Despite ‘The Lion King,’ ‘Spider-Man’ and Other Hits, Summer Box Office Slips 2%

Variety | 9/2/2019 | Rebecca Rubin
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Even with an impressive number of billion-dollar blockbusters, the 2019 summer box office won’t be one for the record books.

Popcorn season, the four-month stretch between May and August, generated $4.32 billion in ticket sales in North America, marking a 2% decline from last year’s $4.41 billion, according to Comscore. The summer box office has certainly seen worse (in 2017, ticket sales hit a 10-year low with $3.84 billion). However, those uninspired returns pushed year-to-date revenues down over 6%, meaning the movie business will need to rely on huge hits in fall and winter to offset that deficit.

Disney - Winner - Summer - Movies - Lion

Disney walked away the big winner this summer as three movies — “The Lion King,” “Aladdin” and “Toy Story 4” — grossed more than $1 billion worldwide over the summer. “The Lion King” was the highest-grossing film this summer with domestic ticket sales at $523.5 million to date. Through the first weekend in September, the company commands 40% of the domestic box office.

But even the biggest Hollywood studio didn’t emerge unscathed. Disney was saddled with a handful of duds after merging with Fox, and “Dark Phoenix,” “Stuber” and “The Art of Racing in the Rain” resulted in costly write-downs.

Thanks - Hits - Once - Time - Hollywood

Thanks to hits like “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” and “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Sony also had a promising summer. The studio secured second...
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