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: 3; Summer 2014 releases: 3
Summer 2013 total: $1.09B
The buzz: A trifecta of turtles, robots and The Rock (in sandals)
Paramount's small state, beginning with Transformers: Age of Extinction (June 27), is focused on rebooting the studio's franchises and hopefully creating one. Bay's fourth Transformers installment, which cost more than $200 million to make, could breathe new life into the series, based on the positive reaction from theater owners (none seemed upset by Shia LaBeouf's departure).
Director Brett Ratner's $100 million actioner Hercules (pictured, July 25), co-financed by MGM, drew rave responses at CinemaCon. Still, recent sword-and-sandals pics (Pompeii, The Legend of Hercules) have failed, and this one opens against the second weekend of Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy, creating fierce competition for fanboys.
Paramount is teaming with sister label Nickelodeon on its third summer release, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (Aug. 8), produced by Bay's Platinum Dunes. The PG-13 film will try to lure families and younger viewers, much like traditional superhero tentpoles. "People's expectations were that it would play much younger," says Paramount vice chairman Rob Moore. "What surprised theater owners was that it is much more of an action-adventure that will play to a broad audience."