June 18, 2024

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Part Two’ hits theaters Friday amid box office drought

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Timothee Chalamet stars as Paul Atreides in Denis Villeneuve’s “Dune: Part Two.”

Warner Bros. | Legendary Entertainment

LOS ANGELES — Movie theater operators are hoping that Warner Bros. and Legendary Entertainment’s “Dune: Part Two,” due out in theaters Friday, will be the much-needed oasis amid a drought of blockbuster content.

Since the start of the year, the domestic box office has tallied just $866.4 million in ticket sales through Sunday, a nearly 18% drop from the same period in 2023, according to data from Comscore. A boost at the beginning of the year could prove critical to a box office that’s still struggling to reclaim $10 billion in domestic annual ticket sales, a mark last seen before the Covid pandemic.

“The arrival of ‘Dune: Part Two’ is coming at a point where the industry is looking for that momentum igniting blockbuster,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at Comscore.

So far in 2024, no film has generated more than $100 million in receipts. While surprise hits like Sony’s “Anyone But You” alongside Paramount’s “Mean Girls” and “Bob Marley: One Love” have helped fill cinemas, the box office had few blockbuster holdovers from the holidays and limited new offerings in the new year.

Last year, the first quarter was buoyed by $263 million in ticket sales from Disney’s “Avatar: The Way of Water,” which hit theaters in December of the previous year. Similarly, 2022 had more than $200 million in residual sales from Sony and Marvel’s 2021 hit “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”

“We’re used to these peaks and valleys,” said Bill Barstow, who runs ACX Cinemas, a theater chain with six locations in five states. “And certainly, there’s no mystery to the last three years of the pandemic and then strikes and all the stuff that kind of kicks us. But, then along comes something like ‘Dune.'”

Top ten movies titles so far in 2024

  • “Wonka” (Warner Bros.) — $81.3 million
  • “Mean Girls” (Paramount) — $72.1 million
  • “Bob Marley: One Love” (Paramount) — $71.1…

2024-02-29 11:05:41

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