June 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

July 6, 2017

Wait, I might beat Guardians of the Galaxy?

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On this edition of Fake News O’Clock, I am getting reports that the movie star is officially dead. Killed by an abundance of high concept movies, with lousy scripts dragging them down, and a declining box office creating a sinking tide that lowers all boats. Doom and gloom, more after these commercials.

Seriously, what does it take for a movie star to open a big blockbuster these days? The month of June, well into the summer movie season and at a point where kids are off from school, typically sees some fairly large numbers. The biggest movies of the year never seem to open in June, Jurassic World notwithstanding, but it sees very respectable totals. This year, though, seems to continue that and another trend of underwhelming properties, where the whole franchise concept seems a bit thin (studios are putting way too many eggs into that basket). Luckily, as in May, there was a bright spot that commanded attention and rightfully so.

1) Wonder Woman

Opening Weekend: $103.3 million
Monthly Total: $334.9 million

The number one film for June is Wonder Woman, which opened for sneak peeks the very first day of the month and is still going strong. This property reminds me a bit of Iron Man from 2008; a major studio was trying a new direction, putting out an origin story for a big if not huge name, then stellar reviews start pouring in, buzz builds, and a $100 million opening weekend seems to come out of no where, as well as really good legs. Remember when Iron Man was not a household name? Could Wonder Woman conceivably be the foundation of a better DC universe? I suppose we will find out later this year with Justice League. If it is good, who do we laud; Zack Snyder, Joss Whedon (feels like when J.J. Abrams directed Star Trek and Star Wars), or Patty Jenkins?

Gal Gadot and Jenkins hit a home run with Wonder Woman, and it should finish close to $400 million if it keeps dropping just over 30% each weekend. This makes it the most successful DC film since Nolan’s Batman trilogy, giving Warner Bros. a much needed shot in the arm since many of their other ventures have not been successful to some degree. Unlike May, the top films in June were not as top heavy, as Wonder Woman earned about a third of the money whereas Guardians earned almost half of the box office in May.


2) Cars 3

Opening Weekend: $53.7 million
Monthly Total: $114.3 million

The next few films on this list are part of that growing trend this year; most franchise films are losing money with each new iteration, at least on the domestic front (and sometimes internationally as well). Sequels and remakes and reboots (and maybe soon they’ll just clone movies) have not been doing as well as they used to. Cars 3 displays this trend, as the movie franchise hasn’t really taken off, while the merchandise is raking in unconscionable amounts of money. Cars 4 could just be a sock puppet show, and still provide Disney with the same vault full of money. However, even Disney’s duds earn some money this year, keeping their studio well ahead of the others when it comes to box office dominance. Cars 3 should easily eclipse The Good Dinosaur to become Pixar’s second lowest box office performer, still quite a feat considering they have been making films for over 20 years.

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