Entertainment Reporter Drew Taylor From The Wrap Reviews This Summer's New Movies

Entertainment Reporter Drew Taylor From The Wrap Reviews This Summer's New Movies
24 mag 2024 · 19 min. 3 sec.

The Summer Box Office Has to Be Graded on a Curve Yet Again With no MCU movie to start off the season, this year's strike-addled blockbuster lineup will likely fall...

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The Summer Box Office Has to Be Graded on a Curve Yet Again With no MCU movie to start off the season, this year's strike-addled blockbuster lineup will likely fall short of 2023 Excluding the COVID impact on 2020 and 2021, this year marks the first time since 2006 that the summer moviegoing season won't begin with a Marvel release during the first weekend of May. The lack of a superheroic kickoff to blockbuster season is a glaring symptom of a larger reality: The disruption caused by the 2023 Hollywood strikes is going to limit how high the summer box office can climb. Alongside Disney, which was forced to vacate its favorite MCU release slot, the strikes also pushed films like "Mission: Impossible 8" to 2025, with not much to take their place. It will take several major surprises - like 2023's "Barbie" and "Oppenheimer" - to match last year's $4 billion domestic total. Insiders at analytics firm Gower Street, while leaving open the potential for upside, project a box office total of $3.3 billion in North America this summer, putting it in the neighborhood of the $3.39 billion total recorded in 2022. From the get-go, because of the strikes any comparisons between this summer's box office and those of past years will immediately be marked with a huge asterisk."This summer is a one-off, and I think everyone in the industry knows that," Exhibitor Relations analyst Jeff Bock told The Wrap. "What I want to know is, how do these sequels play compared to last summer?" Bock is holding out some optimism that despite a slow start, there may be some unexpected over-performance later in the summer. Universal/87North's original action romcom "The Fall Guy" may become a modest box office success if moviegoers have enough Kenergy in them to see Ryan Gosling in another comedic role. But it likely won't bring theaters the $118 million opening or $358.9 million domestic run that "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" delivered in summer 2023. "We've seen that Imax and other premium (large) formats help make these franchise films feel like big events, and the fact that more PLF-supported films are coming out across the summer may help some of those films do better than some of the sequels we saw last year," he said. That premium support will come in July, when the season's biggest titles arrive. Universal/Illumination's "Despicable Me 4" could be the sole $1 billion-plus hit of the summer if it can top the $370 million domestic/$940 million global run of "Minions: The Rise of Gru" in 2022. Marvel Studios' "Deadpool & Wolverine," due out on July 26, also has an outside chance of joining "Joker" as the second R-rated film to hit $1 billion. Though simply topping the $786 million global total of "Deadpool 2" would be a win for Disney, which inherited Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman's heroes in 2019 from the 20th Century Fox merger. But the quantity of high-performing films is likely to be fewer. In 2023, 13 films grossed over $100 million at the domestic box office, including some surprises like Angel Studios' cultural phenomenon "Sound of Freedom." Among those movies, five grossed more than $250 million domestically: "Barbie," "Oppenheimer," "Guardians Vol. 3," "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" and "The Little Mermaid."
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