US summer box office drops two percent despite huge hauls from 'Lion King' and 'Spider-Man'

Ben Arnold
Contributor
The Lion King (Credit: Disney)

The summer box office in the US shrank two percent this year, despite a host of hit movies at the multiplexes.

Between May and August this year, ticket sales generated $4.32 billion in the US, compared to $4.41 billion last year, according to analysts Comscore (via Variety).

While this is up significantly on the previous year – 2017 saw the lowest receipts in a decade, with $3.84 billion – it appears a series of big hitting movies have not made quite the impression that was expected.

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The Lion King has been principle among these, making $1.5 billion worldwide, and $523 million in the US alone.

Spider-Man: Far From Home also made $385 million in the US, with Hobbs & Shaw bringing in $159 million and Tarantino's Once Upon A Time In Hollywood making $131 million so far.

Hobbs & Shaw (Credit: Universal)

But last year featured huge blockbusters for the summer, including Incredibles 2, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and Mission: Impossible – Fallout, which helped burst through the $4.4 billion threshold.

According to Variety, the strongest summer to date came in 2013, when movies including Despicable Me 3, We're The Millers, The Conjuring, Grown Ups and The Wolverine all notched up $4.75 billion.

A number of high profile flops this summer have not helped, notably the disastrous Dark Phoenix, which Disney inherited from its acquisition of Fox (it made only $250 million worldwide, meaning a potential loss of as much as $120 million).

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Luckily, there are a number of serious money-spinners waiting in the wings for the remainder of the year.

Maleficent 2, Frozen 2, It: Chapter 2, (erm) Jumanji 2, and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, though all sequels, should bolster numbers for the year.

Disney alone looks set to have a record year, having already smashed its global box office record in July.

It will likely make $10 billion this year from movies like Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, Frozen 2, Maleficent 2 and Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker.