30 Blockbuster predictions for 2016 (part 1)

Who said cinema was dying? 2015 was a massive year for box offices all around the world. Out of the ten highest earning movies of all times, four of them were released in 2015. Now I’m not a math wonder, but I’d say that’s pretty damn good. And it doesn’t look like 2016 is planning to fall behind. But just to be sure I took a look at my crystal ball, 5$ at a Chinese flea market, and got myself some blockbuster predictions for 2016.

1: Batman V Superman (March 25; US release dates)08d16d4567f303c46f16a66041eca2f620352f4b
Box office: billion dollar mark
Score: 7/10
A difficult one to predict. There is no doubt in my mind that BvS will dominate the box office since they don’t have any real competitors until The Jungle Book comes out mid-April. And come on, it’s Superman versus the new Batman.

My biggest concern for this movie is Snyder’s focus on action and visuals, resulting in a lack of narrative and depth. Someone who does give me hope though is Chris Terrio, Oscar winning screenwriter, who has been rewriting the script since joining the production. Honestly, I can see that score going up to an 8, or down to a 6 -great prediction, I know-. Here’s to hoping it’s the 8.

2: The Jungle Book (April 15)junglebooktriptych3
Box office: big hit
Score: 7,5/10
Dethroning BvS, after three weeks, will be The Jungle Book. The combination of nostalgia, beautiful trailers and a stellar cast, is going to bring in the dough for Disney. Especially since it still has three weeks until the release of Captain America: Civil War.

Expect stunning visuals and even better voice acting -Seriously look at that cast-. I smell an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects, I’m calling it. But again, a lacking screenplay. “So what’s the difference with BvS then, you shitty Marvel Fanboy?” Well, the audience. The Jungle Book is a Disney blockbuster in its purest form, suitable for the spoiled 6-year-old as well as the 24-year-old going through an existential crisis. Oh and did I mention Scarlett Johansson’s voice sounds like a lump of butter making love to your ear?

3: The Huntsman: Winter’s war (April 22)huntsmannew1
Box office: small hit
Score: 6/10
This movie just confuses me. Snow White and the Huntsman was less than mediocre, but now we get the prequel -apparently it’s a sequel now?- that nobody asked for. And somehow they managed to blackmail four A-listers to star in it. Throw in a live-action Elsa and you’ve got a ticket sale.

Emily Blunt and Charlize Theron are nothing but a delight, it is physically painful for me to say anything bad about them. But I still can’t imagine this movie being more than a “meh” experience. It might be an enjoyable watch if you’re bored, but you’ll forget about it before you get home.

4: Captain America: Civil War (May 6)civilwarsmall
Box office: Billion dollar mark (and beyond)
Score: 8/10
The latest trailer racked up a collective count of 95 million views in 24 hours, only through official channels. Mostly because of Spidey but still, what do you think will happen at the box office? It was a wise decision to push Batman v Superman to March instead of competing with Civil War. Because, ticket wise, DC doesn’t stand a chance against Marvel…for now.

Big shoes to fill here, not gonna lie. Captain America: The Winter Soldier was a success on all fronts, but Civil War is on a completely different scale. It’s based on one of the most iconic storylines in the history of Marvel comics, it features the entire MCU Avengers cast (minus Thor & Hulk) and we get two new heroes into the mix. It’s an extremely ambitious project, but I have faith in the Russo brothers. Disney/Marvel knows their audience, and after the lukewarm reception Age of Ultron received, I don’t see them fucking this up.

5: (Bad) Neighbors 2 (May 20)neighbors-2-600x782
Box office: medium hit
Score: 6,5/10
Seth Rogen movies are usually in the “hate it or love it” category. Which means that before the movie even comes out, most people have already formed their opinion about it. Also, it’s a movie about girls gone wild. It’s bound to sell tickets.

Neighbors was a sleeper hit and I enjoyed it more than I expected. But let’s face it, sequels are a hard sell. And that goes double for comedies. They usually just stab their fans in the backs for an easy cash-in. Though there have been some hilarious examples lately, like 22 Jump Street, so heck it could go either way for this one. Like I said, a lot of people will hate/love it anyways, regardless of how it turns out. I happen to be in the latter category, don’t judge me.

