With all the big releases from the summer movie season out, it’s time to take a look at what worked and what didn’t the past few months.
At the halfway point, things weren’t looking good with big blockbusters ("Godzilla: King of the Monsters," "Men in Black: International") underperforming and indies ("Late Night," "Booksmart") doing zero business. But things turned around pretty drastically thanks to releases like Disney’s "The Lion King," Sony’s "Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood," and Universal’s "Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw."
As usual, a lot of praise goes to Disney for keeping the theatrical business on steady ground. Following the historically huge "Avengers: Endgame," which earned over $2 billion globally and became the highest-grossing movie worldwide ever, the studio went on to have four more titles ("Captain Marvel," "Aladdin," "The Lion King," "Toy Story 4") cross $1 billion at the worldwide box office.
Though the 2019 box office is down 6.4% from last year, year-to-date, according to Comscore, just imagine where it would be without the Mouse House. But Disney movies aren’t the only standouts in this summer movie season.
Here’s a breakdown of the movies that impressed (and others that didn’t) this summer:
Winner: “Avengers: Endgame”
Like "Avengers: Infinity War," Disney/Marvel moved up the release date of "Endgame" to the end of April to give it some cushion from the other early summer releases, and it proved to be a huge head start for the landmark Marvel Cinematic Universe title.
The movie had a record-breaking $357.1 million domestic opening and then went on to break a whole lot more box-office records. After a rerelease, it finally topped "Avatar" to become the all-time highest grossing movie in the world with a $2.795 billion take.
Loser: “Dark Phoenix”
Fox ended its time running the X-Men property (which will now go to Marvel Studios since Disney bought Fox) with a very unmemorable coda. "Dark Phoenix" has only made $66 million domestically (thank goodness for international, where the movie has at least earned over $185 million), and according to Disney CEO Bob Iger was the primary cause of Fox’s $170 million operating loss last quarter.
But we have a feeling Disney will rebound nicely. It still has "Frozen 2" and "Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker" coming at the end of the year.
Winner: “John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum”
The surprise success of the "John Wick" franchise continues. What at first was thought to be just a niche action movie that could grow a cult following has turned into a huge money-making franchise for Lionsgate. "Chapter 3" has earned over $320 million worldwide, blowing away the (strong) $171.5 million worldwide gross "Chapter 2" took in.
The world cannot get enough of this Keanu Reeves character.
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