Still from “Paw Patrol: The Movie”.
“Paw Patrol: The Movie” grossed just $ 13 million in domestic box office sales on the opening weekend, signaling that families are unwilling to return to theaters, especially when movies are made available on streaming platforms at the same time.
Based on one of the hottest kids’ TV franchises, the Paramount animated film debuted in theaters and on streaming service Paramount + this weekend. Since children under the age of 12 cannot currently be vaccinated against Covid-19, it is not surprising that the film did not attract a large cinema audience.
“Family audiences have different priorities when it comes to how they want to watch movies,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore. “Parents decide where to see a movie based on many variables, including those naturally related to the movie itself, but also other factors related to the pandemic, and that makes the situation pretty complicated.”
While Paw Patrol exceeded some box office analysts’ expectations, it is part of a broader trend towards tepid ticket sales for family-oriented films.
According to Comscore, Sony’s “Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway” has raked in $ 40.5 million in ticket sales domestically and just over $ 100 million internationally since its June release. For comparison, the first “Peter Rabbit” film grossed $ 115 million in box office sales at home and $ 231.4 million in sales in overseas markets.
Similar, Universal’s “The Boss Baby: Family Business” has grossed less than $ 100 million worldwide since its release in July, while its first film grossed $ 527.9 million worldwide.
Those smaller box office results explain why a studio like Universal has postponed its Minions: The Rise of Gru movie to 2022 and why Sony is reportedly in talks with Amazon Prime Video to get Hotel Transylvania 4 for $ 100 million Selling.
After all, Universal’s three Despicable Me films had more than $ 2.5 billion in box office sales, and his first “Minions” film grossed $ 1.15 billion. Even with its Peacock streaming service available, Universal sees a greater chance of postponing the sequel until next year.
As for Sony, the Hotel Transylvania franchise has raised more than $ 1.3 billion in box office revenue worldwide since 2012. Each sequel has grossed around $ 100 million more than the last. Sony doesn’t have a dedicated streaming service so it could benefit from a theatrical release of its movie. However, with the Delta variant raging in the US, there is no guarantee that families with unvaccinated children will dare to visit the cinemas in droves.
Sony can get a guaranteed payout from Amazon that it doesn’t have to share with movie theater operators.
Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC. NBCUniversal has published “The Boss Baby: Family Business” and will distribute “Minions: The Rise of Gru”.