Our Box Office Forecast: Box Office Predictions for 2022

The Batman. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Thor: Love and Thunder. Avatar 2. An incredible variety of entertainment will be hitting the screens in 2022, there is something for everyone to enjoy. When it comes to the visual medium, there is something that feels truly special and unifying about the year 2022 – however, the last two years have proven the unpredictability of these things. Despite this, there is more value in being positive about what is to come. There will be plenty of bangers released each month in 2022 and the film industry will be taking another step towards recovery – particularly the box office. 

The box office took an unprecedented hit in 2020 following the Covid-19 pandemic and 2021 has seen a rise in the box office, but there is still a lot of ground to cover. You’ll note that I did a box office forecast for the latter half of 2021 and despite the high level of unpredictability in today’s box office market, my predictions were close to the current results. The box office market is recovering much more quickly than expected, I just know that my box office predictions for Spider-Man: No Way Home are too low. We are still a long way to go to get to pre-pandemic standards at the box office and 2022 has positioned itself perfectly to provide the amount of blockbuster entertainment to assist in that process. 

Let’s take a deep dive into the biggest films that 2022 has to offer:

Morbius

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $45 million

Total: $115 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $330 million

Some part of me wants to predict modish predictions towards this film but Sony has taken Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage to box office surprises. I doubt there is little chance that Morbius reaches the heights of the Venom franchise as Tom Hardy is a far more bankable star than Jared Leto is. Morbius already seems to have a similar formula of marketing that the Venom films did and Sony might be able to market this film in a way to draw audiences in. Also factor in the multiverse references for the film that suggests the film has a connection to the Venom films or the MCU itself.

Uncharted

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $40 million

Total: $95 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $280 million

Releasing quite early in 2022 and thus, will be feeling the Covid-19 effects more strongly than movies releasing at a later date. Keeping this in mind while knowing that video game films don’t traditionally perform strongly at this box office, we don’t have high hopes for this flick to perform above expectations. Tom Holland will be coming off Spider-Man: No Way Home – which will break all post-pandemic box office records – this momentum from one of the biggest stars in Hollywood will certainly help Uncharted’s case.

The Batman

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $130 million

Total: $380 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1 billion

Yeah, I truly believe in this film. Call me naive or call it false hope but I seriously believe in this film. It is going to be THAT FILM that completely brings people together and drives them to the cinema. There is a strong sign in the air that this film is going to be what everyone hopes it will be and more. Truly great Batman films have gone on to have lengthy runs at the box office and deliver strong global results. If Batman was a global icon then you could have an even greater worldwide result but it isn’t as much outside of North America. This film is going to be great – whatever it opens at, expect it to have legs similar to The Dark Knight and Joker.

Turning Red

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $75 million

Total: $220 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $600 million

Pixar films haven’t been at the cinema since Onward had its release limited due to the pandemic hitting the Box Office so it is tough to gauge where this one will truly be at. Also, considering that this is an original film by Pixar rather than an uninspired idea based on their existing IPs (Lightyear, I’m looking at you). Pixar has historically performed extremely well at the box office either having an extremely high opening and having moderate drops or opening modestly with an extremely leggy run. Encanto’s performance at the box office will help give us an idea of how family-driven films will demonstrate in this new box office era. Either way, I can’t (yet!) bank against Pixar, time will tell if their reputation is still as valuable as it once was.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $50 million

Total: $135 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $500 million

The Fantastic Beasts franchise which has failed to capture the magic or the imagination of its audiences but whatever, this is about box office. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them had a global tally of $814 million and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald had a global tally of $654 million – a major drop for one of the most popular franchises in history. There is a ton of controversy surrounding this film from Johnny Depp’s recasting to J.K Rowling’s recent comments. I am completely certain this film takes the Harry Potter franchise to a new box office low and I think that’ll be the time Warner Bros waves the white flag for this failed franchise start-up. 

