Second Quarter 2022 will Fight to Match 2019’s AVENGERS ENDGAME
The 2nd quarter of 2022 will run from Friday, April 8th through Thursday, July 7th, including film weeks 14-26 of 2022. We will still compare current year results to those from 2019 since the first half of 2021 was still tangled in a mighty struggle with COVID when only one-half of U.S. theatres were open and operating. Here is our prediction for the upcoming quarter.
APRIL – As the 2nd quarter began, the industry got a pleasant surprise with the outstanding $72M opening weekend for SONIC THE HEDGEHOG 2. This was 24% higher than results from the original SONIC, which opened in February 2020, five weeks before the pandemic set in. The following weekend brought a solid $42M opening of FANTASTIC BEASTS: THE SECRETS OF DUMBLEDORE. With two weeks now in the books, the 2nd quarter of 2022 has produced 87% of the box office from the first two weeks of Q2 2019. This strong start will not hold up, since the releases on 4/22 and 4/29 will pale in comparison to AVENGERS ENDGAME, which opened on 4/26/2019 and earned $357M in its first week and $858M for its entire run in theatres.
MAY – This month will get off to a very good start with the May 6th opening of DOCTOR STRANGE IN THE MULTIVERSE OF MADNESS. That brief spark will wither in the two weeks to follow, with FIRESTARTER on 5/13 and DOWNTOWN ABBEY and MEN on 5/20. Neither title will hold up well in comparison to 2019’s POKEMON DETECTIVE PIKACHU ($144M) and JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 3 – PARABELLUM ($171M). May will conclude with the much-anticipated and long overdue TOP GUN: MAVERICK opening on 5/27. Despite the fact that MAVERICK is projected to be one of the biggest earners of the quarter, it will not rise to meet the results of ALADDIN, which grossed $356M in its run which began on 5/24/19. We anticipate that May this year will earn only 50%-60% of the box office from May 2019.
JUNE – As of today, studios have offered no new wide releases for 6/3, in what should normally be a big summer weekend. However, the rest of June is loaded with goodies, including JURASSIC WORLD DOMINION on 6/10, LIGHTYEAR on 6/17, and MINIONS: THE RISE OF GRU on 7/1 to wrap up the last week of the quarter.
TOP 10 SECOND QUARTER TITLES – 2019 vs. 2021
Despite the first two weeks of Q2 2022 coming in at 87% compared with the first two weeks of Q2 2019, the remainder of the quarter will struggle to keep pace, since 2019 witnessed AVENGERS ENDGAME, one of the biggest pictures of all time with its $842M second quarter contribution and its $858M total run. This single title may well account for the entire difference between the two years.
Another contributing factor to this year coming up short is the fact that we are tracking only 21 wide release titles during Q2 2022, which is off 30% from the 30 wide release titles in Q2 2019. While quantity doesn’t always result in a higher gross, more product brings more opportunities for exhibitors to thrive. Theatres are flush with seats and screens, and eager to offer more new films for their customers to enjoy. This year’s decline by 30% in the number of significant new films, seems to be a lost opportunity to generate much-needed revenue.
We project that the second quarter of 2022 will wind up at 60% of the second quarter of 2019. With Q1 coming in at 58% of Q1 2019, the first half of 2022 will add up to 59% of the first half of 2019.