Hollywood’s July 2022 looks to represent a dramatic turnaround from the doldrums of July 2021, a month filled with box office disappointments. In July of this year, by contrast, things are tentatively looking up:
- While 2021 release Black Widow earned $183.6M total, hampered by its status as the only Marvel Cinematic Universe feature film not to receive theatrical exclusivity, next month’s Marvel title looks to exceed $300M or even $400M.
- While last July’s three horror titles—The Forever Purge, Old, and Escape Room: Tournament of Champions—combined for $118.1M, next month’s main horror release looks to out-earn all three combined.
- While neither last July’s animated The Boss Baby: Family Business nor semi-animated Space Jam: A New Legacy exceeded $100M, next month’s biggest animated release looks to pass $200M and potentially $300M.
Here are the wide releases arriving in cinemas this month.
Minions: The Rise of Gru
Friday, July 1
Premise: Universal / Illumination’s animated comedy sequel brings the evil supervillain Gru (Steve Carell) from the Despicable Me trilogy back to the big screen, where he’ll be joined by his borderline-unintelligible yellow cyclops assistants, the Minions. Other voices include Julie Andrews, Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), Alan Arkin, and Taraji P. Henson. Kyle Balda returns to direct, after helming 2015’s first Minions spinoff and 2017’s Despicable Me 3.
Box office comparisons: The first two Despicable Me films earned $251.5M and $368.0M, respectively. Since then, installments have grossed progressively less, though, the franchise has still returned great financial results: 2015’s Minions took in $336.0M, while 2017’s Despicable Me 3 earned $264.6M.
Thor: Love and Thunder
Friday, July 8
Premise: With the release of Disney / Marvel Studios’ Thor: Love and Thunder, the Norse god superhero (Chris Hemsworth) becomes the first MCU character to headline four films. (Iron Man, Captain America, and Tom Holland’s incarnation of Spider-Man each having starred in three.) Natalie Portman returns to the series, after having skipped out on Thor: Ragnarok, as does Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie and the Guardians of the Galaxy, led by Chris Pratt’s Star-Lord (as teased at the end of Avengers: Endgame). They’re joined by newcomer characters played by Christian Bale and Russell Crowe.
Box office comparisons: Grosses for the first three Thor films have gotten progressively larger. 2011’s Thor made $181.0M, a figure that Love and Thunder could potentially exceed in its opening weekend alone. Then 2013’s Thor: The Dark World took in $206.3M, and 2017’s Thor: Ragnarok earned $315.0M. With the character more popular than ever following 2018’s Avengers: Infinity War and 2019’s Avengers: Endgame, look for a final number closer to May’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, which has made $409.2M so far and appears likely to finish around $415M-420M.
Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank
Friday, July 15
Premise: Paramount’s animated comedy follows a group of martial-artist cats and dogs, with a voice cast that includes Samuel L. Jackson, Mel Brooks, Ricky Gervais, Michael Cera (as the titular Hank), George Takei, and Michelle Yeoh.
Box office comparisons: Although the obvious comparison from a plot perspective is the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, current projections have Paws making nowhere remotely in the same box office neighborhood, even in the case of the lowest-grossing third installment ($143.5M) of the Kung Fu Panda franchise. Better comparisons may be 2021’s PAW Patrol: The Movie ($40.1M), Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway ($40.5M), or Ron’s Gone Wrong ($23.0M).
Where the Crawdads Sing
Friday, July 15
Premise: Sony Pictures adapts 2018’s hit novel by Delia Owens, which ranked as the bestselling book of 2019. Daisy Edgar Jones, best known for her Golden Globe-nominated role in 2020’s Hulu miniseries Normal People, stars in this murder mystery set in 1960s North Carolina. Director Olivia Newman makes her theatrical feature debut.
Box office comparisons: Among other female-led dark mystery films based on bestselling novels, the best-case (though probably unmatchable) scenario is 2014’s Gone Girl, which topped out at $167.7M. More likely is something akin to 2016’s The Girl on the Train ($75.3M) or maybe 2011’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo ($102.5M), while the worst-case scenario would be 2018’s The Girl in the Spider’s Web ($14.8M).
Friday, July 22
Premise: Little is known about the plot of the Universal / Blumhouse horror title, with the marketing—including a much-hyped Super Bowl commercial—being intentionally vague trailers. This is the third feature film directed by Jordan Peele, re-teaming here with Get Out star Daniel Kaluuya, whom he directed to his first Oscar nomination. Keke Palmer and fellow Academy Award nominee Steven Yeun (Minari) costar.
Box office comparisons: Peele’s prior two directorial efforts were 2017’s Get Out ($176.4M) and 2019’s Us (a nearly identical $175.0M). Other fitting comparisons may include 2021’s A Quiet Place Part II ($160.2M), 2018’s original A Quiet Place ($188.0M), and 2018’s Halloween ($159.3M).
DC League of Super-Pets
Friday, July 29
Premise: Warner Bros. releases this story centered on your favorite DC superhero characters’ superpowered pets, led by Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as dogs, Kate McKinnon as a guinea pig, Natasha Lyonne as a turtle, and Diego Luna as a squirrel. And, of course, the humans: John Krasinski as Superman, Keanu Reeves as Batman, and Marc Maron as the villainous Lex Luthor. Jared Stern makes his feature film directorial debut, having previously served as screenwriter for 2017’s The Lego Batman Movie and 2018’s The Lego Ninjago Movie.
Box office comparisons: Among the last decade’s animated action-adventure comedies, excluding sequels, some valid comparisons are April’s The Bad Guys (currently at $95.5M and likely to end up just shy of $100M), 2013’s Epic ($107.5M), 2016’s The Angry Birds Movie ($107.5M), 2017’s Captain Underpants: The Movie ($73.9M), and 2019’s Spies in Disguise ($66.7M).