A slow August at the domestic box office wasnt a perfect solution to end a summer that has been otherwise an enormous boon for theater owners and Hollywood studios because they collectively emerged from the COVID-19 crisis.
Revenue for August 2022 looks to clock in at estimated $475 million-$477 million, which outside the past 2 yrs, once the pandemic kept many consumers in the home is among the lowest rankings in a number of decades and down a lot more than 43 percent from August 2019, in accordance with Comscore. (Because the pandemic turn off theaters in the U.S. in 2020, 2019 remains a favored standard of comparison.)
The good thing: the box office recovery made huge gains all of those other summer led, needless to say, by the high-flying Top Gun: Maverick. The success of the Tom Cruise blockbuster and a diverse crop of other films proved that moviegoers across all demos are actually time for cinemas.
Summer doesnt officially end until Labor Day, but revenue is projected ahead in around $3.4 billion. Thats up notably from this past year ($1.63 billion) and down a good 21 percent from 2019. Comscore will weigh in with final stats in the coming days.
Why did August go so awry and drag down underneath line, even though it had been up 13 percent or even more over 2021s $423.2 million?
Studios sources and box office analysts attribute the slowdown to a dearth of new releases as Hollywood grapples with supply-chain issues. Twelve movies opened nationwide in a lot more than 2,000 theaters in August 2019, and nine in 2021 including Free Guy, Jungle Cruise and The Suicide Squad. This season, there have been only six.
In 2014, combined August ticket sales crossed $1 billion for the very first time ever, led by Marvel and Disneys bold proceed to open Guardians of the Galaxy on Aug. 1. Revenue for the month crossed $1 billion for another amount of time in 2016, because of titles including Warner Bros. and DCs Suicide Squad (Aug. 5) and Sonys Sausage Party (Aug. 12). And Universal had long buoyed the ultimate month of summer using its Jason Bourne franchise, even though some installments first opened in late July.
In 2019, Universals Fast & Furious spinoff Hobbs & Shaw (Aug. 2) helped propel August revenue to $870 million.
The largest movie of August 2022 up to now is Sonys Bullet Train, which includes earned $78 million domestically. It did more overseas, grossing $95.4 million up to now for a worldwide cume north of $174 million. As the Brad Pitt-led movie did respectable business, it didn’t become a breakout hit.
Comscore analyst Paul Dergarabedian applauds Sony for moving the R-rated, edgy action pic from April of the year to August. It gave the month at the very least a fighting chance at generating respectable numbers, but when compared to sweet spot summertime of May, June and July, August of 2022 will pale in comparison, he says.
Dergarabedian says August is definitely a launching pad for great R-rated titles including Inglourious Basterds, District 9, Straight Outta Compton, Superbad, Tropic Thunder and also Apocalypse Now, to say several.
I call August the punk rock month because its where studios can technically open a film in the summertime season which are the less safe bets and on the more avant-garde side of the ledger and less about generating big dollars, says Dergarabedian.
Alongside Bullet Train, R-rated August releases this season include Universals genre adventure thriller Beast and MGM and United Artists specialty pic Three Thousand Years of Longing, all of which are doing modest business up to now (both star Idris Elba).
Domestically, another tentpole to reach will undoubtedly be Warner Bros. Black Adam, which debuts Oct. 21 opposite the Julia Roberts-George Clooney rom-com A Ticket to Paradise, from Universal. Weekly earlier, Universals Halloween Ends opens day-and-date in cinemas and on Peacock.
Theres a lot of potential in the year-end holiday release calendar, between Marvels Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Nov. 11), Disneys Thanksgiving animated offering Strange World (Nov. 23), 20th Centurys Avatar: JUST HOW of Water (Dec. 16) and DreamWorks Animations Puss in Boots: THE FINAL Wish (Dec. 21), and Paramounts Babylon on Christmas Day.
Still, the sting out of this month was sharp. Says one studio executive: August was overlooked in the cold this season.