Going into the summer, it seemed like there were only a few blockbusters set to anchor the summer movie schedule, and a lack of excitement over that slate of movies seems to have carried over into box office revenue.

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the box office only brought in $3.43 billion, which sounds like a lot but is actually down about 20 percent from pre-pandemic revenue.

Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick" (Paramount)
Tom Cruise in "Top Gun: Maverick" (Paramount)

Comscore, which tracks box office performance, noted that there were not enough movies to bring in the money.

"The film industry is still suffering from a hangover caused by the pandemic, which delayed hundreds of productions and forced distributors to reshuffle their release schedules," the Journal notes. "Studios only gave wide release—defined by Comscore as those that show on at least 2,000 screens—to 22 movies this summer, compared with 42 in the summer of 2019."

There were a few major blockbusters over the summer - Top Gun: MaverickJurassic World: Dominion, and Dr. Strange and the Multiverse of Madness.

Top Gun grossed $701 million domestically and more than $1.4 billion worldwide, making it the fifth-highest grossing domestic release of all time. Marvel's Dr. Strange sequel, meanwhile, crossed the $400 million mark in domestic revenue in June and overall has raked in more than $900 million worldwide.

The final Jurassic World movie, which saw the cast of the Chris Pratt-led series meet the stars of the original Jurassic Park, earned $375 million domestically and nearly $1 billion worldwide.

“If anyone was expecting it to match against 2019—that’s not realistic,” said Jim Orr, president of domestic theatrical distribution for Universal Pictures. “Like any business, any industry, supply chain issues are real and they affect businesses in a variety of ways…We made a conscious decision to lean into the theatrical model.”

Mr. Orr said the next few months should see a “lull” in major theatrical releases, but “it doesn’t mean people aren’t going to come back.” Universal Pictures has seven more titles to be released this year, including “Halloween Ends,” the conclusion of the Jamie Lee Curtis-led horror franchise, which will bring the studio’s 2022 total to 24 pictures, making it the most prolific in Hollywood this year.

Coming up this year are several movies that have fans and theater owners excited. Dwayne Johnson returns to the big screen in October for Warner Bros./DC Comics film Black Adam. Then, you'll have Marvel’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” and Disney's “Strange World,” both set to be released in November.

Then 20th Century Studios’ “Avatar: The Way of Water,” sequel to the popular James Cameron 2009, will follow those up with a release in December.

2023 is also exciting fans and industry analysts alike.

  • Kraven the Hunter
  • Ant-Man and The Wasp: Quantumania
  • Creed III
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves
  • Shazam! Fury of the Gods
  • John Wick: Chapter 4
  • Super Mario Bros: The Movie

If you're a movie fan, it's a big, exciting future.

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