Summer Box-Office Forecast: Studio-by-Studio Breakdown
Warners is without a sure thing, Universal pushed back "Fast & Furious 7" and a flurry of untested titles will vie to become the next tentpole franchise.
Summer 2013 releases: 6; Summer 2014 releases: 7
Summer 2013 total: $2.12B
The buzz: No Fast 7, but lots of comedy, horror and Scarlett Johansson
The death of Paul Walker resulted in Universal pushing back the release of Fast & Furious 7 from July 11 to April 2015, leaving the studio without a traditional summer tentpole (Fast 6 grossed a massive $788.7 million worldwide in 2013). Instead, it will rely on comedy and genre fare, starting with the debauched Seth Rogen-Zac Efron comedy Neighbors (May 9). Three weeks later, Seth MacFarlane's raunchy, R-rated A Million Ways to Die in the West (pictured) comes out, hoping to repeat the wild success of his 2012 release Ted ($549.4 million). Footage of the anachronistic Western, also starring Charlize Theron, Amanda Seyfried and Liam Neeson, shocked (and awed) theater owners. "Summer is the best time for comedy. Young people, who are readily available seven days a week, will gravitate to both these films," says Universal distribution chief Nikki Rocco.
Genre offerings include The Purge: Anarchy (July 18). Otherwise, the studio is sticking to August to release its films, including the biopic Get on Up (Aug. 1), starring Chadwick Boseman as the legendary James Brown, Scarlett Johansson action pic Lucy (Aug. 8), thriller As Above, So Below (Aug. 15) and a remake of the 2008 Belgian film The Loft (Aug. 29).