Now that we are really getting into the thick of it in terms of high profile, blockbuster releases, here are my predictions of the 10 films that will lead the box office for this year.
Believe me, deciding what movie finishes where is a pretty daunting task considering how many big-time releases there are this year. The sheer amount of potential blockbusters releasing throughout the remainder of the year is astonishing.
The number one spot is a lock (you all know exactly what movie I’m talking about), and the number 2 spot is close to guaranteed as well, but outside those, it’s a crap shoot.
Is Captain Marvel’s roughly $1.1 billion that its made thus far going to be enough to make it a top 3 earner at the box office this year? Read on to find out my predictions!
Honorable Mentions: Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($650-$700 million), IT: Chapter 2 ($700-$725 million), Joker ($600-$675 million), Hobbs & Shaw ($750-$800 million)
Despite the initial reactions to Will Smith’s CGI’d big, blue genie in the first trailer that Disney released, it seems the improved version seen in the 2nd trailer has swayed a lot of those critics with far more positive reviews.
The trailers have been visually gorgeous, the musical numbers sound absolutely fantastic, and it looks like Guy Ritchie and company have seemed to really capture the spirit of the original.
Aladdin is a beloved story and by far, one of the most well-known and popular classics Disney has in its vault. The film was always going to make money, but how much money was the question.
Nostalgia alone will carry this film to box-office profit. It definitely won’t be as big as Disney’s other remake coming out this year in The Lion King, but it should make more than enough to justify Disney’s decision in remaking the film. Look for Aladdin to get somewhere in the ballpark of 2016’s The Jungle Book.
Box-Office Prediction: $800 million
9. Jumanji 3
A surprise hit of 2017, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle ended up amassing an enormous $962 million worldwide. Nobody, not even box-office experts, predicted that film would make that much money.
The interest in a sequel to one of Robin Williams’ most iconic films, without Robin Williams, was vastly underestimated. Even with the castings of The Rock and Kevin Hart, two of the most popular actors working today, the film almost making $1 billion didn’t seem like a realistic expectation.
Yet here we are, talking about third Jumanji film! Now, can The Rock catch lighting in a bottle twice? Can Jumanji 3 outgross its’ predecessor? My gut tells me no.
Jumanji 2 was a terrific film and people will show up for a third one, so make no mistake, while it won’t make more than Jumanji 2, Jumanji 3 will still make a ton of money–even without Robin Williams (again).
Box-Office Prediction: $850 million
8. Spider-Man: Far From Home
I know, crazy to think that a Spider-Man film is only going to be the 8th highest grossing film this year, but that’s really more a testament to how many blockbuster films are releasing in 2019.
Make no mistake, Spidey is going to web up quite a nice haul at the box office with his much anticipated sequel. The first MCU film for Peter Parker, Spider-Man: Homecoming, made an impressive $880 million.
With how popular Tom Holland has become among fans, and how much Spidey’s role is presumably going to expand post Avengers: Endgame, it’s safe to assume his sequel should out-gross it’s predecessor.
While not much is known about the overall plot of Far From Home, that is mainly due to technically, Peter Parker is dead.
To avoid spoiling how he gets brought back in Avengers: Endgame, the trailers for Far From Home have mainly focused on the villains of the film, as well as the introduction of fan-favorite Spidey villain, Mysterio, played by none other than Jake Gyllenhaal.
Box-Office Prediction: $915 million
7. Detective Pikachu
I will be the first to admit, when I heard they were making a live-action Pokémon movie, I was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait to see Ash and Pikachu catching other Pokémon and battling other trainers.
Then I heard it was going to be an adaptation of a game not even released in the United States until (now) May 2019, and I was immediately disappointed. It made no sense why Legendary Pictures wouldn’t adapt the most well-known versions of the game with its most well-known human character for its first live action film.
Well let me tell you this, I have eaten my words.
The trailers and marketing for this film have been absolutely phenomenal. And the decision to hire Ryan Reynolds to voice the adorable Pikachu? Brilliant. The CGI on all the Pokémon shown in the trailers looks beautifully done and the humor (especially from Reynolds) seems spot-on.
This is something Pokémon fans have been waiting a long time. I feel comfortable placing this film in the 7th spot and honestly, I won’t be the least bit surprised if it becomes even bigger than my prediction. Don’t underestimate just how insanely huge the Pokémon base is!
Box-Office Prediction: $975 million
6. Frozen 2
It’s been six years since Disney’s Frozen took theaters by storm, earning an enormous $1.28 billion back in 2013. Not many expected the film to be that successful at the box office, with most predictions pegging it for $250 million domestic. The film made more than $400 million in the states. Talk about a film’s potential being underestimated
Frozen has quickly become a Disney Classic for the Gen Zers in the same way Disney classics like Aladdin, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast are classics to older generations.
The sequel is set up perfectly in terms of release date. Arriving in theaters on November 22, the film won’t run into any real competition until December 13. That’s a large window to absolutely clean up at the box office. It will be the kid/family choice at the box office in 2019.
In an ever-changing landscape with more powerful female-lead characters than ever, the Frozen franchise has strong female characters presented in a kid-friendly medium. For little girls all over the world too young to see a superhero movie like Captain Marvel or Wonder Woman, this franchise gives them role models in Anna and Elsa.
