I ran the Box Office beat for a while, despite a clear and utter distaste for that particular brand of Geek News. However, Ryan and Watson really dig that sort of thing for some reason and co-wrote a long, rambling post where they predicted how much money 45 different movies will earn.
Anyway, here are my guesses. If this gets more attention than that rather substantial 2017 Year of Anticipation post I wrote with Jimmy, I will be quite perturbed and somehow unsurprised.
Star Wars: Episode VIII
Tom’s prediction: It will make all the money. Yes. All of it. Even the loose change in your couch cushions.
Tom says: Look, we all know this movie will probably be the biggest box office hit of 2017. Does anyone doubt it? If you do, you must be fun at parties.
Tom’s prediction: Probably somewhere between zero and infinity.
Tom says: You know, the DC films have been at best lackluster, but I have some odd hope for Aquaman. Of the next couple DC films, it has kept the same, steady director with a known resume, there’s plenty of lead time to finish unlike Suicide Squad, the announced casting of Patrick Wilson as the villain sounds promising, and they got the permitting done for filming in Australia. None of that is true for The Flash. What does that have to do with Justice League? Nothing. I just didn’t see anywhere else to say that with any relevancy whatsoever.
Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2
Release Date: 5/5/17
Tom’s prediction: Something large in Republic Credits.
Tom says: I think I want a Baby Groot of my own. He’d be fun to hang out with. Just the two of us, Grootin’ along all day…
Release Date: 7/7/17
Tom’s prediction: More money than I shall ever see in my lifetime.
Tom says: Is he profitable? Listen, bub. He’s got radioactive blood. That has nothing to do with being profitable, but people knew who Spider-Man was for ages. What I want is for them to reboot Spidey back to the days when he was that silent guy on The Electric Company that mostly helped kids learn to read. Bonus points if we can also get Morgan Freeman to narrate again.
Beauty and the Beast
Release Date: 3/17/17
Tom’s prediction: Maybe more than the animated version, but only if you don’t take inflation into account.
Tom says: They turned Ian McKellen into a clock! That ain’t right!
Despicable Me 3
Release Date: 6/30/17
Tom’s prediction: Looks like rain that weekend.
Tom says: Man, I got that 70s rock-ish Electric Company theme song for Spider-Man stuck in my head. Nobody knows who you arrrrrrrrre.
The Fate of the Furious
Release Date: 4/14/17
Tom’s prediction: That submarine in the trailer will not be able to follow those cars on land.
Tom says: I watched the first film in this series ages ago, and it didn’t really do anything for me. As a result, I haven’t seen a single film in this series since. That bugs me since it looks like it morphed into a fun series that is at best only tangentially related to the first film. I’m sorry I missed out on so much of this stuff, but don’t feel right seeing a new one until/unless I get caught up.
By the by, you can more or less repeat that statement about the Mission: Impossible series, except I really don’t care for Tom Cruise.
Release Date: 11/3/17
Tom’s prediction: Thor’s makeover from a non-generic Marvel hero comes one film too late. That makes him a Sad Panda.
Tom says: You know, the heroes in this movie are half way closer to an actual Defenders line-up than the Netflix version of that same Marvel team. And you know, the Silver Surfer was part of the original Planet Hulk storyline. That’s everyone but Namor. Personally, I never liked Namor. He’s no Aquaman.
Release Date: 2/10/17
Tom’s prediction: This movie will make enough to justify a sequel.
Tom says: Could this movie have crossover appeal to fans of Bojack Horseman but not Arrested Development? If so, that would be supremely weird.
Release Date: 6/2/17
Tom’s predictions: This movie better not make 77% at the box office of any male superhero or there will be hell to pay.
Tom says: What is the breaking point for DC? When does a disappointing movie universe stop having huge opening weekends? Why do fools fall in love? How much wood can a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Wherefore art thou, Romeo? Will any of these questions be answered? Maybe.
Transformers: The Last Knight
Release Date: 6/23/17
Tom’s prediction: $222 million.
Tom says: Yeah, Price Is Right rules!
Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Release Date: 5/26/17
Tom’s prediction: A few pieces of eight, a handful of doubloons, and someone will look into the night sky and scream, “Is this not enough!”
Tom says: I skipped the fourth one. I think, deep down, Johnny Depp did too.
Release Date: 6/16/17
Tom’s prediction: No matter how much it makes at the box office, I think we’ll all agree we really miss Paul Newman.
Tom says: This series has too many unanswered questions. For one, why do these talking cars have seats? Who is supposed to sit in them? Is it true that Cars, Toy Story, and Wall-E all take place in the same universe, where the machines took over after the humans left, and guys like Buzz and Woody were the spiritual ancestors of Lightning McQueen? Whoa.
