$100 million openers to be scarce as Summer Box Office may hit historic lows

There are big titles over the horizon, but summer has been off to a slow start with a string of films not earning what studios have come to expect.

The Fall Guy

The year was predicted to look pretty bleak with a number of major tentpoles being delayed due to the dual union strikes from the Writers’ Guild and the Actors’ Guild from late last year. However, that isn’t to say that there aren’t still some big releases, as some films were still ready to go for the summer. The past few weeks have seen a steamy character drama with Challengers, an action comedy with two stars from last year’s Barbenheimer sensation with The Fall Guy, the powers of Ryan Reynolds and John Krasinski teaming up for a cutesy family film with IF and a CGI-filled action epic from an established franchise with Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes. Two of the films from these past weeks have already been made available on digital platforms — Challengers and The Fall Guy. Both Challengers and The Fall Guy followed another film with a short theater life — Madame Web — whereas that movie not only flopped, but the film’s reputation would be a big joke of the internet. However, the aforementioned titles would garner a much more positive reception with critics and audiences and yet, the tickets were just not selling. According to a new article from The Hollywood Reporter, the box office for this summer has so far seen a historic low as there has not yet been a movie in the past two months that has opened to $100 million on its debut weekend in more than a decade (not counting for the COVID pandemic in 2020). The only big superhero movie to open this summer is Deadpool & Wolverine, and even with its unchallenging competition, that film still has a lot going for it, which is why the presales have already set records at Fandango and AMC. This anticipated film is sure to buck the recent bleak trend and become the first big hit of the year.

Wall Street analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners is stating, “Hollywood is sucking wind right now. The strike wreaked havoc. For the first time in years, we started off summer with an unproven, character-driven film (The Fall Guy). I’m not worried because there are big movies coming, but it does put pressure on the rest of the summer and year.” Furiosa is about to drop, so it will remain to be seen if it can beat Deadpool to the top of the charts early on. There are also some family films that are usually reliable, like The Garfield Movie, Inside Out 2 and Despicable Me 4, that are just over the horizon. There are also recognizable titles like Bad Boys: Ride or Die and Twisters that can capitalize on their nostalgic origins.

Comscore chief box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian says that Hollywood has put their expectations too high by setting their sights on front-heavy $100 million weekends. He states, “In today’s modern theatrical marketplace, the emphasis should shift from the short-term gain to the long-term playability, since this is now a game of yards instead of inches. And the analysis of what constitutes a hit or a flop must be reevaluated.”

Source: THR

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.