Sunday, January 23, 2022

Disney Claims $1.17B, While Sony Says $1B+: The Conundrum Of The 2021 Domestic Box Office Marketshare

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“Are you really doing a domestic box office marketshare piece?”

Such is the whine from a number of studio insiders and corp comms people.

Of course, we’re. Why wouldn’t we? In the perfect and worst of occasions, within the revealed horserace of field workplace {dollars}, we nonetheless have to know the place the studios stand when all of the mud settles — even when the pandemic saved enterprise at bay with $4.55 billion for 2021 in U.S. and Canada, beneath the anticipated $5.2 billion.

What continues to frustrate many main studio theatrical executives on this annual train is how the Disney-Fox merger continues to tip the scales in each a worldwide and home field workplace race.


Disney clearly is counting all of its labels — Disney, twentieth Century Studios and Searchlight, and proclaiming itself the winner with $1.17 billion within the U.S./Canada (+180% over 2020) and $2.9 billion international. Stateside that interprets into 27% of the $4.55 billion 2021 home B.O. 12 months, and the city will simply should take care of that.

Disney’s twentieth Century titles — Free Guy, The King’s Man, West Side Story — are dealt with by the identical advertising and distribution workforce as the large Disney titles, i.e. Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings. However, Searchlight, a tad much like the autonomy that Disney-owned Miramax had again within the day, operates its personal advertising and distribution on its theatrical releases. It’s very troublesome to exclude twentieth Century Studios ticket gross sales from Disney’s haul, as a result of, c’mon, after Avatar 2 and Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, these titles actually will beef up the Burbank lot’s 2022 movie revenues.

Sony Pictures


However, if we’re going to be purist and weigh home field workplace marketshare by singular studios, a la earlier than the 2019 merger, and go by the way in which they’re listed in Comscore, then Sony can arguably gained 2021 with $1.059 billion home, 54% of that pushed by Spider-Man: No Way Home, and in addition bolstered by Venom: Let There Be Carnage ($212.6M) and Ghostbusters: Afterlife ($122.3M). Sony’s monies account for 23% of the 2021 home B.O. That hand beats Disney’s $921.2M pushed by Shang-Chi, Black Widow, Eternals and Jungle Cruise. 

Worldwide, Sony information $2.43 billion, behind Disney’s $2.9B.

20th Century Studios

twentieth Century Studios

twentieth Century Studios + Searchlight mixed made $245M, repping 5% of the annual home B.O., half of that whole from Shawn Levy’s Free Guythe highest-grossing unique film of the 12 months.

Sony deserves an enormous pat on the again right here: They earned their bread off a pure theatrical window, not a day-and-date hybrid like Disney which debuted motion pictures on the similar time on Disney+. Perhaps if Disney caught to theatrical, and didn’t siphon off field workplace grosses with Raya and the Last Dragon, Cruella, Jungle Cruise and Black Widow, they’d be a dramatically larger quantity from their very own branded motion pictures proper now. In 2019, Disney, twentieth and Searchlight did $4.25 billion.

In a pure studio label race, Sony can boast that it’s gained the No. 1 home field workplace titles two years in a row, +118% from 2020 (they settled at $485.5M in mid-March 2020 earlier than film theaters closed). At the identical time, whereas they boast pro-theatrical, they did promote the second-most variety of titles to streamers between March 2020 and August 2021 at 9, behind Paramount which unloaded 10 over that interval. If older grownup audiences proceed to be a stone in some huge studios’ sneakers, natch, anticipate extra of these kinds of movies to transition to streaming companies.


Jared Leto in “Morbius”

Sony’s latest push of Marvel property Morbius from Jan. 28 to April 1 has much less to do with Omicron, I hear, which many consultants anticipate will peak by mid-January, and extra to do with holding Spider-Man: No Way Home on Imax and PLF screens, the film making $56M not too long ago in its third weekend. My sources don’t imagine U.S. theaters will probably be shutting down in the way in which that Canada has paused theirs in Quebec and Ontario attributable to Omicron given the nation’s completely different set of politics and public healthcare system.

