How Many Tentpoles Can Share a Weekend? – The Hollywood Reporter

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The June 10-12 weekend was a significant moment for the domestic box office reset as Jurassic World Dominion stomped to a better-than-expected $145.1 million, while Top Gun: Maverick flew to $51.9 million in its third outing.

Until now, the biggest weekends of the pandemic era have been propelled by one title, prompting concern that the days of having multiple films work on the marquee — especially during the summer season — is an endangered concept.

When Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: No Way Home opened to a massive $260.1 million in December 2021, it accounted for 92.3 percent of the overall weekend revenue of $281.8 million, according to Comscore.

And over the May 6-8 weekend of this year, combined revenue clocked in at $223 million when Marvel and Disney’s Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness debuted to $187.4 million, or 84 percent of the total haul.

Flash forward to Universal and Amblin’s Jurassic World Dominion, which accounted for 67.4 percent of overall weekend revenue, while Paramount and Skydance’s Top Gun 2 accounted for 24.1 percent — reflecting a more balanced marketplace. Otherwise, there has never been a weekend since COVID-19 struck when two major studios films have both thrived in a big way.

And the June 10-12 weekend was only the third time since the pandemic began that total domestic revenue has crossed $200 million mark, according to Comscore.

There’s still plenty of concern that the box office has grown more binary, but there’s also at least a glimmer of hope.

“This is the first sign of the possibility of a healthier marketplace where the business isn’t loaded onto one film appealing to one audience. It doesn’t say we are healthy, but it is the first sign of that possibility,” says Paramount domestic president of distribution Chris Aronson. “And I think it will be further bolstered by what happens this weekend when Lightyear opens.”

Pixar and Disney’s Lightyear is tracking to open to $70 million to $85 million over Father’s Day weekend, while Jurassic World Dominion could earn $60 million or more in its sophomore outing.

And Top Gun: Maverick will remain a formidable contender. On June 13, the Tom Cruise pic crossed the $400 million mark domestically to rank as the No. 1 film of 2022 so far after passing Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness ($398.1 million), ending the reign of superhero fare during the pandemic era. Marvel and DC titles soared because younger males were the first demo to return en masse to the cinema. Now, a broader range of moviegoers are turning out.

This month and July will continue the balancing test as studios resume releasing event titles in earnest, including Warner Bros.’ Elvis (June 24), Illumination and Universal’s Minions: The Rise of Gru (July 1), and Marvel and Disney’s Thor: Love and Thunder (July 8).

“Instead of one superstar movie per month dominating over a cast of supporting players, we are at long last in a theatrical marketplace where multiple hit films can share the spotlight and that’s good news for theaters,” says box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian of Comscore.

Through June 14, domestic revenue rests at $3.22 billion, a huge 287 percent jump over the same period in 2021 ($832.1 million). However, it’s still down 35.7 percent over 2019 ($5.28 billion).

After the June 10-12 weekend, AMC Theatres, the largest exhibitor, noted that its admissions revenues were about 15 percent above the comparable frame in 2019. “Having multiple blockbusters in theatres has helped push AMC to achieving another important milestone, beating admissions revenue versus the same weekend in 2019 by a wide margin,” CEO Adam Aron said.

And, in more good news: June revenue could hit $1 billion for the first time in recent memory.

Source: Comscore.

A version of this story first appeared in the June 15 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. Click here to subscribe.

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