Summer Box-Office Debacle: Moviegoing Hits 25-Year Low as Revenue Plummets
Hollywood is counting on fall and winter to correct the downturn.
It's official — the summer box office in North America wilted this year.
Revenue plummeted 14.6 percent to $3.83 billion, tying with summer 2014 to mark the worst year-over-year decline in modern history, according to final numbers released Tuesday by comScore. When adjusting for inflation, it's even worse.
To boot, it is the first time since 2006 that overall revenue didn't reach $4 billion.
The downturn in attendance was even more alarming. Roughly 430 million consumers went to the movies between May 5 and Labor Day, by far the worst showing in at least 25 years.
Heading into summer, the domestic box office was running comfortably ahead of 2016. Now, it is down more than 6 percent from the same time period last year.
The international box office, which is up nearly 4 percent year to date, continues to offer some solace, although most of the growth is thanks to China.
In North America, more summer tentpoles than not underwhelmed. All-out bombs included King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Valerian and the City of a Thousand Lights, while titles such as Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales and Transformers: The Last Knight came in well behind previous installments in their respective franchises. Live-action comedies were another major sore spot, save for Malcolm D. Lee's Girls Trip, which is the top-performing R-rated comedy in more than a year with north of $112 million domestically.
Girls Trip wasn't the only summer 2017 box-office hit underscoring how successful a female-centric property can be. Director Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot as the iconic DC superhero, was the top-grossing film of summer domestically and the only title to cross $400 million (through Monday, the film's North American cume stands at $409 million).