6: Angry Birds (May 20)The_Angry_Birds_Movie_Character_Poster_05
Box office: big hit
Score: 5,5/10
In terms of revenue, Angry Birds is a sure hit. From a mobile game to a worldwide franchise; this is the kind of generic shit that sells, no matter the color or form. What Minions did for Universal Pictures, Sony Entertainment is hoping to achieve with Angry Birds.

The first teasers actually generated some laughs and got my hopes up at some point. Then the trailers came out, aaaaand now we’re back to this. A generic 90-minutes-long commercial for toys, that kids will love and parents will regret. Don’t get me wrong, nothing wrong with being a merchandise commercial. If anything, The Lego Movie proved that. But Angry Birds looks more like a shoot-and-miss *badum tss*.

7: X-Men: Apocalypse (May 27)_1450048116
Box office: big hit
Score: 8/10
The main reason why I see Apocalypse losing against Civil War in the box office, is because of the difference between Fox and Disney, not because of the movie itself. Nonetheless, boy oh boy am I looking forward to this. Also, Deadpool did a great job at hyping the X-men and making us forget about the calamity that was Fant4stic. Well done, Skull-poop-L.

As for the movie itself, high hopes all over the place. The first images of villain Apocalypse had fans worried, but it seems like they fixed it now. The trailer looked absolutely amazing and we know that Bryan Singer, who directed X-men, X2 and Day of Future Past, knows how to make an X-men movie. It has some of the best casting choices I’ve seen in any superhero franchise, and Days of Future Past is widely considered as one of the best in its genre.

8: Alice through the looking glass (May 27)alice_through_the_looking_glass_1
Box office: small hit
Score: 5,5/10
Johnny Depp’s role choices have been lazy and predictable for the last ten years, and his potential to draw in audiences has suffered accordingly. But Depp’s star-meter isn’t the only thing that fell in a hole, I have a feeling the movie’s entire marketing team fell in with him. What might draw viewers though, is the fact that this was the late -and great- Alan Rickman’s last (voice)role. Even though the last one earned over a Billion at the box office, the sequel doesn’t stand a chance against X-men: Apocalypse.

No high hopes for this one. Despite having a talented cast, I feel like this entire project is one big waste of money, time and talent. As for the director, The Muppets’ James Bobbin is taking over the helm from Tim Burton. And while certainly not a bad director, this seems like a bad fit for him. Hoping for a surprise, but won’t hold my breath.

9: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows (June 3)turtles-04
Box office: sigh…medium-big hit
Score: 4,5/10
You know what, I get it. It looks good to kids and there’s plenty of adults that just want to turn their brains off, but come ooooooooonnnn. Kids deserve better than that abomination that came out in 2014. Oh hell, why do I even bother. I can rant about it all I want, I know it’s gonna make money.

“Oh don’t be a sourpuss, as long as it makes people happy.” NO. NO. NO. At least make a movie that doesn’t make people cringe out of their skins. That being said, this is another movie, with a different director. I honestly believe it will be better than the last one…But it will still be shit.

10: Now You See Me 2 (June 10)now-you-see-me-2-poster-5
Box Office: medium hit
Score: 6/10
Another top shelf cast in a mediocre movie, but I’m not gonna lie. I kind of enjoyed the last one, call it a guilty pleasure, and so did a lot of other people. By now the concept’s magic has worn off *wink*, but there’s always other ways to lure people in. Besides keeping the star power from the first movie, they are now joined by Daniel Radcliffe, who played the role of the single most famous wizard of our generation, Harry flippin’ Potter. That’s shameless marketing, right there.

Like I said, guilty pleasure. Amazing cast or not, Now You See Me was not a good movie. And a change in director is not going to change that. If anything, the ‘guilty’ part is only going to grow because of this. Jon M. Chu is the man who brought us two Step Up movies and the Justin Bieber movie. Case closed, I would say. But since it’s a sequel they’ll probably go way over the top, just to have some shock value, and I’ll still enjoy it in my own sneaky way.

