The summer slump is real, and Hollywood is feeling it.
According to the latest analysis, domestic box office totals for Summer 2017 are down 13.4%. Forecasters are estimating that by the time Labor Day comes and goes, that number will be closer to 16%, the “steepest decline in modern times.” Even more dramatic, August’s total is 34% behind this time last year.
Paul Dergarabedian from comScore breaks it down: “The lesson for Hollywood this summer is that every movie counts when it comes to box office, and there are no ‘throwaway’ titles. At least three tentpoles missed the mark in North America, as well as a handful of R-rated comedies that left audiences frowning…”
Revenue for the summer is expected to be around $3.78 billion, making this season the first since 2006 to not reach $4 billion. Despite the mega success of Wonder Woman and a few other franchise-based films, audiences connected with far fewer movies this summer than in previous years. Box Office Mojo, which tracks moviegoing numbers, estimates that this summer season will mark a “25-year low” in tickets sold.
Notable poor performers this summer include the heavily hyped Baywatch, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Zac Efron; Tom Cruise’s no-one-asked-for-this remake of The Mummy; and more recently, The Dark Tower, the big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s series, starring Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba.
Johnson took the disappointing critical reviews for Baywatch head on:
While domestic totals were disappointing for many of these films, the international box office has been the industry’s saving grace of late. Internationally, ticket sales are up 3%, and many of the biggest bombs in American theaters saw their numbers rise steeply overseas. Abroad, at least, it seems there’s still a market for Mark Wahlberg fighting robot cars and Tom Cruise running really fast away from mummies.
What do you think? Why are box office numbers down this year? Bad movies? Franchise fatigue? Too many other entertainment options out there?