Summertime Box Office Cooling Down After Early Year Record-Breakers

Domestic box office revenue is down nearly 10 percent for the year

Avengers box office
Not every movie has the same box office draw as "The Avengers" franchise.(Marvel Studios)

Domestic box office revenue is down nearly 10 percent for the year as of June 30 and just over 7 percent since the beginning of the summer — despite new installments of previously high-earning franchises. Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International and The Secret Life of Pets 2 all underperformed, according to The Hollywood Reporter

“It’s all about making good movies,” one unnamed studio executive told THR. “There have been franchises that have excelled this summer, such as Avengers and John Wick. Those that have fallen short have more to do with the movies themselves than having to do with them being a sequel.”

Although the numbers are subpar, not everyone in the industry is ready to call it a loss.

“I’m not giving up yet, and I’m trying to stay optimistic,” box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian told THR. “But I thought we would catch up a lot quicker. For every two steps forward, we are going three steps back.”

And it’s not just this season. Since the beginning of this year, films that were released to over 1,000 movie theaters on the North American continent earned $13.4 billion — a 5 percent drop from this time last year. One of the only exceptions to this dip in the market is Disney, which now also owns Fox and 40 percent of the market and is expecting to have a big summer, with the continued success of Toy Story 4 and the highly anticipated The Lion King reboot set to hit theaters July 19.

In fact four of the highest earners this year belonged to Disney, THR reported: Avengers: Endgame with $841.3 million, Captain Marvel with $426.8 million, Aladdin at $305.9 million and Toy Story 4 with $236.9 million so far. And that’s only what each movie earned domestically.

Some of Disney’s upcoming films, and those yet to premier from other studios, are causing box office experts to be optimistic for a turnaround this season, however. Movies like Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony), the aforementioned The Lion King (Disney), Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony), Joker (Warner Bros.), Frozen 2 (Disney), Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros.), Cats (Universal) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) are all expected to lure moviegoers back to their seats.

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