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $170 million

Total: $400 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1.25 billion

Spider-Man: No Way Home hasn’t even released yet but I can tell you that it will easily be the highest grossing film of 2021 and likely the first billion dollar film since the pandemic. That movie directly ties in with this film and will have a ton of momentum going into it including the titular hero being present in No Way Home. There is a ton of speculation in the air and reliable insiders have certainly made this film sound crazier than the multiverse possibilities in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Doctor Strange wasn’t an MCU darling by any means but the MCU has come a long way since with Avenger: Infinity War showing just how powerful Doctor Strange is. Also, Sam Raimi returns to the superhero genre and the film will likely have horror elements – only boasting its potential performance. How crazy does this film push the multiverse possibilities? Whatever the answer, the box office performance should reflect this. 

Top Gun: Maverick

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $85 million

Total: $230 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $600 million

Holding the title of Dad film of the year (I’m kidding.. mostly!) meaning that should translate to a strong box office performance. There will likely be a marketing fatigue lingering for this film as I have seen the ‘Coming 2020’ trailer countless times in a cinema but it should still generate solid interest. Tom Cruise is a bona-fide Hollywood star and has a reputation of drawing strong interest to his action films. Top Gun itself has a dedicated fan base which has been waiting 36 years for a sequel. Paramount obviously have faith that there is strong box office potential in this film that many delays are justified in order to put the long-awaited sequel in the best possible situation to succeed. 

John Wick Chapter 4

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $60 million

Total: $185 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $365 million

The John Wick franchise continues to ascend as it embeds itself deeper in pop culture. Each John Wick has performed better than the previous one – almost doubling with each outing. However, we now live in a world with a pandemic so room for growth for sequels have decreased for the time being. We still have faith that the John Wick franchise will grow and this will have the best performance but considering the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and the shared release date with Top Gun: Maverick, don’t expect much of an increase over John Wick: Parabellum

Jurassic World: Dominion

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $190 million 

Total: $470 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1.2 billion

The Jurassic World franchise hasn’t been highly acclaimed or even well-liked by audiences – particularly Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. If these films have taught me anything, it’s that good or bad, they will make a ton of money and like Transformers, quality has little impact on their success. While we saw Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom earn less than Jurassic World, it still generated a hefty $1.3 billion global tally. Now with Jurassic World: Dominion teasing the Dinosaurs of the Island and the original cast members returning, we expect big money yet again for this massive franchise. 

Lightyear

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $120 million 

Total: $300 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $800 million

Toy Story 3 was essentially the perfect ending to the franchise, there are no other words to truly define that. Toy Story 4 raised skepticism in us and somehow, someway, managed to truly pull it off. Both of these films made over a billion dollars so naturally, Pixar now wants to exploit their biggest franchise for a Buzz Lightyear spin-off. It is unlikely to make Toy Story money but the Buzz Lightyear character is an extremely popular one and Chris Evans voicing him will only ensure that once again, audiences turn up for it. That is, until Minions: Rise of Gru takes its audience. 

Minions: Rise of Gru

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $100 million 

Total: $230 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $790 million

It pains me to say that Minions made over $1.1 billion at the box office but hey, that’s the reality we live in. I am certain that this sequel will not come close to that figure and am crossing my fingers for this one. However, it is important to note that this still will make an undeserving amount of money. For a film that is essentially just a bunch of yellow henchman speaking nonsensical gibberish, it is admittedly impressive that Illumination Entertainment has created such a money-making machine. 

Thor: Love and Thunder

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $165 million

Total: $385 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1.05 billion

The Thor series traditionally has not been a major box office draw with the MCU despite him being a ‘founding’ character for the Avengers and one of the most popular among them. Thor: Love and Thunder have a ton of things in its favour for the series to finally break that $1 billion mark. Firstly, the character’s popularity has skyrocketed since Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Secondly, the Guardians of the Galaxy will be present in this film and likely a key piece of the marketing. Finally, the addition of Christian Bale will likely turn some heads and draw more people in. There seems to be enough ingredients here to cook up a billion dollar film and might just be the third back-to-back billion MCU film. 

Black Adam

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $110 million

Total: $270 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $800 million

What do you call a superhero movie that has Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson? Box-Office gold. I know that this prediction is bullish, but I find it to be completely predictable at the same time. Dwayne Johnson is extremely good at marketing his films and his fanbase is a global one. Being the 5th highest followed on Instagram with 278 million followers, Johnson has one of the largest social media following which can boost the engagement and interest beyond superhero fans. It feels like a lifetime ago that it was announced that Dwayne Johnson would play Black Adam and Johnson has had years to raise anticipation for this.

