If you heaven't heard already, 2015 is a huge year for movies. Here are some of the films that have been announced to be released in 2015:
-Avengers: Age of Ultron (5/1)
-Batman vs. Superman (N/A)
-Star Wars: Episode VII (N/A)
-Jurassic Park IV (N/A)
-Finding Dory (11/25)
-Bond 24 (11/6)
-Assassin's Creed (6/19)
-The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (11/20)
-Penguins of Madagascar (3/27)
-Hotel Transylvania 2 (9/25)
-Independence Day 2 (7/3)
-Pirates of the Caribbean 5 (7/10)
-Terminator 5 (6/26)
-Kung Fu Panda 3 (12/23)
-Alvin and the Chipmunks 4 (12/11)
-The Smurfs 3 (7/24)
-Monster Trucks (5/29)
-Fantastic Four (3/6)
-Spongebob Squarepants 2 (2/13)
-Untitled Illumination 3D Project (7/3)
-Inside Out (6/19)
-B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (6/5)
-Ted 2 (4/3)
And here are ones that haven't been announced for 2015 dates, but have been announced to be made:
-Avatar 2 (edit - to be released December 2016)
-Pitch Perfect 2
-Snow White and the Huntsman 2
-Alice in Wonderland 2
-Mission Impossible 5
So yeah, that's... a lot. As Brad Brevet of Rope of Silicon brought up here there might be too much being released where some well-known, established franchises might underperform or bomb because not everyone has the money to see all of these movies. And I don't blame them. There are a lot of blockbusters being released in 2015 and for most, it will be down to picking between a few. Here, I will analyze the year in general and discuss which films will succeed, which will fail, and which will leave the year entirely.
*The Guaranteed Blockbusters*
-Avengers: Age of Ultron
-Star Wars: Episode VII
-Batman vs. Superman
-Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Obviously, Avengers 2 won't bomb. That's a given. Same with Mockingjay, Fantastic Four (great release date, by the way) and Finding Dory. The other ones I'm pretty confident in, but there are some obstacles. For Bond 24, at this moment, it's positioned to face-off against Marvel's Ant-Man (more on this later) and Peanuts. If they all stay, Bond will still win the weekend, but it will for sure be hurt opening against another blockbuster.
As for Batman vs. Superman and Star Wars: Episode VII, it's just finding the right release date. Batman vs. Superman will most likely take a weekend in mid-July, like the recent Warner Bros. tentpoles have (Harry Potter, Dark Knight Rises, Inception), but by that time, most audiences might be worn out from all the previous blockbusters. Personally, I would try to move it up to either Memorial Day Weekend or even a weekend in the middle of June.
For Star Wars, it might try to nab that Memorial Day spot, but if I were Disney, I wouldn't want to blow my wad all in the month of May and have nothing left later on. I would search for a suitable summer date, but honestly, if it wants to really succeed, I would hold it until 2016. Because I don't see it opening around Christmas. But, if Batman vs. Superman moves out of July, Star Wars could fall right in there. Ted 2 will be VERY front-loaded, but could end up grossing less than the first, due to the crowded market.
*Success, But Not Blockbusters*
-Kung Fu Panda 3
-B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations
-Penguins of Madagascar
-Untitled Illumination 3D Project
-Hotel Transylvania 2
-The Smurfs 3
Did you notice something similar with most of these? A lot of them are animated films. 2015 is full of them, and not all of them will succeed, and some might even bomb, like B.O.O. or Smurfs 3 (one can hope). They all need to spread out if they want to succeed, especially Inside Out. Also, unless that Untitled Illumination film is part of the Despicable Me franchise, I doubt it will gross blockbuster levels.
*Could Go Either Way*
-Jurassic Park IV
-Independence Day 2
-Sponebob Squarepants 2
Some of these are simple to analyze. If Terminator moves out of it's late June slot and into a more accessible month like August, it will perform. Independence Day 2 opens Fourth of July weekend, so it should be alright, but then again, Lone Ranger opened there as well and Independence Day came out 17 years ago. Spongebob Squarepants 2 is positioned all alone in February, but the shows popularity has died down a lot since the first movie, so it might underperform. As for the other animated film here, Monster Trucks, it's positioned in late May, and will end up facing whatever opens Memorial Day weekend. Therefore, don't expect much from this one, but you never know.
Inferno should perform decently and along the lines of Angels and Demons because, at this moment, it's the only non-childrens film of December, but that's if nothing major moves to that month. Assassin's Creed, if good, can hold it's ground, but that mid-June release and a possible R-rating could keep it from be the highest grossing video-game adaptation. Maybe if it moves to late August, or even out of the summer movie season entirely, it might have a shot of succeeding. Possibly December?
