Tracking & Forecasts

5-Week Forecast: TWISTERS ($71M+), DEADPOOL & WOLVERINE ($182M+) Tracking to Become This July’s Core Summer Box Office Combo

Photo Credits: George Richmond, Disney & Marvel Studios; Dan Mindel & Universal Pictures

This report is available as a free preview on our website. Complete 4-week, film-by-film box office tracking with full ranges, pinpoint forecasts, and trackable changes are available exclusively through Shawn Robbins and Box Office Theory’s Substack, which you can subscribe to for as little as $6.25 per month. Paid access supports Box Office Theory’s research and includes ad-free viewing and priority inbox delivery.

Thanks to the recent blockbuster start by Disney and Pixar’s Inside Out 2, strong figures from Bad Boys: Ride or Die, and a slew of other upcoming films that will more fully round out the summer slate, all eyes are turning to a pair of films in mid-to-late July that our forecasting models are projecting to deliver the biggest one-two box office punch of the summer (if not the year).

Are Deadpool & Wolverine and Twisters this year’s version of “Barbenheimer”? Not quite, but the question is naturally going to be asked by many pundits and industry observers.

Unlike Barbie and Oppenheimer debuting on the same weekend last July, these two midsummer tentpoles are distanced by one week. Universal’s spiritual sequel to the 1996 disaster blockbuster goes on July 19, followed by the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first R-rated outing on July 26.

Could this year’s July duo of live-action tentpoles generate anywhere near the $966.2 million domestic box office haul as Barbenheimer did? Again, probably not, but never say never in an era of moviegoing that has been marked by as many deep ebbs as it has by rich flows (see the breakout runs of the aforementioned films, Top Gun: Maverick, and Spider-Man: No Way Home).

Ultimately, a great deal will come down to word of mouth for each film. Pre-release buzz is strong for both, though. Here’s our breakdown on what’s driving current tracking ranges for Twisters and Deadpool & Wolverine.

Universal Pictures
July 19, 2024
Domestic Opening Forecast Range: $71 – 84 million
Domestic Total Forecast Range: $242 – 329 million

Key Tracking Factors:

  • Pre-sales began last month, providing a long window with erratic comparison points in most metrics. That said, Universal has done something similar with a number of their summer releases in the past. For example, Twisters has out-paced Nope across early access shows and Thursday previews by 56 percent in our sample markets thus far, while trending at about half the pace of Jurassic World Dominion. It’s not expected to be front-loaded, either.
  • Nostalgia and legacy IP have been a common theme for some of Hollywood’s biggest theatrical releases in recent years. Twisters harkens to that same line of thinking, albeit with a completely new cast — which makes it more akin to 2015’s Jurassic World and 2016’s underperforming Independence Day: Resurgence rather than the likes of Top Gun: Maverick, depending on the school of thought.
  • The original 1996 blockbuster was part of a wave of disaster films that earned big box office dollars during that era. Twister, serving as one of that summer’s lead-off movies, opened to $41.1 million domestically on its way to $241.7 million. It was the second biggest movie of the year, trailing only Independence Day‘s $306.2 million later that summer.
  • While nostalgia can be a motivating factor, it’s also worth keeping in mind that the original film has not had a consistent pop culture or theatrical presence over the last 28 years like that of other franchises after long breaks between films. To be fair, though, it’s regarded as a modern disaster classic that continues to earn plenty of replay on traditional avenues (television) as well as streaming. Is this sequel going to manage bringing in a fair portion of the under-30 crowd?
  • Opening one week before Deadpool & Wolverine gives this a chance to build organic word of mouth before facing such direct competition. While Twisters will ultimately have to share a significant PLF footprint with the Marvel title, we’ve seen formats such as IMAX, Dolby, RPX, ScreenX, 4DX, and others find a way to make it happen when two popular films had concurrent runs (again, see Barbie and Oppenheimer). That’s especially true during summer when weekdays and matinees can fulfill demand more spread out during vacation season.
  • Buzz for this sequel has steadily grown since its first trailers generated some of the best social media and audience buzz during the Super Bowl earlier this year. Likewise, Glen Powell’s presence can’t hurt as his growing star is fresh off the sleeper success of Anyone But You.
  • With Deadpool & Wolverine likely to have a ceiling in audience reach relative to other PG-13 event films due to its R rating, Twisters remains the prime PG-13 option with some family-friendly and significant middle America potential for casual moviegoers in the back half of summer.

