Theater and Entertainment

Top Films to Watch This Summer

ith the summer just getting started it, the summertime movie season is about to heat up. The next couple of months features titles that will be known successes like Finding Dory, fun blockbuster movies like the new Independence Day, and controversial titles like the new Ghostbusters reboot. While the year at the box office has been the strongest it’s been in over six years, up 2.3% from last year at $5.16 million, it had a horrible start to the season, experiencing a May of just $885.4 million. This is down 25.2% from last year and the lowest since 2001, when Shrek, Moulin Rouge, and Pearl Harbor premiered. The next few months will determine the future outlook of the rest of the year, with the summer usually being the essential part of the year when it comes to the box office.

Before covering 10 big titles of the summer, let’s look at five honorable mentions for the list that will surely bring in big bucks at the box office but will probably not have a big impact. Two franchises that will surely continue to be successful this summer are Jason Bourne, to be released on July 29, and Ice Age: Collision Course, to be released on July 22. Jason Bourne, the first in the series to feature Matt Damon since The Bourne Ultimatum. Bourne will also feature Academy Award winner Alicia Vikander. Ice Age: Collision Course, will bring back all the popular characters of the prior films. The series has dropped in popularity domestically, with Continental Drift, released in 2012, grossing about $35 million less than the 2009 released Dawn of the Dinosaurs ($196 million). However, the series has done immensely well overseas, growing in domestic/overseas split with each film (54%, 70.4%, 77.8%, 81.6%).

Two films that could bring home best picture nominations at next year’s Oscars are Snowden and Sully. Both films are based on real life events, with Sully showcasing the “miracle on the Hudson”, which saved hundreds of lives by landing the US Airways 1549, after it had hit a pack of geese. Captain Sully will be played by Tom Hanks. The film will release on September 9. Snowden discusses the life of Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who revealed what was considered classified information of the NSA. Snowden will be played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and will release at the very end of summer on September 16.

Lastly, The Legend of Tarzan will be released on July 1. It will release on a busy weekend with The Purge and The BFG releasing as well. With the success of The Jungle Book and the 3D aspect of the film, there is hope that it opens the door to new viewers for Tarzan. Tarzan will star Alexander Skarsgard and the very successful Margot Robbie. However, the film has received less than stellar reviews and according to, it is predicted to open to $23 million and earn a total of $50 million domestically. With an $180 million budget, the film could very well be a box office bomb.

Finding Dory (Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Walt Disney Studios, June 17)  Image Credit: Disney/Pixar

Domestic Opening Weekend: $135,060,273 Current Domestic Box Office: $479,602,645

Current Worldwide Box Office: $929,102,645

Opening this past week, Finding Dory already has the record for biggest domestic opening weekend for an animated film beating out Shrek The Third, $136 million to $121 million. In just about a week it has grossed about $433 million worldwide, with the final release date coming in September in Germany, where the first film, Finding Nemo, grossed about $54 million in 2003. While father-son fish duo Nemo, voiced by Hayden Rolence, and Marlin, voiced by Albert Brooks, return to the animated film, the sequel tells the story of Marlin’s friend Dory, voiced by Ellen DeGeneres. Dory, who typically has a very short memory, was able to remember her parents. With Nemo and Marlin’s help, they go search for her family.

Independence Day: Resurgence (Liam Hemsworth, Jeff Goldblum, 20th Century Fox, June 24) Image Credit: Fox

Domestic Opening Weekend: $41,039,944 Current Domestic Box Office: $102,871,487

Current Worldwide Box Office: $382,330,300

Set 20 years after the original, Independence Day: Resurgence, will leave Will Smith behind and casts Liam Hemsworth as it’s main star. Returning to the franchise will be Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as David Levinson, MIT-educated computer expert. The humans reverse engineered the extra-terrestrial technology that was left here, slowly growing as a race. However, throughout those 20 years, so have the aliens. The film will be directed by king of the disaster movies, Roland Emmerich, who directed the first Independence Day. As of this writing, the film has underperformed from its expectations, grossing about $144 million worldwide.

The BFG (Mark Rylance, Ruby Barnhill, Walt Disney Studios, July 1) Image Credit: Disney

Domestic Opening Weekend: $18,775,350 Current Domestic Box Office: $54,296,619

Current Worldwide Box Office: $153,635,092

While Disney Studios has been on a role this year, taking part in creating three of the top box office films of the year, the BFG will be a mystery when it comes to the box office. The story is based on the 1982 book about a girl named Sophie, played by 12-year old Ruby Barnhill, who lives in an orphanage. Throughout her stay there she meets the Big Friendly Giant (BFG), voiced by the Academy Awards winner Mark Rylance, who takes her to his land of Giant Country. The hybrid live action and animated film will be directed by legend, Steven Spielberg, in his first directorial work since Bridge of Spies. Once expected to debut with a large box office, the projected opening has decreased a bit.

