This summer was packed with indie surprises and plenty of big blockbusters, but looking at box office earnings for the year in combination with critical reception of some of the bigger movies, it would be easy to look upon the summer of 2016 as more of a failure than a success. Finding Dory has been one of the bigger performers of the summer, but there have not been many other films that have had the same pull. Then there are movies such as Warcraft or Independence Day: Resurgence that were not well received, with overseas box office helping to save the former ever so slightly.
Now that the summer season has seemingly come to a close, putting this year under the disappointment category would be fair. However, it appears that this summer was actually stronger as a whole in comparison to last year.
The Wrap has tallied up the box office earnings for all summer films from the last Friday in May until this weekend and has noticed a slight increase in overall box office results. The movies released in summer 2015 were able to tally $4.02 billion during this time span, but this year that number has jumped up to $4.14 billion. This is only a 2.84 percent increase in a single year, which could be a result of the average ticket price rising yet again.
No matter what the case may be, this summer out-earning last year is quite impressive. The likes of Suicide Squad, X-Men: Apocalypse, Jason Bourne, Ghostbusters, Star Trek Beyond, and others performed worse at the box office than expected. The increase could have been even higher if Jurassic World had not broken records throughout its run last year. If any of the aforementioned films had taken off as studios expected, then the general consensus of the summer could be different.
It is surprising to see this result take place, what with the lackluster performances by so many tentpole films, but there also seems to be more new films coming out every week than ever before. The focus will always go to the big franchise movies that are supposed to save studios, but smaller films such as Bad Moms or Lights Out fared very well for themselves this summer. Going to see movies in theaters is still a favorite pastime of many and with plenty of different movies to choose from, there is hardly a week where there are no interesting new releases coming to theaters.
If this year can do better than last, it should point to a favorable summer next year as well. Next summer features Wonder Woman, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, Transformers: The Last Knight, Despicable Me 3, Spider-Man: Homecoming, War for the Planet of the Apes, Dunkirk, the Jumanji reboot, and Alien: Covenant. All of these movies have the potential to bring home big numbers next year, and should help the summer season to continue to beat itself year after year.
Source: The Wrap