Hey everyone. I am curious as to what your predictions are regarding the box office this coming year. My early predictions for the top 10 for 2016 that you are about to see are in terms of domestic financial grosses, not worldwide, because worldwide earnings are a little hard to predict this early on for some of them. After you have seen my predictions, I would like to hear yours. So without further ado, here are my predictions for top 10 highest grossing films of 2016:
1. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16)
This year is pretty difficult to predict overall, but I do believe Rogue One will be the highest grossing film of 2016. Star Wars Episode 7 is really cleaning up right now and good will from that will work in Rogue One's favor. However, at this early stage, it looks like this is not "Episode 8," but more of a spin off. From what I have read so far, all I can gather is that it is about stealing the Death Star plans. Typically, spin offs do not perform as well as their predecessors. For example, The Bourne Legacy earned $113.2 million, which is about half as much as The Bourne Ultimatum's franchise high of $227.5 million before it. It would be reasonable to expect Rogue one to fall harder than that as (as far as we know so far) the action will be lowered. I realize that is not quite the same demographic but it was the closest to Star Wars I could come up with. I could mention a few other animated spin offs, but that would take too long and that is even further from the demographic of Star Wars. Anyways, Rogue One should do strong business even though it may have much less than half of Star Wars 7's gross. My prediction below is the worst case scenario, and even that is not so bad.
Opening Weekend: $85 million
Final Domestic Total: $408 million
2. Captain America: Civil War (May 6)
Another film we nerds anticipate greatly this coming year is Captain America: Civil War. This is the third Captain America film. This is not all about Cap, though. Iron Man, Black Panther, Spiderman, Ant Man and more are also along for the ride. The trailer promised us an epic battle between Captain America and Iron Man. If you have seen both Avengers films, you may have had a feeling this was coming as there was a great deal of friction between them. This will definitely earn more than The Winter Soldier's $259.8 million total. It could even get close to Iron Man 3's $409 million total if it is as good as the trailer suggests.
Opening Weekend: $130 million
Final Domestic Total: $373 million
3. Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (March 25)
This is a film that has been awaited for years. I am on the fence about it myself. Granted I am not as familiar with the DC universe as the Marvel universe, it does seem weird to me that Batman and Superman are fighting. Another thing that I find weird is the casting choice for Lex Luthor. I do not see Jesse Eisenberg playing a villain. I will give it a chance of course and maybe he will actually fit the role well. It is like the prejudice that Ben Affleck playing Batman is a bad idea. He may do a good job, but many are skeptical. Anyways, it will probably set the March opening record that The Hunger Games currently has ($152.5 million), but if reception is mixed like it was for Man of Steel, it should be pretty front loaded.
Opening Weekend: $155 million
Final Domestic Total: $360 million
4. Suicide Squad (August 5)
Suicide Squad is a bit of a riskier project, but many people seem to be anticipating it. Most of these characters are ones I have not heard of nor have many others (with the Joker being the exception) so there is a risk that it may only appeal to die hard comic book fans. However, if word of mouth is good, it could go far.
Opening Weekend: $91 million
Final Domestic Total: $318 million
5. X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)
One film that is being greatly anticipated is X-Men: Apocalypse. In 2014, Days of Future Past was well received and almost became the highest grossing of the X-Men films behind The Last Stand ($234.3 million vs. Days of Future Past's $233.9 million). The anticipation for Apocalypse combined with the good will from Days of Future Past pretty much guarantees it will do better. Yes, Wolverine is absent, but everyone that saw First Class knows an X-Men movie can still be good without him.
Opening Weekend: $107 million
Final Domestic Total: $285 million
6. Ghostbusters (July 15)
This is a remake of the 1984 Ghostbusters which was a big hit back in the day. Paul Feig is in the director's chair for this one and it is mostly a female cast unlike the original. Melissa McCarthy is one of the main stars, and is in most of his recent films. They tend to do really well together for the most part, but it will be exciting for many to see what they bring to this film.
Opening Weekend: $75 million
Final Domestic Total: $260 million
7. Deadpool (February 12)
Deadpool is going to be big for sure. Technically, this is a spin off of the X-Men franchise, but I still consider it an X-Men film. If you have watched X-Men Origins Wolverine (Spoiler Alert!), you may remember that one guy from the beginning that could not seem to shut up, but it seemed to amuse everyone. Well, here he is. This is essentially an origin story, though, but a lot of people are keen to see the wildly irreverent character on the big screen for a couple hours. I remember earlier in this article that I claimed spin offs do not tend to outperform their predecessors, but this could be the exception as many people are awaiting it and it looks like it could open big enough to earn more than X-Men: The Last Stand by the end of its run. With the level of anticipation being what it is, it is likely to break the February opening record currently claimed by Fifty Shades of Grey ($85.2 million) and break the opening record for an R-rated film currently claimed by The Matrix Reloaded ($91.8 million), but if it is too wildly inappropriate (not out of the question as it is rated R), it could be really front loaded. For example, Kick Ass opened to $19.8 million, but closed to a $48.1 million, and that was positively reviewed even though it was excessively raunchy and violent. I could see it opening really high, but tapering off quickly.
Opening Weekend: $105 million
Final Domestic Total: $257 million
8. Star Trek Beyond (July 22)
Here is the third entry in the rebooted Star Trek franchise. Although, JJ Abrams is not in the director's chair this time. That duty belongs to Justin Lin who directed Fast 5 and Fast and Furious 6. The only plot details I have seen so far are that it is supposed to focus on the 5-year mission of the Starship Enterprise and that the crew gets stranded on a hostile planet. The trailer was kind of odd, though, and gave off a Guardians of the Galaxy vibe. I will still see it and a lot of other people are excited about it, but new trailers will probably make it look better.
Opening Weekend: $85 million
Final Domestic Total: $254 million
9. Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them (November 18)
This film is a spin off of the Harry Potter franchise and takes place in the same universe. There is a question of whether or not people are ready to return to the Harry Potter universe just yet, but people do seem pretty excited about this idea. I have a feeling it will open high but be about as front loaded as the last three Twilight films to open in the pre-Thanksgiving weekend slot, because, while it may be good, many will be saving up for Rogue One which is scheduled to arrive four weekends later.
Opening Weekend: $120 million
Final Domestic Total: $250 million
10. Alice Through The Looking Glass (May 27)
In this film, Alice goes back in time to save the Mad Hatter (still played by Johnny Depp). Back in 2010, Alice in Wonderland really cleaned up with a $334.2 million total. Of course, this was when 3D really became big and it was when Johnny Depp was at the top of his game. Now, 3D is not doing as well for the most part and Johnny Depp's films have been doing much worse lately in terms of box office performance and quality. Tim Burton has left the director's chair, and most signs point to it not coming close to its predecessor's earnings. On the other hand, though, time travel stories tend to be strong. It may not come close to the $334.2 million its predecessor had, but I still expect it to be strong in its own right.
Opening Weekend: $81 million
Final Domestic Total: $244 million
So, those were my predictions for top 10 highest grossing films of 2016. It is not likely to be nearly as big as 2015 was, but it should still be a decent year. I welcome your predictions, too. That is all for now, folks.