But there’s a extra intriguing takeaway from the Morbius transfer for Sony: They go from the momentum of Spider-Man to Tom Holland’s subsequent huge film, Unchartedbecause the studio’s first broad launch of 2022 on Feb. 18.

While there’s no query that Disney will look to Searchlight as their Oscar-bait theatrical label, the lingering query is what does twentieth Century Studios imply to the Burbank, CA lot exterior of Avatar? What do they need from this studio label? What does it imply to them? Is it only a library they will plunge and exploit mainly on Disney+ and Hulu by way of collection and direct-to-OTT motion pictures like Home Sweet Home Alone? Once Avatar runs its course, is it curtains for twentieth Century Studios on the large display screen? It wouldn’t be surprising in weeks to come back if Disney CEO Bob Chapek claims the home field workplace isn’t working for motion pictures like West Side Story ($30M) and The King’s Man ($20M), nevertheless, it’s crystal clear that Disney actually tousled within the courting of these two movies: Why did a musical geared toward adults opening earlier than that viewers is even out there, go earlier than Christmas? And so far as King’s Man, um, good day, there’s a whole lot of open spots within the 2022 calendar to have bowed that one exterior of Spider-Man‘s shadow.

Armie Hammer Death On The Nile trailer

From left: Gal Gadot, Emma Mackey and Armie Hammer in “Death on the Nile”
twentieth Century Studios

The Armie Hammer scandal isn’t more likely to affect Death on the Nile‘s domestic box office grosses. Average moviegoers seriously don’t care. The larger query is whether or not older adults are prepared to come back out and make a date for this film over Valentine’s Day, with the Kenneth Branagh film opening on Feb. 11. In any pre-pandemic 12 months, the courting is logical, however in occasions like these, it’s a raffle. The subsequent twentieth Century Studios titles scheduled for 2022 are Bob’s Burgers on May 27, an untitled film on Sept. 27, the David O. Russell-directed untitled film on Nov. 4, Avatar 2 on Dec. 16 and an untitled film on Dec. 23.

While Death on the Nile is Disney’s first launch of the calendar 12 months, for the core studio, it’s technically Pixar’s Turning Red on March 11, with extra rocket gas from Marvel’s Doctor Strange within the Multiverse of Madness on May 6.


Universal and Focus mixed noticed $714.2M (+66%) — $657.6M of that coming from the large label and $56.5M from Focus Features, which stays dedicated to theatrical releases, in contrast to different handlers of specialty movies, however on a 17-day window. Despite experimenting with Peacock on Halloween Kills and The Boss Baby: Family Business, the studio does stay dedicated to theatrical for probably the most half, understanding how the large cinematic launches drive the engines of all the pieces else on the firm all the way down to parks. In different phrases, it hasn’t made a theme park experience primarily based on The Office but. It’s too small-screen. That stated, Universal must drive paid subscribers to Peacock and is curating which theatrical-day-and-dates slowly, i.e. Jennifer Lopez’s Marry Me on Feb. 11. The studio saved it huge pic F9 for this 12 months, by and much its biggest-grossing title, repping 24% of its field workplace, and it even pushed Illumination’s Minions: The Rise of Gru, which was suppose to open in 2020 earlier than the pandemic to this 12 months, on July 1, together with Jurassic World: Dominion on June 10.

Separately, Focus’ finest efforts final 12 months have been Stillwater ($14.4M), Last Night in Soho ($10.1M) and Belfast ($6.9M), the latter of which has many buzzing because the main Oscar contender. The label will proceed to nudge adults towards the large display screen with Downton Abbey: A New Era on March 18, except Focus decides there’s a extra optimistic launch date in 2022.