Release Date: 3/31/17
Tom’s prediction: It will make some money, not the money it wants, but the money it deserves. Or doesn’t. Some movies just want to watch the world burn.
Tom says: One of the trailers shows Alec Baldwin sort of reprising his famous scene from Glengarry Glen Ross. The kids’ll love that!
Release Date: 6/9/17
Tom’s prediction: By the flooding of the sacred Nile, will nothing satisfy the box office greed of mighty Im-Ho-Tep?
Tom says: I read a so-so zombie novel once that had one interesting idea behind it: mummies that got up and walked around were the original zombies. But in the old movies, the mummy was a threat until someone remembered how flammable linen bandages were.
War for the Planet of the Apes
Release Date: 7/14/17
Tom’s prediction: The barter system will be in full effect for the setting of this movie, so I am going to argue it will make three sacks of potatoes, a used cart, and a barrel of gunpowder for the machine guns used by horseback apes.
Tom says: Everything is better with apes. Imagine how much cooler The Hustler would have been if they’d cast a chimp instead of Jackie Gleason.
Tom’s prediction: It will do better than Book of Life.
Tom says: I looked up this movie and learned that a few of the cultural critics who were a wee bit upset that Pixar might have been trying to swipe their cultural identity as the movie presents it were later hired to make sure Pixar got all that cultural stuff right. That’s smart business and smart art right there.
Smurfs: The Lost Village
Tom’s prediction: I’d say around $30 or so of Ryan’s hard-earned money will be in there.
Tom says: I let my niece, budding Marvel movie fan that she is, use my Netflix password once to show her Daredevil, but she quickly switched to Smurfs 2 and really screwed up my recommendations for a few weeks. She also watched Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2. And it was then that I realized the bullets I dodge by not having kids.
The Dark Tower
Release Date: 7/28/17
Tom’s prediction: I was going to guess an actual number, but then a me from another reality appeared, put his hand on my shoulder, and silently shook his head. So, I will take his advice and not do that.
Tom says: This could be the huge break-out movie for Idris Elba, and I think that’s a good thing. He’s been on the fringe for mainstream American audiences for a while now in various supporting roles or smaller, arthouse films, plus doing a lot of voice work, but this will be when people finally notice the guy as something more than a Star Trek villain or the voice of a dozen different animated characters that all sound exactly like him.
Release Date: 5/19/17
Tom’s prediction: No one will be foolish enough to run from a falling spaceship this time by running straight ahead when left or right are shorter distances that offer a greater chance to survive the crash this time.
Tom says: The word “covenant” reminds me of the Bible. I read through the Bible a couple years ago, and that just reminds me how the Book of Judges was mostly the same plot over and over again, where the Israelites are reminded to follow the covenant with God, they agree, they forget after a generation or two, God lets some invaders in to teach them a lesson, then He sends a hero to drive out the invaders, and everyone starts the cycle over by remembering to follow the covenant. So, I wonder if this movie is that story with more xenomorphs added.
Release Date: 3/24/17
Tom’s prediction: Remakes make far too much money sometimes.
Tom says: Really, I know producers love to just remake stuff rather than come up with new ideas, but who remakes the 1999 Eddie Murphy/Martin Lawrence film about two guys sent to jail for, you know, life. That doesn’t make a lick of sense.
Release Date: 3/3/17
Tom’s prediction: It will make some money. Maybe a lot of money.
Tom says: A somber, melancholy superhero film with an R rating? Well, that could be different. But when the movie ends with an extended song-and-dance number solving all of Logan’s problems, that might be asking a bit much even if it was done to please Hugh Jackman and show off his real chops as a world-class song-and-dance man. A teary-eyed Ryan will declare it the best superhero film of all time as a result of said ending.
Release Date: 12/22/17
Tom’s prediction: One more movie together and the Rock and Kevin Hart officially replace Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly as the current reigning champions whenever someone asks if there are any real comedy duos left.
Tom says: You know what I haven’t seen in any promotional stuff fort his movie? A single image of a cursed board game. I mean, I assume that game is cursed and not just magical. Just because everything goes back to normal when someone wins doesn’t make it any less cursed. I’ll bet Robin Williams’ character in the original suffered from PTSD for years as a kid as a result of this game, and no one would believe why for a second. That’s tragic.
Release Date: 3/24/17
Tom’s prediction: It will make many people wonder why we got this but not a live action Voltron.
Tom says: I hope this movie opens with an apology to the original Blue Ranger. That guy eventually quit the original series because he was gay and got hammered by homophobic abuse from all kinds of people working on the show.
Kong: Skull Island
Release Date: 3/10/17
Tom’s prediction: Well, man has always been fascinated by giant apes, so maybe more than you might expect.
