Back in the day, summer was when dreams came true for big-budget movies based on recognizable properties with a known star in the lead, but it seems like the magic is starting to wear off on American audiences. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the movie industry has gone through a historically bad summer, with box office proceeds being down nearly 16 percent from last year and total revenue failing to reach $4 billion for the first time since 2006. Ticket sales are obviously down as well, with THR reporting that movie theater attendance is set to hit a 25-year low.
The Hollywood Reporter seems to pin most of the blame on underperforming sequels (or movies designed to launch franchises), like Transformers: The Last Knight, The Mummy, and Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales. You could probably also throw King Arthur: Legend Of The Sword, Valerian And The City Of A Thousand Planets, and The Dark Tower on that pile, since the studios behind them surely would’ve liked them to spawn sequels if they hadn’t been so unpopular—though someone at Sony is probably still trying to convince executives that the Dark Tower TV prequel is a good idea. (It’s not.)
Meanwhile, a lot of the movies that flopped here in the United States did just fine overseas, with Transformers: The Last Knight, the Pirates movie with the long name, and The Mummy all making a good amount of money when factor in the international box office. Also, Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2, Despicable Me 3, and Wonder Woman all managed to make plenty of money both here and in other countries, so maybe the key to box office success is female superheroes, Minions, and space raccoons.