Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (2023)

CWhile Hollywood has been a bit of a letdown this season, the end result feels like a victory. If everything goes according to plan by the end of the week, ticket sales will start this summerreach the magic amount of 4 billion dollarsIt was the longest summer since before the pandemic.

However, it will be a dangerous decision, and given that many big movies have lost big money, there are still a few important cautions to be learned.

It's Barbie's world

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (1)

Not evenbarbie fairycould have foreseen the awe-inspiring and record-breaking success of the summer live-action adaptation, worth billions of dollars.Barbie dollThe movie, not only the biggest movie of the season, but probably the biggest movie of the year. Mattel's strong sales (the company still racked up more than $1.4 billion on Barbie products last year) and a hugely successful marketing campaign augured well, but Greta Gerwig's well-reviewed semi-satire starring Margot Robbie exceeded all expectations and more. a rare hit that has become a real phenomenon. To date, it is the director's biggest film ever produced by Warner Bros. and at over $1.2 billion (unlike many summer hits, it has legs) it's sure to rank among the top 10 movies of all time. It was the event the industry wanted, and one that got millions of people off the couches they were so comfortable on (andTo learnshowed that about a quarter of all Barbie viewers have not been to the cinema since the pandemic) and proved that theater experiences can still be big business.

This inevitably led to duplication by Mattel Studios.confirm plansfor films based on everything from Polly Pocket (starring Lena Dunham) to Barney the Dinosaur (starring Daniel Kaluuya) and Uno. But while Monster's box office revenue was undoubtedly tied to a far-reaching, long-running franchise (the only other billion-dollar blockbuster of the year is the equally nostalgic Super Mario Bros.), there's something more challenging behind its level of popularity. play: the perfect synergy of director, star, time and sound. It was also another reminder of the financial impact of women on audiences after last summer's hits like "Sex and the City", "Mamma Mia!", "Girls Trip" and last year's "Where the Crawdads Sing". Its success can also be associated with another summer hit...

Oppenheimer was not a bomb

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (2)

It was the summer of Barbie andOppenheimerabut mostly it was summerBarbenheimera, an improbable series of comically opposing duo films that turned competition into collaboration. Millions of people chose to watch both films on their opening weekend and continued to do so in the following weeks, leading to a rare global duopoly. While Barbie's box-office receipts are still a significant achievement, the $722 million (and counting) she earned for the three-hour drama really rocked the industry, and the biopic was hailed as a superhero movie. It certainly helped that it was directed by someone with some experience in the field: Christopher Nolan, author of the Dark Knight trilogy, one of the few directors active today whose name carries as much weight as a famous actor. Although many famous personalities appeared in the film (Matt Damon, Emily Blunt, Florence Pugh), Nolan was the biggest hit. His blank check passion project proved fruitful not only for him, but also for other filmmakers who hoped to make it in the future.

But howBarbie doll, may not be a big change for the industry as some believe. There may not have been many other big-budget historical dramas à la Mattel in the sequel, but the makers will certainly be looking at its continued success (it's the fourth-biggest movie of the year, and will soon be third, dethroning The Guardians). with Galaxy 3) and I'm wondering how to force another lightning bolt. The smartest will wait until the premiere of Martin Scorsese's "Killers of the Flower Moon" and Ridley Scott's "Napoleon" to see if viewers will be as eager to see the film on a bigger screen as other screenwriters have allowed them to.

The leading statesmen and women of Hollywood fought

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (3)

Top Gun: Maverick's box-office record hit last summerthe absolute success of the seasonseemed to indicate that Tom Cruise, who enjoyed his greatest success yet, could do no wrong, the dethroned Hollywood royal family reclaimed the crown. But a year later, his star was overshadowed by disappointing box office results.Mission: Impossible - Dead Reckoning, Part One, the long-awaited sequel in the face of an impossible mountain. The film has grossed $541 million so far, a number not to be made fun of in context, but it's the worst film in the franchise since the third film in 2006, with a bloated budget of $291 million that became a Covid-19 blockbuster. instant money loser. Paramount is set to lose about $100 million, and Disney, its most anticipated company, will lose a similar sum.Indiana Jones and the Shield of Fatefared even worse, spending just $378 million against an equally large budget of $295 million (nearly half of the money raised by 2008's Kingdom of the Crystal Skull). The marketing budget for both films is believed to be around $100 million each, making them the most expensive films of all time.

It could have been a big risk that would have been too much in any year, but the momentum was on neither side, with budgets skyrocketing due to the coronavirus crisis, and Cruise just a week later, with the arrival of the runaway Barbenheimer train crippling all legs. a revised film could have done it (Ford reacted rather harshly to the Cannes premiere, which on closer inspection seemed unwise). These are also older franchises that, at least on the surface, require some work from beginners. The fifth (Ford) and seventh (Cruise) parts of the series did not necessarily reach the younger crowd of fans. In other cases, actors over 50 did not fare well.Book Club: The Next ChapterSummer Counterprogramming Bombings, which grossed $28 million worldwide (compared to $104 million for the original), and Robert De Niro's comedy About My Dad, which barely grossed just under $18 million. Older viewers were even slower to return to theaters after the peak of the coronavirus crisis (Oppenheimer's opening weekend surprisingly led audiences between the ages of 18 and 34), and after last year's Oscar films failed to pull them in, all eyes are on him. be targeted at the challengers by this fall to see if the fortunes might turn around.

