Box Office

2017 Summer Box Office Recap

Back in April I made box office projections for this summer. Now that we’re wrapping up the heat and enter into awards season–ending on the lowest-grossing weekends in 15 years, I should add–let’s look back and see how I did (in order of release date). For each film, I’ll list my Projections for the film’s domestic opening weekend and the guessed final gross. The differences will be put in a percentage by using this formula: [(Actual-Forecast)/Forecast] and assigned a grade on an arbitrary scale: A (less than 10% difference), B (10-19.9%), C (20-29.9%), D (30-39.9%) and F (over 40%), and then averaged into an overall grade.

10. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Projection: $162 million (opening) / $870 million (final gross)

Actual: $146.5 million (-9.9%, A-) / $863.7 million (-0.7, A+)

Overall grade: A

A solid start to my projections, this played out just like I thought, and proved the Marvel formula is as good as studios can hope to get.


9. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales

Projection: $80 million (3-day)/$100 million (4-day) / $940 million

Actual: $63 million/$78.5 million (-21.4%, C+) / $794.9 million (-15.4%, B)

Overall grade: B-

I got a little overzealous here at how much it would take overseas (it made $622.1 million compared to “On Stranger Tides’” $804.6 million), and also how much poor reviews would affect its opening weekend (for what it’s worth, I enjoyed the film). Disney knew this wouldn’t do great domestically but they should still clear a profit of around $200 million so sure they aren’t too upset.


8. Wonder Woman

Projection: $83 million / $745 million

Actual: $103.3 million (+29.6%, C) / $821.8 million (+10.2%, B+)

Overall grade: B-

I never bought into the notion that this would flop (even Warner Bros. expected it to) but I did underestimate how much of a cultural phenomenon it would become. I’m glad DC got their first great film of the franchise and that Patty Jenkins trailblazed for women and blockbuster films. Let’s see if “Justice League” can follow the commercial and critical success of this.


7. The Mummy

Projection: $45 million / $520 million

Actual: $31.7 million (-29.6%, C-) / $409.1 million (21.3%, C+)

Overall grade: C

Despite grossing $409 million worldwide, Universal lost about $75 million on this film and good. It was a calculated, boring blockbuster at every turn and a poor excuse of a franchise starter.

Film Title: The Mummy

6. Cars 3

Projection: $60 million / $572 million

Actual: $53.7 million (-10.5%, B+) / $383.9 million (-32.9%, D+)

Overall grade: C+

Underperforming, this became one of Pixar’s lowest-ever grossing films, even before inflation is factored in. But Disney doesn’t care, they probably made a billion off toys.


5. Transformers: The Last Knight

Projection: $70 million (3-day)/$85 million (4-day) / $1.03 billion

Actual: $44.7 million/$68.5 million (-27.8%, C-) / $605.4 million (-39.6%, D-)

Overall grade:  D

LOL have never been so happy to be wrong.


4. Despicable Me 3

Projection: $90 million / $990 million

Actual: $72.4 million (-19.6%, B-) / $1.033 billion (4.2%, A)

Overall grade: B+

Opening was a little lower than many people were expecting but worldwide it turned out to be pretty on par with what I figured for what was to me the funniest film of the series, and legged out to the $1B mark.


3. Spider-Man: Homecoming

Projection: $135 million / $920 million

Actual: $117 million (-13.3%, B) / $880.2 million (-4.3%, A-)

Overall grade: B+

I thought great reviews and Tom Holland’s fantastic work in “Civil War” to get a few more butts in the seats for this, but you won’t hear too many suits complaining when they have a film make near $900 million.

Tom Holland

2. War for the Planet of the Apes

Projection: $63 million / $650 million

Actual: $56.3 million (-10.6%, B+) / $490.7 million (-25%, C)

Overall grade: B-

Like “Homecoming,” China really helped push this up (it made over $105 million in the Middle Kingdom), but it still ended up being the lowest-grossing of the overrated trilogy by a million dollars.


1. Dunkirk

Projection: $52 million / $440 million

Actual: $50.5 million (-1%, A+) / $525.2 million (-19.4%, B-)

Overall grade: B+

Not sure why so many people were selling this short, both with opening weekend projections and its longevity. Nolan is a brand with dedicated fans, and if a mainstream adult film can get a solid start then it usually legs out (see, “Get Out”). However that isn’t always the case (“Detroit” sunk like an unfortunate stone).


Hope you had a good summer at the movies! Here’s to a successful awards season to come!

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