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Mixed Results From This Summer’s Movie Season

Strong Start, Slow Finish

With all of the adversity and drama over the past two years, by this point they should really make a film about the movie industry.

The results are in. This summer’s movie season earned a total of $3.43 billion, which was a little bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, this was the lowest total since 2001 and was 21% lower than pre-COVID 2019 levels. This summer also featured just 22 “wide releases,” denoting movies that play on at least 2,000 screens. In 2019, there were 42 wide releases in total.

In other words, this summer’s low box office numbers could simply be attributed to a lack of movies. Movie production was down as many studios are still dealing with the supply chain issues and production delays associated with COVID-19.

But, the good news is that the handful of movies that made it to the big screen performed quite well.

Carrying the Team?

There were a handful of summer blockbusters that are almost single-handedly keeping the lights on at movie theaters.

This includes “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” which grossed $411 million domestically and $952 million across the globe. “Top Gun: Maverick” which grossed $701 million domestically and more than $1.4 billion worldwide led the pack. Finally, “Jurassic World: Dominion” earned $375 million domestically and nearly $1 billion worldwide.

Interestingly, the average summer movie this year actually grossed more than the average movie in 2019. The 22 major releases this summer grossed an average of $155.9 million, compared to $103.5 million on average from the 42 movies in 2019.

Ending on a Cliffhanger

Now that the busy summer season is behind us, there are only three major blockbusters left on the schedule for 2022. All three are Disney (DIS) movies and include “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever”, “Strange World”, and “Avatar: The Way of Water”. Only time will tell if people will flock to theaters like they did for “Top Gun” and “Doctor Strange.”

The future of the movie theater industry can still be fairly described as “to be determined”. For now, it’s clear that people are still willing to visit cinemas for blockbusters. The key may be getting more films out of the production phase and onto the big screen.

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James Flippin ABOUT James Flippin James Flippin is the son of a financial advisor who grew up hearing and learning about bond yields, interest rates, the stock market, and the ins and outs of Wall Street. After stints as a licensing and business broker for Marcus and Millichap in New York City, James moved into broadcasting and became a reporter and anchor. He covered crime, politics, finance, and tech at NBC News Radio while working part-time as a producer for SiriusXM. James graduated from the University of Delaware with a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics. He's also an accomplished podcaster with over 10-years of experience.

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