11: Warcraft (June 10)jctVWpNSnCt7.878x0.Z-Z96KYq
Box office: medium hit
Score: 7/10
If ever there was a movie that needed a win, it’s this one. Video game adaptations don’t exactly have great reputation. There’s a few exceptions but it’s safe to say most of them are just the worst of the worst. Not only is Warcraft one of the biggest video game franchises in the world, this adaptation seems like one of the most ambitious adaptations yet. The hopes from gamers around the world are riding on this one, and Assassin’s Creed, so at least it will sell tickets.

Warcraft will be the one to break the video game curse, it has to. The trailer wasn’t perfect, but at least it had heart. The movie has a strong cast, a huge fanbase and a hell of director. One of the biggest concerns is that director Duncan Jones has no experience with projects of this scale and budget. But you know what? It was the same for James Gunn, and Guardians of the Galaxy turned out to be one of the biggest hits of the year. So I am going to put my faith in Warcraft.

12: Finding Dory (June 17)finding-dory-poster
Box office: Billion dollar mark
score: 7,5/10
I have never met a single person, who said they didn’t like Finding Nemo, ever. It is one of the most popular animation movies in our collective memory. And now, thirteen years later, Ellen DeGeneres, who voices Dory, is more popular than ever. So yes, no doubt that Finding Dory will dominate at the box office. It’s not like Disney has anything to fear from Central Intelligence (June 17), yet another Kevin Hart junk flick.

Recapturing the magic of the first one might be asking for too much, but this will still be nothing less than excellent. Pixar has had some misses lately, but this is not a project they can afford to fuck up. Well, actually they can because it’s Disney and they friggin own the industry, but they won’t. Writer/director Andrew Stanton has a solid resumé -‘John Carter’ never happened- and the cast is superb, as usual. Expect another strong entry.

13: Independence Day: Resurgence (June 24)poster-film-independence-day-resurgence
Box office: small hit
Score: 6/10
Independence day was a box office phenomenon in 1996. One of the biggest blockbusters of the 90’s that took advantage of the Americans’ patriotism and Will Smith’s rise to fame as an action star. 20 years later we get a sequel, without Will Smith, that will need more than nostalgia to stay afloat.

It would be a genuine surprise for me if this turns out to be anything more than average. The original might have been “kind of” unique, but that’s no longer the case. The movie’s production is in the same hands as Independence Day was, and while good news for older fans maybe, it takes more than an alien invasion and some American flags to conquer the box office in 2016.

14: The Legend of Tarzan (July 1)20160317203255!The_Legend_of_Tarzan_poster
Box office: medium hit
Score: 6,5/10
Oh look, another gritty live-action remake of a well-known fictional character. When two movies with (somewhat) the same setting come out in the same period, one of them tends to drown. Granted, by the time this releases, it’s been almost three months since Mowgli was raised in the jungle by animals. But still, people usually remember stuff like that. Also, the promo hasn’t exactly been…uhm, existent? I will admit though, the trailer had some cool action and it still has a game cast. So average hit for an average movie I’d say.

I honestly don’t think The Legend of Tarzan will be bad, but I do think it will be forgettable. David Yates directed the last four Harry Potter movies and he has some of the hottest names of the moment to work with. Yet, nobody really seems to care about this movie. I see this becoming an enjoyable watch for a lazy Sunday, but other than that, Tarzan will be trampled on by his competition.

15: BFG (July 1)bfg-teaser-poster
Box office: billion dollar mark
Score: 8/10
The Big Friendly Giant is arguably one of the most unique and popular stories in children’s literature. Roald Dahl wrote so many iconic stories that I can’t imagine anyone growing up, in the Western world, and not know his name. Or not, maybe kids nowadays just read 1D biographies, what do I know? No seriously though, it’s the kind of movie that parents will force their kids to go watch, just so they have an excuse to see it themselves. So no, I don’t see this flopping.

The trailer looked extremely promising, capturing the mysterious atmosphere and magical excitement from the novel. And let’s face it, Steven Spielberg is, undeniably, one of the greatest directors of all time. Top that off with a more than capable cast and an experienced screenwriter, and we have a hit. I’m gonna make a big and ungrounded statement here by saying, this might become this generation’s E.T.. But maybe that’s just nostalgia speaking.

 

Uhm, this is kind of awkward but my crystal ball just ran out of batteries. So you’ll have to wait for the remaining 15 until part 2. Expect more superheroes, reboots and spinoffs of billion dollar franchises.

©blaudruk

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