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January 6 2015

The Movies of 2015 – 2nd Quarter

The Movies of 2015 2nd Quarter

Welcome to the second of four parts of an analysis of every major film release of 2015.

Following up on last year’s product, I’m back with a look at the films of 2015. Something different I’m trying this year is you will first get the quarterly breakdowns, and then an overall post will be like a part five that looks at the year as a whole.

There are some clear, “What in the world were they thinking?” projects coming out this year, and there are some that I think will surprise all of us.

Hopefully you enjoy this as it is a huge undertaking each year, but one I enjoy doing.

Please note that titles and release dates can change at any time, none of these are written in stone.

April

Furious 7

Paul Walker and Vin Diesel Fast and Furious 7
Release Date: April 3
Synopsis:

After defeating Owen Shaw and his crew, Dominic Toretto (Vin Diesel), Brian O’Conner (Paul Walker) and the rest of the crew are able to return to the United States and live the normal life again as they had wanted, but Owen’s older brother, Ian Shaw (Jason Statham), is after Dominic, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, putting the entire crew in danger once more. After learning of Han’s death, the crew sets out to find the man who killed one of their own, before he finds them first.

Analysis: Each film has done better than the last as of late, but how will the untimely death of Paul Walker impact the film?

The Longest Ride

Release Date: April 10
Book Synopsis:

After being trapped in an isolated car crash, the life of elderly widower Ira Levinson becomes entwined with that of young college student, Sophia Danko and the cowboy whom she loves, named Luke. The novel is told through the perspectives of these three characters as they go through their lives, both separately and together.

Ira Levinson, ninety years old and already in poor health, is just holding on; remaining alert only because his wife Ruth, who has died, appears as an image to help him remember their life together. How they met, the paintings they collected and the dark days of WW2.

Just a few miles away, Sophia, a Wake Forest college student’s life is about to change forever as she meets an unexpected love, Luke. Luke is a cowboy and risk-taking bull-rider, unlike anyone she has ever known. Together they experience the joys of love as well as the difficulties that come with Luke’s dangerous career.

Two couples who have little in common, yet whose lives will converge with unexpected poignancy.

Analysis: Love stories have been hit or miss lately. This one will rely on its marketing heavily.

The Moon and the Sun

Release Date: April 10
Synopsis:

King Louis XIV’s (Pierce Brosnan) quest for immortality leads him to capture and steal a mermaid’s life force, a move that is further complicated by his illegitimate daughter’s discovery of the creature.

Analysis: It’s based on a book, but what an odd, odd set up.

Underdogs

Underdogs
Release Date: April 10
Synopsis:

From Academy Award winning director Campanella comes UNDERDOGS, an animated comedy with a little bit of magic and a whole lot of heart. Jake (Matthew Morrison) is a shy, but talented, foosball player. His passion for the game is rivaled only by his love for free-spirited Laura (Ariana Grande). With her encouragement, he beats the town bully, Ace (Nicholas Hoult), in a foosball game. But everything changes when Ace becomes the world’s best soccer player and returns years later to turn their village into a new sports stadium. He starts to destroy everything and kidnaps Laura in the process. Just when it looks like all hope is lost, the toy figures from Jake’s foosball table come to life. He and the players embark on a wild adventure to save Laura and reclaim their village. With the help of his team, his town, and a little bit of magic, Jake will try to save the day.

Analysis: What an odd premise, but I’m oddly interested.

Child 44

Release Date: April 17
Book Synopsis:

This novel, the first in a trilogy, is based on the crimes of Andrei Chikatilo, also known as the Rostov Ripper, the Butcher of Rostov, and the Red Ripper, who was convicted of and executed for 52 murders in the Soviet Union. In addition to highlighting the problem of Soviet-era criminality in a state where “there is no crime”, the novel explores the paranoia of the age, the education system, the secret police apparatus, orphanages, homosexuality in the USSR, and mental hospitals.

Analysis: Not sure how it will do at the box office, but it sounds interesting and should do okay when home viewing is folded in.

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Release Date: April 17
Synopsis:

Security guard Paul Blart is headed to Las Vegas to attend a Security Guard Expo with his teenage daughter Maya before she departs for college. While at the convention, he inadvertently discovers a heist – and it’s up to Blart to apprehend the criminals.

Analysis: How in the world did this get a sequel? It did $183 million globally off of a $26 million dollar budget, but even at that did the world need another one of these?

Run All Night

Release Date: April 17
Synopsis:

An aging hitman is forced to take on his brutal former boss to protect his estranged son and his family.

Analysis: It stars Liam Neeson… should we have just called this Taken 4?

