Skip to comments.Why ‘Black Panther’ Saved the 1st Quarter Box Office From Disaster
Posted on 03/23/2018 2:11:36 PM PDT by EdnaMode
The movie business owes Ryan Coogler and his Marvel team a debt of profound gratitude.
Had Coogler and company not pulled off the massive cultural and financial success of Black Panther, the industry would be emerging from a long and brutal winter. As it stands, the Marvel movie about the king of Wakanda is the only new release in the past three months to achieve blockbuster status. The films outsize success is the sole reason that the domestic box office through the first quarter is running flat with revenues from 2017. Its yet another illustration of the new commercial dynamics in Hollywood the business has increasingly been propped up by a handful of record-shattering hits, while other studio releases struggle, and largely fail to secure a foothold.
Its a little unsettling, said Jeff Bock, a box office analyst with Exhibitor Relations. I dont like to be all doom and gloom, but Hollywood doesnt seem to know what audiences want outside of Marvel, Pixar, and Blumhouse movies.
As it stands, domestic revenues are hovering at roughly $2.6 billion through Thursday. Black Panther, with a Stateside gross of $612 million, is responsible for roughly a quarter of that figure. Last year, revenues were more evenly distributed among first quarter debuts. Although Beauty and the Beast was a juggernaut, earning $504 million over its life cycle, seven other films earned more than $100 million, among them such zeitgeist-defining successes as Get Out and Logan.
First quarter offerings in 2016 only counted four $100 million-plus grossers in their ranks, but three of them (Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, Zootopia, and Deadpool) netted more than $300 million apiece. In contrast, 2018 has only hosted two movies that have grossed north of $100 million domestically, Black Panther and Peter Rabbit. Fifty Shades Freed should cross that barrier in the coming days, but its still a paltry showing.
Black Panthers dominance is further proof that Disney is in a league of its own. By controlling Marvel, LucasFilm, Pixar, and soon most of Foxs film and television assets, the Mouse House is establishing a virtual hegemony over the entertainment business and its hottest brands. Disney now commands more than 32% of the theatrical market share, far outstripping its next closest rival Sony, which has 14%.
Its not like the major studios didnt try to attract crowds to films without superheroes. In many cases, they spent big money and allied themselves with major stars. Disney ponied up more than $100 million bringing A Wrinkle in Time to the big screen, Jennifer Lawrence reunited with her Hunger Games director Francis Lawrence for Red Sparrow, and young adult franchise Maze Runner wrapped things up with The Death Cure. But critics werent kind and audiences didnt much care for the pictures either they either lost money or rank as commercial disappointments.
The good news is that there were a number of holiday season offerings that showed some impressive legs. After opening slowly, The Greatest Showman gradually gained steam, racking up more than $100 million in the new year. And Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle was indefatigable. The family film has earned more than $400 million in North America since premiering over the winter holidays.
One sore spot was Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which proved to be more front-loaded than its predecessors. After opening in December of 2016, Rogue One made $123 million in the next calendar year, while The Force Awakens earned $282 million in 2016 after scoring a massive December 2015 debut. The Last Jedi, however, earned only $103 million of its $619.8 million domestic gross in 2018. The rest it picked up in the last month of 2017. There were also gripes that it strayed too far afield from the Jedi canon, signaling it wasnt as universally beloved as other entries in the film series.
Looking ahead, analysts still believe that this years slate, which includes Solo: A Star Wars Story, Avengers: Infinity War, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, has the potential to be among the highest-grossing in history. That has the numbers crunchers feeling optimistic.
The year is expected to be up, if not record breaking, said Eric Handler, an analyst with MKM Partners. You cant look at the box office on a quarter by quarter basis. Its where we end up that counts.
People still go to the movies?? I quit when they got rid of drive ins.
Did anyone who’s never chanted “hands up,don’t shoot” go to see Black Panther?
Went to 1 movie last year. Blew my monthly entertainment budget. :)
But seriously, $7.95 for a small coke? About the same for a hotdog. Yeh, you can do without the food, but that was a big part of why we used to love to go.
Maybe someone would let me know if there's a movie worth the hassle.
They wuz kangs, you know! And without whitey in their country any more, they had “access” to technology and got space ships! And vibranium!
The last movie I watched in the theater was American Sniper because I wanted to help Clint and to help give the middle finger to the lefties..
Why? Prolly because a lot of people paid to see it.
But that’s just a guess. I’m not an economist.
Wrinkle In Time isn’t packing then in??? People aren’t swarming in to hear oprah spew new age pablum as she leads the girl in that movie on her journey? I’m shocked......
Maybe they should have given the role to Whoopi Goldberg.......
The smart move is to tighten the budget belt. Wrinkle has made 75 million globally, that CAN be a profitable movie. They’re trying to hard to make everything a blockbuster, they’ve forgotten how to spend 6 million to make 30.
That disgusting flick is one of the many things now stampeding large numbers of the very young to lean away from our failed baby boomer experiment in universal “melting pot” bunk. There’s no melting pot. People of northwestern European descent are hated by most others to the east and south.
Do you see, now, the target countries (northwestern Europe, USA, Canada) of the nations being ushered out of their own trashed countries (look south)? Do you really believe that it’s all an accident?
Now it’s “multiculturalism,” and they are beginning to see what the horrible plan is for us all. The young are awakening, are absolutely opposed to their teachers (and smarter than them, too), and nearly no one in the political/regulator class sees it coming.
Every effort to terrorize those young folks into complying is only intensifying their stubborn rebellion against the un-American tyrants.
I went to see it on the first day. Liked it even though there were a couple of scenes that seemed anti-white. Minor, but still there. It’s a good comic-book inspired movie IMHO.
Tomorrow will prove your theory. Students out in droves.
Is that even typically a blockbuster quarter?
Big fish in a small pond
Im not iinto the whole black supremacy thing.
It didn't make over $600 million dollars on the backs of Snap benefit recipients. Obviously, whitey has been seeing the movie too.
“Hollywood doesnt seem to know what audiences want.”
False. Producers in Hollywood know exactly what the audience wants, such as G-rated family Christian films, and continues to ignore the audience.
I remember when David Putnam produced Chariots of Fire in 1981 and cleaned up. Then he said that Hollywood ignored him and refuses to make numerous profitable Christian family films, like Chariots of Fire.
Mel Gibson made a Christian family film in 2004 and was ignored by all awards shows.
Hollywood is now funded by Disney and it is all boring fiction.
I believe they make some movies to throw gas on the fire of racial division.
This would be for the deep state.
Usually Oscar nominated films dominate the box office in January-February. Deadpool did really well in February a couple of years ago.
If you’re going to the movies, go see the Christian film “I Can Only Imagine”.
It actually hit second place last weekend.
“Let There Be Light” with Kevin Sorbo and produced by Sean Hanity hit number 3 when it came out, and it is on Amazon Instant Video now for those that want to watch it.
It is interesting that the Christian movies are now hitting the top spots because Hollywood’s quality is declining so much.
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