Tom says: I got the DVD for Peter Jackson’s remake of the original, and it had, like, the best bonus content ever in the form of a fake nature documentary that explained how giant apes and dinosaurs evolved on this isolated island and where the natives came from and all that sort of stuff. I just mostly wish this movie is at least as cool as that.
Tom’s prediction: They’re gonna leave out the sex scene from the novel. You know which one if you’ve read it, and you’ll be glad they left it out.
Tom says: I used to be a big time Stephen King fan, and I loved how his novels were all interlocking, so you can imagine my disappointment when the closest he comes to a follow-up to IT was Insomnia, which, aside from the setting of Derry, had nothing to do with IT. Then again, there were references aplenty in 11/22/63. Apparently, Insomnia might have had some connection to The Dark Tower series, but that was the one bit o’ King I didn’t really try back then for some reason. And I even read The Eyes of the Dragon and was a bit disappointed it wasn’t the story of a dragon waking up in modern day Maine.
Release Date: 7/21/17
Tom’s predictions: I will be there opening weekend.
Tom says: Ever read up on the evacuation of Dunkirk? It’s actually amazing the British pulled it off, getting as many of their people off mainland Europe as they could to escape the Nazi war machine until they were ready to hit them back harder a couple years later. I read a lot of old comic book reprints, and DC’s Sergeant Rock had a story once where he, Easy Company, and the Kid Guerrillas of Unit 3 were there to assist, which is quite an impressive feat since America hadn’t entered the war yet, but Rock used to shoot down German fighters with his hand-held gun, so realism and historical accuracy were not a strong suit for Rock.
Release Date: 2/1/17
Tom’s prediction: Much will be made, and much will be lost.
Tom says: Americans heard a lot about walls and China in 2016, and we all saw how that turned out. Just sayin’.
Snatched (Formerly Mother/Daughter)
Release Date: 5/12/17
Tom’s prediction: This is a movie about women who are kidnapped and held for ransom. I wonder if the box office will act as a ransom of some sort…
Tom says: You know, it’s nice to see Goldie Hawn still working. Casting her as Schumer’s mom is rather brilliant. It’s right up there with casting her longtime partner Kurt Russell as Chris Pratt’s dad in GotG 2.
Emojimovie: Express Yourself
Release Date: 8/4/17
Tom’s prediction: This movie will get way more money than it deserves.
Tom says: Man, they’ll take any half-assed idea and make a movie out of it these days. Well, maybe it’ll surprise us all and be a Sausage Party-style adult cartoon involving a lot of scatological jokes with the poop emoji. I’ll avoid it no matter what.
Blade Runner 2049
Release Date: 10/6/17
Tom’s prediction: Somewhere in the neighborhood of enough money to pay Harrison Ford’s salary and then have a little left over for Ryan Gosling.
Tom says: A mid-fall sci-fi movie? Well, that’s about when Arrival came out and…what do you mean they have the same director?!
Kingsman: The Golden Circle
Tom’s prediction: Expectations are high, and that can mean the box office will be low. Or not.
Tom says: So, let me get this straight: a group of unelected men who consider themselves better than the rest of us have secret societies and technology and stuff, and they have no qualms about killing elected heads of state around the world because they know better than anyone else due to their being gentlemen of a certain social class, either real or faked? You probably shouldn’t think too hard about the politics of this series.
Release Date: 4/28/17
Tom’s prediction: There will be money. Some of it will go to this movie.
Tom says: You know, casting Tom Hanks as a surprisingly sinister Steve Jobs type is either brilliant casting or really freakin’ stupid. There’s no in-between there.
XXX 3: The Return of Xander Cage
Release Date: 1/20/17
Tom’s prediction: I think audiences might prefer a sequel to The Iron Giant.
Tom says: Wait, this series still exists? Well dog my cats…
Release Date: 10/27/17
Tom’s prediction: I’d tell you, but in honor of the general secrecy that follows every JJ Abrams project, I’m not going to. You’ll just have to wait and see.
Tom says: So, the premise may or may not be a space station is shocked to find the Earth missing. I hate when that happens. The Earth is always in the last place you look. But that only makes sense because if it wasn’t, it meant you kept looking for something after you found it. The first place you look could also be the last place you look. But a vanishing Earth means no gravity holding the station in orbit, so it either drifts off into space until some other large gravitational force grabs it, or else it, uh, keeps drifting. Maybe it would go into orbit around the moon. Is the moon still there? Of course, it might be drifting off course as well. Next thing you know, all the planets of the solar system are knocking each other around like balls on a pool table, and all because JJ Abrams made another secret movie. Thanks for nothing, JJ!
Release Date: 5/26/17
Tom’s prediction: Attractive people in swimsuits will always do well because you should never underestimate what people are willing to pay to see.
Tom says: You know something: Dwayne Johnson is no Hoff. Good for Dwayne Johnson.
