Last year around this time, I wrote an article for Exeposé predicting what 2017 would hold for the cinema. Now, not to sound too self-congratulatory, but I got most of my predictions right, even down to The Emoji Movie being almost offensively terrible (yeah, who saw THAT coming?). So once again I shall attempt to gaze into the murky abyss that is the future, and offer some predictions for the upcoming cinematic year. Whilst I have devoted hours to researching past trends, production stories, box office figures and news articles in order to make my guesses as accurate as possible, this is a year where, already, vast numbers of people have been eating Tide Pods for fun, so honestly who even knows any more…
Boom, that’s a Billion!
Last year, four movies crossed the billion dollar mark – Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Beauty and the Beast, The Fate of the Furious, and Despicable Me 3. Thankfully those wacky yellow tic tacs do not have a movie out this year, so I can finally stop lamenting the godawful Minions. Instead, here are my predictions for the box office behemoths of the year:
Avengers: Infinity War – I mean, come on. This is the definition of an event movie. Infinity War marks the culmination of 17 inter-connected superhero movies, released over the course of a decade, that have cumulatively made $13.5 billion dollars. From Ant-Man to War Machine, all your favourite heroes are stuffed into this movie. This is a movie guaranteed to make over one billion dollars. I have never been more confident of something in my life. In fact, if this movie does not make one billion dollars or more I will eat my shoe. No, scratch that, I will eat all my shoes. No, actually, I will buy all the shoes that Clarks in Exeter have and I will eat every single shoe there. THAT is how confident I am.
Ready Player One – This dystopian movie has a lot going for it. Based off a popular and well received book? Tick. Steven Spielberg tackling an adventure movie? Tick. More 80s nostalgia than the lovechild of IT and Stranger Things? Tick. Billion dollar box office? Tentative tick.
The Incredibles II – 14 years after the best superhero movie ever made was released, (Yeah, I said it. Fight me.) the Parr family are back in this long-awaited Pixar sequel. Belated sequels clearly work for Pixar, with Toy Story 3, released 11 years after Toy Story 2, becoming the biggest box office smash of 2010, and the Finding Dory, released 13 years after Nemo, also crossing the billion dollar mark. (Please ignore the Cars franchise or it ruins my point). On a personal level I can guarantee I will be elbowing seven year olds out the way to see this film multiple times, so it may make a billion off the back of my repeat re-watches alone.*
*Hyperbole for the sake of humour: If you are bothered by this, you are a pedant.
Boom, that’s a Bomb!
You’ve seen the hits, here are the misses:
Death Wish – Hey, look, a film with Bruce Willis as the lead! I’m sure he’ll give a truly memorable and charismatic performance! Oh wait, this is the 21st Century and that has not happened outside of Looper, Unbreakable, and Sin City. And Over the Hedge, actually. Ah well, at least we’ll always have Die Hard…
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom – Right I know what you’re thinking and I agree, it’s not going to bomb. So why did I put it in this category? Because it is my article that’s why. But, in actuality, whilst I cannot see this film bombing, I reckon it will do considerably worse than its predecessor. 2015’s Jurassic World grossed $1.67 billion at the worldwide box office yet anyone who you talk to about that film today would give it a resounding ‘meh’ out of ten. People will see Fallen Kingdom it and it’ll do well, but nowhere near $1.67 billion well. Not even close.
Boom, Bore the Room!
Horrendous title aside, here are some movies I can see being on the lesser end of the quality spectrum this year:
Lara Croft – I really want this movie to be good, but the trailer made me do nothing but roll my eyes at the sheer volume of clichés. “If you’re listening to this then I must be dead” says a recorded message of her father on a handheld camcorder. He continues: “If Trinity succeeds, our world is in danger” and “The fate of humanity is now in your hands”. SHUT UP DEAD EXPOSITION DAD STOP SAYING VAGUELY DRAMATIC STATEMENTS THAT WE’VE HEARD IN EVERY ACTION MOVIE EVER MADE EVER.
Solo: A Star Wars Story – With the main Star Wars trilogy continuing the Skywalker saga, Disney also promised standalone anthology movies that would look at new parts of the universe. So, what exciting new adventures have we got? Well, they gave us a prequel to A New Hope in the shape of Rogue One. There’s also talk of a Boba Fett prequel. And an Obi Wan prequel. Yup, new parts of the universe indeed. With the…questionable…quality of Episodes I-III, you would have thought prequel would be a dirty word but no, full steam ahead on prequels it seems. This year’s prequel chronicles the tales of a young Han Solo, played by Alden Ehrenreich, who Disney reportedly hired an acting coach for during filming. Oh, and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired several months into filming, with Ron Howard hastily taking up the mantle to fix the movie in time for the May release. Oh, and as of writing (1st February) the film has absolutely no promotional material out apart from one basic text poster. Worrying, seeing as it comes out in three and a bit months. All in all I’ve got a bad feeling about this…
- This will be the year where you constantly hear the phrase: “Wait, didn’t that already come out?”. This year we have Taron Egerton starring as Robin Hood in Robin Hood, eight years after Russell Crowe starred as Robin Hood in Robin Hood, Andy Serkis’ Mowgli being released a mere two years after Disney’s The Jungle Book was in cinemas, and Christopher Robin coming out despite a film that sounds like its sequel – Goodbye, Christopher Robin – being released just last year. There’s rehashing ideas and then there’s this. Mama Mia 2 is subtitled ‘Here We Go Again’ and if that defeated-sounding subtitle couldn’t be used to describe this whole year in cinema then I don’t know what can
- Oceans Eight, like Ghostbusters before it, will undoubtedly create a Twitter storm as certain individuals find it absolutely inconceivable that a beloved cast of men should be replaced by women. I mean, it is a fair point. We allow a female cast for an Oceans movie and what next? Female lawyers? Female Prime Ministers? Female women?! Where will the insanity end? In spite of all this, the movie will be competent, if vaguely forgettable
- Mel B from the Spice Girls is cameoing in an animated film vaguely based on Blazing Saddles except it stars Michael Cera in the lead role as a cat who wants to be a samurai. This is not a prediction, I just really wanted you to know.
- Sony’s Venom movie will be good but will be overshadowed by what it means for the future of Spiderman films. You see, Marvel has the rights to Spiderman insofar as they get to make Spiderman movies and have him in the Avengers and the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe, but Sony still retains certain Spiderman characters, such as Venom. Hence Venom is kicking off Sony’s Marvel Universe, which is a linked universe of Marvel characters Sony owns the rights to. However, this universe will also share a universe with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, meaning Spiderman may potentially cross over into the Sony Marvel Universe. Clear? I thought not. See what I mean about the politics overshadowing the actual movie…