The Purge: Election Year (Elizabeth Mitchell, Frank Grillo, Universal Studios, July 1) Image Credit: Universal

Domestic Opening Weekend: $31,515,110 Current Domestic Box Office: $79,042,440

Current Worldwide Box Office: $105,642,440

The third film in the Purge series will bring the story of Senator Charlie Roan, played by former Lost star Elizabeth Mitchell, who wants to take a stand against the purge and those in support of it. The purge grants legality to all crime, allowing everyone to essentially commit any crime they choose to, with the idea that it will reduce overall yearly crime. While the feasibility of this is questionable, the film premise makes for an interesting thriller at the very least. Frank Grillo will also return to reprise his role as the sergeant

The Secret Life of Pets (Louis C.K., Kevin Hart, Universal Pictures, July 8) Image Credit: Universal

Domestic Opening Weekend: $103,170,000  Current Domestic Box Office: $353,221,005

Current Worldwide Box Office: $724,421,005

With the series of successful animated films recently, from Zootopia, earlier this year, to Finding Dory the last few weeks, The Secret Life of Pets can definitely be the next in line. The movie, with characters voiced by Kevin Hart, Louis C.K., Lake Bell, Albert Brooks, Jenny Slate, among many other talented actors, has already made $14 million at the box office in the United Kingdom. With a relatively small budget of $75 million, and no new animated film for two weeks until Ice Age: Collision Course on July 22, look for this film to gain, at the very least, some moderate success.

Ghostbusters (Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Columbia Pictures, July 15) Image Credit: Sony

Domestic Opening Weekend: $46,000,000  Current Domestic Box Office: $124,952,621

Current Worldwide Box Office: $217,452,621

This complete reboot of the Ghostbusters franchise has been the cause of controversy during the last few months. For many, the idea of an all-female cast was, for some reason, off-putting, while others feel that rebooting the film would hurt the franchise’s legacy. Regardless of the reasons, the film has received its fair amount of hate, even amounting the most dislikes on a movie trailer in Youtube history. With its estimated $150 million budget, its projected domestic $40-50 million opening will definitely be a start in the right direction.

Star Trek Beyond (Chris Pine, Zoe Saldana, Zachary Pinto, Paramount Pictures, July 22) Image Credit: Paramount

Domestic Opening Weekend: $59,600,000 Current Domestic Box Office: $150,870,049

Current Worldwide Box Office: $242,970,049

Beyond will be the third in the rebooted Star Trek series. After experiencing an unexpected attack, the crew finds themselves on an unknown planet. Directed by Justin Lin, director of the prior two Fast and the Furious films, the flick will surely have a faster paced feel. The film brings back Zoe Saldana, Chris Pine, Zachary Pinto, Idris Elba, John Cho, and Anton Yelchin. Unfortunately, with the tragic passing of Anton Yelchin this month, press for the film has been hampered. Just last week Paramount canceled the press event for the Cannes Lions International Film Festival, out of respect for the family of Yelchin and the cast as well. Whether the lack of promotion will affect the box office earnings is still to be determined.

Suicide Squad (Margot Robbie, Will Smith, Jared Leto, Warner Bros. Pictures, August 5) Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Domestic Opening Weekend: $133,682,248 Current Domestic Box Office: $282,882,627

Current Worldwide Box Office: $635,982,627

One of the most awaited films of the summer. This anti-hero film tells the story of a group of criminals who are recruited to “stop the bad guys”. Suicide Squad will star Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn, Will Smith as Deadshot, and Viola Davis as Amanda Waller, while also featuring new Joker, Jared Leto. Warner Bros. will hope to recover the DC Universe’s momentum that was, for the most part, lost by Batman V Superman. Set to release toward the end of August, it will try to receive the same amount of hype and box office success as Guardians of the Galaxy, a film that released about the same time with little competition. Similarly, it stars a ragtag group of imprisoned characters set out to do good.

Sausage Party (Seth Rogen, Kristin Wiig, Jonah Hill, Columbia Pictures, August 12) Image Credit: Columbia

Domestic Opening Weekend: $34,263,534 Current Domestic Box Office: $80,008,510

Current Worldwide Box Office: $88,708,510

Sausage Party will be an animated film written by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen. By this detail alone, we can already tell this is in no way a children’s animated film. The star of the film is Frank the Sausage, voiced by Seth Rogen and will discuss his realization that he is simply a piece of food. The film features an all-star cast, with such stars as James Franco, Kristen Wiig, Paul Rudd, Salma Hayek, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Danny McBride, Michael Cera, and Craig Robinson, among many others, who will voice Seth Rogen’s other food-related friend’s.

War Dogs (Jonah Hill, Miles Teller, Warner Bros. Pictures, August 12) Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Domestic Opening Weekend: $14,685,305 Current Domestic Box Office: $27,757,687

Current Worldwide Box Office: $42,657,687

War Dogs will star Jonah Hill and Miles Teller and will tell the true story of Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz. Diveroli and Packouz received a contract of $300 million by the Pentagon to arm American allies in Afghanistan, winning out over several successful agencies. The premise is serious, however, the film will be a comedy, as is seen by the parody of the Scarface poster for the official movie poster. The drama/comedy will be written and directed by Todd Phillips, former director of The Hangover.

External Links



Wikipedia (2016 in Film)

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay

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