Summer wrap-up: Avengers is not a summer movie, period

John Cairns

Labour Day Weekend has come and gone, and with it goes the last gasp of the summer blockbuster movie season, as the movie fans either go back to schoolb or back to work or both.

Now it’s time to educate ourselves on the winners and the losers of this 2018 summer at the box office. But as I have mentioned before, it’s complicated.

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Figuring out which movie is the summer box office “champion” was made unnecessarily complicated by the release date of Avengers: Infinity War. Instead of opening up in May as it was supposed to, the release date was moved up to April 27, which is exactly one week before the traditional first weekend of May to kick off the summer blockbuster season.

Since opening on April 27, Avengers: Infinity War has grossed $678,778,164 through Labour Day weekend, which is the second best domestic gross of the year behind Black Panther, which made it to $700 million.

Obviously, it is tempting to declare Avengers: Infinity War to be the summer box office champion. It made most of its money throughout summer box office season, even though it opened a week early. Heck, it sure seems like a summer movie with all those Marvel superheroes in it.

The problem is its darned release date: April 27. I still haven’t gotten my head around that one.  

After much contemplation, consideration and examination of the situation, I am rendering my ruling. I have decided the release date of Avengers: Infinity War falls in the spring. 

“Gee,” you folks at home are saying, “Captain Obvious could have figured that one out.” Trust me, it’s not so obvious with the folks in Hollywood. 

Based on that ruling, I have determined Avengers: Infinity War as ineligible for consideration in the summer box office race. Their entry is therefore disqualified, and I hereby declare the 2018 summer champion to be The Incredibles 2.

The Disney-Pixar family flick is now up to a domestic gross of $602 million, and still counting.

That settles that! Maybe some crazy Avengers fans will argue with me and say April is part of summer.

Speaking of The Incredibles 2: local Battlefords and area movie fans will be able to see this summer’s box-office championship movie as part of the fifth-annual Send Off to Summer event on Friday night, Sept. 14. The temporary drive-in movie screen will again be up just south of Carlton Trail for the free screening. It’s always a big event, so if you want a good parking spot, be there early.   

Looking at the rest of the summer grosses, the domestic totals look like this through the Labour Day weekend:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - $415 million

Deadpool 2 - $318 million

Ant-Man and the Wasp - $213 million  

Solo: A Star Wars Story - $213 million

Mission: Impossible - Fallout- $206 million

The big story for the summer is how poorly Solo: A Star Wars Story did. Usually, you expect every Star Wars movie to absolutely clean up and make at least $500 or $600 million.

But this one did not, and from what I gather it has the dubious distinction of being the first Star Wars movie to not make its money back.

You will have to ask Star Wars fans for their theories on why this happened. One theory is that nobody was buying Alden Ehrenreich in the role of Han Solo. Another report pinned the blame on production problems. Who knows.  

From my vantage point, the biggest issue for Solo: A Star Wars Story has to be the absolute glut of Star Wars movies that have shown up at the cinemas in recent years. Heck, it was only a few months before that Star Wars: The Last Jedi came out. This glut is bound to kill the excitement for this series among casual moviegoers.

On a side note, I notice that the release date for the next James Bond movie is being delayed to 2020, because director Danny Boyle has parted ways with the production. Trust me, when the next Bond movie finally hits the screens, it will be a huge hit. There will be anticipation for Daniel Craig’s last Bond role, but more than that, there will be pent-up anticipation for this Bond movie because it took such a long time to get to the big screen.

By contrast, with Star Wars there’s been no anticipation at all lately. Disney has been milking the Star Wars cash cow, but this time the cow bit them right where it hurts.

Let that be a lesson to Hollywood. Hopefully, this will encourage Disney to dial back a little on the frequency of the Star Wars flicks they put out, because there is clearly a limit to what the fans will shell out money for.

That is it for the summer box office report for 2018. Once more, congratulations to Incredibles 2.

© Copyright Battlefords News Optimist

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