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The last two weeks of July are usually a time to open multiple blockbusters. The midpoint of summer offers plenty of time to capture kids on vacation, but the window is starting to close. Recent examples include “Mission: Impossible – Fallout,” “Jason Bourne,” “Dunkirk,” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.”
Not this year. There are exactly two wide releases through the end of the month, school schedules be damned: Jon Favreau’s “The Lion King” this weekend, followed by Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time In Hollywood.”
Market - Titles - Burden
Clearly, the market perceives these titles as too big to compete. However, each also carries its own enormous burden.
Film box office is in a slump. It is down $250 million from last year, or about 7%. For the year to date, the drop is 9%, or $610 million. If both of these films perform at the high end of projections, we could end July with a $200 million cut in each of those deficits. That would be impressive. Even so, these films only have the capacity to reduce the bleeding. Grosses from August-November 2018 were among the best months of the year, which makes exceeding them in 2019 unlikely.
Roman - Polanski - Contacted - Tarantino - Questions
Roman Polanski Contacted Tarantino With Questions About 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood'
Both “The Lion King” and “Once Upon a Time in America” fit into existing brands. One is a revamp of a Disney animated classic (the third this year!); the other is a director who, as much as anyone today, has a name value that immediately attracts a large number of core fans. But they represent two very different paths.
Reviews - Metacritic - Lion - King - Lightning
Facing decidedly mixed reviews (55 on Metacritic), “The Lion King” has become a lightning rod for controversy and potentially faces a real disconnect. Critics view it as a technical achievement, but one that contains little originality or...
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