Skip to comments.Box Office: Hollywood Suffers Worst March Downturn in Recent Memory
Posted on 03/26/2018 2:07:09 PM PDT by EdnaMode
The month's last hope at the U.S. box office is Steven Spielberg's 'Ready Player One,' which opens Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend. With less than a week to go, Hollywood's major March releases have failed to bloom at the North American box office, triggering the worst year-over-year decline for the month in recent memory.
March revenue through Sunday was an estimated $722.5 million, a 28 percent decline from the same time period last year ($997.3 million), according to comScore.
The last hope for redemption is Steven Spielberg's pricey Ready Player One, which Warner Bros. and Amblin Entertainment open in theaters Thursday, the eve of Easter weekend.
Last year, films released in March ultimately generated north of $1.2 billion in domestic ticket sales, led by Beauty and the Beast ($504 million), Logan ($226 million), The Boss Baby ($175 million) and Kong: Skull Island ($168 million) And in 2016, that same stat was $939 billion, fueled by Zootopia ($341 million) and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice ($330.4 million).
While this year's crop of March titles are still in the heart of their runs, they won't match those numbers, considering not one title has come close to hitting $100 million. And without carryover revenue from February's Black Panther as in $200 million-plus the situation would be even worse.
March offerings that have disappointed in 2018 include Legendary's and Universal's Pacific Rim Uprising, which debuted over the weekend to $28 million in North America against a $155 million budget. The weekend before, Warner Bros.' and MGM's Tomb Raider opened to an even worse $23 million domestically. Both films are doing far better overseas, but that doesn't erase the blemish of a lackluster domestic run.
Disney's A Wrinkle in Time, which opened March 9, also has underwhelmed in a major way. The Ava DuVernay-directed family film has earned $73.9 million so far domestically, and could have trouble getting to $100 million. In past years, Disney has often dominated the March corridor, between Beauty and the Beast, Zootopia, Cinderella and Alice in Wonderland.
The March slump has resulted in 2018 box-office revenue running behind that of last year by 2.7 percent, according to comScore.
The saving grace has been Disney's and Marvel's Black Panther, which has grossed nearly $631 million in North America since its mid-February debut (thanks to the superhero film, February revenue crossed $1 billion for the first time ever).
Over the weekend, Black Panther became the top-grossing superhero film of all time domestically, as well as claimed fifth place on the list of history's top-grossing films, not adjusted for inflation.
All told, Black Panther accounts for roughly 24 percent of all 2018 revenue at the domestic box office.
"A reliance on one title namely Black Panther to do the heavy lifting while a host of newcomers over the past few weeks have faltered to one degree or another has resulted in a deficit situation that will take some time to reverse. Reboots and sequels are no guarantee of success, and at least a couple of recent examples will rely on their appeal outside of North America to put them into profitability," says box-office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of comScore.
"What should have been March madness in the wake of a massive performance by Black Panther turned to box office sadness," Dergarabedian continues. "March has been a disappointing month that wasn't bolstered by a solid lineup of films that could compare to last years stellar first-quarter slate."
Both Dergarabedian and Wall Street analyst Eric Handler of MKM Partners say that comparisons to March 2017 were always going to be tough. Handler adds he thought the first quarter would be down more than it is. "To come to close to last year is a pretty good achievement," Handler says. "Originally, the Street expectation was for a double digit decline."
You ain’t seen nothing yet, after the March for Fascism over the weekend with the full support of Hollywood, it is just the beginning of their downfall.
I read the book, then saw the trailer. Speilberg has gone insane with wall-to-wall special effects that are assaultive, not entertaining. It looks like one 2+ hour stupid cartoon done by sweatshop Asian workers.
i haven’t been to the theater in over a decade ... the only thing that would temp me is Scorsese’s “The Irishman”, but apparently netflix is releasing it directly to streaming ...
Keep preaching your politics to us, “stars”. Makes it easier to decide what to do on a Saturday night.
Making the same movie over and over and over again ultimately produces diminishing results. Even if you have all the special effects that money can buy. There is no more original thinking in Hollywood.
As an aside, I’m sure that liberal scripts have something to do with it, but the main cause, in my opinion, is just a complete lack of originality. Hollywood is an industry that has finally ossified.
The suits will ignore the reality that the public is rejecting movies and Hollywood liberals just like they are attempting to ignore the rejection of the anti-American nfl.
It will be a slow but relentless death. The predictions of “Final Fantasy” ending the movie star may have been too early, but they were not wrong.
Maybe if they just crank out a few more dull, politically correct, preachy movies, they can get their numbers back up.
On our limited budget, we do not go see movies a lot.
But when we do, we make sure the Hollywood voices are left out to the extent possible....................NO JENNIFER LAWRENCE FILMS EVER!.................
The last time I was in a theatre watching a movie I had to wear ear plugs it was so loud, especially when they played the coming attractions. I don’t get why they have to have the volume turned up to jet engine levels.
Comic book re-makes and liberal themes are a losing combination? Who knew? :)
Note: This is the first I have heard of “Ready Player One” and I watch a normal amount of TV (admittedly mostly H.I. and MeTV and the like).
Strange since I recall the ads and buzz surrounding all th other recent “big” movies.
Because today’s audience talks as loudly as they would at home.
But that be new skoool.
Pacific Rim was an ok popcorn flick but the sequel looks lame and preachy.
Last time I was at the movies (2007) it was a horrible experience. People are so rude.
I much prefer getting movies on Netflix DVDs. I can watch the movie in quiet at my own home. I can back up the DVD if I want to watch a scene again.
True, I can’t watch a movie the second it comes out, but, hey, it’s a movie. Waiting a couple of months isn’t gonna hurt.
I seriously doubt I’ll ever to to the movies again.
Avengers: Infinity War is virtually certain to turn things around when it’s released next month.
I haven’t gone in two decades. Their loud, PC brainwashing drek is bad. I won’t pay to see it.
lets hope it continues!
I didnt read the book, but the trailer is nauseating. Fields of CGI characters fighting one another? Hard pass. Plus, Spielbergs a $&@# and hes pretty much lost it anyway.
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