Deadpool & Wolverine
Disney & Marvel Studios
July 26, 2024
Domestic Opening Forecast Range: $182 – 214 million
Domestic Total Forecast Range: $401 – 514 million

Key Tracking Factors:

  • Pre-sales are also in an extended window here as Disney opened up availability two months before the film’s release, a longer period than usual for comic book and superhero films. With that in mind, Deadpool & Wolverine‘s initial pace over the first few weeks positions demand comparable to that of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse, well ahead of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 and Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. Sales are heavily focused on Thursday previews right now, but that’s par for the course with fan-driven Marvel films as sales will pick up closer to release.
  • Despite a rocky level of consistency when it comes to recent Marvel performers and their audience reactions, Deadpool remains a highly popular character whose drawing power can be looked at as somewhat separate (for now) from the arc-driven storylines of the broader MCU. The character and sub-franchise’s nature as comedy-driven action also serves to maintain a healthy level of appeal outside the wide-reaching Marvel fan base.
  • Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman have spent years trading fun-loving jabs at each other on social media and during interviews, building up to this type of on-screen duo that has seemed inevitable since the Deadpool films became box office hits and Jackman ended his run (at the time) as the Wolverine character in Logan. In addition to that social buzz, the film’s trailers have shattered online viewing records (by varying metrics) during each phase of marketing so far.
  • The film’s R rating will naturally limit the availability of younger audiences to buy a ticket, something that has been integral to Marvel’s biggest event-level box office earners. Conversely, some parents are likely to make an exception and take their mature young ones to this film knowing that it’s part of the Marvel brand. Adult-skewing ticket prices could also help offset some of the loss of age-driven bargain ticket prices as well.
  • Not only will the film take over a significant portion of premium screens from Twisters during the July 26 weekend, it’s also booked in fairly heavy rotation for 3D showings (and, thus, surcharges). While that could artificially boost some grosses, it’s also worth nothing that audiences have largely gravitated away from 3D except in rare circumstances when a film is specifically shot for the format, benefits from it in a unique way, and is then marketed as such.
  • After this release, summer boasts a number of counter-programmers and mid-level genre players that won’t necessarily eat into Deadpool & Wolverine‘s long-term success. Should audience reception be healthy, that means plenty of runway heading into summer’s final month and Labor Day in early September.
  • This is one of the major films whose production was halted during the industry labor strikes in 2023. Post-production was completed in mid-June 2024, but it’s worth considering whether or not the strikes may or may not have impacted the overall creative direction of the film in a way that could influence eventual word of mouth.

This report is available as a free preview on our website. Complete 4-week, film-by-film box office tracking with full ranges, pinpoint forecasts, and trackable changes are available exclusively through Shawn Robbins and Box Office Theory’s Substack, which you can subscribe to for as little as $6.25 per month. Paid access supports Box Office Theory’s research and includes ad-free viewing and priority inbox delivery.

5-Week Box Office Tracking & Forecasts
as of 6/20/24
(best viewed in Desktop mode; scroll on mobile to see full chart)
Release Date Title Studio 3-Day (FSS) LOW-END Opening 3-Day (FSS) HIGH-END Opening 3-Day (FSS) TARGET Opening Forecast Domestic Total LOW-END Domestic Total HIGH-END Domestic Total TARGET Forecast
6/27/2024 Kaiki 2898-AD Prathyangira Cinemas n/a n/a
6/28/2024 Blue Lock The Movie – Episode Nag Sony / Crunchyroll n/a n/a
6/28/2024 Horizon: An American Saga – Chapter 1 Warner Bros. Pictures $11,000,000 $18,000,000 $13,500,000 $35,600,000 $67,300,000 $48,500,000
6/28/2024 Kinds of Kindness (Expansion) 20th Century Studios n/a n/a
6/28/2024 A Quiet Place: Day One Paramount Pictures $42,000,000 $51,000,000 $46,000,000 $119,800,000 $169,000,000 $138,800,000
6/28/2024 Janet Planet (Wide Expansion) A24 n/a n/a
7/3/2024 Despicable Me 4 Universal Pictures / Illumination $61,000,000 $74,000,000 $67,000,000 $262,900,000 $326,700,000 $293,000,000
7/4/2024 Sound of Hope: The Story of Possum Trot Angel Studios $6,000,000 $10,000,000 $8,500,000 (+6%) $16,800,000 $32,000,000 $25,500,000 (+6%)
7/5/2024 MaXXXine A24 $6,000,000 $10,000,000 $7,500,000 (+7%) $13,800,000 $20,200,000 $18,000,000
7/12/2024 The Lion King (1994) (30th Anniversary Reissue) Walt Disney Pictures n/a n/a
7/12/2024 Touch Focus Features n/a n/a
7/12/2024 Fly Me to the Moon Sony Pictures / Apple Original Films $9,000,000 $14,000,000 $12,500,000 (-7%) $29,500,000 $51,000,000 $42,200,000 (-7%)
7/12/2024 June Zero (Nationwide Expansion) Cohen Media Group n/a n/a
7/19/2024 Lumina Goldove Entertainment n/a n/a
7/19/2024 Oddity IFC Films n/a n/a
7/19/2024 Twisters Universal Pictures / Amblin Entertainment $71,000,000 $84,000,000 $80,000,000 $242,000,000 $329,000,000 $284,000,000
7/26/2024 Deadpool & Wolverine Disney / Marvel Studios $182,000,000 $214,000,000 $198,000,000 $401,000,000 $514,000,000 $442,000,000
7/26/2024 Didi (Wide) Focus Features n/a n/a
7/26/2024 Fabulous Four Bleecker Street n/a n/a
All forecasts and tracking ranges above are reflective only of how the films are trending or expected to trend ahead of release. They are not final forecasts or predictions and are subject to revision at any time based on evolving market conditions and various circumstances that are factored into our modeling.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *