The latest films of director Damien Chazelle, Babylontells the tumultuous tale of Hollywood in the 1920s, when the film industry—still rather young and rough around the edges—had all the pleasures, extravagance, and debauchery that the Jazz Age heralded.
That was 100 years ago.
Is going to the movies still buzzing?
“There have been a lot of those thorny questions in the last few years, five years, 10 years [about] The future of movies. Do movies have a future? “I find it comforting to look back in time to see that this question was never actually asked,” Chazelle said in an interview with CBC News.
“Movies have been dying, according to experts of the moment, since 1901. You know [Louis] Lumiere said that films have no future,” Chazelle added, referring to a French pioneer of modern cinema. Every decade you’ll find some kind of “movies are dead” declaration.
“So this obituary was written a lot.”
While the film industry is still recovering from its downfall during the COVID-19 pandemic — as theaters closed temporarily or for good, fewer projects were created and box office returns were close to zero — 2022 was the year that movies picked up again.
But the sector has yet to fully heal, and blockbusters remain its driving force — hurting the success of more artsy indie films, according to industry experts.
“There’s still a bit of catching up to do.”
How will Olivier Gauthier-Mercier, vice president of distribution for Canadian film distribution company Sphere Films, rank this year’s box office revenues? Simply put, “There’s still a little bit of catching up to do,” he told CBC News.
he said, referring to the latest example of a typical year at the box office.
As the “bells and whistles” movies have had 12 months of growth, the industry continues to see a boom in movies: big-budget shows with highly anticipated releases.
The ten highest-grossing films at the domestic box office (U.S. and Canada) this year, according to data from box office tracker Box Office Mojo, were major franchise installments released from the studio on budgets between $80 million and $250 million. And they’ve all had sequels (except for Matt Reeves Batmanwhich is not entirely new material).
“People want to go see the latest Marvel series. People want to go see the latest in the DC Universe. So I think those are the big scenes that people still seem to be hanging on to or they think this is what movie theaters can offer,” said Gauthier Mercier. You are because of the cruelty of everything.”
Cinemas are increasingly reluctant to show smaller films—sometimes giving them a shorter run—because they don’t make as much money as their big-budget counterparts. There are anomalies, Gauthier-Mercier said.
“over there [Everything Everywhere All at Once]a film that manages to present the same scene and perhaps give people the same feeling when watching a film, a story about family, but done in a way that is almost a new language…. So I think the language of the film also needs to change.”
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Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst at media measurement firm Comscore, made a similar assessment of the 2022 cinema landscape.
“If we look at the box office this year, it’s really about blockbusters,” Dergarabedian said, noting that Oscar contenders and other films aimed at “award audiences” are not seeing a huge turnout.
The only exception is Brendan Fraser’s comeback car Whalewhich grossed a whopping $360,000 domestically during its limited-edition opening in early December.
Next year, a solid list of blockbusters such as Indiana Jones and the Dial of DestinyAnd the Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part 1 And the John Wick: Chapter 4 It’ll hit theaters – all the old franchises. But only a really healthy box office can keep all kinds of movies from being successful.
Top Gun made a splash this summer
Dergarabedian said that the beginning of the year usually saw one film dominate an entire month at the box office — which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Spider Man: No going homeAnd the Batman And the Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness It led the majority of domestic box office sales during or months after its release.
Finally, at the end of May, Deus ex machina arrives: the long-awaited sequel to an ’80s classic, helmed by a certain movie star (and stubborn celebrity).
“Top Gun: Maverick It was I think that just signaled to the world that the movie theater was a center of influence, and that it was the place to watch movies in the best possible way,” Dergarabedian said.
With Tom Cruise helming a cast of such youngsters as Miles Teller and Glen Powell, the film has grossed over $1 billion worldwide since its May 27 opening.
It went to No. 1 the Memorial Day weekend in the US and was at the top again when Labor Day weekend came around. “This has never happened before,” Dergarabedian said.
Nor was it the only summer box office success Minions: The Rise of a GruAnd the Elvis And the Jurassic World Dominion Contribution to the piggy bank. But those numbers slipped through the tepid fall, and even so Avatar: Water RoadAnd the Babylon And the I wanna Dance With Somebody Towards the end of the year – the North American box office still lags behind the numbers it would achieve during a healthy box office year.
“A strong ecosystem of movie theaters will see the global box office at over $40 billion and the US and Canada as part of that at over $11 billion. This year we’ll hit, or a little more than, $7 billion in the US and Canada,” Dergarabedian said.
But he noted that there were not as many releases this year as there would have been during a normal year. He said the industry was short about 40 films.
Hit the glass onion
Theaters lost a large portion of their moviegoing audience after the pandemic began in early 2020, with some (particularly those over 60) moving to streaming services.
But this year something strange happened: Rian Johnson Glass Onion: Takes the mystery out of the cutlerythe sequel to 2019’s whodunit Take out the knivesIt had a limited release in theaters before December 23 on Netflix and grossed an impressive $13 million.
glass onion It did remarkably well during its theatrical run – showing that audiences are willing to pay for the big screen experience up front, even if the movie is promised on the streaming service at a later date. The streaming giant left money on the table by drawing glass onion off theatres, as per a few entertainment publications.
But then there are films like Steven Spielberg Fablemans, the personal story of the most successful American director of all time. It had all the right ingredients, but… Disappointing performance to the office box.
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It’s also one of the lowest-grossing man-made films Jawsthe movie that basically invented our concept of a modern blockbuster.
“It’s going to take a lot of strong films, strong distributors and filmmakers to kind of help keep the model alive. The model can spin, the stories being told and who they need to change. I think that’s it,” said Gauthier-Mercier.
“I think this is a big thing because people want to come together and experience — whether it’s sadness, happiness, laughter, or joy — together. It’s a no-brainer.”
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