Grading My 2015 Bold Predictions

goldcoinsGabbingGeek.com was only a few weeks old when I wrote about my bold predictions for 2015 movies.   Now that we know the rankings for the year, it’s time to judge those bold predictions.  Jump after the break to find out why I hate Jurassic World even more.

In my original column I predicted the year’s top ten domestic grossing films and nine more that wouldn’t make the top ten but I was interested in.  Let’s first see how those nine that didn’t make my predicted top ten fared:

Poltergeist

Predicted Gross: ~$150M  Actual Gross: $47M

On paper, Poltergeist looked to be a much better film in January.  But as the May release date approached there was a complete lack of marketing for the film.  I saw a total of one billboard and no other press for the movie–and that billboard was really cheap on the long stretch of highway between Dallas and Waco.  I guess the early reviews and buzz sent this one into a tailspin of mediocrity–I didn’t even see it and I liked the original films.  Glad I didn’t include in the top 10, but as for a prediction, this is a Total Fail.

San Andreas

Predicted Gross: mid $100s  Actual Gross: $155M

The number 19 movie of the year performed as expected.  What I didn’t expect was how uncomfortable this movie made me.  With other disaster movies there was an amount of intellectual separation I could make–we don’t have aliens blowing up buildings in real life or volcanoes erupting in the middle of Los Angeles.  But earthquakes are real and I’ve lived through a big one–so this movie felt very difficult to watch.  I’m not sure if that impacted other people like me and kept it from crossing the $200M mark, but I’m happy we won’t see a sequel.  We won’t see a sequel, will we?  I’ll grade this prediction Nailed It.

Hateful Eight

Predicted Gross: mid $100s  Actual Gross: $30M to date, likely $80Mish by the time it’s done

This one is still fresh in the theaters but it’s had one limited weekend and one wide weekend and judging from the numbers I think it’s likely to finish in the $80s although it could reach $100M with some good luck (and if people don’t want to see Leo get bear-mauled this weekend).  I’m disappointed this didn’t perform as strongly as Django, but that’s what makes Tarantino so interesting to watch–you can’t really predict what will happen in or with his movies.  This prediction was Mostly Off.

Pan

Predicted Gross:  under $200M Actual Gross: $35M

Technically, Pan did gross under $200M.  But this movie didn’t even make the top 50 of the year and I was expecting a number much higher than its final $35M take.  Back in January, this was poised to be a big summer movie.  Trouble was in the air when it got moved to fall and then the reviews came in at a whopping sub-30% RT.  This was a huge flop, and a Total Fail.

Terminator: Genisys

Predicted Gross: high $100s Actual Gross: $90M

The number 31 film of the year still surprises me at how poorly it did.  Despite having numbers similar to Abrams’ Star Trek reboot, the press was all about how disappointing the movie fared at theaters and with critics (currently sitting on a rotten 25% RT).  Jimmy and I liked it, though.  And the overseas numbers might be enough to get us another movie.  I’m still not sure what people who saw the first 3 or 4 Terminator films were expecting to make this a disappointment–I think the film is exactly in line with the series but actually took some surprising turns that worked for the story.  This might be my most underrated film of the year (at least, according to everyone else’s ratings).  Another Total Fail.

Pitch Perfect 2

Predicted Gross: ~$130M Actual Gross: $184M

Aca-awesome performance for this sequel brought it to 12 for the year and ensured we will get at least one more sequel.  I thought the movie was inferior to the original in just about every aspect, but was still a lot of fun.  I grade the prediction a Close But No Cigar.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Predicted Gross: over $100M  Actual Gross: $154M

The number 20 film of the year was a total surprise.  Not in terms of performance but in terms of how great this movie was.  Not good–GREAT!  Award season is fast approaching and did we ever think the fourth Mad Max film would be in contention for some serious Oscar love?  I cannot wait to see what happens with this series now.  My prediction is a very happy Close But No Cigar.

Fifty Shades of Grey

Predicted Gross: slightly over $100M  Actual Gross: $166M

Sure, my prediction was Mostly Off, but I want to keep hoping we live in a world where this did less box office.

