At last count, there were 14 sequels on the summer release schedule that runs May through August, including “The Secret Live of Pets 2,” “Toy Story 4,” and “Spiderman: Far From Home.” Add to that list, CGI-live action remakes such as “Aladdin” and “The Lion King” and reboots such as “Men In Black: International,” and it makes for a summer of familiar favorites, all vying to be the No. 1 summer blockbuster.
Which movie will land at the top of the list is among the many movie-related bets that frequent Bovada.
For the sake of this article, “Avengers: Endgame,” which opened in late April is being taken off the playing field, sort of. Yes, it has made more than $2.6 billion (and still growing) and if April is considered summer, it wins. It also is the frontrunner to take the 2019 box office title, well except for the challenge of that little movie opening in December, “Star Wars Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker.”
We’re going to focus on the true summer slate and not late spring interlopers, no matter how well the assemble.
The month of May already has brought a popcorn buzz with “Pokemon Detective Pikachu” making $236.8 million worldwide and “John Wick: Chapter 3” with Keanu Reeves earning $107.6 million.
“Aladdin,” starring Will Smith as the Genie, opened May 24, took a magic carpet ride to the top of the box office with $207 million worldwide and $112.7 domestically outpacing predictions on IMDB of $215 million worldwide and $79 million domestically.
Sure, several of these movies have that “been there, done that feel” but that also is what is fueling their success.
According to industry experts, movie studios are under siege by streaming services such as Netflix which are producing many of their own original movies, so they are turning to characters and titles that have shown them the money in the past.
No one was expecting a “Toy Story 4” with our faithful friends Woody (voiced by Tom Hanks) and Woody (Tim Allen), but the warm fuzzy feelings brought in the previous Pixar films likely will well up again when it opens June 20 with an expected opening weekend of $130 million. And just a heads up, not really a spoiler, but Hanks during a talk show stop called this movie particularly emotional. He didn’t get specific, but we’re taking Kleenex.
We’ll also need the tissues for the realistic remake of “The Lion King” opening July 19, heck, we cried during the trailer. With Simba (Donald Glover), Nala (Beyonce) and Mufasa (James Earl Jones), this one has a great chance of being the winner of the summer box office with an expected domestic total of $630 million and worldwide of $1.7 billion.
Also look for box office impact from other sequels: Tom Holland slinging web in “Spider-Man: Far From Home” (July 2), “Dark Phoenix,” the return of X-Men (June 6) and the reboots of “Men In Black: International” starring Chris Hemsworth and Tessa Thompson fighting aliens in styling suits and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” (May 31) that also is blessed with appearances of Mothra, Rodan, and fierce nemesis, the King Ghidorah. Of this group, only “Spider-Man” is expected to make a run for the summer box office record with $1.1 billion worldwide and $455 million domestically, but still falling short.
Of course, not everything is familiar – there are some fresh ideas but none are expected to be No. 1. “Rocket Man,” the Elton John biopic and Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon A Time in Hollywood” starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt are expected to earn $410 million and $520 million worldwide, respectively. Respectable but nowhere near the top of the list.