the weather currently looks like wherever you are, the calendar will tell you
we’re now officially in the summer months. But when it comes to Hollywood and
the box office, the summer starts in May – at the latest.
Ever since Jaws and Star Wars broke records in the late-seventies, May through August has been the period that’s seen more tentpole movie behemoths come out of the gates than at any other time of the year. And even though the likes of Avatar, Deadpool, and The Hunger Games films in recent years have proven definitively that a hit can be a smash regardless of release date, the summer months remain precious, prime real estate for all the major studios.
Those who would decry the movie business these days and its obsession with superheroes, sequels, adaptations, and sequels to reboots of adaptations featuring superheroes ought to take note of the word ‘business’. The bottom line will always be the bottom line.
But while a few familiar franchises saw new instalments make a big noise in May, a couple of would-be big hitters arrived with a whimper. And there’s plenty of June releases that could go either way, so join us for a comprehensive look at the ongoing box office battle and the wider implications for the studios concerned.
8. Captain America Wins The War
No prizes for guessing the big winner in the month of May; as expected, Captain America: Civil War dominated multiplexes the world over and breezed past the billion-dollar mark in double-quick time.
The thirteenth MCU effort was released in many international markets in late April – over a week ahead of its May 6 release in the U.S. – and cleared $200 million in its first weekend internationally. In the States, Civil War’s first weekend tally was just shy of $180 million, making it the fifth highest-grossing opening weekend on record in North America.
To date, only The Avengers, its sequel Age Of Ultron, and Iron Man 3 have earned more for Marvel than Captain America’s third outing, and with $1.11 billion in the coffers already, Civil War might well top Iron Man 3’s $1.215b tally in the next few weeks.
What’s more, Civil War has met with enthusiastic responses from cinema-goers the world over, so Disney have nothing to fear as regards the immediate future of the MCU, and they ought to have another substantial hit on their hands when Doctor Strange arrives in November. Not that the House of Mouse have much to worry about in 2016 anyway…