Set greater than a decade after the events of the primary film, “Avatar: The Way of Water” tells the story of the Sully family.
The 2022 box office is a Hollywood underdog story come to life.
Despite nearly 40% less film content available in theaters in comparison with 2019, year-to-date ticket sales are down around 30%, in response to data from Comscore.
Audiences have returned to cinemas within the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and are spending greater than ever on tickets and popcorn. Nevertheless, the shortage of regular theatrical releases will weigh heavily on the industry through the final, crucial months of the yr.
Because it stands, there are currently only 4 would-be blockbuster releases coming to theaters before the tip of December:
- Warner Bros.’ “Black Adam” – Oct. 21
- Disney and Marvel Studios’ “Black Panther: Wakanda Endlessly” – Nov. 11
- Disney Animation’s “Strange World” – Nov. 23
- Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water” – Dec. 16
In 2019, there have been nearly two dozen blockbuster-style movies slated on the calendar for the last 4 months of the yr, including “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.”
“We’re seeing at once that as we get into the autumn that we type of hit one other pause,” said Shawn Robbins, chief media analyst at BoxOffice.com, “And plenty of that is basically falling on the lingering pandemic issues.”
Those issues include production shutdowns that delayed film shoots and pressure on visual effects houses to finish projects on shortened deadlines.
There is not any doubt that moviegoers are occupied with returning to cinemas. Movies like “Top Gun: Maverick,” “Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness,” “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Thor: Love and Thunder” have brought audiences back. Nevertheless, with fewer movies of all budgets on the slate, there are fewer opportunities for studios and movie show operators to entice patrons to the large screen.
“To me, the query is now, how soon can we get back to having more of those movies like ‘All the things In every single place All At Once,’ and ‘Elvis’ and ‘The Black Phone?'” Robbins said, noting that there’s potential for some smaller film releases like “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile,” “Amsterdam” and “Don’t Worry Darling” to interrupt out and generate stronger-than-expected ticket sales. Universal’s “Halloween Kills” can be released in theaters and on Peacock on Oct. 14.
Dwayne Johnson dressed as Black Adam speaks onstage on the Warner Bros. theatrical session with “Black Adam” and “Shazam: Fury of the Gods” panel during 2022 Comic Con International: San Diego at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2022 in San Diego, California.
Kevin Winter | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images
“The hope is that may occur later in the autumn and over the vacations,” he said. “But it surely’s really going to be 2023 at this point before there’s perhaps some consistency on a month to month basis again.”
That is why many studios have turned to library content, movies that were previously released in theaters, to lure folks back to cinemas. Already Disney has rereleased the Star Wars prequel “Rogue One” in theaters and has plans to relaunch the unique “Avatar” at the tip of September. Sony, too, is within the midst of releasing a souped-up version of “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Rereleases are nothing latest within the industry, especially relating to major anniversary milestones for popular and iconic features, but 90% of those showings are scheduled through Fathom Events, not by the studios themselves, in response to data from Comscore. Fathom is a three way partnership between AMC, Regal and Cinemark that brings legacy titles back to cinemas for limited engagements.
Upcoming anniversary showings from Fathom include the fortieth anniversary of “Star Trek: Wrath of Khan,” the tenth anniversary of “Pitch Perfect,” the fortieth anniversary of “Poltergeist” and the sixtieth anniversary of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
The corporate can also be releasing a slate of Halloween titles in October including 1932’s “The Mummy,” 1935’s “The Bride of Frankenstein,” 1954’s “The Creature from the Black Lagoon” and 1943’s “Phantom of the Opera.” Moreover, it would have a good time the twenty fifth anniversary of “Scream 2” and thirtieth anniversary of “Bram Stoker’s Dracula.”
Fathom can also be working with Universal to release three Judd Apatow-produced movies ahead of “Bros,” a romantic comedy hitting theaters Sept. 30.
“Forgetting Sarah Marshall,” “Trainwreck” and “Knocked Up” are set for rerelease starting Sept. 19, with pre-recorded intros from director Nicholas Stoller and co-stars Billy Eichner and Luke Macfarlane.
Motion flicks have dominated the box office in 2022, so counterprogramming like these romantic comedies could entice demographics which have not been wanting to return to cinemas or bring back customers seeking to enjoy a special genre on the large screen.
These rereleases allow movie theaters to have supplementary content and markets “Bros” to the general public, said Ray Nutt, CEO of Fathom.
Letitia Wright stars as Shuri in Marvel Studio’s “Black Panther: Wakanda Endlessly.”
Similarly, Disney hopes the rerelease of “Avatar” at the tip of September will lure in fans and boost interest within the upcoming sequel “The Way of Water.”
“The box office is currently at over $5.3 billion yr thus far, much higher than the last two years at this point but down naturally from 2019 and 2018,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.”
“With big movies like ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Endlessly’ in November and, obviously, ‘Avatar: The Way of Water’ in December, amongst others, the industry will likely wind up with a projected 2022 domestic box office of around $7.5 billion,” he said. “That is frankly an excellent end result for an industry that saw 2020 levels at a mere $2.3 billion and a 2021 that wound up at $4.6 billion.”
Dergarabedian and Robbins noted that 2023 has a much stronger slate of movies, each when it comes to variety of movies and variety of content. As more film come out and more incessantly, the expectation is that overall domestic box office will make a stronger recovery.
The 2022 box office lost “Shazam! Fury of the Gods,” which was slated for Dec. 21, last month when Warner Bros. Discovery pushed the film to March 17, 2023. It replaced “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which is able to now arriving on Christmas Day in 2023.
“The primary quarter is loaded with big movies that ought to create momentum leading into a powerful summer next yr,” Dergarabedian said.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.