Nolte: Box Office Slumps 7 Percent Compared to 2018


by John Nolte, Breitbart:

We are two weekends away from this year’s halfway point and the 2019 box office is still down seven points compared to last year, and one point compared to 2017.

A string of unexpected mega-flops killed a momentum that made it look as though 2019 would overtake 2018, certainly 2017. But no one expected Men in Black: International($28 million opening), The Secret Life of Pets 2 ($46M), Dark Phoenix ($32M), Rocketman ($25M), Godzilla: King of the Monsters ($47M), and Shaft ($8M) to open so poorly when compared to their predecessors — or in the case of Rocketman, when compared to Bohemian Rhapsody.

And that is just the last five or six weeks.

Shazam! ($139 million total domestic take), Dumbo ($113M), The Lego Movie 2 ($105M), Pet Sematary ($54M), The Hustle ($35M), Happy Death Day 2U ($28M), Hellboy($22M), and Long Shot ($30M), all came in below expectations. In a few cases, well, well below…

And once again it is a single studio, Disney, not only salvaging the annual box office but eating most of it up. Three of Disney’s features own the top three box office spots: Avengers: Endgame ($830M), Captain Marvel ($426M), and Aladdin ($263M).

The only other pleasant box office surprises this year are the horror movie Us ($175M), How To Train Your Dragon 3 ($160M), Pokemon Detective Pikachu ($140M), and John Wick 3 ($148M).

The Woke genre is simply a catastrophe: Late Night ($5M domestic total so far), Booksmart ($19M), What Men Want ($55M), Long Shot ($30M), and The Miseducation of Cameron Post ($900K), are all straight up bombs.

Captain Marvel is certainly a woke entry, but at that point, especially with Endgamecoming up next, Marvel Studios could do no wrong. We’ll see how the next Captain Marvel does and how Marvel overall does if it keeps its promise about becoming more stridently partisan and divisive.

With half a year left, Hollywood can still rebound, but almost all the rebounds are going to be credited to — you guessed it — Disney.

Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, The Lion King, Frozen 2, Star Wars IX…. All Disney titles yet to come in 2019.

Other potential bright spots include Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs and ShawIt: Chapter 2, Joker, Jumanji 2, and, if you want to be generous, the 87th attempt to reboot The Terminator.

Thanks only to Disney, the second half of this year looks every bit as promising as the second half of 2018, which gave us Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, The Meg, Crazy Rich Asians, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Grinch, Halloween, Aquaman, Ant-Man and the Wasp, Mission: Impossible 6, and Venom — so my money is on 2019 pulling out a win, but…

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