Skip to main content

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE – FALLOUT In CLEVELAND

Summer 2016 #BoxOffice Wrap-Up

Although up from last year, 2016 was a largely creative disaster.

Story by Matt Cummings

As Summer 2016 wrapped up with a distinct and impending thud last weekend, many studios are licking their wounds as the final numbers were released by sites like BoxOfficeMojo. What began with so much promise quickly descended into a blood bath for nearly 20 blockbusters (those movies with budgets of over $100m), leading many in the business to wonder if their tried (and perhaps) and true formulas for sequels, reboots, and prequels might be running out of steam.

The finally numbers aren't great. For the season, the domestic box office was down nearly 2.8% from the previous year, with last weekend delivering just $74.5m. To put that last number into perspective, consider that the last time we saw a return like that was the weekend of Feb. 5-7 ($82m). That horrible number at least brought with it an excuse: a savage Northeast snowstorm closed many theaters. But no such excuse exists for last weekend, painting an interesting picture about a Summer that many would like to forget - more on that in a minute.

But that's not the biggest story from this Summer's box office. In a 122-day period, Hollywood witnessed no less than 20 high-profile collapses of blockbuster films, many of which can be neatly placed into one of three categories: Sequels No One Wanted, Reboots No One Supported, and Poorly-Considered Remakes. And while Captain America: Civil War and Finding Dory bucked those trends, far too many suffered perhaps franchise-ending hits. What does this spell for the future of an industry that's used to big profits from a frankly tired formula?

We've written many times about the cannibalization that is the weekly box office, as too many films - many within the same genre and therefore aimed at the same audiences - compete for the same dollars, reducing core profits and eroding potential fan bases. That trend repeated itself throughout the Summer, as even Civil War took in high profits, only to be cannibalized by The Angry Birds Movie just two weeks later. The film made less than Avengers: Age of Ultron, which in 2015 was deemed a critical failure. The narrative was different with Civil War, and yet it suffered from cannibalization.

Digging deeper, we also see that audience attendance numbers were a problem: about 518m people went to the movies this summer, which was down from Summer 2013 (585m) and 2012 (539m). Should that number hold up, it would be an increase from 2014 but down from 2015. These declines fall in line with studies taken at the beginning of the year, which showed less than 10% of the moviegoers see 90% of the movies. But it was those 20 blockbuster that dragged down the market, resulting in one of the lowest creative periods for Summer films in recent memory. The names read like a who's-who of mediocrity: Alice Through the Looking Glass ($77m globally/$140 million budget) MGM and Paramount's Ben-Hur ($25.5m/$100m), Sony's Ghostbusters ($126/$144m), Paramount's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows ($82m/$135m), Legendary and Universal's Warcraft ($47m/$160m), and Steven Spielberg's adaptation The BFG ($55m/$140m).

Even well-regarded films like Star Trek Beyond ($156.5m/$185m) failed to generate interest, which could kill that franchise. But others like Independence Day: Resurgence had no audience interest from the start and should never have produced, bringing in a paltry $100m on a $165m budget.

Where does this leave the reboot/remake/sequel plan? In the short term, this won't mean very much to studios, who already have another round in production and several nearing shooting in the coming year. But it's long term where Hollywood might have genuine worry. Even the success of Civil War comes with a caveat: not even an Avengers 2.5 film couldn't bring in the crowds, coming in lower than many were predicting. Some reports thought the film would take in a global number of $1.6b, but the best it could muster was $1.2b. That's a lot of money left off the table.

For many studios the path is clear: find genuinely new properties to cultivate, reduce their intake on sequels and reboots, and strongly reconsider such a tightly-packed release calendar, which might be the single biggest impedance to a healthy box office.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Movie Review: #MissSloane

The political drama Miss Sloane fails to lobby us into Oscar territory.
Review by Matt Cummings
In a time when women were supposed to be leading our country, Miss Sloane arrives to remind us of what could have been. Unfortunately, this message about a headstrong female Washington lobbyist loses us early with an unappealing director, a paper-thin plot, and suffers from a ton of convenient realism. If the good (but not impressive) performances weren't there to buffer these and many other gaps, we might have found ourselves voting for impeachment.

For Washington lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain), life is about getting her clients what they want from the halls of Congress. Her boss Dupont (Sam Waterston) will sleep with NRA types, fudge travel records, and bully smaller firms into submission if it means a hearty paycheck at day's end. But when Sloane leaves the company to push Gun Control legislation with one of those smaller firms, Dupont turns to his bulldog Co…

Enter For A Chance To Win Passes To See WARCRAFT In Dallas

Enter for a chance to see WARCRAFT on June 7th at 7:00 PM in Dallas.

From Legendary Pictures and Universal Pictures comes Warcraft, an epic adventure of world-colliding conflict based on Blizzard Entertainment's global phenomenon.


The peaceful realm of Azeroth stands on the brink of war as its civilization faces a fearsome race of invaders: Orc warriors fleeing their dying home to colonize another. As a portal opens to connect the two worlds, one army faces destruction and the other faces extinction. From opposing sides, two heroes are set on a collision course that will decide the fate of their family, their people and their home.

So begins a spectacular saga of power and sacrifice in which war has many faces, and everyone fights for something.


Directed by Duncan Jones (Moon, Source Code) and written by Charles Leavitt and Jones, the film starring Travis Fimmel, Paula Patton, Ben Foster, Dominic Cooper, Toby Kebbell, Ben Schnetzer, Rob Kazinsky and Daniel Wu is a Legendary Pic…

Bethany Ashton Wolf¹s FOREVER MY GIRL ACQUIRED BY @roadsidetweets

Forever My Girl tells the story of country music super-star Liam Page (Alex Roe) who left his bride, Josie (Jessica Rothe), at the altar choosing fame and fortune instead. However, Liam never got over Josie, his one true love, nor did he ever forget his Southern roots in the small community where he was born and raised. When he unexpectedly returns to his hometown for the funeral of his high school best friend, Liam is suddenly faced with the consequences of all that he left behind.

Roadside Attractions and LD Entertainment partner for their 7th collaboration with Roadside’s domestic distribution acquisition of Bethany Ashton Wolf’s uplifting family romance Forever My Girl, it was jointly announced today by Roadside Attractions co-founders Howard Cohen & Eric d’Arbeloff, and Mickey Liddell of LD Entertainment. Forever My Girl will be released wide in theaters on October 27, 2017.

The two companies previously collaborated on numerous films including multiple Academy Award® nominee …