Thanks to Slow Summer, 2014 Box Office Now Trails 2013
by Ray Subers
X-Men: Days of Future Past leads Summer 2014 with $217 million.
June 24, 2014
Through the end of April, 2014 domestic box office was up nine percent over 2013. Thanks to a slow Summer season, though, that lead has already completely evaporated.
Through June 23rd, the 2014 domestic box office totals $4.96 billion, which lags a bit behind 2013's $4.99 billion. Over the remainder of the Summer, that gap is likely to widen, which will in turn decrease the odds that the full year tops 2013's record $10.9 billion haul.
The year-to-year discrepancy can be explained entirely by the lack of a blockbuster on par with Iron Man 3. As of this time last year, the Marvel sequel had earned over $400 million. In comparison, this year's highest-grossing movie is over $140 million below that level (The LEGO Movie with $256.7 million).
Of course, the rest of the lineup could have made up that difference. Unfortunately, Summer 2014 has been slower than expected. Through Monday, the Summer box office is at $1.79 billion, which is down 13 percent from last Summer's $2.07 billion haul. Only one movieX-Men: Days of Future Pasthas reached $200 million. In comparison, last Summer had four $200 million movies by now (Iron Man 3, Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek Into Darkness, Man of Steel).
So what does this mean? At the start of Summer, the domestic box office was up nine percent year-over-year. By the end of the season, it will be trailing 2013 by at least two percent. Closing that gap isn't impossible, though it would require a record performance during the fourth quarter. Can Interstellar, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1 and The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (along with many other would-be hits) get the job done? We'll see.