July 2017 Box Office Recap

By Steven Slater

August 3, 2017

Slacker millennial.

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Given everything that has happened so far in 2017, do movies really register anymore? Of course they do! We love them, and the show must go on. Escapism has never been more fashionable. Escapism has also never been so accessible outside a movie theater (this VR grocery shopping experience is killer!). This July, like many others, had a few token releases meant to be the big hitters of the season. Again, as in previous months, there was one standout performer, although it did not reach the same height as previous tentpoles, and other movies were able to maintain a moderate pace. The peak and trough were not as extreme as other months this year, but in general the numbers were okay. It was, in the end, a bland July from a box office perspective. However, there were quite a few very good films out there, which might be what matters the most.

1) Spider-Man: Homecoming

Opening Weekend: $117 million
Monthly Total: $280 million

What?! The number one movie is a comic book adaptation? What madness! And although it is distributed by Sony, Marvel’s, and by extension Disney’s, hands are all over it, making it the success it is. You know putting just about every scene with Tony Stark in the trailer is what really sold a lot of tickets opening weekend, as evidenced by the surprising weekend declines. However, the franchise is saved, in a sense, and Spider-Man adds his skills to the largest roster of talent in a production since Mars Attacks, and Marvel continues to dominate the air in the room.

I think the biggest lesson here is that movie goers knew that Spider-Man was a quality product, and that is why it succeeded. The quality was communicated through the stellar reviews, as well as knowing that the Marvel brand was involved, mostly through Iron Man’s presence in the trailer. Previous Spider-Man films, especially with Andrew Garfield, felt like they were treading water for the franchise. They weren’t bad, but it felt a bit worthless to keep putting them out, like Sony was simply going through the motions. Considering the other Sony title released this month, I would say they still are when it comes to filmmaking. Poop emoji. (Is it more ironic when I spell it out? Can we even write emojis on BOP?) At least we know that with Spider-Man (and who knows, maybe X-Men are next?) in the MCU’s hands, he has stepped back up into the utmost tier of comic book films.


2) Despicable Me 3

Opening Weekend: $72.4 million
Monthly Total: $202.3 million

Technically this is a holdover, but it only played a day and a half before July. Our second biggest earner for July is the third Despicable Me, and fourth in the franchise that has put Illumination Entertainment onto the map. It also continues Universal’s hot streak as sidekick to the juggernaut that is Disney. Six major studios go in. Two come out. However, the 2017 fate of diminishing returns hits this franchise as well, as DM3 opened lower than DM2 or Minions, and will have the lowest domestic total for the seven-year franchise. It will, luckily, have about the same global total as DM3, but Minions will retain their crown on all fronts. I’m sorry Gru, but the people have spoken. And they love warm skin-toned freaks who speak nonsense. And Minions.

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