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The Worst Year Ever At The Box Office Comes To A Close

This will surprise absolutely no one, but having movie theaters largely closed during 2020 was bad for the box office figures. Go figure, right? Well, now that 2020 is in the books, this final weekend of the box office for last year just hammers it home. Yes, some theaters are open, but with New York City theaters still closed, as well as Los Angeles, films just don’t have a fighting chance to make a big profit in that manner. Wonder Woman 1984 is currently trying the hybrid approach, but as much as anything, that’s aimed at boosting HBO Max numbers. What of the box office? Well, read on for some more, but brace yourself…it’s not good.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the 2020 box office is officially the worst in Hollywood’s history. Ending the year, we had the second weekend for Wonder Woman 1984 leading the way with $5.5 million, giving it about $28.5 million so far, domestically. Internationally, it’s at around $90 million, a far cry from where it was initially pegged, pre-COVID. Of course, the pandemic changed the game, so it was academic that the box office would be the worst ever. Will 2021 be better? Well, it would be hard to be any worse, that’s for sure…

Here’s some of their box office story for this weekend:

Wonder Woman 1984 grossed $5.5 million over New Year’s weekend as the official holiday season ended and Hollywood bid adieu to its worst year ever at the box office due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

The superhero sequel has now earned an estimated $28.5 million domestically and $90 million overseas for a muted worldwide tally of $118.5 million. In a controversial move, Warners made the Christmas Day tentpole available the same day on HBO Max and in cinemas because of the COVID-19 crisis and continued theater closures in many major markets. Exhibitors were sympathetic, considering a surge in cases and cinema reclosures across large swaths of the globe.

WW84 fell 67 percent in its second weekend of play domestically, a hefty drop for the holiday weekend even with the pandemic. The Croods: The New Age, for example, was up 25 percent in its sixth weekend with $2.2 million.

The Croods 2 is also playing in the home after being made available on premium VOD three weeks after its theatrical debut.

Overseas, one bright spot for WW84 is Australia, where the film took in a stellar $4.3 million in its second frame for a total of $11.5 million. The sequel has not done so well in some Asian markets, including China. It is showing promise in Latin America, although some major market shares are seeing a surge.

Elsewhere at the box office, Universal and DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods 2 placed second domestically, while crossing the $100 million mark globally to finish Sunday with a worldwide cume of $115 million. The animated family film has held in remarkably well.

The world tally for Croods 2 includes a foreign cume of $80.44, led by China ($52.5 million).

It isn’t the only animated family title prospering in the Middle Kingdom.

Disney and Pixar’s Soul — which debuted exclusively Dec. 25 on Dsney+ in the U.S. on Disney — is building momentum in China, where it earned $13.7 million in its second weekend, well ahead of its first weekend ($5.5 million), for a total there of $25.7 million. Overall internationally, Soul has grossed $32.5 million from the 11 markets where it is playing on the big screen.

Back at the U.S. box office, Universal’s News of the World came in third over New Year’s weekend with $1.7 million in its second weekend (down 22 percent) for a domestic tally of $5.4 million. Netflix is distributing the Tom Hanks drama overseas.

Monster Hunter placed No. 4 with $1.2 million for a domestic cume of $6.3 million. Sony is handling the film domestically.

Lionsgate’s thriller Fatale rounded out the top five with $720,000 (down 6 percent) for a domestic total of $3.1 million.

And it’s official: North American box office revenue plummeted 80 percent in 2020 amid the novel coronavirus pandemic and unprecedented theater closures, while global revenue tumbled more than 70 percent.

New Year’s weekend, boasting year-end holiday titles, is considered the conclusion of the previous year in terms of the box office.

As predicted, domestic movie tickets sold between Jan. 1 through Dec. 31 generated an estimated $2.3 billion (or $2.68 billion) compared to $11.4 billion in 2019, according to Comscore estimates. That’s the lowest showing in at least 40 years. The dramatic fall-off was expected, considering that many cinemas have been closed for more than nine months in the U.S.

Stay tuned to see how 2021 goes at the box office…

(Source: THR)

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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