Director: Robert Pulcini and Shari Springer Berman
Cast: Kristin Wiig, Annette Bening, Darren Criss, Matt Dillon
Distributor: Roadside Attractions/Lionsgate
Box Office Outlook: Reviews for the mother-daughter film formerly known as "Imogene" are likely to be as mixed upon release as they were at the Toronto Film Festival last fall, but that's unlikely to be too much of a problem with Kristin Wiig and Annette Bening involved. Our bet is a healthy gross north of $7 million is the most likely scenario for "Girl." It's also one of many films on this list offering options for women (who have very few studio films directed at them), which could help it go beyond that.
Austenland (August 16)
Director: Jerusha Hess
Cast: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, Jennifer Coolidge, Georgia King, James Callis
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Box Office Outlook: Another film aimed at the under-considered female audience, Jerusha Hess's "Austenland" will likely have much better buzz than "Girl Most Likely" (it got strong reviews when it debuted at Sundance), but also less star power (we love us some Keri Russell, but she's no Kristin Wiig). Though Hess -- who co-wrote "Napoleon Dynamite" with her husband Jared Hess, who directed both -- is no stranger to summer indie breakouts, and neither is Russell for that matter (she starred in the $19 million grossing "Waitress," which came out in the summer of 2007). Our bet is a cautious $7 million, but watch out for this one.
Director: Pedro Almodovar
Frances Ha (May 17)
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
Distributor: IFC Films
Box Office Outlook: Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig's "Girls"-esque collaboration "Frances Ha" is sure to be one of the summer's best reviewed indies (it debuted out of the festival circuit last fall with stellar notices). Though even with the added presence of box office draw Ben Stiller, the last Baumbach-Gerwig teaming, "Greenberg," only managed $4.3 million. Our bet is that even with no Stiller, buzz helps "Frances" ha her way to at least $5 million, an excellent number for a black-and-white film with a tiny budget.
Stories We Tell (May 17)
Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Cast: Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Alison Brie
Distributor: CBS Films
Box Office Outlook: Yet another film to get a title do-over after its festival debut, "The Kings of Summer" -- or the film formerly known as "Toy's House" -- offers a Walden-like adventure of three teenage friends (Nick Robinson, Gabriel Basso and Moises Arias) who decided to spend their summer building a house in the woods and live off the land, without. CBS Films is releasing the film in late May, and while it's unlikely to be the king of the indie summer box office, our bet is good reviews and its coming-of-age premise help it manage $3 million.
Director: Lake Bell
Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed, Tig Notaro
Distributor: Roadside Attractions
Box Office Outlook: Lake Bell isn't quite a box office draw, even by indie standards (yet), but her directorial debut (which she also wrote and stars in) is coming off a very well received Sundance debut (Bell won the festival's screenwriting award), and should be a minor hit that makes for a nice stepping stone for the woman behind it. Our bet? $3 million