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Box Office Depression: Summer Movies 2017 Recap

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This summer was a bust. I didn’t come in expecting much. None of us did. Still, many of us were left scratching our heads by the end of box office season – with many films not living up to expectations, and a severe lack of original, captivating material. This was one of the worst summers Hollywood has faced in terms of revenue and box-office returns.  With many Hollywood execs and studios blaming Rotten Tomatoes and low-scoring reviews for historically bad fiscal years, cinephiles and movie-buffs everywhere are beginning to wonder what’s more important – making a good film, or milking a franchise for every penny it’s worth.

April

April began the box office depression. However, the month started off strong, with The Fate of The Furious and Disney’s live-action adaptation of Beauty And The Beast hitting the billion-dollar mark. Other than these two gems, April’s releases began to hit a dramatic low in box-office numbers. Many of them saw a 50% (or higher) drop in revenue during the second-to-third week of their theater cycle.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS & ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE:
  • The Fate of The Furious 
    • box: $1.163 billion
    • RT: 66%
  • The Circle
    • box: $33.9 million
    • RT: 17%
  • Gifted
    • box: $7 million
    • RT: 72%
  • Going in Style
    • box: $84.9 million
    • RT: 48%
  • The Smurfs: The Lost Village
    • box: $197.7 million
    • RT: 38%
  • How to be a Latin Lover
    • box office $61.9 million
    • RT: 38%
  • Leap!
    • box: $100 million
    • RT: 91%
  • Kong Skull Island
    • box: $566.7 million
    • RT: 76%
  • Power Rangers
    • box: $142 million
    • RT: 44%

May

The depression continued into the month of May, as movies begin to go through what I like to call “forced nostalgia” – the idea of bringing back classics and trying to improve upon them for the digital age. On occasion this idea actually works, yet most of the time these remakes and reboots fail to live up to expectations.  Pirates of The Caribbean and Guardians of The Galaxy, which did decent overseas and in China, did not do as well as their predecessors – dropping almost 35% or lower.  

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS & ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE:
  • Baywatch
    • box: $58 million
    • RT: 18%
  • Pirates of Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
    • box: $173 million
    • RT: 29%
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
    • box: $390 million
    • RT: 82%
  • Alien: Covenant
    • box: $74 million
    • RT: 70%
  • King Arthur: Legend of the Sword
    • box: $39 million
    • RT: 28%

June

June was definitely the best month for 2017’s blockbuster season. We were filled to the brim with nostalgia as The Mummy, Transformers 5, Despicable me and Cars 3 all strove to bring franchise loyalists out to the movies. The big winner of the month was Wonder Woman. Movies with the female demographic in mind seem to perform well at the box office, and Wonder Woman was no exception. Wonder Woman stirred controversy as the first female superhero to have her own movie. Many people had only positive comments toward the movie and its female director (who made box office history). This added to the #feminism movement – leaving people satisfied, wanting more out of the DCEU, and raising anticipation for her appearance in the upcoming Justice League. Netflix’s release of Okja sadly did not have a lot of anticipation or views. Netflix is still striving to produce high-quality content as its competition, Amazon Prime, released Manchester by The Sea last year to huge Oscar praise.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS & ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE:
  • Wonder Woman
    • box: $412 million
    • RT: 92%
  • Transformer’s: The Last Knight
    • box: $130 million
    • RT: 15%
  • The Mummy
    • box: $80.1 million
    • RT: 16%
  • Despicable Me 3
    • box: $262 million
    • RT: 61%
  • All Eyez On Me
    • box: $45 million
    • RT: 17%
  • Baby Driver
    • box: $107 million
    • RT: 93%
  • Cars 3
    • box: $152 million
    • RT: 68%
  • Okja (Netflix)

July

July was another disappointment for the box office. With a high demand for superhero movies, it’s odd that Spiderman: Homecoming didn’t see the same success as other MCU entries. The constant change for our friendly neighborhood Spiderman might have a contributing factor. People don’t want to go pay for a movie they feel they have “already seen.” Other July releases included Atomic Blonde and War of The Planet of The Apes. Dunkirk, the latest in Chris Nolan’s filmography, brought people out to the theater with its Oscar buzz.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS & ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE:
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
    • box: $332 million
    • RT: 92%
  • Dunkirk
    • box: $186 million
    • RT: 93%
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
    • box: $146 million
    • RT: 93%
  • Atomic Blonde
    • box: $52 million
    • RT: 75%

August

August is where movies went to die this year. You could hear the crickets in the theaters. All of these movies under-performed either critically or commercially. While artistically some of these might have been the right choice, most of these films had problems with marketing or casting. Also, most students are going to school at this point and families don’t have time to go out and see a movie. Death Note, Netflix’s live-action adaptation of the famous anime series of the same name, saw some critical success. Logan Lucky, while seeing huge critical success, saw very little commercial success.

BOX OFFICE NUMBERS & ROTTEN TOMATOES SCORE:
  • The Dark Tower
    • box: $50 million
    • RT: 16%
  • Annabelle: Reborn
    • box: $101 million
    • RT: 68%
  • Death Note (Netflix)
  • Logan Lucky
    • box: $27 million
    • RT: 93%
  • Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
    • box: $40 million
    • RT: 50%

The summer of 2017 was heartbreaking for the box office. Do people no longer have the energy to go see a movie in theaters? Have online streaming services like Amazon Prime and Netflix opened a new gateway into the movie-going experience? With the fall and winter releases this year (Star Wars Last Jedi, Justice League, and Thor Ragnarok), there’s still a lot of money to be made in Hollywood, and perhaps this downward trend can be reversed.

 

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Box Office Depression: Summer Movies 2017 Recap