Warner Bros Pictures

Warner Bros. cashes in $662.6M, +181% from 2020 Covid field workplace ranges. The studio will argue that it’s been supplying movies to theaters since they started reopening in August 2020, regardless of WB’s theatrical day-and-date plan, which clearly eroded ticket gross sales by offering theatrical titles within the dwelling, free to HBO Max subscribers. We drilled down Monday on how this plan went sideways. Anyway, Warners is again to a theatrical window and, starting with The Batman on March 4, might need the primary $100M+ opening of 2022. With such huge motion pictures as Black Adam, Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore, Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, Salem’s Lot, The Flash and Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, can a re-surge to $2B stateside be within the playing cards? I say sure.


United Artists Releasing/MGM — the largest hope on the market for returning adults to the large display screen, and the one specialty label that’s betting huge on it — noticed $323.1M, half of that from the ultimate Daniel Craig 007 film No Time to Die. While a mass-appealing blockbuster, it’s that sort of film that’s regarded to have spurred any hesitant older audiences on the market to go the films. UAR can also boast about House of Gucci. Love it or hate it, it’s the largest adult-driven drama through the pandemic with slightly below $50M. Who knew House of Gucci would beat West Side Story on the home field workplace? UAR additionally moved arthouse audiences with the restricted launch of Paul Thomas Anderson’s love letter to the Seventies, Licorice Pizza (at the moment $6.6M). Big pics to sit up for are Sylvester Stallone’s Samaritan on Aug. 26 and Creed III on Nov. 25. Again, the larger query past these motion pictures: Will the Amazon acquisition of MGM undergo? If so, would Amazon develop up and permit MGM to follow what it does finest: theatrical releases?

A Quiet Place 2

“A Quiet Place Part II”

Paramount noticed $278.1M, 58% of that from A Quiet Place Part II, which it nobly held for a theatrical window all through the pandemic earlier than firing up summer time with a $57M 4-day opening over Memorial Day. Business obtained spotty with Snake Eyes: G.I. Origins as a result of not many G.I. Joe followers we’re ready for it. Top Gun: Maverick discovered itself in a sandwich round July 4th between Universal’s F9 and Disney’s Black Widow, so Paramount moved it to November, however then determined the perfect international market for the movie exists this 12 months. The studio took youngsters’ motion pictures PAW Patrol and Clifford the Big Red Dog theatrical day-and-date on Paramount+ to middling outcomes.

Paramount Pictures


There’s a whole lot of huge motion pictures on the calendar this 12 months for the Melrose Avenue lot, beginning with Spyglass’ Scream over MLK weekend, the Sandra Bullock-Brad Pitt-Channing Tatum journey film The Lost City on March 25, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 on April 8 and Mission: Impossible 7 on Sept. 30. However, the studio with its new administration wants to determine what it needs to be. Is it a strong theatrical studio? A studio of day-and-date Paramount+ titles? A studio underneath an even bigger gross sales goal, that being ViacomCBS, to be taken over by one other leisure conglom sooner or later?



Lastly amongst studios tha cleared $100M on the home field workplace is Lionsgate with $102.7M. Please, expensive child Jesus, ship the Hunger Games prequel ASAP as this studio desperately wants a success. The incontrovertible fact that it has been rumored to be taken over by an even bigger company beast is the worst-kept secret since Woody Allen performed jazz at Michael’s Club in NYC. But who? The studio on its theatrical aspect didn’t wow in any respect, with zero big-screen breakouts. Ryan Reynolds and Samuel L. Jackson’s sequel The Hitman’s Wife’s Bodyguard was the highest-grossing film stateside with $38M. That’s 50% lower than the 2017 motion comedy The Hitman’s Bodyguard and 69% lower than Reynolds’ Free Guy, which did over $121M. Perhaps there’s a red-state sleeper someplace in American Underdog, however actually, how a lot are we speaking right here? $30M? There’s some fascinating choices in 2022 like Roland Emmerich’s Moonfall on Feb. 4 — which has the profit now of not taking part in within the wake of Morbius — Nicolas Cage satire The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Jennifer Lopez’s Shotgun Wedding and White Bird: A Wonder Story. But Lionsgate, we ask, will you spend money on the P&A to open these motion pictures? Theatrical is again, and a few of these motion pictures aren’t strictly for seniors.

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