Hollywood is ready to make 2015 a record year for the movie industry. With 35 major blockbuster films already projected to bring in an estimated $6.6 billion, 2015 is shaping up to be the biggest on record.
Here’s a look at the films that will not only dominate 2015 but, if entertainment analysts are correct, will establish themselves in Hollywood’s blockbuster Hall of Fame.
It’s Reigning Sequels
Studios are banking on mega-franchises like the Avengers, Star Wars and James Bond to help break box office records* but those aren’t the only franchises returning to theaters in 2015, here’s a full list and why they’re expecting to rock the house:
Opens: January 9
Projected Box Office: $45-52 million
Liam Neeson returns as the ex-covert operative/family man on a rampage with a “particular set of skills” that make bad guys all over the world cringe in fear. The first two “Taken” films not only exceeded box office expectations but blew them out of the water. So naturally, the third film follows the formula of the original two.
Opens: June 12
Projected Box Office: $95+ million
Starring Chris Pratt (the Millennial Generation’s Harrison Ford), Jurassic World is another long-awaited sequel. The movie features all your favorite dinosaurs, scientist-created hybrids and – oooooh – pre-historic sea creatures. The Jurassic World trailer is already wowing online audiences and considering that every film in the “Jurassic Park” franchise opened at number one (and pulled down a collective $813 million), expect Jurassic World to be…massive.
The Avengers: Age of Ultron
Opens: May 1
Projected Box Office: $185+ million
Once again the fate of Earth hangs in the balance as Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), the Incredible Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), Thor (Chris Helmsworth) and Captain America (Chris Evans) take on the evil Ultron.
Make no mistake: Marvel super heroes are red-hot and these heroes rule the box office. Need more proof? Then check out the second Avengers: Age of Ultron trailer it’s made us hungry for Marvel super hero action! It’s expected to blow down Furious 7 with analyst calling for a $200 million plus opening weekend.
Opens: November 6
Projected Box Office: $200+ million
Skyfall was the highest grossing Bond film of all time, bringing in $304 million, the latest installment of 007’s adventures features new Bond car chases through Rome and returns Daniel Craig for a fourth time to the role he now owns. The cast also includes Oscar-winner Christoph Waltz (Django Unchained), who may be a new Bond villain.
Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Opens: December 18
Projected Box Office: $300-? million
The first new “Star Wars” film in ten years will also be the first “Star Wars” film to be released in IMAX 3D. If that’s not enough to tempt you, the film also marks the long-awaited return of Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill), Han Solo (Harrison Ford) and Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) to the silver screen…and audiences to a galaxy far, far away.
The film has already been blessed by George Lucas, is being directed by J.J. Abrams, and with no Jar-Jar in sight, it’s on track to become the highest grossing film of all time. Yes, the force is strong in this one. For those keeping track, Star Wars: Episode I (as of this writing) ranks as the fifth highest grossing film of all time, taking in $475 million.
Mission Impossible 5 (December 25)
Projected Box Office: $130+ million
Tom Cruise and Jeremy Renner return for their roles in a fifth installment of the popular action-thriller franchise. Helmed by Christopher McQuarrie, who also directed Cruise in Jack Reacher, MI 5 is expected to add nicely to the combined MI domestic franchise gross of $740 million.
Fast & Furious 7 (April 3)
Projected Box Office: $95-115 million
With a star-studded action-flick cast (Dwayne Johnson, Vin Diesel, Jason Stratham and Kurt Russell) and a tribute to the late Paul Walker, FF7 is expected to zoom to the number-one slot during its opening weekend and take in a tidy sum.
Update! Furious 7 sped to the top of the box office. It was the fastest film to reach 1 billion dollars globally, and did it in just two weeks of release.
Hot Tub Time Machine 2 (February 20)
Projected Box Office: $35+ million
Small comedies might not seem to do much to drive the Hollywood engine but in reality, movies like The Hangover and Hot Tub Time Machine are cheap to make and significantly add to Hollywood’s bottom line. The original HTTM grossed more than $50 mil and with the sequel featuring a great returning cast (including Chevy Chase as the hot tub repairman), HTTM 2 is set to be a winner.
Minions (July 10)
Projected Box Office: $80-95 million
Based on the licensed goods and Halloween costumes, audiences still have a hefty appetite for the minions. And that’s why those yellow one-eyed walking Twinkies of Despicable Me fame are returning to the theater in their first starring feature. The movie introduces Kevin, Stuart & Bob, who go on a quest to find a master.
Terminator: Genisys (July 1)
Projected Box Office: $28-40 million
The red-eyed metal machines return in what’s technically not a sequel but a re-boot of the franchise. And yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the T-800. While fans haven’t warmed to the plot or the Terminator: Genisys official trailer, which cast Schwarzenegger as a father figure who protects Sarah Connor, the film is still expected to bring in the bling.
Other Films of 2015
Even with some of the biggest film franchises of all time returning to the big screen this year, there are still a few other films that are also expected to beef up 2015’s box office take. These films, like Goosebumps have franchise potential. While others, like Peanuts are based on franchises or themes we already know.
The Peanuts Movie (November 6)
Projected Box Office: $65+ million
Blue Sky Studios brings the classic Peanuts characters to the big screen…in 3D, no less.
Goosebumps (August 7)
Projected Box Office: $100 million
Jack Black stars as R.L. Stine, the author of a series of scary children’s stories. The book rights have been kicking around Hollywood since the late 80s (Tim Burton was originally on board to produce and possibly direct), and many in Hollywood see this having a Harry Potter-like franchise potential.
Chappie (March 6)
Projected Box Office: $80 million
Neill Blomkamp, the man that brought us District 9 and the futuristic triller Elysium, brings us the tale of a robot who is being raised as a real boy. Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Dev Patel star.
Ant-Man (July 17)
Projected Box Office: $75+ million
Paul Rudd stars as Ant-Man, a new Marvel superhero franchise that is expected to see some spillover into the Avengers franchise as heroes are cycled in and out of the A team, just like in the comic books.
Tomorrowland (May 22)
Projected Box Office: $75+ million
Never heard of this film? Don’t worry, you will. Director Brad Bird turned down Star Wars: Episode VII to direct this movie. It stars George Clooney and is based (as the name implies) on a futuristic Disney land. Hugh Laurie also stars.
Be a Part of the Movies
Want to be part of the Hollywood excitement? Become a filmmaker and learn the art of cinematic storytelling or park yourself in a theater for 2015. Either way you’re guaranteed to enjoy an awesome, mind-blowing experience.
*Estimated box office for North America only.