Movies are Back with a Vengeance and Here’s How the Line Up is Looking
For the first time in a long time, it is finally movie time. After a difficult year and a half, popcorn is popping again, and movies are back on the big screen.
It has been more than a year of delayed productions and movie releases being thrown into turmoil because of the coronavirus pandemic, but now the industry is roaring back.
For the first time since March of 2020, when the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, the total domestic box office has collected more than $100 million in ticket sales, according to data from Comscore. At present, that tally is at $116.9 million.
Most theaters have re-opened across the U.S. and the summer movie line up is looking hotter than ever. Over the weekend around 81% of theaters were open to the public, according to data from Comscore.
AMC Theatres, the largest chain in the country, and Cinemark have reopened 98% of their locations while the No. 2 chain, Regal Cinemas, has more than 97% of its theaters in business.
Black Widow, Marvel’s first big theatrical release in nearly two years was released this past Friday and brought in a staggering $80 million from its U.S. theatrical debut as well as $60 million from streaming on Disney+ Premier Access. The film additionally generated $78 million from international ticket sales.
This marks the very first time that Disney has disclosed information about movie sales earned from its streaming service. Thus far, Black Widow has made the most money of any film debut in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The brand equity that Marvel brings to the table is almost unrivaled and is reflected in the historic box office that the films of the Marvel Cinematic Universe have generated,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Therefore, It should come as no surprise that ‘Black Widow’ snagged the biggest debut and powered the biggest overall weekend of the pandemic.”
Starring Scarlett Johansson, Black Widow had been highly anticipated after being delayed three times since the pandemic started. It was originally scheduled to be released in theatres on May 20, 2020.
Marvel fans can celebrate that many more films are scheduled to hit theaters this year after Black Widow.
Shang-Chi and The Legend Of The Ten Rings will debut September 3rd, The Eternals will be released on November 5th and Spider-Man: No Way Home will hit theaters on December 17, just in time for Christmas.
Fast and Furious 9, of F9: The Fast Saga, which has been out in theaters since June 25th, was also delayed for over a year. The film, which has an ensemble cast that includes Vin Diesel and John Cena, has collected $500.30 million globally. In the U.S. it has grossed 125.90 million dollars thus far.
While powerhouse studio Warner Brothers will only resume its typical theatrical release schedule in 2022, several other tentpole films will still be released this year including The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, Space Jam, A New Legacy, and The Suicide Squad, which will hit both theaters and HBO Max.
The long awaited new film in the James Bond franchise, No Time to Die, is also scheduled to be released in October while Top Gun: Maverick is scheduled for November.
Fandago.com recently surveyed more than 4,000 of its ticket buyers about their recent experiences and 93% said they were satisfied with their return, with 87% mentioning the theaters’ great job making them feel safe in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Theaters are just so happy to have customers and to have people investing in them that they are really working hard to reinvest in the local community as well,” Fandango managing editor Erik Davis told USA TODAY. “When people go back to the theater and they feel comfortable and safe, they are reminded again why that big-screen experience is such a powerful and memorable thing to have in their lives.”
For those who cannot make it to the theaters or are worried about the new Delta variant of the coronavirus, there are still many movies that can be streamed from the safety of home.
Big titles like Black Widow, Without Remorse, Mortal Kombat, Godzilla vs. Kong and the Justice League Snyder Cut are streaming now while Dune, The Suicide Squad and The Matrix 4 are among the blockbusters set to premiere on Disney Plus or HBO Max at the same time they hit the theaters later this year.
Netflix, the world’s most dominant streaming platform has unleashed dozens of great new movies this summer including The Karate Kid franchise and Love Actually.
The platform has also started debuting a trio of films three Fridays in a row beginning on July 2: the Fear Street trilogy. The three films in the Fear Street trilogy will traverse through a handful of eerie decades from 1666 to 1978, and then 1994.
On July 14, Netflix will also debut the Karen Gillan/Lena Headey action flick Gunpowder Milkshake. It will then debut Blood Red Sky, an airplane thriller film, and Resort to Love, a summery rom-com starring Christina Milian later this month.