May 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

June 6, 2017

And so Walt Disney did quoth... Kurt Russell.

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7) Fate of the Furious

May Total: $30 million

The first holdover! Given how atrocious the box office in May has been, it’s a bit surprising that more April films were not present in multiplexes. Seventh goes to the eighth Fast and Furious movie, so I guess Dwayne Johnson can feel good about something. It added a bit under $30 million for the month, bringing the domestic total up to $223 million. However, this one is all about the global presence, as it has hauled a massive $1 billion from international screens. F8 is only the sixth movie ever to do that, and it is the second in a row in the franchise to cross that threshold. Twenty years after Titanic first broke the mold, only five others have been as successful with international audiences, which is pretty stunning given how much growth there has been with worldwide box office.

8) Everything, Everything

Opening Weekend: $ 11.7 million
May Total: $24.5 million

Every month has that title that is oddly generic and completely forgotten within a week. Luckily for Warner Bros., this one did not cost $175 million, so it will actually be a success for the studio. The latest film targeting the demographic of teenagers with horrible health problems who fall in love, Everything, Everything, which I had had to look up that the name was correct, has earned a decent amount and could do well on home video and streaming. This is like the dystopian teenage sci-fi stuff, but without metaphors and in the present, right? I guess life really sucks for teenagers in movies.


9) The Boss Baby

May Total: $21.3 million

We ran out of May titles at this point. Technically, ten movies were released in theaters in May, but if a projector runs in an empty theater, does a movie make a sound? Ninth for the month is Boss Baby, which has honestly done a lot better than I expected after opening on the final day of March. B.B. has earned over $170 million at the domestic box office and almost half a billion worldwide. A sequel has already been put into the works for 2021, which means it will probably come out before Avatar 2. I still cannot understand why DreamWorks Animation’s films are so expensive compared to other studios like Illumination, but at least this is one of their bigger hits in the past few years (their top four of all time are still the four Shrek films). They also have Captain Underpants hitting screens now, so DreamWorks may have a decent year.

10) Beauty and the Beast

May Total: $20.8 million

I knew there was another Disney movie around here somewhere! The biggest movie in North America this year is a throwback fantasy for families and their children, proving a winning formula that will continue to bring success to Disney for years to come. Now having amassed a gargantuan $501 million domestic and $1.234 billion worldwide, there is really nothing left for this film to prove. It is mere days from beating Frozen’s worldwide total, although Fate of the Furious will be passing it at the same time.

To complete the list of the top ten films released in May, you need a pair of binoculars. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul is probably one you heard of, but how about Lowriders and The Wall? No, not the Matt Damon movie, the one directed by Doug Liman. That’s right, the number ten opening weekend for May was under a million dollars. To sell how awful the month was beyond Guardians of the Galaxy, the combined top ten opening weekends was $320 million, and the top 20 films earned about $785 million.

As I stated at the beginning, there are many factors bringing down attendance and box office in theaters. However, I think Disney realized that people were still going to come out to the theater, just not as often. The times they would come out, it would take more than just the promise of a good movie. People needed reassurance they were seeing a title they knew they would enjoy ahead of time. Beauty and the Beast is a perfect example of a film that causes people to feel a good emotion just by hearing about it. Disney is so successful these days because they have all the titles that sell themselves. Universal is not far behind in box office, as they have titles like Minions and Fast and Furious with similar marque value. But everyone else is grasping at straws, like King Arthur, Baywatch, or Alien. If we start associating those titles with bad ideas or emotions, the franchise is dead. Pirates is kicking, but not for long. Given that it is a Disney title, however, odds are good that they will probably right that sinking ship.

So can someone please explain the success of Transformers?

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