Box-Office Prediction: $1.05 billion
5. Toy Story 4
This one was a little surprising to me, as I’m sure it was to so many others, when I first heard that a fourth Toy Story was in the works. The reason I was surprised and confused is simple really…Toy Story 3 was the perfect conclusion to the trilogy. Andy went off to college and Woody, Buzz, and the gang found a new forever home. So we thought.
It definitely doesn’t feel like a fourth film in this series is necessary, but then I think about how much money Toy Story 3 made ($1.067 billion) and it all starts to make sense…or cents. (Sorry.) Toy Story 1 & 2 didn’t make as much as Toy Story 3 combined!
The box-office takings of Toy Story 3 indicate the franchise has never been more popular and you can’t fault Disney/Pixar for wanting to keep riding the hot hand.
While the marketing is selling it as the conclusion to the overall story, if the film makes as much or more than Toy Story 3, it’ll be hard for the studio to walk away from these characters. You can guarantee this film is going to be extremely profitable.
Box Office Prediction: $1.1 billion
4. Captain Marvel
Marvel’s first ever female-led superhero film opened with a bang back in March when it launched with an expectation-crushing $153.4 million domestically. As of this writing, the Brie Larson film has made an astounding $400 million domestically and $1.089 billion worldwide!
The film hasn’t slowed down much since its release. With Avengers: Endgame releasing next week, Captain Marvel may take a very large hit as most people that wanted to see it would have done so prior to this.
Still, even if this film doesn’t make a single dollar more, it became one of only 30ish films to break the $1 billion mark, and became the first female-led superhero to do so. This is absolutely huge for the future of more female CBMs as it proves there is an extremely high demand for it.
We got a little taste of that with Wonder Woman back in 2017, which went on to amass an whopping $821 million at the box office. Both female-led CBMs that have been released have been huge box office successes and further justifies the need for more.
Box-Office Prediction: $1.15 billion
3. The Lion King
Thus far, it’s been hit or miss for Disney in terms of live-action re-tellings of their animated classics. Most of them have been hits, like The Jungle Book, Beauty and the Beast and Alice in Wonderland, but not all of their attempts have been successful. Dumbo, which released this year, has struggled to find its footing as did Christopher Robin last year.
Nostalgia alone can take a movie pretty far at the box office, but it’s not wise to rely only on that. With remakes like these, it’s important to bring in star talent both in front of and behind the camera. Make sure you’re not remaking these classics shot-for-shot. These remakes should have the feel of freshness and familiarity at the same time.
This is one film that Disney probably could just rely on nostalgia alone, but they’re too smart for that and brought in an absolutely loaded voice cast including Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen, Keegan Michael Key, and the great James Earl Jones among others. The trailers have been gorgeous, highlighting the incredible CGI, cinematography, and the iconic musical numbers.
To be honest, I could see this film outperforming all expectations and giving Star Wars a run for that number 2 spot for highest grossing films of the year. This will be a very interesting film to keep an eye on once it’s released because the ceiling is so incredibly high in terms of how much money it could potentially make.
Box-Office Prediction: $1.7 billion
2. Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Another interesting film to keep an eye on once released. When The Force Awakens was released in 2015, it was the first Star Wars film released in theaters since Episode 3 in 2005. People were so excited, the hype levels and anticipation were through the roof, and the box office numbers showed that as the film went on to shatter records and make a whopping $2.068 billion worldwide.
Since 2015, we have had four Star Wars-related films, with a 5th coming out this year. It’s possible that oversaturation started to affect the franchise as 2017’s The Last Jedi’s box office take was significantly lower than that of The Force Awakens, with “only” $1.33 billion. Still impressive but the difference between box office grosses is glaring.
With The Rise of Skywalker bringing back JJ Abrams, even though Rian Johnson gave us a fantastic film in The Last Jedi (come at me Internet) and it being marketed as a true end to the Skywalker saga, it really feels like this film is going to put the franchise back on course.
Regardless of how fans felt about The Last Jedi, the fans on the side of the fence that hated the film will still turn up for The Rise of Skywalker simply because it’s the last time characters like Luke, Leia, and Lando will appear in new Star Wars films. The Skywalkers have been the core of these films since the beginning, fans will turn up in droves to see how their saga ends and to say their goodbyes to these iconic characters.
Box-Office Prediction: $1.95 billion
1. Avengers: Endgame
Shocker right? Avengers in the number one spot. Who would’ve guessed it!
The Marvel Cinematic Universe has become the most well-oiled, consistent, and efficient cinematic universe machines ever. Just about every movie it cranks out is critically and financially successful, and is loved by audiences.
They are the gold standard for how to build a cinematic universe — a gold standard that has tried to be replicated a few times already, but to no avail. Kevin Feige and company have built something so spectacular that it will more than likely never be replicated.
Now we have arrived at Avengers: Endgame. The 22nd film in the MCU, and the end of the MCU as we have known it. Fans everywhere are deeply invested in this story and these characters.
If you want proof of just how much people care about this universe and these characters you can:
1. Look at how much money Avengers: Infinity War made ($2.048 billion)
2. Look at how much money Avengers: Endgame is projected to make on opening weekend ($900 million worldwide). I mean, $900 million worldwide in one weekend..that speaks for itself.
The (high) probability that this could be the last time we see Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man, Chris Evans’ Steve Rogers, or Chris Hemsworth’s Thor will also have an enormous impact on the films box office. The possibility of saying goodbye to any of them, let alone all three, will be a huge catalyst for getting people to the theater.