Biggest Movies of the Summer: Box Office Betting Props with Expert Predictions
We don't always have to talk about football, baseball, basketball, and horse racing. But we do have to talk about betting all the time - what else is there worth talking about? When there is no game worth watching, we can always go to a movie. And with the peak summer movie season starting to get rolling, we can bet on which summer movie is going to have the biggest box office on the opening weekend - including both domestic and global totals. There is a clear favorite and a bunch of serious contenders. Let's look at the odds at BetOnline to see how the race shapes up and what looks interesting - at least until the next game starts:
The Lion King (-125): For the life of me, I can't figure out why this is necessary. It's going to look great, and it's a great story and all. But the original was a true classic, and this is reportedly pretty much a frame-by-frame remake. The ongoing trend of remaking old material - instead of just watching the original - is a mystery. But I'll still see it, so I guess I'm part of the problem. And I won't be alone - this thing is going to be huge. The Hollywood Stock Exchange, a site on which people can invest fake money in movies as if they are stocks with prices based on anticipated box office opening totals, has this is the clear choice to win the summer. And with Beyonce and her golden touch involved, it will be tough to beat. The timing is good, too. It opens a full two weeks after the nearest mega-movie in Spider-Man, so there will be plenty of box office money looking to be spent. Expectations are for this movie to make somewhere above $700 million domestically, which means it would open well over $200 million here. That's going to be very tough to beat - unless Star Wars suddenly gets released early or there's a secret Avengers movie that will be sprung on us. Justified favorite. Very justified.
Spider-Man: Far From Home (+400): This movie has enough continuation from the Avengers that the latest trailer had a spoiler alert at the start. That could help the movie - or there could be a hangover effect, as if people feel like they got close from Endgame and need a Marvel break. The problem here, though, is that even if it matched the last Spider-Man - Homecoming did $334.2 million in the U.S. and Canada over its release, including $117 million on opening weekend - it would fall well short of where The Lion King is likely to wind up.
Toy Story 4 (+500): Toy Story 3 made $415 million North America, which was more than the first two movies combined. It opened for $100 million. That was in 2010, so inflation alone will make sure that this does better. But nine years means that the equations of interest and nostalgia for this one have shifted. The Lion King will be solidly north of $700 million. It's a stretch for me to believe that Toy Story 4 can threaten that.
Fast and Furious Presents Hobbs and Shaw (+800): This movie looks like fun from the previews, but this is a sucker's bet. This is a spinoff of the Fast and Furious franchise, and it feels rare for a spinoff to eclipse the source. The last two Furious movies made $353 million and $226 million. Those totals combined almost certainly would not be enough to touch Simba and his buddies. Furious 7 did have the 10th biggest global opening of all time, but the death of Paul Walker halfway through filming added a morbid boost to the film. This movie will do well, but not nearly well enough.
Rocketman (+1200): Bohemian Rhapsody was a surprising success - and a truly horrifying winner of Best Actor at the Oscars. It wasn't a good movie - in fact, I thought it was awful. But it obviously itched a scratch that moviegoers had. And the powers that be clearly hope that the story of Elton John will do the same. But the truth is that it could double what Bohemian Rhapsody did opening weekend and not be even remotely competitive - and it's not going to do that. Bohemian Rhapsody opened for $63 million globally. Plus, this movie also opens the same weekend as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, so competition will be tough. This is a terrible price.
Dark Phoenix (+1400): This is confusing if you aren't an X-Men follower. This is apparently the finale of the main X-Men series of films. It's a sequel to X-Men: Apocalypse from 2016 and is also a sort of a remake of 2006's X-Men: The Last Stand, which was easily the worst of the X-Men movies. Being a finale will help, but Apocalypse only opened for $65 million domestically. Logan, the brilliant X-Men offshoot from 2017, was more successful, but it only made $88 million in North America. The X-Men just don't have nearly the box office might to challenge a lion civil war.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (+1400): This is going to be a great movie. I have few doubts. But it is a likely R rated historical serial killer flick from Quentin Tarantino. There is serious star power, but this is not the type of movie that will open nearly big enough - especially internationally - to be a threat here.
Read more articles by Trevor Whenham
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