Still from Dreamworks “The Boss Baby: Family Business”.
The domestic box office has entered a strong recovery phase after the coronavirus pandemic, but ticket sales on the coming weekend of July 4th could possibly no longer match the levels before the Covid times.
Typically, the weekend around the July holiday ranks between $ 150 million and $ 200 million, depending on which movies are released and what day the holiday lands, according to data from Comscore.
At the beginning of the weekend, the box office welcomes two universal features – “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “The Forever Purge” – as well as searchlights “Summer of Soul” and the broad release of A24’s “Zola”.
The previous “Boss Baby” movie was worth $ 50 million, but cinema analyst expectations suggest the sequel will miss that number. Many wonder if it will be able to beat “F9” as the action film kicks off a strong $ 70 million opening weekend and should be between $ 30 million and $ 40 million by the second week.
“The Forever Purge” is the fifth film in the horror franchise and may also struggle to reach more than $ 20 million in ticket sales during its opening. While the first film in the series grossed $ 34 million on its debut, the fourth part – “The First Purge” – took in just $ 17 million in 2018.
Both “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “The Forever Purge” grossed only $ 1.3 million at the box office at the preview premieres on Thursday night.
Around 80% of the cinemas are open to the public this weekend, and mask restrictions on those who have received the coronavirus vaccination have been relaxed. While the box office didn’t quite catch up with 2019 ticket sales, analysts are confident that their course will continue in a positive direction.
Last weekend, “F9” had the highest opening weekend of any movie released during the pandemic and helped push the weekend grand total to $ 98.7 million, another record for the industry. With an influx of new content and heavy holdovers from other previously released films, this weekend could be the first to exceed $ 100 million in ticket sales since the coronavirus outbreak closed theaters in March 2020.
“There is perhaps no better proof that the cinema business is nearing normal than the fact that we are ready for a good old-fashioned, crowded theater market for an Independence Day weekend that’s full of movies from literally every genre,” said Comscore senior said media analyst Paul Dergarabedian.
In addition to “F9”, the box office continues to collect from “A Quiet Place Part II”, “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway”, “Cruella” and “In the Heights”. However, none of these films hit $ 10 million in ticket sales last week. Collections are expected to decrease by 25 to 30% this week, which is a standard reduction.
Still, this July 4th weekend will slightly surpass the meager $ 1.5 million in 2020. Last year, the 1984 re-release of “Ghostbusters” was the top hit film over the holiday weekend.
“The July 4th tradition of going to the cinema resumes this year after a 2020 year when box office revenues hit an all-time low for obvious reasons and a 37-year-old film topped the charts in the much-appreciated drive. ins, which was the only game in town for big-screen entertainment outside the home, “said Dergarabedian.
Hollywood has high hopes that the box office will pick up through the summer and into the fall when Americans return to more normal activities. After this weekend, Hollywood is ready to release a number of blockbuster features including Marvel’s “Black Widow,” Warner Bros. ‘ “Space Jam: A New Legacy”, Disney’s “Jungle Cruise” and “The Suicide Squad” from the DC Extended Universe.
More than half of the US population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, which has resulted in a sharp decrease in the number of deaths from Covid. The number of new cases had fallen significantly in the last few weeks and is still well below its peak. However, public health officials are watching the spread of the highly contagious Delta variant in communities with low vaccination rates, which has led to a surge in cases recently.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal is the distributor of “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and “The Forever Purge”.