Is it time to abandon the franchise ship?
It hasn’t been a good summer for the U.S. box office, as cinemas have seen their worse turnout for years. According to comScore, this year’s summer box office revenue in the US will be at its lowest since 2006. Predicted to come in at just $3.78 billion, the revenue would be nearly 16% lower than last summer’s take. Box Office Mojo has also predicted that attendance figures and ticket sales for this summer will mark a 25-year low in cinematic entertainment in the U.S.
Who’s to blame? There are a few contenders.
The recent trend in franchises and cinematic universes proved to be problematic for cinema houses this year, as a slew of big-budget, low-earning sequels and reboots failed to impress audiences.
Indeed, Tom Cruise’s Mummy reboot fared the worse, taking just $80.1 million – not a great sign, given it’s the first movie in Universal’s already-in-motion Dark Universe.
As for new titles? Well, they didn’t do much better.
Big budget releases such as King Arthur: Legend of the Sword, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets and The Dark Tower failed to impress critics and audiences alike. Not that R-rated comedies did much better, as Baywatch, The House and Rough Night all flopped despite big name casts.
However, this category was offset by Girls Trip.
The fairly low budget movie, which stars Regina Hall, Tiffany Haddish, Jada Pinkett Smith and Queen Latifah as four best friends who reunite for a festival weekend in New Orleans, has earned $108.1 million to date. This makes its gross domestic total way above that of the comedies mentioned above.
So what else performed well?
Unsurprisingly, it was superheroes to the rescue. DC’s Wonder Woman was the best performer, taking $406.2 million in the US alone, while Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 followed closely with $389.4 million. Spider-Man: Homecoming also helped, taking $318.8 million, while Despicable Me 3, Baby Driver and Annabelle: Creation all did well too.
But not quite well enough to save Hollywood’s summer.