The conservative crowd made a noise

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (4)

There is a long list of small, underrated films aimed at Christian and conservative audiences that outperformed American theaters, from 2014's God's Not Dead to 2019's Anti-Abortion Propaganda.Not plannedbut compared to what happened this summer when the Sound of Liberty reached tsunami level, it was mostly a drop in the ocean. Originally shot in 2018 but held back by Disney's original distributor to resell it, the film became one of the summer's many successes in the culture war between left and right, alongside Jason Aldean's gritty and divisive country songs andOliver Anthony. Obacked by TrumpThe child trafficking thriller starring Jim Caviezel was praised by critics for not being too demanding for quality assuranceGuardian,JezebelmiRolling Stone'a(Caviezel also appeared at QAnon events and discovered some important theories) idangerousby some pundits, but became an unlikely hit in the summer, grossing $178 million to date on a budget of $14.5 million.

The success was due to the film's production quality (subject aside, it is visually more elegant than any of the seminal Christian films of the last decade), and the debate it sparked garnered support and controversial payments from viewers who felt unappreciated at the show-ahead box office which led to viewers being able to purchase more tickets in bulk after viewingresultedon "sold out" shows that are empty. Of course, work is underway on the continuation (if the assembly has been completed).who has rightsto be decided) and the margins make it one of the highest-grossing independent films of all time, more right-wing cinema can be expected in the future.

Necessity is the mother of invention

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (5)

Barbie's aforementioned success can be attributed to many factors, from brand awareness to contagious marketing, but much of the attention it garnered was due to Gerwig's willingness to challenge expectations. Contrary to what one might expect from a Barbie movie, it was (within the limits of the system) a film full of reflection and challenge, adding a touch of elegance where filmmakers often go astray. A similar feat was accomplished by one of the season's other great successes: an animated sequel with a mind-blowing imaginationSpider-Man: Through Spider-Verse, a movie full of ideas and a plot that plays with our fatigue not only of the superhero genre, but also the story of Spider-Man himself. It was a huge critical and commercial success ($687 million worldwide, surpassing its predecessor by $300 million) and showed that there is life in the Marvel Universe after all.Guardians of the Galaxy Band 3, this summer's biggest superhero hit, may not have much to offer, but the show remains one of the studio's most popular series because its director, James Gunn, has always tried to create and choose something different for the character rather than cliché. A new Spider-Verse-inspired invention has also gotten off to a good start.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Mutant MayhemFeaturing visually unexpected animation and a screenplay co-written with surprising humor by Seth Rogen, the film slowly racked up more than $120 million worldwide after a three-week release, encouraged by glowing reviews.

But elsewhere it was more similar.Little Mermaid. After the disaster and heatwave with Black Adam and Shazam 2, DC had another bad summer due to the high-profile adventure.LightningIt became the biggest superhero blunder of all time, estimated to cost Warner Bros. about $200 million and then in AugustBlue BeetleWe're having the worst opening weekend in DC in nearly 20 years. Even the usually reliable Fast and Furious trilogy was showing signs of exhaustion.X-faststuttered with the worst total U.S. viewers since Tokyo Drift in 2006. With so many moviegoers still in need of a more compelling reason to get off the couch and go to the movies, few movies offered them more than usual, and this summer direct critical acclaim correlated more than ever with audience enthusiasm. The message of this season was clear: adapt or die.

Not a pleasant business

Box Office Summer 2023: What were the biggest hits and what were the failures? (6)

The studio comedy was due to return in the summer (last season only The Bob's Burgers Movie and Ostersonntag were released in cinemas, both of which were predictably poor sales), but viewers once again stayed away from Witzig's affairs. Comedy "Difficult Journey".joy rideSebastian Maniscalco's 'About My Father' Vehicle That Made $15M Worldwide May Be His Last $8M Searchlight Purchase at the Sundance Film FestivalTeatrocampBarely over $3 million, Bert Kreischer's Bert Kreischer movieMachinefailed to exceed $11 million, Book Club 2 continued reading,blackeningfailed to reach $18 million and aired an R-rated dog comedy last weekendkundlestayed in the kennel with an approximate opening of just $8 million.

The only comedy success this summer was the return of Jennifer Lawrence in the style of Trick or TreatNo offense, but even that received moderate acclaim as it grossed just $50 million in the US and $87 million worldwide against a massive $45 million budget for the genre. It is far from the big comedic hits of the past, such as 2009's The Hangover ($468 million worldwide), 2011's Bridesmaids ($306 million worldwide) or The Spy. 2015 ($235 million worldwide). It lacks lucrative comedy lead roles and the general interest in watching comedies on the big screen, with most of them streaming straight away (former hitmakers Adam Sandler and Melissa McCarthy chose to partner with Netflix rather than risk getting smaller and smaller). cash results). The success of Barbie showed that people were excited to watch the comedy with viewers, even if it was tucked away in a different package - so laughter is out there, you just need to look a little harder to find it.


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