I know, it's too early for any box office predictions but some interesting events happened these days showing that TF4 is getting a pretty good 3 weeks of clear run without any real rivals for the box office crown of 2014. The biggest rival for TF4 was considered to be the sequel of Avatar which first was supposed to be released in 2014. James Cameron's ambitions plan to shoot 3 movies back to back changed this date to 2015. Another direct contender was an unconfirmed Marvel movie which was supposed to be released on the same date as TF4. Today even Deadline confirmed that this movie is indeed Guardians of the Galaxy. But also today Marvel announced that they move the premiere date a whole month after TF4. Let's not forget that Marvel Studios bought back the distribution rights from Paramount for The Avengers and Iron Man 3 and maybe they're just playing nice.
So the first big movie after TF4 is X-Men: First Class sequel 3 weeks after the premiere of TF4. Last year for 3 weeks DOTM had already reached $300 million of it's $350 domestic box office. So it should be enough. And last year Harry Potter was only 2 weeks away from DOTM.
Also we have to look out for How to Train Your Dragon 2 which premieres only a week before TF4 but the audiences for both movies are pretty different so I don't think this will cause any troubles.
So, the only real contenders for the 2014 crown for now are:
Captain America 2 (April 4) - first movie $369 million
Robopocalypse (April 25)
The Amazing Spiderman 2 (May 2) - maybe the biggest contender for the whole year. Just have to wait and see the box office from this month.
Ninja Turtles (May 16)
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (May 23) - first movie $482 million
How to Train Your Dragon 2 (June 20) - first movie $495 million
X-Men: First Class Sequel (July 18) - first movie $354 million
Guardians of the Galaxy (August 1)
You can definitely see that things looks much easier this time. No Harry Potter, no Avatar, no Hobbit, no Batman and no Avengers. Michael just needs to do another great spectacle and this time the box office crown will surely be his.
Actually 2 years before the movie premiere I'm ready to bet that TF4 will be Michael's second box office worldwide winner after 1998's Armageddon. Everything points this way, don't you agree?