies did historically in their overseas play. At this point, the average revenue split for Domestic-Overseas gross, for this franchise was 45-55 split. With diverse cast, I was hoping, that this entry was going to be an exception for this historical franchise. So with 40-60 revenue split, the gross will come around S725m+ from overseas, which then brings the worldwide total to a massive $1.21b or above. With massive fan base and holiday season, will only boost the final figures even higher, we can’t be so sure about what the final numbers will be. Rogue One boast a line up which features Felicity Jones, Riz Ahmed, Diego Luna, Ben Mendelsohn, Forest Whitaker, Alan Tudyk, Donnie Yen, Jiang Wen and Mads Mikkelsen. Hoping I will be at least half-right about this one, let move on to the final one.

  6. Since I had discussed enough times about the rugged box office history for video-game based movie franchise, I going to make this one short. If there was one solid lesson I had learnt from video-game based franchise, well, I am going to be very cautious here in predicting this one. With charismatic lead in Michael Fassbender, 20th Century Fox’s Assassin’s Creed will arrive at theatres on crowded December, 21 slot. Well, all the previous four movies we discussed earlier, have at least one wide-release movie to deal with, on its opening weekend. But unlike this one, they all will be opening alongside a movie either targeting a specific demography or will be playing exclusively to its target audiences. So they usually didn’t eat much into each other. Whereas in this case, it was severe. First of  all, it had to negotiate with, 2nd weekend of Rogue One(presumably $75-80m if the said opening weekend number holds), also had to deal with the opening weekend of Universal’s Sing, and then with Jennifer Lawrence-Chris Pratt vehicle, Sony/Columbia’s Passenger. Since it opens on Wed-Sun frame, the weekend play will be long but the legs will be presumably shorter. Look for a $70m Wed-Sun frame($40m Fri-Sun) and US total in the range of $160m-$180m. Overseas was going to be shot in the arm, for this franchise hopeful. The foreign gross will come around $320m. If it  ends up in the higher end of this prediction,  then we may be looking at the first ever $500m+ grosser for a video-game adaptation. Not sure, but hoping it does. It also stars Marion Cotillard, Jeremy Irons, Brendan Gleeson, Michael K. Williams and Ariane Labed.

Now, the wrap-up. Well, if you were following me all along, then you might very well be aware of the box office rankings of many popular franchise, which I put together earlier in my Part I post. Now, I am simply just going to update those figures and rankings, based on the numbers few franchise entry grossed this year, so far.

(Movie: My predictions vs. Actual gross*My personal verdict.)

  1. Kung Fu Panda 3: US $140m/Overseas $540m vs. $143m/$376mRight about US, not even close overseas.
  2. Deadpool: $150m/$280m vs. $363m/$420mDidn’t see that coming.
  3. Allegiant: $45m/$230m vs. $66m/$113mWrong again.
  4. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: $450-$480m/$700m vs. $330m/$543m Way below than expected. Again, wrong!
  5. Huntsman :Winter’s War: $110-$130m/$230m vs. $48m/$116mAgain!
  6. Captain America: Civil War: $475m/$650m vs. $408m/$744mSlightly underperformed in US and overperformed elsewhere. We are even.
  7. The Angry Birds Movie: $120m/$230m vs. $107m/$238mGotcha!
  8. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising: $115m/$135m vs. $55.3m/$52.6mDead wrong.
  9. Alice Through The Looking Glass: $280m/$600m vs. $77m/$222mWhat the hell!
  10. X-Men Apocalypse: $230m/$575m vs. $155m/$388Underperformed. Wrong.
  11. TMNT Out of  the Shadows: $140m/$320m vs. $82m/$163mVery wrong.
  12. Warcraft: $210m/$300m vs. $42m/$386mWrong about US, came close overseas.
  13. Now You See Me 2: $80m/$275m vs. $65m/$266mVery close.
  14. Finding Dory**: $310m/$520m vs. $484m/$477mRight about overseas, Underestimated it domestically.
  15. Independence Day: Resurgence**: $200m/$450m vs. $103m/$284mWhat went wrong? Apparently, my guess.
  16. Legend of Tarzan**: $135m/$250m vs. $127m/$229mYippee!
  17. Ghostbusters: $200m/$200m vs. $127m/$100mGlad, I was wrong.
  18. Ice Age: Collision Course**: $150m/$550m vs. $63m/$340mWrong about both.
  19. Star Trek Beyond**: $230m/$300m vs. $157m/$175m It really did let me down.
  20. Jason Bourne**: $220m/$280m vs. $160m/$235mWrong about US, but very close  overseas.
  21. Suicide Squad**: $320m/$350m vs. $313m/$406mRight about US, came very close overseas.

*Actual gross may vary, since **those identified movies were still in theatres.

Before concluding allow me to update the Ranks and updated box office gross amassed by some popular franchise, courtesy of its new entry/entries invaded into the theaters this year, till date.

(#Global rank[Change from previous year] Franchise, No. of movies, Worldwide gross, US gross & its respective rank in braces).

  • #01, Marvel Cinematic Universe, 13, $10.24b, $4.00b (#01).
  • #02, Harry  Potter, 8, $7.72b, $2.39b (#03).
  • #03, James Bond, 26, $7.04b, $2.11b (#05).
  • #04, Star wars, 8, $6.71b, $3.19b (#02).
  • #05, Middle Earth, 6, $5.88b, $1.85b (#06).
  • #06[↑2], Batman, 12, $4.68b, $2.27b (#04).
  • #07[↑7], X-Men, 9, $4.38b$1.82b (#07).
  • #08[↓2], Spider-Man, 5, $3.96b$1.58b (#08).
  • #09[↓2], Fast and Furious, 7, $3.89b, $1.29b (#15).
  • #10[↓1], Transformers, 5, $3.78b, $1.32b (#14).
  • #11[↓1], Pirates of the Caribbean, 4, $3.73b, $1.28b (#16).
  • #12[↓1], Jurassic Park, 4, $3.69b, $1.42b (#11).
  • #15[↑2], Ice Age, 5, $3.21b, $793m(#28).
  • #20[↑10], Superman, 7, $2.54b, $1.14b (#17).
  • #22[↑2], Star Trek, 13, $2.263b, $1.4b (#12).
  • #23*, DC Extended Universe, 3, $2.260b, $935m (#22).
  • #25[↑21], Captain America, 3, $2.24b, $844m (#26).
  • #28*, Finding Nemo Series, 2, $1.90b, $865m (#25).
  • #30[↑2], Kung Fu Panda, 3, $1.82b, $524m (#43).
  • #34[↑8], Bourne, 5, $1.62b, $799m (#27).
  • #42[↑7]Alice Live-Action, 2, $1.32b, $411m (#61).
  • #46*Independence Day, 2, $1.21b, $409m (#62).
  • #47*,TMNT , 5, $1.15b, $584m (#38).
  • #64The Conjuring, 3, $894m, $324m (#81).
  • #77Divergent Series, 3, $765m, $347m (#78).

* franchise earlier being placed outside of Top 50, at the beginning of this year.

Note: Those rankings were given out on the basis, if when not including Hobbit, Lord of the rings and The Dark Knight series as a separate franchise. Thus so certain website references and their rankings may  vary from the above list.

That’s it. Thanks for coming back. I do hope, I will repeat the same next year. I really appreciate if you give away your thoughts on my three-part analysis., on comments section below. Links for my previous post were provided here: Part I and Part II.

Sources: Wikipedia, Box Office Mojo.

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