The Box Office Strikes Back*
It’s early, but it’s certainly setting up for this to be the best year in terms of Hollywood box office receipts ever. Just look at Furious 7; it’s already the 7th highest grossing movie of all time. And still rising. It could crack the top 5. Crazy.
Meanwhile, the Avengers 2 will be out in a few weeks. It has a shot to become the highest grossing movie of all time — at least until the new Star Wars is released in December. In between we’ll get a new Jurassic Park, a new Mission: Impossible, a new Terminator, a new James Bond, two new Pixar films, and countless other sequels, comicbook fare at what not. In other words, the deck is absolutely stacked.
This comes after years of bad news and box office declines. Just as with the best movies, this will be the story of redemption. The comeback.
As big as this year will be, it’s only going to set a high watermark that may be impossible to hit for an even longer time to come. As sure as we are to see headlines touting 2015 as the year of Hollywood’s resurgence, you can already write the headlines for 2016's inevitable massacre when it fails to match the 2015 standard.
The situation remains the same and much more nuanced than any headline will reveal: Hollywood is changing right in front of our eyes. The fact that it’s all sequels now is obvious. As are rising ticket prices. Less obvious is just how little the domestic box office matters these days. Of Furious 7's $1.15 billion, just 25 percent is from the U.S. — that’s the lowest split in the top 10.
This is the new norm.
(Written on my iPhone)