FlASH: Combined US ticket sales were down sharply, worst Presidents Day weekend in at least 14 years.
Wall Street, and industry observers struggle with a downturn at the North American box office following a record-shattering Y 2018. Revenue for the 1st 7 weeks of y 2019 hit an 8 year low, capped by what looks to be the worst Presidents Day weekend in 14 years.
January was down more than 15% from the prior year sans a breakout hit or a carryover holiday hit such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and The Greatest Showman last year, or a Star Wars pic the three previous years. Revenue for January 2019 came in at roughly $812-M, the lowest since Y2011.
“This lack has the industry stuck in Neutral as we await the arrival of Captain Marvel, which will begin a much-needed and inevitable revival at the multiplex,” says Comscore.
So far, February has not brought much relief. Revenue for the month is also at its lowest level since T 2011, according to Comscore’s data.
This year, the top-grossing pic of the long Presidents Day weekend is the James Cameron-written-and-produced Alita: Battle Angel with an estimated 5-day opening of $41 to 42-M, a final number will be released Tuesday morning.
While Alita came in well ahead of prerelease tracking, its domestic launch is subdued given its $170-M net budget.
Among other holiday offerings, the Rebel Wilson comedy Isn’t It Romantic opened to an estimated $23.6-M, followed by Happy Death Day 2U with a muted $15-M.
Happy Death Day 2U, from Blumhouse and Universal, is among several Y 2019 sequels that are doing notably less business than their predecessors. The first Happy Death Day, for example, debuted to $26-M in Y 2017.
The Lego Movie 2: The Second Chapter started off with $34-M over the 8-10 February weekend, less than 50% the 1st film’s debut. Lego 2‘s estimated domestic total through Monday is $66-M, compared with $130-M for 2014’s The Lego Movie by the end of its 2nd frame.
The Top-grossing release of Y 2019 to date is M. Night Shyamalan’s Glass, which has earned an estimated $105% to date.
Through Sunday, domestic box office revenue YTD stood at $1.2-B, down nearly 20% off the same frame in Y 2018.
Next week’s 3-quel How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World hopes to beat the sequel curse that has infected the Y 2019 box office so far, but most box office observers are more focused on Captain Marvel, the female-fronted Superhero pic that opens on 8 March.
Captain Marvel is the 1st in a string of 2019 Disney tentpoles followed by Dumbo, Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: Episode IX.
Analysts remain confident that Disney’s slate, combined with event films from rival studios, including The Secret Life of Pets 2, Spider-Man: Far From Home, Hobbs & Shaw, It: Chapter 2, Joker and an untitled Jumanji sequel, will deliver a record year in Y 2019, despite Hollywood’s ‘Winter of Discontent”. There could also be an unprecedented number of titles soaring past $1-B at the global box office.
We will see, meantime…
Have some fun, see a movie this week.
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