May Box Office Hits Lowest Level Since 2010
Thanks to two major comic book sequels and a highly-anticipated monster movie, May box office wound up over $1 billion for the fourth year in a row.

Without any of those movies truly breaking out, though, overall business was at its lowest level since 2010.

Those three movies—The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Godzilla and X-Men: Days of Future Past—all opened over $90 million. That's only the second time that's ever happened: the first was in May 2007, when three titles debuted north of $110 million.

Unfortunately, all three of the May 2014 blockbusters dropped off at least 60 percent in their second weekends: The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and Godzilla are going to struggle to reach $200 million, while X-Men: Days of Future Past will fall short of its franchise record.

With over four weeks of theatrical engagements, The Amazing Spider-Man 2 led the box office in May with $191.6 million. The movie opened to $91.6 million on the first weekend of the month, then fell off at least 52 percent on each of the next three weekends.

It's on track to close with around $200 million, which will make this the lowest-grossing Spider-Man movie by over $60 million. The foreign market is subsidizing this domestic shortfall a bit, though it's still undeniable that this entry marks a new low point for the 12-year-old franchise.

Godzilla took second place in May with $171 million. As one of the most-anticipated movies of the Summer, it opened to a fantastic $93.2 million; unfortunately, poor word-of-mouth translated in to a massive 67 percent second weekend drop. Ultimately, it will struggle to reach $200 million total, which means it's going to sell fewer tickets than the much-maligned 1998 Godzilla movie.

X-Men: Days of Future Past opened over Memorial Day weekend and earned $152.7 million through its first nine days. It's already the highest-grossing X-Men movie on a worldwide basis, and it's on track to wind up in second at the domestic box office with over $220 million. It's wrong to call that domestic figure a disappointment, but it's also tough to call it a win considering the excitement surrounding the combined casts and the addition of 3D ticket prices.

Neighbors didn't earn quite as much as the aforementioned titles, but it's arguably a more impressive performer. The Seth Rogen/Zac Efron comedy opened to a massive $49 million, and has had decent holds since then (though it has fallen off harder than most comedies). Through the end of May, Neighbors had earned $126.8 million, and is on track for around $150 million total.

Even though it only played for two days, Maleficent took fifth place in May with $50 million. The movie won't reach the heights of Oz The Great and Powerful ($234.9 million), but it should still wind up with over $180 million total.

There were a handful of modest movies that still managed to disappoint in May. Adam Sandler's Blended earned $27.4 million through its first nine days—less than most Sandler movies earn in their first weekend—and is on track for around $50 million total. Disney's Million Dollar Arm grossed $27 million, and will wind up around $35 million. Seth MacFarlane's A Million Ways to Die in the West got off to a poor start, and middling word-of-mouth suggest it's going to wind up with a tiny fraction of Ted's total.

Christian movies were on a tear earlier this year, but that came to an end with Moms' Night Out. The movie's faith-based content wasn't made clear in the marketing, and it wound up with just $9.5 million through three weeks. It wasn't as bad as Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return, a cheap-looking animated sequel to The Wizard of Oz which was pushed out in to over 2,500 locations. The movie finished the month with $8.1 million, and will likely close below $9 million.

Through the end of May, yearly domestic box office was up three percent to $4.18 billion. That lead will almost certainly be erased this coming month: last June set an all-time record by over $150 million, and June 2014 is unlikely to come close to that level.

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Related Charts

May Calendar Grosses

2014 Grosses (2014-only releases)

Year-to-Date Comparison