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It seems like every day we hear about one movie or another setting box office records. While that may be the case for individual films, the sad truth is that this summer has pretty much sucked at the box office. This past weekend was down 44% compared to the previous year, and the summer as a whole is down 22% compared to the summer of 2015. What's going on? Well, as it turns out, sequels do not automatically draw an audience and the films that studios believed would be their tentpoles have been unable to hold up their tent.
As with most situations when we're discussing money, the numbers can be skewed in a number of different ways. As The Hollywood Reporter points out, part of the reason that this past weekend saw such a huge drop as compared to 2015 is because 52 weeks ago, Jurassic World _ was released. That film went on to become one of the biggest money makers of all time. Duncan Jones' Warcraft_ was set in that spot this year, and while the movie has done amazing business overseas, it wasn't expected to impress domestically, and in that regard, it did as anticipated.
However, while this past weekend's numbers were a bit skewed, the entire summer has been a problem. This year's summer movie season officially began on May 1 with the release of Captain America: Civil War and while that film has had a great summer, it's the only sequel that has done particularly well. This is one of the problems the summer has had. While sequels have been as close to guaranteed success as a movie can have in recent years, the ones that have been rolled out in 2016 have almost universally underperformed. In addition, non-sequel releases, like this past weekend's Warcraft have failed to reach their expected heights. While the business the movie has done in China alone means the movie won't be a complete bomb, the domestic numbers have to be a disappointment.
It's certainly not over yet, however. This weekend will see Pixar release Finding Dory and, The Good Dinosaur notwithstanding, Pixar is usually good for a couple hundred million dollars at the box office. In addition, other highly anticipated films like Suicide Squad, Jason Bourne, and Star Trek Beyond are waiting in the wings. There's still time and opportunity for the box office to recover. If a couple of these big titles are able to exceed expectations, things could be right back on track.To be fair, the 2016 box office overall is actually still running ahead of 2015. It's just that the first part of the year had a big lead going into the summer, and the lackluster summer has eaten through that lead.
Are there any remaining summer movies that will be drawing you back to the theater? Let us know in the comments.