The 2015 Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures schedule has been discussed before here on the blog, but with a new year I wanted to take a stab at some predictions for how well the films will be received by critics and at the box office. We’d also like to have your preductions in the comments.
2014 was a really weak year for the box office, and I don’t expect market conditions to change too much in 2015. That means Disney already has a steep slope to climb. But Disney was the king of 2014 and the 2015 movie slate Disney appears to have that box office win in hand already.
In order of release here we go.
JANUARY 23, 2015 – Strange Magic
This movie came out of nowhere, aka Lucasfilm Animation Singapore. This film has a very similar feel as Fox’s 2013 animated flick “Epic.” I see it doing just about the same at the domestic box office. I expect the public will enjoy it more than the critics who didn’t like “Epic” at all.
Domestic total: $112 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 59
FEBRUARY 20, 2015 – McFarland, USA
Disney really hopes that “McFarland, USA” does better than “Million Dollar Arm.” Kevin Costner should attract some viewers, but the story seems like it will fall flat to me.
Domestic total: $46 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 49
MARCH 13, 2015 – Cinderella
The fairy-tale is a staple of Disney movies and it’s been a few years since one as pure as Cinderella has been on the big screen. Director Kenneth Branagh will bring his ‘A’ game for Disney and the supporting cast will make this a must-see film for the spring.
Domestic total: $255 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 65
APRIL 17, 2015 – Monkey Kingdom
Another one from the DisneyNature label. This one looks like it might be cute, but I just don’t expect it to take off.
Domestic total: $31 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 71
MAY 1, 2015 – Avengers: Age of Ultron
The first Avengers did pretty good at the box office and Joss Whedon returns for one more time director’s chair. The previews for this look pretty good and the villain certainly seems to be difficult to defeat. There might be real peril for the heroes this time, but not at the box ofice. It should be boffo.
Domestic total: $595 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 89
MAY 22, 2015 – Tomorrowland
This film actually has a better box office opening date than Avengers. However, it will open with Avengers still filling seats in other theaters. I’m very excited for the film, as I’m sure other Disney fans are, I just don’t know if the average public moviegoer will have this on their radar.
Domestic total: $400 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 85
JUNE 19, 2015 – Inside Out
Pixar’s back in 2015. This is the first of two films and, as such, has the advantage a the box office. Plus it will get all the families looking for some early summer vacation fun. The story looks good and the previews look fun.
Domestic total: $566 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 91
JULY 17, 2015 – Ant–Man
The second Marvel film of the year comes mid-summer since there’s that little Lucasfilm juggernaut coming later in December. “Ant-Man” is definitely one of Marvel’s lessor-known characters. But I expect there to be a lead-in to the story as part of “Avengers: Age of Ultron.” That should help prop up the box office a bit.
Domestic total: $533 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 76
OCTOBER 9, 2015 – The Jungle Book
This is the movie Director Jon Favreau took up after his Magic Kingdom inspired movie fell through. I hope it’s good. A lot rests on how well the computer animation is. Judging by what we saw in “Life of Pi” it’s definitely within the realm of possible to make this film. I’m going out on a limb with this one, but I think it will be great.
Domestic total: $335 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 93
OCTOBER 16, 2015 – The Untitled Steven Spielberg Cold War Spy Thriller
Hard to know anything about this one other than two names Spielberg and Hanks. Usually that’s enough to spell box office gold.
Domestic Total: $225 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 77
NOVEMBER 25, 2015 – The Good Dinosaur
The second Pixar film of the year. It has a first time director who was brought on to fix some story problems. I’m confident the extra time given this production will result in a great story. It already has some cute characters.
Domestic total: $580 million
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 79
DECEMBER 18, 2015 – Star Wars: The Force Awakens
This is the film everyone is waiting for and it will be the talk of everyone for the next 12 months. Right now, it’s all riding on JJ and his post-production team. I don’t see how even Disney’s marketing team can screw this up. With such a late opening, I’ll give a prediction for both opening 3-day weekend box office and a domestic total.
Opening weekend: $210 million
Domestic total: $765 million (just ahead of Avatar)
Rotten Tomatoes rating: 95
Alright, that’s my take on 2015. I look forward to seeing your predictions in the comments.