When the epidemic hit cinemas two years ago, many in Hollywood questioned whether going to the movies would soon be a thing of the past.
At this point in 2022, it seems like the stories of theaters’ demise were considerably overblown.
This weekend, when Marvel’s newest movie,Thor: Love and Thunder,opens in theaters, another lightning strike is anticipated.
According to Jeff Bock, senior analyst at entertainment research firm Exhibitor Relations, “Theaters have enjoyed a resurgence of sorts this year with conventional blockbusters (sequels, superheroes, and slasher movies ) leading the box office army.
Nevertheless, despite the hope, the sector has not fully recovered. Inflation is reducing discretionary money, streaming is still a viable option, and there aren’t many potential blockbusters scheduled for the second half of 2022.
The year’s highest-grossing movie so far is “Top Gun: Maverick.”
This sum is 243 % higher than it was at this time last year, but 33 % below than pre-pandemic levels for 2019.
The box office figures for this year resemble a game of “Choose Your Own Adventure.” Though being down 33% would be upsetting, given the previous two years, it might also be considered as a success.
Top Gun: Maverick is a fantastic illustration of this dichotomy.
Tom Cruise reprises one of his most recognizable characters from the 1986 blockbuster in the largest movie of the year so far, which has made $575 million in North America, or about 15% of the whole domestic box office this year.
Although that is fantastic news for the business, should one film account for that much of the domestic box office? “Maverick” was described by Bock as a “box office outlier that happens perhaps once in ten years.”
Therefore, even if the 2022 box office has recovered, it still has a distance to go before returning to normal. Can it actually get there?
Where we’re headed
It appears as though “Thor: Love and Thunder” will rank among the summer’s top movies.
According to Shawn Robbins, chief analyst at Boxoffice.com, “as we move forward, box office outlooks begin to focus less on pandemic fears and more toward the strength of schedule again.”
He mentioned how summer blockbusters like “Thor,” “Nope,” Jordan Peele’s upcoming horror movie, and the “Bullet Train” starring Brad Pitt all have the ability to “keep a healthy momentum running.” The lack of “a great deal of built-in audience material set to open from August to mid-October,” according to Robbins, was acknowledged.
In recent years, original movies have had trouble drawing a big audience. It could be possible to bridge the gap until the holiday season if movies like the romantic comedy “Bros,” the enigmatic “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, and others, are able to attract an audience.
If cinemas can retain patronage over the holidays, 2022 will finish with sequels to two of the all-time highest-grossing movies.
November will see the release of the eagerly anticipated “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” The latter is “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which debuted in December. It is James Cameron’s first movie since 2009’s “Avatar,” which has earned $2.8 billion globally.
Can “Wakanda Forever” compete with the success of the original without Chadwick Boseman, who unfortunately passed away in 2020 and played the titular character? Will “Avatar” still draw a crowd 13 years from now? The answers are ambiguous, but wagering against Marvel Studios and filmmaker James Cameron, who has helmed several blockbusters like “Terminator 2: Judgment Day” and “Titanic,” is risky.