Thor: Love and Thunder hopes to shake up a rebounding theater industry

Now, in the middle of 2022, reports of the death of theaters seem greatly exaggerated. Audiences have returned to theaters for hits like Top Gun: Maverick, Batman, and Minions: The Rise of Gru, and Hollywood is hoping these films will become the rule, not the exception, by the end of the year. .
Theaters should get another lightning strike this weekend when Thor: Love and Thunder, Marvel’s latest movie, hits theaters. Starring Chris Hemsworth and Natalie Portman as the Gods of Thunder, the film is projected to make a $150 million North American debut. On Thursday night, the film earned $29 million.

“There’s been a renaissance of sorts in theaters this year, with traditional blockbusters like sequels, superheroes and slashers leading the box office,” Jeff Bock, senior analyst at market research firm Exhibitor Relations, told CNN Business.

However, despite the optimism, the industry is not yet fully back. Streaming remains a powerful alternative, inflation is shrinking disposable income, and the second half of 2022 will be short of potential blockbusters.

Where are we

According to the data, the box office this year was almost $4 billion. Komskor (SCOR). This is 243% more than the same period last year, but 33% lower than before the 2019 pandemic.

This year’s box office represents a “Choose Your Own Adventure” of sorts. The 33% drop can be seen as disappointing, but it can also be seen as a success given the past two years.

A great example of this dichotomy is Top Gun: Maverick.

The biggest film of the year, with Tom Cruise reprising one of his most iconic roles from the 1986 classic, grossed $575 million in North America — or roughly 15% of that year’s total box office in the country.

'Minions: Rise of Gru' breaks box office records

That’s great news for the film industry, but should one movie do that much at the box office? Bock called Maverick “a once-in-a-decade box office anomaly”.

Of course, there have been other big-money hits thanks to franchises like Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and Universal’s Jurassic World: Dominion, as well as unexpected upstarts like the A24 trip “Everything Everywhere at Once,” which earned around $70 million domestically despite being a small low-budget film.

So while the box office has rebounded in 2022, it still has a long way to go before it returns to normal. But can he get there?

Where are we going

“As we move forward, the box office outlook is starting to focus minimally on pandemic issues and mostly back on chart strength,” chief analyst Sean Robbins told CNN Business.

He noted that summer films like Thor, Jordan Peele’s next horror movie No, and Brad Pitt’s Fast Passenger Movie have the potential to “keep a healthy momentum going.” However, Robbins acknowledged that “there’s not a lot of built-in audience content that’s slated to open from August to mid-October.”

In recent years, original films have struggled to find significant audiences. If movies like the romantic comedy Bros, the mysterious Don’t Worry Darling starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, and others can find an audience, it could close the gap before the holiday season.

If theaters can maintain attendance until the holidays, 2022 will end with the release of sequels to the two highest-grossing films of all time.

Thor: Love and Thunder doesn't rekindle the spark that was in Ragnarok.  inflamed
The highly anticipated Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is slated for November. The latest is December’s Avatar: The Way of the Water, director James Cameron’s first film since the original Avatar in 2009, grossing $2.8 billion worldwide.
Can Wakanda Forever match the box office success of the original without Chadwick Boseman playing the main character and died tragically in 2020? And will Avatar find its audience after 13 years? The answers are unclear, but betting against Marvel Studios and Cameron – the director of many blockbusters like Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Titanic – is at your own risk.

Bock, an analyst at Exhibitor Relations, believes that blockbusters will continue to “break through at the box office” and that this year “is likely to be considered a big hit overall, given the number of films left on the release calendar.”

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