Release Date: 8/11/17
Tom’s prediction: A late summer horror film is not generally a vote of confidence. Most of the bigger summer flicks with higher expectations have come out already, and the summer moviegoer is starting to tire of the blockbuster releases. Plus, it is too early for the award movie season of fall through to December. As such, a film of this caliber will be expected to do somewhat well, but not as well as something that came out in June or early July. As such, the true calculation must take all these factors into account and I still don’t give a damn about the box office.
Tom says: I’m waiting for her to do battle with Chucky. Then they can both do a comedy/horror with The Rock and Kevin Hart, officially bringing an end to that cinematic universe. It worked for Abbot and Costello.
50 Shades Darker
Release Date: 2/10/17
Tom’s prediction: This movie will make enough money to cause dissatisfaction for somebody. If it makes too much, it will anger fans of good taste. If it makes too little, it will anger fans of empty “romances” that are little better than porn in terms of plot, character, logic, common sense, and accurate depictions of a real relationship, while still lacking the money shot, a phrase I am surprised Watson didn’t use too much in his predictions.
Tom says: I’ve been going to the movies a lot lately for the films most likely to get Oscar nominations, and I am sick and tired of seeing trailers for this mess pretending it is anything other than empty nonsense. There are lines in there about women trying to “fix” that Gray asshole, and I just want to find the woman who modified her Twilight fan fiction and shout at her, “THAT CREATES UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS FOR WOMEN EVERYWHERE ABOUT REAL RELATIONSHIPS AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT ABUSIVE MEN!” And then someone would probably accuse me of mansplaining, and I’d be worried they were right, and I’d wish I hadn’t said anything, and you know how it goes. But hey, if we’re talking box office, I’ll bet this movie does well because you should never underestimate the taste of the general public.
Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
Release Date: 7/21/17
Tom’s prediction: It depends on whether or not the average American known how much of this movie came from the French.
Tom says: I’m thinking this will be a Fifth Element style cult film in about fifteen years. Just you wait.
Pitch Perfect 3
Release Date: 12/22/17
Tom’s prediction: This year I will learn if that was really Anna Kendrick’s bare butt in Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates or if she used a body double. Watson probably already knows.
Tom says: Ryan loves musicals and such. Everyone who knows him knows that for a fact. So, it makes sense that he adores a movie series about some a cappella singers. I personally don’t find that sort of thing interesting since it probably just takes the tropes and cliches of the average sports movie and just adds more singing. What I really am saying is at some point Rebel Wilson will be using her huge a cappella winnings to buy her brother-in-law his own robot.
Ghost in the Shell
Release Date: 3/31/17
Tom’s prediction: It will do the same box office as that live action Casper the Friendly Ghost movie.
Tom says: I think someone just made this movie as an excuse to get ScarJo in another pair of tights to run around in. Tell me I’m wrong on this one.
John Wick: Chapter 2
Release Date: 2/10/17
Tom’s prediction: I want it to do well. Or do I…?
Tom says: The first time around had Keanu Reeves’ John Wick come out of retirement when thoughtless thug Theon Greyjoy killed his adorable puppy. I can relate. I still can’t rewatch that episode of Futurama about Fry’s dog without tearing up big time. Or even talk about it. Or type about it. Excuse me for a moment…
But I hope we don’t get the death of another pet sending John on a violent rampage again. The series could get ridiculous when John watches some cretinous son of a crime lord flush John’s goldfish down the toilet.
My Little Pony
Release Date: 10/6/17
Tom’s prediction: Bronies will come from all over the land to see this film, and we will continue to wonder why such beings exist in our world.
Tom says: Why didn’t I know this movie was coming?
Oh yeah. I don’t care.
Release Date: 9/29/17
Tom’s prediction: When you come right down to it, aren’t we all just flatlining in our lives sometimes? We find ourselves stuck in a rut and feel like there’s no escape. The essential existential crisis becomes all-consuming, and the next thing you know, someone put Ellen Page in a long-delayed Flatliners sequel.
Tom says: This could be the long delayed sequel we didn’t know we need. It could be another case of The Hustler being followed (eventually) by The Color of Money. But it probably isn’t.
The Space Between Us
Release Date: 2/3/17
Tom’s predictions: A lot of money from teenage girls who haven’t thought through the ramifications of chatting with just anybody.
Tom says: Well, it looks harmless enough, but let’s consider how we should react if we start talking with some strange guy who one day shows up at your school looking for you. Sure, he says he’s from another planet, and maybe he never tilted the screen enough on his computer to show you the Martian landscape or sent you links to a news story that said he was born on Mars, but how do you know for certain? This could be the prequel to 50 Shades of Stupidity, but at least he’s not a sparkly vampire.