Every year, summer blockbusters get all the hype. But what people don’t realize is that the better crop of films is harvested when the leaves start to turn color.
Fall is when studios push out their better quality blockbusters, positioning them to not only make some serious coin, but also to make a run at a certain golden statue named Oscar. Summer 2016 was a bit lackluster when it came to cinema, but the September-to-December offerings should renew our love for film with some well-told stories.
No matter where your cinephilia tastes take you, there is something for everyone this season (yes, even for the people who have that easy to please superhero fetish). But no matter the quality or your preference, the name of the game is to make money.
We can’t really compare the fall slate with the blockbusters of the spring and summer when it comes to total 2016 box office numbers. The fall movies only have three months or so to work with. But some of them will still make a serious monetary impact before the calendar flips over to 2017.
Here are my odds on the top ten films that will make the most bank this fall, worldwide (September 1 to November 31) because, you know, studios like Disney haven’t made enough this year yet.
Fall 2016 Box Office Odds
Doctor Strange: 2/3
Release Date: November 4
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $600 million
No wizardry needed here. It’s pretty easy to predict that this little flick will be one of the highest-grossing films of the year and will only need a couple of months to rake in the dough. This highly anticipated Marvel adaptation stars Benedict Cumberbatch and is about a neurosurgeon who loses his ability to use his hands. While looking for a cure, a sorcerer teaches him the mystical arts so that he can defend the world against evil and make a boat load of cash at movie theaters.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: 1/1
Release Date: November 18
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $550 million worldwide
This fall it’ll be wizard vs. wizard for box office supremacy. Currently, this sits at #2 but we really should see it as #1b because it’s a toss-up between Doctor Strange and this Harry Potter spin-off. Usually, Marvel does well worldwide but anything that’s attached to J.K. Rowling will hold its own. For now, it sits at #2 due to it getting a bit of a later start than Strange.
Release Date: November 23
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $400 million
Disney has probably had the biggest year in cinematic history when it comes to how much money it has taken from our wallets this year. I guess that happens when you own everything! It already struck gold with the surprise hit Zootopia; now they give us another original story called Moana. Quality animated films usually do very well globally but when you attach Disney and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to it, you might as well get the armored trucks ready.
The Magnificent Seven: 3/1
Release Date: September 23
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $300 million
This is the dark horse on this list. It was kind of funny to see how many people were pissed off that they made a remake of The Magnificent Seven, not knowing that the original 1960 version was actually a remake of Akira Kurosawa’s 1954 classic Seven Samurai. Regardless, this film has two of Hollywood’s most bankable stars in Denzel Washington and Chris Pratt.
This movie could go either way, monetarily. It will be dependent on the early reviews. But it’s rare that a Denzel film doesn’t make a good return. With a September release, this could do even better than my somewhat conservative prediction. Giddyup!
The Girl on the Train: 10/1
Release Date: October 7
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $280 million
I’m predicting this will be a surprise hit, but maybe “surprise” isn’t really the right word. The book was #1 on the New York Times Best Seller list and could be the next Gone Girl. This will do better than most expect and might even challenge The Magnificent Seven.
Release Date: October 28
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $195 million
Some will wonder why this is so low on the list; it’s another Dan Brown adaptation, after all, the same author who gave us the bestselling novels The Da Vinci Code and Angels & Demons. That’s a license to print money, right?
I don’t think there is a big enough fanbase to put this near the top. It will probably still do well, but it depends on whether people remember how bad 2009’s adaptation of Angels & Demons was. Maybe I’m missing the signs here.
The Accountant: 16/1
Release Date: October 14
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $170,000
Ben Affleck gets out of the Batman costume and enters the exciting world of accounting. The title doesn’t sell the film, but when you add the intrigue of organized crime, cooking the books, and missing money, you have a film that will be in the black. This looks like a great flick, but the studio would have to do some serious creative accounting to get inside the top-five of box office money makers this fall.
Jack Reacher: Never Go Back: 16/1
Release Date: October 21
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $160 million
Tom Cruise. Enough said. He’s a worldwide star and the first Jack Reacher film did reasonably well internationally and got pretty good reviews. Most of the money (about 60-percent) will be made in places like China and Japan. It might not sneak into the top-five but will still have a good showing.
Blair Witch: 20/1
Release Date: September 16
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $130 million
This sequel to The Blair Witch Project (we’ll pretend Book of Shadows didn’t happen) could do monster cash. There has been a real horror renaissance the last couple of years, and a lot of the films are showing off how much money they can make on smaller budgets. It doesn’t take much to scare the pants off people, and I’m projecting that Witch will make its money back and then some.
Release Date: September 9
Worldwide Box Office Prediction: $120 million
People love true stories, especially ones that involve miraculous feats. Sully got pretty good reviews and Tom Hanks is still a big-time box office draw. With the Oscar buzz going for Hanks on this one, it could fly its way to the $100 million mark. I don’t see it landing on anything more than that, though.
Outside looking in (for now?)
Hacksaw Ridge ($90 million)
Arrival ($85 million)
Snowden ($70 million)
The Founder ($58 million)
Bad Santa 2 ($35 million)
Feature photo courtesy of Disney Pictures