Domestic box office revenue through June 30 plunged 9.4% YoY, while ticket sales for 1H19 dropped 7.3% following “franchise fatigue infecting titles such as Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Men in Black: International and The Secret Life of Pets 2,” reported The Hollywood Reporter.
“I’m not giving up yet, and am trying to stay optimistic. But I thought we would catch up a lot quicker. For every two steps forward, we are going three steps back,” said box office expert Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.
Even international box offices that Hollywood uses to distribute films have slumped. As of June, movies released on more than 1,000 screens in North America have earned about $13.4 billion worldwide, a 5% decline YoY.
The Hollywood Reporter notes while the overall industry cycles down, there is a significant exception: the Disney empire. The studio, which now owns Fox, has acquired at least 40% of US market share. The report said Disney’s market share could continue to increase, due in part to the release of The Lion King later this month and Toy Story 4.
As of June 28, Warner Bros held the No.2 spot for domestic market share, at 15.3%. Universal is No. 3 (15.29%), followed by Lionsgate (7%), Sony (5.8%), and Paramount (5.4%).
“Disney has incredible IP. I don’t worry about it, but I’m definitely paying attention. It doesn’t mean we should all go home,” said Jeff Goldstein, president of domestic distribution for Warner Bros. “We just have to be more clever and bold and have a strategy that stands out.”
Box office revenues topped out at $11.9 billion last year, an all-time high. Dergarabedian believes that 2019 revenue could plateau if titles such as Spider-Man: Far From Home (Sony), The Lion King (Disney), Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Sony), Joker (Warner Bros.), Frozen 2 (Disney), Doctor Sleep (Warner Bros.), Cats (Universal) and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (Disney) do well in their debuts.
Legendary and Warners’ Godzilla: King of the Monsters was a flop late spring into summer. To date, the movie has made $106.5 million domestically, compared to $200.7 million for Godzilla (2004). The foreign box office was weak as well, coming in at $270 million overseas, versus $329 million for the 2004 film.
Sony’s Men in Black: International and Illumination/Universal’s The Secret Life of Pets 2 were also significant disappointments this summer.
“It’s all about making good movies. There have been franchises that have excelled this summer, such as Avengers and John Wick,” says one studio executive. “Those that have fallen short have more to do with the movies themselves than having to do with them being a sequel.”
With more than 60 million Americans Netflix and chilling with over 198 series to watch – there is no need to visit the box office ever again.
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