Unfriended

Release Date: April 17
Synopsis:

One year ago Laura Barnes (Heather Sossaman) decided to commit suicide due to ridicule received over an embarrassing video of her passed out at a party. Six of her classmates were especially horrible in their treatment of her, as they were unpopular and Laura was the most popular girl in school. Tonight those same six classmates have decided to get together to talk with one another via Skype but are ill prepared when an uninvited seventh person logs onto their Skype chat and shows that they know quite a bit about the prior year’s events. The unknown person threatens the group and states that if they log out or stop talking, someone will die. As the chat progresses, the truth about who posted the video begins to emerge and other secrets are revealed.

Analysis: Hmm… I couldn’t find a budget on this one, but my guess it was low, and it should get a decent return.

The Age of Adaline

The Age of Adaline
Release Date: April 24
Synopsis:

After miraculously remaining 29 years old for almost eight decades, Adaline Bowman (Blake Lively) has lived a solitary existence, never allowing herself to get close to anyone who might reveal her secret. But a chance encounter with charismatic philanthropist Ellis Jones (Michiel Huisman) reignites her passion for life and romance. When a weekend with his parents (Harrison Ford and Kathy Baker) threatens to uncover the truth, Adaline makes a decision that will change her life forever.

Analysis: Lively hasn’t been around for a while, and she hasn’t proven herself as a headliner. It will be one to watch to see how it performs with so little data to go on.

Rock The Kasbah

Release Date: April 24
Synopsis:

A washed-up music producer finds one last shot at redemption with a golden-voiced young girl in Afghanistan. However, when jealousy gets the better of a disgruntled ex-boyfriend, he decides to oppose the young star with talent of his own.

Analysis: Bruce Willis is heading this up, it’s out of his wheelhouse and will probably be painful.

May

Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers Age of Ultron Trailer 1 - 18
Release Date: May 1
Synopsis:

Marvel Studios presents “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” the epic follow-up to the biggest Super Hero movie of all time. When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and Earth’s Mightiest Heroes, including Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, Black Widow and Hawkeye, are put to the ultimate test as the fate of the planet hangs in the balance. As the villainous Ultron emerges, it is up to the Avengers to stop him from enacting his terrible plans, and soon uneasy alliances and unexpected action pave the way for an epic and unique global adventure.

Analysis: The last film did $1.5 billion globally and is the third highest grossing film ever. This film looks set to do well over $1 billion for sure, but beyond that is anyone’s guess.

Untitled Reese Witherspoon/Sofia Vergara Comedy

Release Date: May 8
Synopsis:

I have no idea!

Analysis: Yep… no clue on this one.

Mad Max: Fury Road

Mad Max Fury Road - 2
Release Date: May 15
Synopsis:

Haunted by his turbulent past, Mad Max believes the best way to survive is to wander alone. Nevertheless, he becomes swept up with a group fleeing across the Wasteland in a War Rig driven by an elite Imperator, Furiosa. They are escaping a Citadel tyrannized by the Immortan Joe, from whom something irreplaceable has been taken. Enraged, the Warlord marshals all his gangs and pursues the rebels ruthlessly in the high-octane Road War that follows.

Analysis: This one is impossible to predict. It has been years since this series was around, and there is nothing else quite like it. We’ll just have to wait on this one.

Pitch Perfect 2

Pitch Perfect 2
Release Date: May 15
Synopsis:

The Barden Bellas are back in Pitch Perfect 2, the follow-up to 2012’s smash hit. The comedy is helmed by Elizabeth Banks, co-star and producer of Pitch Perfect, and produced by Paul Brooks, Max Handelman and Banks. Writer Kay Cannon returns to the team to pen the next chapter.

Analysis: I really enjoyed the first film, but the trailer concerned me a bit that it’s going to be like a “greatest hits” of that film with nothing fresh.

Spy

Release Date: May 22
Synopsis:

Susan Cooper is an unassuming, deskbound CIA analyst, and the unsung hero behind the Agency’s most dangerous missions. But when her partner falls off the grid and another top agent is compromised, she volunteers to go deep undercover to infiltrate the world of a deadly arms dealer, and prevent a global disaster.

Analysis: It’s a Melissa McCarthy vehicle. I have given up trying to predict how these will do.

Tomorrowland

tomorrowland teaser trailer
Release Date: May 22
Synopsis:

Frank (George Clooney) and Casey (Britt Robertson) travel to a place somewhere in time and space only known as Tomorrowland where their actions directly affect the world and themselves.

Analysis: So little is known about this movie that it’s impossible to predict how it will do.

