June 2017 Box Office Recap
By Steven Slater
July 6, 2017
7) All Eyez on Me
Opening Weekend: $26.4 million
Monthly Total: $41.4 million
The makers of All Eyez on Me must have been hoping for an opening as large as Straight Outta Compton, but have to settle for a decent result. Bad reviews probably didn’t hold this one too far back, but they certainly didn’t help. The Tupac biopic dropped huge in weekend two, so fifty million is about as high as this will go. With a Biggie Smalls documentary on the way, interest in the early years of rap and hip hop remains high. After Compton’s surprise Oscar nomination and big returns, hopefully talent keeps being drawn to these stories.
8) Guardians of the Galaxy: Vol. 2
Monthly Total: $37.9 million
One good thing about this June is that there was mostly new product in theaters during the month, leading to overall better totals. The second holdover from May is our eighth place finisher for June, as what is currently the number one film of the summer keeps playing strong. Guardians opened bigger and has played bigger than it’s origin film, similar to Iron Man 3 compared to its predecessors. Although it has surprisingly not expanded with regards to international box office, it is still highly commendable that Guardians Vol. 2 is the fifth highest domestic earner in the MCU. With a Vol. 3 playlist just teased by James Gunn, expect the adventure to continue (but please take note of what happened to Pirates and Transformers!)
9) 47 Meters Down
Opening Weekend: $11.2 million
Monthly Total: $29.3 million
I thought this was the long awaited sequel to Chariots of Fire! Darn! Or to The Abyss. Actually, this film is practically a twin to the movie that came out exactly a year ago, The Shallows. Both involve women trapped in the water by sharks; one on a rock, two in a cage underwater. The Shallows probably will retain the box office crown for this sub-genre (get it?), as it’s really tough to do a one-trick pony show twice and except people to come. When will someone flip the genre, and do a film from the shark’s point of view? It’s like Harold and Kumar, but even more desperate.
10) Despicable Me 3
Monthly Total: $29 million
Despite being out for a grand total of one day (with previews), Despicable Me 3 is the tenth highest earner in June, and will certainly be one of the big earners in July. Universal has two bright spots; The Fast and the Furious franchise, and Illumination Entertainment. I smell crossover! I think every month I spell out some random Minions crossover, but having Dom racing Minions could entail a Who Framed Roger Rabbit level of live-action/animated hijinks. Minions! Hijinks! Come on! Anyway, as ever, diminishing returns is the name of the game, as even after just a few days out we can tell Despicable Me 3 will not be performing as well as the first two films, let alone the Minions movie. Some are comparing the box office returns to the Shrek franchise, so Illumination better come up with some new properties and ideas, especially as they essentially own DreamWorks now!
So overall, what does June 2017 tell us with regards to box office? Well, if you make a really good movie, it stands a chance of breaking out, whether it is a small film or tentpole blockbuster. If you make multiple mediocre films, especially as part of a franchise, you have diminishing returns. High concepts and movie stars do not really factor much into the equation anymore. People seem to be going out to movies to see things they know ahead of time are good, that they will enjoy, and not simply occupy their eyeballs for two hours. As more and more quality comes to television (whatever that word means anymore, kind of like the word phone), movie theaters are going to keep sliding downwards on the scale of importance. June was not a bad month by any means, but just as in May there was really only one success story. With a small popcorn costing eight bucks at some theaters, I feel like the squeeze is getting tighter and tighter. July is typically huge, so we’ll see if multiple films can break out as buzz is already loud for many of the studios’ tentpoles.