Although the fall is where many Oscar dreams are born, the summer movie season is arguably the most important for the health of the film industry. Sure, recent years have shown that blockbuster season is now year round, but even so, studios still tend to release most of their biggest tentpoles and blockbusters in the sweltering summer months, hoping to receive big dividends by taking advantage of kids being out of school, and lots of TV shows being on hiatus. And each summer some of those efforts are wild successes, while others disappoint.
Therefore, it is helpful and instructional to look back at the summer movie season to see what worked and what didn't - from the disastrous bombs, to the mammoth hits, to the surprises. Each summer movie season offers lessons for Hollywood to learn, and 2018 was no different. Whether Hollywood proves a good student or not remains to be seen, but here is what the industry should learn from this summer movie season.
Star Wars Isn't Blasterproof
If you had said a year ago that a Star Wars movie not only wouldn't cross $1 billion worldwide at the box office, but also would fail to make even half that, you would have been looked at like you're crazy. That is where we are though. Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story proved that the franchise from a galaxy far, far away is not a guaranteed juggernaut at the box office. The Russian is cut, so to speak, and Disney has learned a hard lesson here. The exact reason Solo underperformed is difficult to pin down to any one factor, but proximity to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, audience lacking desire for this story, and the heavy competition may have all contributed. Needless to say, whatever lesson Disney and Lucasfilm learned with Solo this summer will likely influence their approach to Star Wars films in the future.
People Still Love Dinosaurs
You knew it for a fact when you were seven years old, and it remains true now: dinosaurs are awesome. They are also, as a bonus, big business at the box office. Although it won't match its predecessor, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom has still made a boatload of money. The dinosaur sequel has made almost $1.3 billion worldwide, with the bulk of that coming from overseas audiences. I doubt this franchise is going anywhere after Jurassic World 3 as Fallen Kingdom's performance proves that the masses will never get tired of the ancient beasts. I'm frankly always surprised that some big new original property doesn't pop up to try and capitalize on the overabundance of dinosaur love that's out there. Maybe no one has cracked another story that would work, but audience enthusiasm for the real life monsters remains evergreen.