Now, the big ones here: Ant-Man and Jurassic Park IV. Yes, Marvel is now well-liked by general public, but with an untested property like Ant-Man, who, to most, sounds very obscure and weird, they can't take chances. They should release it possibly earlier, like say mid-October. Therefore, it won't face any competition due to no other blockbusters in that month and will have enough wiggle room so it doesn't get hurt from Bond 24. But still, it's very obscure and probably won't hit blockbuster numbers, despite being made by Marvel.
Jurassic Park IV was supposed to be released in June of 2014, but was delayed to an undefined date in 2015. Jurassic Park, like Independence Day, seems like something in this day in age that would receive a reboot instead of a sequel. Add to the fact that there are rumors that JP4 was delayed because there wasn't enough action proves that Universal is more interested in the action than the story, which might lead to bad reception. It could try to capitalize on the Memorial Day weekend because at this point, no one has taken it yet (even though I brought up that Star Wars could possibly take it). It could go there or it could more up to April, due to Universal's past success with releasing big-budget movies that month (Fast FIve). Also, it would have a head start on the summer blockbusters. But, if it's bad, it won't have the legs to keep up with the other blockbusters around.
*Will Probably End Up Bombing*
-Pirates of the Caribbean 5
-Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
Two of these are from dying franchises, and one is based of a popular video-game, but video-game adaptations usually don't do well. The reason why I have more faith in Assassin's Creed is because Michael Fassbener is leading that one. The general public doesn't know Duncan Jones (Source Code, Moon), and I don't know where it would perform well enough to make back it's presumably big budget.
As for Alvin and Pirates, Pirates needs to move if it wants to succeed. It should move either to April or August. If Batman vs. Superman moves to mid-July or Star Wars does, it will get slaughtered. Alvin will disappoint wherever it is, because the last one severely underperformed. And it sure as hell won't release against another Fox animation film, Kung Fu Panda 3. They should probably release it earlier in the year, like April or May, to succeed even the slightest bit.
*Might Sneak In*
-Mission Impossible 5
-Pitch Perfect 2
Despite the blockbuster overload for 2015, Paramount hasn't put many movies down for release yet, and December (unless some films move) is particularly empty. I wouldn't be surprised if it moves to a December date, as it could easily outperform Inferno, if Ghost Protocol's returns say anything about it. Pitch Perfect 2, from Universal, could serve as some great counter-producting among other big budget films and could take a mid-May slot, similar to Bridesmaids in 2011. Besides, the first one, while not a box office success, has received a cult following and is now very popular, and it wouldn't take long to make.
As for Artemis Fowl, Disney just hired Michael Goldenberg (Harry Potter) to pen the script for Disney/Miramax. Now, Disney doesn't have anything for December as of now, and this, being based off of a book in a large teen series, could really bank off of the date and only one other kids movie that will end up staying (if/when Alvin 4 moves out), is around for competition. But, they could use an Early October or August date to be safe, but I don't think Disney wouldn't want to capitalize on a Christmas gross. So, Disney could do something else...
*Ant-Man and Artemis Fowl Swap*
Ant-Man, which I have moving to a mid-October date to avoid competition with Bond 24, and Artemis Fowl, which I have placed in mid-December, could swap places. Having read Artemis Fowl (or the first two books), I can say the books aren't, well, that large-scaled compared to others from the same genre. Also, Marvel and Disney have enough faith in making Ant-Man, so why waste it on a mid-October release if your giving it a $100 million+ budget?
I say, release Artemis Fowl either early or mid-October and delay Ant-Man to mid-December. Therefore, if Ant-Man doesn't perform as well as Marvel had hoped on its opening weekend, it will have time to recover, due to Christmas break, due to brand recognition and if it's received well. Marvel has some serious balls, and if they really want Ant-Man to succeed, they will take the chance and move it. Also, Artemis would end up faring much better in a non-crowded month such as October and could still rack in some decent cash. Just a thought.
*How It Should End Up*
After all the analysis, here's how it should pan out, release date-wise.
2/13 - Spongebob Squarepants 2
3/6 - Fantastic Four
3/13 - Cinderella
3/27 - Penguins of Madagascar
3/27 - Pirates of the Caribbean 5
4/3 - Ted 2
4/17 - Alvin and the Chipmunks 4
4/17 - Warcraft
5/1 - Avengers: Age of Ultron
5/15 - Pitch Perfect 2
5/22 - Jurassic Park IV
5/22 - Inside Out
5/29 - Monster Trucks
6/12 - Batman vs. Superman
6/19 - B.O.O: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations
6/26 - Assassin's Creed
7/3 - Independence Day 2
7/3 - Untitled Illumination 3D Project
7/17 - Star Wars: Episode VII
7/31 - The Smurfs 3
8/7 - Terminator 5
9/25 - Hotel Transylvania 2
10/2 - Artemis Fowl
10/9 - Creed
11/6 - Bond 24
11/6 - Peanuts
11/20 - The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
11/25 - Finding Dory
12/11 - Ant-Man
12/18 - Inferno
12/23 - Kung Fu Panda 3
12/23 - Mission Impossible 5