Mission Impossible 7

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $53 million 

Total: $198 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $700 million

The Mission Impossible franchise has been around the $700 mark for a few movies now except the most recent outing with Mission Impossible: Fallout hitting over $790 million. We expect declines due to the ongoing pandemic situation but not a major hit to its global tally. Christopher McQuarrie is at the helm once again and if it’s anything close to his previous Mission Impossible film then a strong lengthy run is likely. 

Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse Part One

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $50 million

Total: $220 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $520 million

Despite the game-changing animation, popular soundtrack and the high critical acclaim with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse only pulled in $375 million with majority of it coming from North America. This isn’t too surprising as it was based on Miles Morales who was quite an unknown character back then and adapting a superhero film in the form of animation isn’t widely accepted yet. Well, it’ll be 2022 and people will be far more familiar with this franchise and character that we expect strong gains for the sequel. Also, the multiverse concept will be extremely popular come 2022.

The Flash

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $110 million

Total: $250 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $780 million

Again, we arrive at another multiverse-based movie – has anyone got fatigue yet? Well consider The Flash the DCEU’s entry into their multiverse and it starts by incorporating the Flashpoint Paradox comic-book storyline. Michael Keaton’s Batman and Ben Affeck’s Batman are set to appear. I’m sure there are plenty more surprises in store and will be a significant piece of marketing. The Flash is an extremely popular character but is Ezra Miller a strong enough draw? Probably not. Black Panther: Wakanda Forever opens a week later and the DCEU track record doesn’t indicate that this will be highly acclaimed so we expect the film to open strong and then drop quickly. 

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $180 million 

Total: $415 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1.1 billion

A particularly interesting film to predict its box office which will likely be an odd to the legacy that Chadwick Boseman left behind as T-Challa/Black Panther. Without quite knowing what this film will be and what to expect from it, it is tough to gauge what kind of response will be had from audiences. I have strong faith in Ryan Coogler to direct this way that serves as a love letter to Chadwick Boseman and still be a highly-received film. The pre-established world-building and talented array of cast members should serve to heighten the quality of the film. If Black Panther: Wakanda Forever turns out to be highly acclaimed like the first film, then expect a leggy box office run in addition to what will likely be a very high opening for this. 

Avatar 2

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $155 million 

Total: $550 million

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $2 billion

Yeah, yeah, yeah…. laugh away. Avatar 2 will break the $2 billion milestone and set pandemic records in the meantime. Shitting on Avatar has become the ‘cool’ thing to do and while the reasons are fair, it is only because it is the highest grossing movie of all-time. Remember, it was never the story or characters that was the biggest draw, it was the technology. The CGI and 3-D technology were taken to new levels that weren’t seen before and that cinematic experience was a key marketing tool. Well… James Cameron has had 13 additional years to once again take filmmaking technology to new heights. It’s already stated that filmmaking takes place in the deepest part of the world and inventing new technology to capture that footage. A decrease in US audiences is expected, you can expect the world (particularly China) to show up to what will be an event film.

Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom

Domestic Box Office:

Opening Weekend: $80 million 

Total: $350 million 

Worldwide Box Office:

Total: $1.2 billion

Opening on the same weekend as Avatar 2, Aquaman won’t open as high as it usually would so I expect one of these films to move release date either the week prior or after. However, both films seem set on opening in the holiday period which is known to produce some extremely lengthy runs. Aquaman opened modestly in line with expectations and had exceeded expectations by the end of its box office performance due to the holiday period giving it a longer run. We expect a performance extremely close to the first film due to the lingering effects of the pandemic and tough competition that Avatar 2 will surely provide.

One thought

  1. Well now that Morbius has moved to April I’m thinking it’ll make less as the following week Sonic 2 comes out which I think gets in the vicinity of 450 to 500 million since the first one was a bit of a surprise.

    So for Morbius about 300m? It’s been delayed 7 times. They gotta release it.

    Also with Leticia Wright’s injuries I’m not sure BP WF makes that November release date so I think that clears the path for Flash to perhaps go towards 900 Million. Maybe even flirts with a Billion?

    Like

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