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This Was The Worst Performing Movie Summer In 17 Years

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The massive success of Guardians of the Galaxy may obscure that this is not turning out to be a good year for the U.S. movie business. Now that the summer season there is closing, the figures have been crunched and 2014 has come up wanting by quite a bit. Compared to last year, this summer season has earned nearly 18 percent less than before.


The New York Times speculates that it’s because audiences are tired of more of the same. That or it was marketing: the theory floated for Lucy‘s success is a bold black-and-white marketing campaign. My money says it’s because a) Scarlett Johansson kicking butt and b) never count out Luc Besson. But that’s just my opinion. The NYT concludes it’s because audiences are tired of the same-old thing, using some selective reasoning (A Million Ways to Die in the West flopped because it was bad, not because it was familiar). Here’s how the article sums up Edge Of Tomorrow‘s failure:

Tom Cruise’s futuristic “Edge of Tomorrow,” for instance, looked like a hit — and that was exactly its problem. The title was too similar to “The Day After Tomorrow,” released in summer 2004. The barren landscape too closely resembled Mr. Cruise’s 2013 film “Oblivion.” Characters walking around in robot exoskeletons? Been there (“Pacific Rim”), done that (“Real Steel”).


Deadline takes an analytic look and notes a more distressing trend: 2014’s movies are not making nearly as much money as their predecessors from last year. This year’s top movie, Guardians, made $280 million in the U.S. domestic market – a way behind last year’s top film, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire and its $424 million. In fact, the top 5 movies of 2013 made more than Guardians, though it is close to inching past Man Of Steel.

Whatever the reason for the dip, it’s not sequelitis – six of the top ten movies this year so far are sequels. Of the rest one is a spin off of sorts (Maleficent) and two are based on known brands (Godzilla, The Lego Movie). In fact, Guardians is the only remotely original entry on the list.

Last Updated: September 3, 2014

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