Cameron Crowe Untitled

Release Date: May 29
Synopsis:

I have no idea!

Analysis: Yep… no clue on this one.

Monster Trucks

Release Date: May 29
Synopsis:

No information yet.

Analysis: Eh… the name alone will attract males.

San Andreas

San Andreas trailer
Release Date: May 29
Synopsis:

After the infamous San Andreas Fault finally gives, triggering a magnitude 9 earthquake in California, a search and rescue helicopter pilot (Dwayne Johnson) and his estranged wife make their way together from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter.

But their treacherous journey north is only the beginning. And when they think the worst may be over…it’s just getting started.

Analysis: Can we just once have a disaster film without the “estranged wife” trope? Anyone going to place bets they’re back together by the end of the film?

June

B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations

BOO logo
Release Date: June 5
Synopsis:

Bureau of Otherworldly Operations (B.O.O.) is a top-secret government agency which employs ghosts to protect humans from evil hauntings. When two new agents named Jackson Moss and Watts uncover a plot by the agency’s most wanted haunter Addison Drake to destroy B.O.O., they must use their skills to defeat his ghost army and save the world.

Analysis: Sounds like it could be cute, but I’m hearing it has some issues and is being moved around.

Entourage

Release Date: June 5
Synopsis:

Movie star Vincent Chase (Grenier), together with his boys, Eric (Connolly), Turtle (Ferrara) and Johnny (Dillon), are back…and back in business with super agent-turned-studio head Ari Gold (Piven). Some of their ambitions have changed, but the bond between them remains strong as they navigate the capricious and often cutthroat world of Hollywood.

Analysis: Nobody wanted this. It’s going to bomb, and bomb hard.

Insidious Chapter 3

Release Date: June 5
Synopsis:

A prequel set before the haunting of the Lambert family that reveals how gifted psychic Elise Rainier reluctantly agrees to use her ability to contact the dead in order to help a teenage girl who has been targeted by a dangerous supernatural entity.

Analysis: If I ever win the lottery I’m getting into the low-budget horror film business.

Jurassic World

Jurassic World Trailer Nov 2014 - 62
Release Date: June 12
Synopsis:

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar, off of Central America’s Pacific coast, now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. This new park is owned by the Masrani Global Corporation. Owen (Chris Pratt), a member of the park’s on-site staff, conducts behavioral research on the Velociraptors. At the corporation’s request, the park’s geneticists create a genetically-modified hybrid dinosaur to boost visitor attendance, which soon runs wild on the island.

Analysis: I’m not sure anyone really cares about this franchise any more. The original was a ground breaker, but now? Not so much.

Inside Out

Inside Out characters
Release Date: June 19
Synopsis:

Riley is uprooted from her Midwest life when her father starts a new job in San Francisco. Riley is guided by her emotions – Joy, Fear, Anger, Disgust and Sadness. The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley’s mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. As Riley and her emotions struggle to adjust to a new life in San Francisco, turmoil ensues in Headquarters. Although Joy, Riley’s main and most important emotion, tries to keep things positive, the emotions conflict on how best to navigate a new city, house and school.

Analysis: Pixar. Do I really need to say more? Okay, fine: The trailer charmed the pants off of me.

Paper Towns

Release Date: June 19
Synopsis:

Taking place in Orlando, Florida, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen (Wolff) has always loved Margo Roth Spiegelman (Delevingne), for Margo (and her adventures) are the stuff of legend at their high school. So when she one day climbs through his window and summons him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next day Margo doesn’t come to school and a week later she is still missing. Q soon learns that there are clues in her disappearance and they are for him. But as he gets deeper into the mystery – culminating in another awesome road trip across America – he becomes less sure of who and what he is looking for.

Analysis: Based on a book of the same name. Sounds intriguing.

The Transporter Legacy

The Transporter Legacy
Release Date: June 19
Synopsis:

In France, Frank Martin delivers anything for money.

Analysis: It’s a reboot of the Transporter series… joy.

Ricki and the Flash

Release Date: June 26
Synopsis:

An aging woman, Ricki, chases her dreams of becoming a famous rock star by abandoning her family. She gets a last chance to put things right when her ex-husband Pete asks her to visit Chicago and help their estranged, divorced-daughter Julie through a difficult time.

Analysis: Jonathan Demme directing, Diablo Cody writing and Meryl Streep starring… I can’t help myself but I’m intrigued.

Ted 2

Release Date: June 26
Synopsis:

No info yet.

Analysis: The first one did make me laugh, but did the world need a second one? After the disaster of A Million Ways to Die in the West, McFarlane needs a hit.



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