Jurassic World

Predicted Gross: not top 10 and disappointing story  Actual Gross: Top 10 but disappointing story

I knew this was a bold prediction saying it wouldn’t make the top ten and of course it turned its ugly jaws around and bit me in the behind.  But let me just quote this section from my prediction back in January of 2015:

Yes, it has dinosaurs.  Yes, it has Chris Pratt.  Yes, it has a prime opening date.  Yes, it has some super secret dinosaur we still haven’t seen and a monster shark-whale-Mobysaurus that ate a shark like a shrimp cocktail.  But the story seems to be the same thing we’ve seen in all the other films.

So in terms of story–Nailed It.  In terms of predicting whether the rest of the movie going public would be more discerning with dinosaur films than they are with transforming robot films, it was a Total Fail.  But as much as I failed the box office prediction, I say the movie going public failed us all by giving this movie way more money than it deserves.  When Jurassic World 2 comes out and it’s the same story–AGAIN–then nobody but me gets to say “Told you so.”

Those were the non-top ten predictions and while I may have been more off than on in terms of gross, with the exception of a certain lame dinosaur film, I was correct in saying eight of these nine films wouldn’t make the top ten.  But let’s see how I did with the actual top ten for the year.

2015 Top Ten Domestic Grossing Films
Rank Actual Ryan
1 Star Wars Episode VII ($750M and counting) Age of Ultron ($761M)
2 Jurassic World ($652M) Star Wars Episode VII ($620M)
3 Age of Ultron ($459M) Minions ($400M)
4 Inside Out ($356M) Mockingjay Part Two ($340M)
5 Furious 7 ($353M) Spectre ($311M)
6 Minions ($336M) Inside Out ($300M)
7 Mockingjay Part Two ($274M) Furious 7 ($265M)
8 The Martian ($225M) Tomorrowland ($250M)
9 Cinderella ($201M) Ant-Man ($230M)
10 Spectre ($197M) M:I 5 ($225M)

Overall, I’d give myself a Nice Try for the top ten rankings.  My top seven all landed in the top ten, although at different amounts.  My bottom three didn’t place in the top ten although two of them were close (Ant-Man placed 13 with $180M and M:I 5 placed 11 with $195M).  My predicted box office for what it would take to get the ranks weren’t all that off, I just missed which movies got those amounts–but thinking back to last January it wasn’t so off to say how the movies would be placed.  I’m glad to see Mockingjay placed lower because that wasn’t a great movie, and I’m very happy to see Furious 7 did even better than I expected since that was another great film.  The Martian came from nowhere and blew us all away–although filming started in November, 2014 it wasn’t on many radars in terms of the film.

Cinderella was also a shockingly good movie but I’m not sure anyone would have predicted its placement.  It hit at the right time and all the right notes.

Tomorrowland was just a bust.  A huge bust.  But remember how excited we were for that movie?  Yeah, me neither.  Sigh.

The top three were interesting–although I predicted a movie would break Avatar’s record for the US gross I thought that Age of Ultron would deliver the final blow and we would be a bit more reserved about Episode VII.  But Age of Ultron disappointed in terms of the movie while The Force Awakens blew us all away.  I’m fine having those two swap places.

I still refuse to acknowledge that dinosaur movie though.  Shame on all of you who gave them money.  (Yes, I saw it, but with a rain check ticket at the Drafthouse so they got NOTHING from me!)

How will 2016 fare in terms of predictions?  Check back later this week and I’ll let you know what I think about the year to come.

 

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Ryan Garcia

Father of two boys, husband, attorney for Dell (Social Media, Retail, Gaming), Broadway geek, comic book geek, science fiction geek, gadget geek.

3 thoughts on “Grading My 2015 Bold Predictions”

  1. I wasn’t really all that excited about that dinosaur movie and had no plans to give it money…but then you were ranting about how awful it was and that just made me think I had to see for myself, and even if it was just a pay-per-view at home, that would be the only reason I gave it money.

    So, really, it’s your fault.

    Liked by 1 person

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