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5 Reasons Summer Blockbuster Movies Are Failing at the Box Office

The summer film slate, which used to be bookended within the actual summer season (when kids were out of school), has become bloated and over-stuffed. Beginning in late spring and tapering off throughout August, at least one major release punctuates every single box office week - with many weeks now seeing multiple films battling for box office revenue. As a result, plenty of quality (along with a fair share of not-so-great) films are falling through the cracks, and there's less incentive for viewers to return for repeat viewings.

Opening weekend has always been a strong indicator of which films are going to turn a profit and which ones are going to have trouble earning back their budgets. However, in a lot of cases, a major factor in box office success is a film's staying power - fueled by casual moviegoers responding to word of mouth along with second (and third) viewings by established fans. In order to secure over a $1 billion total haul ($500 million domestically), The Dark Knight was number 1 at the box office for four consecutive weeks back in 2008. Iron Man 3 only managed to hold the number 1 crown for two weeks, before another major tentpole film, Star Trek Into Darkness, took the top spot. Fun fact: the following week, Star Trek Into Darkness came in at number 3, bested by both Fast & Furious 6 and The Hangover, Part 3 (Iron Man 3 was number 5 at that point - four weeks after release).

As a result, studios would benefit from spacing out releases - or outright bumping major films that aren't summer season worthy into the fall, winter, or even spring. As it is, the release slate is cannibalizing - stifling potential longterm successes and outright killing-off films that are more difficult to market.

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5 Reasons Summer Blockbuster Movies Are Failing at the Box Office