DO NOT PUBLISH: Box office winners and losers of summer 2015

Another summer film season, another chance for blockbusters to soar and flops to emerge. Here are the winners and losers of summer 2015.


“Minions”: These little guys are now a bona fide phenomenon. Their adorability factor is off the charts, and because of this, the third film in the “Despicable Me” universe opened to bigger box office success than the previous two.

Rebecca Ferguson: She looks great in formal dress or bikini. She kicks butt with the best of them. This unknown Swedish actress really made her mark in “Mission: Impossible, Rogue Nation.” A star is born.

Dinosaurs: It really didn’t matter that “Jurassic World” was basically the same old same old. (Rampaging dinosaurs! Terrified civilians!) It scored the biggest opening weekend—$208 million—in film history, and globally crossed the $1 billion mark faster than any film ever. You can’t argue with those numbers.

Pixar: “Inside Out” was just the latest in a long line of Pixar hits, a monster critical and commercial success. With “Incredibles 2” due out next year, it looks like the smashes will keep on coming.

George Miller: The 70-year-old Aussie director made one of the best reviewed films of the summer. “Mad Max: Fury Road,” which earned a 98 percent positive rating on, grossed more than $150 million in the United States and nearly $400 million globally. Now there’s talk of a sequel. And the seemingly ageless Miller will be at the helm. Not bad for a guy who hadn’t directed a live-action feature in nearly 20 years.

Charlize Theron: Add her Furiosa in “Mad Max: Fury Road” to the list of iconic kick-butt female heroines that includes Ripley and Lara Croft. And therein might lie an Oscar nomination.

Joel Edgerton: He wrote, directed and co-starred in “The Gift,” which earned rave reviews and has earned six times its (admittedly small) production budget, making it one of the most profitable films of the season. This Aussie hybrid has a real future behind the camera.

Seventysomethings: Ian McKellen in “Mr. Holmes,” Blythe Danner and Sam Elliot in “I’ll See You In My Dreams,” Lily Tomlin in “Grandma” _ all showing the young’uns that charisma and stardom have no age limit.

Rappers: “Straight Outta Compton” played to huge business. No real surprise here, since what was once considered a marginal art form is now most certainly part of the mainstream.


“The Terminator” franchise: The filmgoing audience’s basic response to “Terminator: Genisys” was “Please. Don’t come back.”

“Tomorrowland”: Even George Clooney and director Brad Bird (“The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille”) couldn’t save this futuristic film from laying a huge egg. A confusing screenplay and excessive running time (130 minutes) didn’t help.

Adam Sandler: “Pixels” opened to OK business but struggled to cover its production costs. Last year’s “Blended” barely broke even, “The Cobbler” went straight to video and “Men, Women and Children” grossed less than $1 million. Hard times have hit this previously unstoppable box-office monster.

“Vacation”: Maybe it’s time for the franchise to take a permanent holiday.

David Foster Wallace: Who’s that, you say? He’s the suicidal author of the 1,000-page novel “Infinite Jest” profiled in “The End of the Tour.” Despite a 92 percent Rotten Tomatoes rating and rave reviews for star Jason Segel, the film was seen by almost no one. It seems authors of notoriously difficult doorstop novels are not multiplex-friendly.

Reed Richards, Sue Storm, Johnny Storm and Ben Grimm: Guess they weren’t so darn fantastic after all.

Meryl Streep: That awful title—”Ricki and the Flash”—and La Meryl in some sort of early Joan Jett hairdo just didn’t go over with audiences.

Asian tourism: “No Escape” made the continent look like hell on earth for Americans.