Paramount Pictures via Everett Collection
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes might have usurped Transformers: Age of Extinction from the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend, but the fourth installment in Michael Bay’s rock’em, sock’em robot franchise did hit a very significant milestone. With a hefty $752 million intake, Age of Extinction is now the top grossing film of the year, and just after just three short weeks. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on where your opinion lies on Bay’s controversial franchise, but 2014 is far from over. There’s still a ton of strong summer and fall films looking to contend for the top spot at the box-office. We’ve taken the remainder of the big films releasing in 2014 and assessed their chances of outgrossing Transformers: Age of Extinction.
Can it beat Transformers?: Over the last couple of years, the Rock has blossomed into a full-fledged movie star. The last Fast and Furious movie grossed $789 Million, but this latest Hercules film doesn’t have the fast cars or the built-in fan base of the aforementioned franchise. We think Hercules will do well at the box office (if the Rock flexes it, they will come) but there’s no possible way the Rock’s latest venture will come close to making Transformers money… even though we’re pretty sure the Rock could take Optimus Prime in a fist fight.
Guardians of the Galaxy
Can it beat Transformers?: Marvel has a lot riding on Guardians of the Galaxy. The studio’s galaxy-spanning adventure doesn’t have any recognizable heroes in its ranks, and might not have the same box office muscle as something like Iron Man 3 or The Avengers. But even Marvel’s safest bets would have trouble toppling the Transformers in 2014. This year’s Captian America: The Winter Soldier only took in $712 million at the box-office, falling short of what Transformers made in just a few weeks. But who knows? Maybe the buzz, hype, and the novelty of Marvel’s space opera gamble might bring in a huge enough audience… but we wouldn’t bet much on it. Like we said, it is a gamble.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Can it beat Transformers?: The Michael Bay produced Turtles reboot will likely do big business just by virtue of having Bay’s name on the marquee. It also helps that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are enjoying a huge upswing in popularity thanks to the current animated series running on Nickelodeon. But even with so much going for it, the upcoming Turtles flick still lacks the same media saturation that the Transformers series has. Also, the last Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles film floundered at the box office. This one will likely do better than its predecessor, but no that much better.
The Expendables 3
Can it beat Transformers?: Has Sly Stallone sold out? It’s hard not to feel that way. The upcoming entry in the heavy hitting Expendables series, which originally promised to bring back the R-rated sensibilities of ’80s action movies, has earned a soft ball PG-13. So while The Expendables 3 might lack some of the gory oomph of the earlier films, the toned-down adventure will likely get more teens and tweens into the theater. Will it be enough to beat Transformers? Definitely not, but we wouldn’t be surprised if it became the top grossing Expendables film to date.
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1
Can it beat Transformers?: The Hunger Games series is basically a summer blockbuster releasing in November, and the lack of competition plus the huge buzz surrounding the series might be the right cocktail to take out the current box office leader. The last Hunger Games film, Catching Fire, made $158 million on its opening weekend, easily besting the opening for Transformers 4, but the Hunger Games series doesn’t quite have the same earning power overseas. Catching Fire made $864 million over its box office lifetime, while Transformes has hit almost $800 million in just a few weeks, thanks to heavy business in China and other places abroad. Mockingjay has a chance, but a slight one.
Can it beat Transformers?: Christopher Nolan is perhaps the only director besides Michael Bay that can still attract big box office business based on name alone. The mysterious Interstellar will no doubt attract some deep box office sums, but we’re also doubtful that Interstellar‘s intriguing premise will be enough to beat the known quantity that is Transformers. Nolan’s last film, The Dark Knight Rises, made $1.1 billion in theaters, so it’s certainly not beyond reason, but that was the capper of a huge franchise about a recognizable comic book hero. We don’t think a story about a rural astronaut can outmatch Optimus Prime.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Can it beat Transformers?: While the domestic earnings for the second Hobbit films left a little to be desired, Peter Jackson’s fantasy series does huge business overseas. And those foreign box office receipts boosted Desolation of Smaug to a $958 million gross. Since this will be the last entry in the franchise, we’re thinking this might have the best chance of the lot.