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We’ve seen a happy pattern in the early summer weeks as a handful of franchise titles soar: “Avengers: Endgame,” “Aladdin,” and “John Wick: Chapter 3 — Parabellum.” They’re doing solid work in cutting the 2019 deficit to around 6% and a little over $300 million. Meanwhile, “The Secret Life of Pets 2” and “Dark Phoenix” opened below their predecessors.
This tells us two stories: (1) The public is becoming more selective about their franchises but (2) as long as there’s sufficient volume of product, there’s hope for theaters even with films that drop in individual interest.
Secret - Life - Pets
“The Secret Life of Pets 2”
“Drop” is a relative term. “Pets 2” prevailed as top opener versus “Dark Phoenix,” which gives it bragging rights (the latter was projected to prevail). It did well enough: The “Pets 2” opening is on par with its predecessor, Universal’s animation unit Illumination kept its production cost to $80 million, and with early international results (most major countries still to open), they should come out OK.
'Rocketman - Paramount - Cut - Success - Rhapsody
'Rocketman': Paramount Considered a PG-13 Cut After the Success of 'Bohemian Rhapsody'
Nuance - Dark - Phoenix - Disappointment - Weeks
No such nuance is needed to describe “Dark Phoenix,” the second big-budget disappointment in two weeks (and the one certain to lose big money). One question before the Disney takeover of Fox was what would be the fate of “X-Men” and the Marvel sub-universe’s integration into that comic book world. Now the question might be: Why bother?
No one should underestimate Marvel’s ability to regroup and reshape and salvage “X-Men,” but the results for what’s estimated as a $200 million production cost (before marketing) are disastrous. It’s opened almost everywhere (Japan remains) for $107 million worldwide and likely will fall fast. With domestic at $33 million, the more recent “X-Men: Apocalypse” and “Logan” nearly doubled and tripled this number, respectively. “Logan” was down 5% its...
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