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The fall box office was even worse than 2021 despite ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’

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The strong run of Marvel’s sequel couldn’t overcome the underperformance of almost every other movie this fall despite fewer COVID restrictions.

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Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” did its job of bringing box office relief to theaters in desperate need of a blockbuster, but the film’s success couldn’t salvage a fall box office that was worse than COVID-19. 19. the confused industry was able to produce last year, when many theaters had yet to reopen or were facing pandemic-era restrictions.

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Box Office Mojo

According to Box Office Mojo data, the combined domestic box office total from September 1 to November 30, 2022 was $1.41 billion, a drop of about $100 million from the same period last year, when the public was still slowly returning to the reopening. theaters and the biggest blockbusters were ranked on a pandemic curve.

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Legend of the Ten Rings

During that time, studios and theaters relied on butcher shops that had their releases delayed due to the pandemic, with Marvel movies “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” and “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” to head with national projections. of $200 million or more. MGM James Bond Film ‘No Time To Die,’ Warner Bros.’ “Dune,” Disney/Marvel’s “Eternals” and Sony’s “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” provided additional support totaling more than $100 million.

Wakanda Forever

By contrast, “Wakanda Forever” has done all the heavy lifting this fall, accounting for 26.5% of all reported revenue in the last three months and surpassing the combined total of the next two highest-grossing films during the period: Warner Bros. “Black Adam” ($165 million) and Paramount’s “Smile” ($105 million). Also, no other film outside of those three surpassed $100 million domestic.

With the fall slate failing to produce a large number of films that drew strong interest from moviegoers compared to last year, theaters were left relying on the sequel to the most anticipated comic book movie of the year to keep up business. even close to the levels reduced by last year’s pandemic. In 2021, the lower-than-usual returns seen by the box office were seen as part of a slow recovery process that seemed to reach a new high last spring and early summer, but all that has unfolded this fall has been several steps. backward. .

Warner Bros

While 2023 overall should be better with more franchise movies – and more movies in general – expected to hit theaters, it’s hard to say if fall will show any major signs of improvement. Warner Bros. may have a populist awards contender to boost the numbers with “Dune: Part Two” next November, but the rest of the fall slate consists of franchise movies that are likely at best. that make modest gains rather than large windfalls. Among the biggest titles this fall: Warner/New Line’s “The Nun 2,” Universal’s “The Exorcist” remake, DreamWorks’ “Trolls 3” and “The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes” of Lionsgate. Disney Animation will also try to bounce back from the failure of “Strange World” with the original musical “Wish” on Thanksgiving Day.

With these movies unlikely to produce a “Joker”-level hit and the box office potential of prestige dramas drying up, theaters may be bracing for a permanent drop in audience participation between the summer and seasons. Christmas. For an industry that has yet to fully recover from the pandemic, that would be grim news.

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