Of all the businesses that struggled during the pandemic, Covid-19 really did movie theaters dirty. Theaters struggled to pull in even $1 million on opening weekends, compared to the nine-digit figures that were the norm in 2019. The good news is, things are (slowly) starting to pick back up for what we can assume was once America’s favorite way to spend a weekend – at the movies.
This summer has already seen some big releases hit theaters, including Godzilla vs Kong which has pulled in $100 million, F9 with $123 Million, and A Quiet place Part II which grossed $145 million. F9 brought us the biggest single opening weekend of the pandemic making $70 million from the Friday to Sunday of its premiere. It, along with Boss Baby: Family Business and The Forever Purge made July 4 the third-best opening weekend of the pandemic.
While those numbers seem promising, it’s still nothing compared to the golden summer of 2019 when North American box offices were pulling in between $300 million to $800 million with blockbusters like Avengers: Endgame, The Lion King, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.
However, the summer is not yet over. We’ve yet to see what kind of revenue an MCU film can create during the pandemic, but time will soon tell as Marvel’s Black Widow premieres in theaters this weekend. It will be interesting to see what the box office results are given that viewers can also watch at home on Disney+ with Premiere Access for $29.99. The Suicide Squad and Disney’s family-friendly Jungle Cruise starring Dwayne Johnson and Emily Blunt are also on the docket of summer releases, which look promising to analysts.
“The upcoming slate of films looks to continue a positive trend of recovery for the business,” says Paul Dergarabedian, a senior media analyst with Comscore. “As more and more theaters open for business, the industry is counting on the early promise of a strong recovery now [to] carry forward into 2022 and beyond.”