The Strategist

2016 is a failure for Hollywood blockbusters

08/15/2016 - 16:24

A record number of potential blockbusters tanked at the box office this year, despite a slight increase in the total box office index, writes The Wall Street Journal.

Blondinrikard Fröberg
Blondinrikard Fröberg
Since beginning of the year, fifteen films with a budget of over $ 100 million fell short of expectations at the box office against a total of eight for the same period last year. Among the most high-profile failures were "The Huntsman: Winter's War", "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows", "Independence Day: Resurgence", "The Legend of Tarzan" and "Ghostbusters (2016)".

The summer movie season (starts on the first weekend of May in the US) featured 17 expensive films against 11 in the same period of 2015. Yet, their average earnings fell to $ 150 million from $ 220 million, according to BoxOfficeMojo website.

Critics are paying particular attention to a situation with the last two superhero movies about DC Comics universe - "Batman v. Superman" and "Suicide Squad". They are not a failure from a financial point of view since the first earned $ 873 million, and the second - $ 456 million. However, they received sharply negative reviews and did not meet expectations of both the studios and the audience.

Meanwhile, total box offices sales revenue for the world’s ten major film markets increased by one percent and amounted to just over $ 18 billion since the beginning of the year, according to comScore’s estimates.

There is a new trend in modern cinema. The lion's share of box offices takings accounts for a bunch of the most high-profile films of the year. For example, five top-grossing films have received 30% of all proceeds from sale of cinema tickets in the US box offices this year. It is noteworthy that four of these five films belong to Disney - "Captain America: Civil War", "Finding Dory", "The Jungle Book (2016)" and "Zootopia". 

In recent years, vast majority of the most successful films were remakes or produced under a popular franchise. Many critics came to think about a crisis in the cinema world, when the audience does not want to go to the unknown movies, and movie studios give rise to fewer original ideas in response. Family movie genre, the only category in which the viewers are willing to experiment, is the on;y exception.

It seems that it’s time to look for a new market. Maybe the moviemakers should pay more attention to Asian destinations? Earlier, box offices sales in China set a new world record for ticket sales in cinemas on the territory of one country.

According to Variety and the Hollywood Reporter magazine, the box office takings in China amounted to $ 543 million a week from 8 to 14 February 2016.

This amount is higher than the previous record set in North America, where cash charges numbered $ 529.6 million for the week from December 26, 2015 to January 1, 2016.

This achievement is even more significant given the fact that the box office is estimated at "territories", i.e. the figures for North America included US and Canada, whereas the Chinese territory includes only one country.