Despite huge successes like Wonder Woman, Spider-Man: Homecoming and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a bad summer has sent U.S. movie ticket sales down 6% for 2017.
According to the National Association of Theatre Owners, last year’s $1.24 billion is the worst since 1995.
“2017 highlighted once again the importance of a balanced, 52 week movie calendar,” NATO said. “A record Q1 (in box office and admissions) was offset by a disappointing summer, with a range of sequels that were not embraced by audiences in the numbers we are accustomed to. Summer 2017 was 92 million admissions short of summer 2016. An unusually empty August accounted for half of summer 2017’s shortfall.”
NATO did not specifically name names, but it’s no secret that The Dark Tower, The Mummy and Transformers: The Last Knight were among summer’s notable flops.
The fourth quarter of 2017 stayed steady with 315 million admissions compared to 2016’s 319 million. NATO pointed to wide releases like Thor: Ragnarok and Star Wars: The Last Jedi as reasons for the even numbers.
“Q4 saw a preponderance of sales in films offered in 3D and large format screens (all of the five highest-grossing films and seven of the top 12), as well as a large number of adult-skewing awards-contending films,” it said.
This year’s summer should fare better as Avengers: Infinity War, Deadpool 2, The Incredibles 2, Ant-Man and the Wasp and Mission: Impossible 6 all set to hit theaters.